I love cycle caps.
They keep the rain from streaming down my helmet and dripping on my face. They stop the sun’s rays from closing my eyes and squinting into heavy traffic, rocky descents and winding city paths. They prevent sweat from working its salty route into every nook and cranny of my weather beaten face. They keep me both pleasantly warm and pleasingly cool. I would not ride without one.
Equally, I can’t just wear any cap. In the same way that I feel that team kit is for earning, a cycle cap conveys a memory or an intention, a talisman for the journeys ahead and a reminder of those behind.
I hang some of mine on a corner of the radiator in the downstairs bathroom. That way I can at least find one at short notice (my kit box is like a black hole sucking everything in the vicinity into its mysterious path). Each has its own story, none of which I can forget.
Top to bottom:
- Sky cap – Given to me by Luke Rowe when he and Geraint joined us for our JIF kids Christmas party. Cardiff has produced several cycling superstars in recent years and they all remember and revisit their roots.
- Ancient Colombia cap – Bought for its muted colours, I save this one for hard efforts, single speeding and grungy days in the rain.
- Paris-Roubaix – After crashing and failing last year, the successful negotiation of the Roubaix course felt like a monkey off my back. It fits poorly, the colours suit none of my kit and it seems to have been designed by a disinterested teenager. I love it.
- Archie’s audax cap – I bought my vintage Carlton Corsa from octogenarian Archie, one careful owner (him) bought from new (1971). Some of Archie’s kit came with it, including this cap. It’s a reminder both of cycling heritage and one true gent.
- Prendas Ciclismo cap – talking of gents, PC are the gents of the online cycle retailing world. After spotting an image in which I was wearing a very dog eared and much loved cap of theirs, they sent me a new one out of pity. It fits like a glove and you could almost say (almost), I save it for Sunday best.
Cycle caps can be picked up from a good bike shop, event near you or cap specialists Prendas Ciclismo