Book review: The Art of the Jersey
The Art of the Jersey: In Celebration of the Cycling Racing Jersey is a pretty book. It features a collection of 200 of cycling’s “most noteworthy jersey designs”. Who knew?
I had no idea there were so many “noteworthy” cycling jerseys, although I am aware of how much pride people take in their jersey designs. Whether it’s a club jersey or a professional team jersey, cyclists have their favourites.
Author Andy Storey has taken this love of the cycling jersey a few pedalling revolutions further.
A self-confessed cycling obsessive, who also works for cycling clothing specialist Prendas Ciclismo, Andy has researched a vast number of cycling jerseys and come up with a collection of 200 that features iconic retro designs, many worn by Tour de France winners and professional riders , specialist jerseys and unique collector’s pieces for the last 60 years.
Each page features one or two of these jerseys with photographs and a few words. This includes Manufacturer, Associated Bike, Key Riders and a bit of analysis.
Since I do not know that much about cycling jerseys, apart for the brands I like to wear and the perfect design of a women’s cycling jersey, I handed the book to the G-Force for closer reviewing.
At first he wasn’t too interested. “What’s the point in that?” he said. “I guess it might look good in a cycling café or sitting in someone’s toilet in case you need a quick read while you’re on the loo. But I don’t think I am that interested in it.”
But then he opened the book and started flicking through the pages. “Oh, look, there’s the jersey own by my favourite professional rider from when I was a kid… And look at that design. I remember that, too… I am not sure the author has included all the riders’ names with that jersey… And that’s another jersey that I remember I liked when I did a lot of cycling in my teens.”
I suggested that perhaps the book was a bit more interesting than he had at first thought. “Yeh, you’re right,” the G-Force confessed. “It’ a nice and colourful book with lots to look at. I still think it would be best bought for a café, a coffee table or as a gift for a cyclist and I can see it ending up on a bookshelf in people’s bathrooms. However, it does bring back quite a few memories and I like it more than I thought I would at first glance.”
I also think this would make a great gift for a keen cyclist, especially one in his (or her) 40s, 50s or 60s.
The Art of the Jersey: In Celebration of the Cycling Racing Jersey is published by Mitchell Beazley, part of Octopus, on May 5 priced £15.99.