Posted on October 05 2015
When the days get shorter, leaves start falling and the weather turns soggy, it’s a sure sign that cyclocross season is upon us. Anthony and his buddies are big into the local cyclocross scene and we thought, what the heck, let's add a bit of style to the sea of Lycra that spends their autumn weekends bouncing around parks and empty fields. Thus, the launch of our very own Hammer + Awl cycling team – aka the “Distinguished Gentleman’s Cycling Club”. A group of savvy and stylish racers, ready to take on the chaotic & muddy courses all around the PNW.
What is cyclocross you ask? First, take an obscure sport like bike racing and make it more obscure. Next, put those already precarious skinny tires into a muddy park or field and mix in a few obstacles that intentionally force riders off their bikes. Top that off with carefully curated mazes of course tape, beer gardens, sounds of clanging cowbells, rowdy crowds and voila, you’ve got cyclocross. Belgian in origin, it's hugely popular here in the PNW with thousands of riders competing every weekend. If that hasn’t peaked your curiosity yet, take a look here to see what it’s all about on a professional European level. Still curious? Check it out in person at a race from MFG. They put on a great series of events, culminating in the biggest race of the year at Woodland Park every November.
Our first order of business, creating a simple and elegant kit (cycling term for jersey and shorts) that would complement the style of H+A. We mixed in elements of classic wool jerseys worn by the likes of Eddy Merckx combined with well-designed modern renditions like those from Team Sky in the UK. No neon, no explosive logos, no gimmicky illustrations - just a clean and classy kit that will stand the test of time. By teaming up with US made cycling clothing maker Voler, we were able to keep the H+A brand intact with a like-minded small business who not only produced some great looking kits, they did it in an astoundingly short period of time. As a bonus, they also offer our H+A exquisite kit for sale on their website here.
Rounding up a few folks to assist in the journey was key. Without their support our group of semi-talented riders wouldn’t function as well, or look anywhere near as dapper while doing it. The good folks at Woodinville / Westside Bicycle, fixtures on the Seattle area CX scene, were kind enough to help at races, support with parts and assist in providing sponsorship from the legendary bicycle company Specialized Bikes. To keep us hydrated with pure, clean water, Bay Area company SOMA chipped in. And not to be out done, one of our favorite H+A brands, Parker Dusseau, provided gear to ensure we look as good off the bike as we do on. Look for a product testing update soon, hopefully from the podium.