Being warm on your bike is so important. We don’t need to tell you that. You’re a cyclist. No doubt you’ve experienced what it’s like to be so cold that it’s hard to keep pushing those pedals. You set out in the morning telling yourself you’ll warm up as the day goes on. But you didn’t.
Sound familiar? I write those words so easily because I’ve been that cyclist on too many occasions and I spent quite some time (and money) hunting online and in bike shops for a suitable cycling coat. But nothing was keeping me warm (or stylish) enough!
Light bulb moment.
Why don’t we, at VeloFlamingo, add a new piece of kit to the range that would keep us cosy and warm when we need it and looking the business as well? We spoke to our manufacturers about what we wanted, tried some of their samples, made some tweaks to how we think our customer would like it and boom - the product was now more than an idea (I say boom like it all happened instantly. It didn’t!)
What did happen fairly fast however, was the design part of the Carrick Coat. Earlier this year I was gravel biking in the depths of the Wicklow Mountains here in Ireland, I’ll tell you exactly where this lovely place is towards the end of this post. There I was, gravelling along with my pal down a lovely trail on a crisp spring day. Blue skies, white fluffy clouds, low temperatures but the sun was still shining. Something on the ground caught my eye and I braked, jumped off my bike and went back to see what this sparkly thing on the ground was (my nickname in a different world should be Magpie!). Lying there on the ground was a small round gold ring. Cheap as chips, the kind that will turn your finger green within minutes. By now, my pal had come back to see what I was up to and I showed him the ring. I slipped it on my middle finger and jumped back on my trusty steed.
Off we went. Down the trails. Talking and biking and talking some more. And I kept glancing at the ring and said to my pal that wouldn’t a beautiful design for this new coat I was designing be small pink rings around the cuff on one arm. He just nodded and mumbled “great idea……” in a man-ish kind of way but I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
When I got home, with the ring still on my finger and the bike still on the bike rack, I pulled out my markers and started pulling some colours together to see what would work. I pulled out the fabric colour flags. Yes. Very nice. These colours work together. The logo pulls in nicely too. I was fierce proud of what was coming together.
It was happening. Right before my eyes. The lovely Carrick Coat was becoming a reality. What followed was much chats with our manufacturers to see if this design could come to life and low and behold, it could. Fast forward 5 or 6 weeks to a very exciting Tuesday morning when Dan The DPD man (we are on first name terms at this stage!) reverently handed over the latest delivery which I knew contained THE coat. The box was carefully opened. The plastic was oh so carefully removed. The front zip was carefully unzipped. I slipped that coat over my arms and shoulders for the first time and I knew it would be a firm favourite. Everything was perfect. The fit. The little reflective tabs. The “arse cover” flap that pulls down for when you’re getting rain and crap off the road on your arse. The little side vents. The beautiful ombre pink circles on the cuff.
All inspired from that little gold ring I found out gravel biking one morning. That ring still sits on my desk in VeloFlamingo HQ and I get goose bumps sometimes when I look at it as it holds such fond memories.
Why has it been named The Carrick Coat? Easy peasy. The gravel trail I was cycling with my pal that lovely cool spring morning was on Carrick Mountain in Co Wicklow. It couldn’t have been called anything else really!
Full technical spec of the jacket is on the website: