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When I first saw the logo for Denver’s Marczyk Fine Wines - a black and white 1950′s photo of a woman guzzling wine from the bottle, I thought, “Wow! That image would be great on a cycling jersey!” I imagined the woman picnicking by the side of the road with her baguette and cheese, cheering “allez! allez!” to Tour de France riders as they whizzed by.

One thing led to another and I ended up designing two limited edition cycling jerseys for Marczyk’s; the “Drinking Lady” being the first off the sewing line, just in time for the USA Pro Challenge where racers will ride laps around Marczyk’s this Sunday, August 25.

It turns out that the woman in the picture is the mother of the wine shop’s owner, Barbara, who describes the origin of the photo, “When we were little, I was not yet a year old, my father decided it would be cool/fun/crazy to live in Italy. So he and mama packed up three little kids and took an ocean liner, the Christopher Columbus, to Italy and found a place to live in Rome. From there they would travel out to the countryside and bring a picnic.”

“So when we were opening the wine shop, we had already made many of their pictures of life in Italy part of our brand. Our logo designer asked to see the book of photos again, and there it was, the perfect image! I think my mother would be pleased to be part of our world.”

OK, so Barbara’s mother was whooping it up at the Giro instead!

The jersey shown here is a woman’s fit. The men’s version has the same graphics and colors. White side panels read “The Best Wines You’ve Never Heard Of” and the back has the same photo image as the front. To enquire about the jerseys or to place an order email

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I’ve always liked to mine vintage garments and interpret the designs into something fresh. This is especially true of athletic and sporting apparel. So when long-time cyclist Bill Humphreys published “The Jersey Project” I nabbed a copy for my design library.

The Jersey Project is a visual tour of bike racing in the U.S. and Europe over the past few decades through hundreds of images of club and team cycling jerseys.  Each page is filled with jerseys and bits of racing history. From page one I was hooked as I was swept back into the era when I first discovered bikes and the world of bike racing. I would never have dreamed then that the wool jerseys worn by the U.S. riders I rode hip-to-hip with on training rides would end up in a historical compilation!

I’ve been working on my own jersey design project for a client this summer and this wonderfully rich book has been a source of endless inspiration. (I’ll show my work when I get some decent photos!)

For a sneak peak of my most recent jersey design for Marczyk Wine & Spirits check out Poppy Gall Design Studio on facebook here.


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As the 100th edition of Le Tour de France  rolls through the French countryside this month I’m paying close attention to what’s on the rider’s feet. (Product research, you know…) I thought I’d share with you a few of the men’s ultra-light cycling socks designed by Poppy Gall Design Studio for Darn Tough.

To see more of my portfolio click here. To connect with Poppy Gall Design Studio on facebook click here.

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It’s hard to throw away a race number. That high-contrast piece of Tyvek symbolizes a lot of work, preparation and the commitment you’ve made to your sport. Maybe you had a good result; maybe your goal was just to finish. Maybe things didn’t work out. But you made it to the starting line and pinned on a number and that means a lot. It means that you participated, be it a century, a bicycle or ski race, a 10K or something else.

It occurred to the clever folks at Elevengear that it would be very cool to be able to re-use these symbols of significant effort for a new and noble purpose. After several iterations they’ve come up with the “Race Number Cap”.

It takes five numbers to make a cap – five less numbers that will end up in the landfill. Send them your numbers and they’ll stitch up a memento that will look better on your head than tacked to the wall above your workbench. For more information about ordering click here.

Don’t forget, Friday is National Bike to Work Day. See you on the road!

For more 2-wheeled inspiration click here.

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The intersection of art and fashion with sport is always fascinating to me. The collision of state of the art cycling shoes wrapped with vintage images exploring the sport’s rich history is a great example. Clearly cycling is a passion for U.K. based artist James Straffon who has exactingly decoupaged cycling shoes with historic racing memorabilia. Most recently Straffon collaborated with cycling brand Rapha to create a shoe to commemorate the introduction of their new yak leather shoe, the Grand Tour.

When speaking about creating the shoe Straffon claims, “Working on the Rapha Grand Tour shoe was a daunting task. The decoupage needed to sit well with the company ethos. It also had to exist as an embellishment to the already apparent ‘beauty’ of the raw object, and not speak a different aesthetic language. In addition, much trepidation arose when my usual working method introduced resin-coated sanding papers to fine Yak leather. Not a moment for the faint-hearted. Grand Tour was a journey in itself.”

Straffon chose his images carefully. One flank features the line-up of the very first ‘Grand Départ’ in 1903, outside the Café Reveil-Matin, Montgeron, France. Eventual inaugural Tour de France winner Maurice Garin can be seen poised at the far right. The fated 1967 Tour is also honoured, with reference to Stage 13, Marseille to Carpentras, where Tom Simpson died the slopes of the Ventoux. Barry Hoban’s consequent Stage 14 victory is also represented. Merckx, Rivière, and Géminiani are also featured in the subtle interlocking of images.

Straffon has also collaged shoes donated by cycling stars David Millar and Bradley Wiggins. The shoes will be part of a solo exhibit of Straffon’s cycling based works LE TOUR – from maillot jaune to lanterne rouge opening June 30th at Snap Galleries in London.

David Millar’s re-envisioned shoe

Bradley Wiggin’s wonderfully modified shoe


For more cycling inspiration click here.

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I was checking out Terry Bicycles (purveyors of all things bicycle for women) website this week and was happy to see their new Poppy Gall designed Cyclo Bra and Cyclo Brief on the site. Being a cyclist, this was a particularly fun project for me to work on because I could draw on first hand experience.

Terry’s mission was to reinvent the sport bra for cycling. I was given very specific design parameters for both styles. For the Cyclo Bra, strap construction and location, body-mapped wicking areas, smooth chafe free seams, and moderate support were essential design features for comfort and riding performance. Many women ride with their jerseys almost fully unzipped when it’s hot so the bra couldn’t be too revealing, and since bees in the cleavage aren’t much fun, the neckline had to be higher than most bras.

The Cyclo Brief was designed to meet the needs of the woman who isn’t into wearing Lycra shorts, but wants the comfort of a padded liner beneath looser fitting bottoms. Seam placement and inseam length for optimal comfort, and placement of wicking fabrics are integral to the design.

I can’t wait to give them a spin! Please let me know what you think if you try them out. And as Terry founder Georgiana Terry always signs off – “tailwinds”!

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