When it came time to test / model the new limited run Broad Street Cycles Summer kit from Italian clothiers, Giordana, Parker was the natural choice. Fresh off his alpine training camp in Italy, he had the most recent experience with Italian lifestyle to test the made-in-Italy kit’s claim to authentically capture the country’s rich cycling history. He also has the stunning looks to do justice to luxury threads from the heartland of fashion. Rolling out of Jordan River towards Port Renfrew, Parker staggered our frustrated photographers lens into soft focus for opening hours of the ride. The lens has never been the same since, overriding any autofocus function with an audible sigh at the mere mention of Hwy 14. If not for the 100% Speedcrafts shading that sultry gaze, we might not have a single sharp photo to show for the days efforts. Luckily, a steady headwind drew heads out of the clouds and back to the task at hand, forcing attention on the task at hand.
Like their high-end cycling peers, Giordana draws on the wisdom of old-world traditions, making their kit at home in Italy, to continue pushing their cycling wear to the sharp end of high performance. Their top end Frc kit is a mix of high tech compression, ultra-breathable fabrics, and aero considerations, like the longer sleeve. Starting from Broad Street Cycles Classics kit, our custom Giordana Frc kit opts for light, breathable white panels across the majority of the jersey, along with ‘summer flouro Celeste’ highlights in places of the hearty, darker colourway of Classics season.
We set out to test Girodana’s high end wares on some of the nicest and more scenic roads surrounding Victoria, the route between Jordan River and Port Renfrew. With little traffic, winding descents, and stunning vista’s across to Washington’s Olympic peninsula, and a good few KM’s of gravel past the end of the road, this ride captures much of what we love about cycling. It’s even better when you manage to catch it on a dry summer day.
After stopping at Stick in the Mud for a not-quite-Americano, with juuuuust the right amount of water – a sort of Goldilocks situation between an espresso and Americano – and picking up pocket burrito’s for the ride, we set up shop in Jordan River. When you’re not at a race, changing in a highway side parking lot always seems to attract attention, whether that’s gawkers, scowls, or the curious. We were immediately greeted by a quartet with an array of vague accents and New York plates who were “out for a drive.” We never figured out to where, or from where, but they did take our advice to check out Renfrew, and did oblige and wave at us as they drove past later. Without honking, even! Our new favorite people. At least until we ran into the Belgians, but that’s later.
First, we had to battle a solid head wind all the way out to Port Renfrew. Giordana promises their new kit uses all the science to make you faster, more aero and more comfortable. Parker certainly seemed more aero and more comfortable, as I had to preform all manner of acrobatics to tuck into his draft, while I could hear him comfortably coasting along in mine.
Pocket burrito’s still warming in our jersey pockets, we skipped Port Renfrew’s town center, heading straight for Avatar Grove, and a swimming hole I’d been eying up for a couple years. Thwarted once by snow, and once by darkness and rain, there was little that would stop me from jumping in the ice cold water this time. Not least being a herd of Belgian dudes road tripping across Western Canada in two RV’s. Their crew, aged mid-20’s to mid-60’s, had been jumping off any and … .well, not quite every cliff they could find from Jasper to our meeting in Port Renfrew, between runs at BC’s downhill mountain bike hills. With 8 bro’s crammed in two RV’s for weeks at a time, cliff jumping under the bridge quickly escalated to Thomas scurrying down the struts of the Modular Bridge Systems structure to … I don’t know, proved his manliness? A couple tricep dips to show off, and he was ready to jump. 15 minutes later, showmanship had switched to what looked, even from 60 feet away, like some sort of existential crisis: Thomas was still bridged out, now inured to the numerous, bilingual jeers of his buds (thanks for including us, guys!), who had dressed, packed up and climbed back up to the cars with us. They wished us well on our ride, talked a bit about Mt. Washington, and we wished them well in their attempt to retrieve their friend. If you’re passing through, stop and see if he’s still sitting there. Maybe bring him a burrito.
We’d set out earlier to get pictures of Parker looking pretty in Giordana’s FRc kit, on roads that might do justice to the quality of this top end kit. What ended up being most memorable at days end was hanging out with Belgians, having excellent riverside burritos, and dangerous run-ins with squirrels. And that’s what summer riding’s really about, isn’t it? Taking the chance to slow down enough that you meet new people, see new places – or new parts of familiar places – and, you know, wear shiny white kit without worrying too much. Well, all that and the massive tail wind on the way home – nothing feels better than riding really fast, even if it’s with a boost from Nature, in brand new kit!
Broad Street Cycles Summer Kit by Giordana is available now, in store. Quantities are limited.