It wasn't me that started it I promise you. Some guy in our club (well he isn't in our club anymore but that is a different story) went to Germany on business and whilst he was there he found a bike shop.
The shop had its own amateur cycling team and they had some jerseys in stock. He bought one and then wore it at our next ride. It was enchanting to see a bloke from Peterborough riding around the fens in a jersey with loads of exotic sounding sponsors on it. Most of them were probably sore bum creams or something, but the challenge was out there and I wanted to take it up.
Fast forward a couple of fruitless summers looking in foreign bike shops and I finally struck gold in Spain.
Lloret de Mar has a reputation that is probably not associated with the cutting edge of cycle sport. In fact "Bob's Lapdancing Club" is a more likely sponsor knowing what I know about the Costa Brava resort.
But just outside of town is Blanes, unspectacular on its own. I was just there to catch a train into Barcelona, but then I saw it.
Freebike bike store. I knew they were proper roadies too. They had a slope on the side of the shop to the car park and on it was a scale model... of L'Alpe D'Huez.
And in the window, a team Freebike jersey. The exchange rate was obviously better and the combination of sun and San Miguel found me whipping my credit card out and having a crisp fresh jersey packed up for me to take away.
The full zipper is a bit useless most of the time whilst trundling down the Huntingdonshire lanes, but I love the design (a dinosaur riding a bike) and the sponsors.
First up across the shoulders is Spiuk who most of you will know. That is where the major companies end though. The chest is full of small businesses with an aluminum company across the front. The side panels advertise Idea, which is a local washing machine chain.
So the challenge to road.cc riders and members is this... find a lovely local shop cycling team jersey on your travels. Not Saxo Bank or Columbia but something a bit more obscure.
I can't wait to see your photos :0)