Five awesome men's cycling jackets that will totally ruin your life

Brrrrrrr! Can you feel it? It's getting cold up in this joint. And by 'this joint', I mean Britain. If you, like me, are male and can experience coldness, then you'll probably have been thinking about investing in a nice new cycling jacket for winter. To that end, I surveyed what's out there and wanted to report back my findings – but I must add that each of these jackets comes with a hefty warning. They may very well ruin your life. Just knowing about the existence of these five spectacularly awesome men's cycling jackets could drive you into a frenzy of distraction. Only the most sensitive souls, those desperately in need of a warm jacket, those typically reduced to a fit of shivering by the cold breeze in the chiller aisle of your local Tesco, should proceed further. 

Read on, if you think you're mard enough.

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21 gifs that tell the story of the 2016 Tour de France

Well, what a year that was in the Tour de France. Team Sky's stranglehold on the race for yellow sucked a little bit of the excitement out of things, but there was still plenty to enjoy about this edition. From a resurgent Manx Missile, to the heroics of lesser-known riders and a constantly changing top ten – there was plenty to enjoy. There were also a good number of the gloriously weird occurrences that seem to gravitate to the Tour like no other race.

So what better way to relive all the action than with a weird gif for every day of the Tour?

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Three incredible branded cycling films that hit the internet in the last month

Sometimes I don't know where I stand on branded video content. On the one hand, there's no denying it's a great investment for brands with unmatched power to grab attention and tell stories, but on the other, my total lack of ability behind a video camera makes me a little bit resentful. Plus, if you're going to produce anything longer than 15 seconds, you have to accept that you're asking a great deal from your audience – who tend to discover this type of content through their social media feeds. Creating something that will stop your audience in its tracks, so much so that they'll risk getting caught watching it at work, is tough to do. More and more though I'm seeing videos that have nailed that instant attention-grabbing element. 

My recent trip to Romania for Mpora has given me a whole new level of appreciation for downhill mountain biking. Just spending a weekend teetering and tottering along every trail in the Carpathian mountains was enough to instil in me a huge level of respect for the skills these guys have. Here's Lachlan Blair having entirely too much fun playing 'The Mexican' for Morvelo.

Put together by video production pro, Robin Lee, who was introduced to me a few weeks ago by another friend, this is a beautiful little promo vid for Lucho Dillitos. Who knew there was so much awesome riding in and around Hong Kong? They shot this in a single day – which is pretty bloody impressive if you ask me.

Ok, so I'll warn you now, this is a long one. Put together by the Rad Race and Aurora, it's a 20-minute film about their trip to Iceland – just watching them riding through the ethereal, otherworldly landscapes stokes up my desire to book a flight for me and by bike to Reykjavik. If you enjoy Germans suffering, this is for you. Get your popcorn out and settle in. 

Roundup: the best of Bespoked 2016

This year was my first Bespoked show and I'm so glad I went. I ended up meeting up with a few current clients and checking out some brands that are new to me too. All intentions of it being a strictly networking, businessy type deal for me went swiftly up into smoke as soon as I walked into Brunel's Old Station – I was like a kid in a sweet shop. Here are a few of my favourite things that I spotted at Bespoked.

Cloud 9 Cycles

One of my first freelance clients, I have a lot of love for the Cloud 9 boys –so I was absolutely delighted that they smashed it at this year's Bespoked. The bike they built for the ENVE Build Off was all about thinking differently. Most builders specced a road bike with ENVE gear, but not Adam, Kris and their team. Instead they built this fearsome street bike with ENVE's mountain bike componentry. Their lateral thinking was rewarded with a first prize rosette. 

ColourBolt

This is a bit of 'collateral' I helped ColourBolt produce ahead of the show to help them launch their new paint finish – Scarred Black. Was great catching up with Jay (the creative force behind ColourBolt) too.

Donhou Bicycles

Tom wasn't exhibiting this Bespoked – I think he fancied a year off from the sheer pandemonium of a full weekend run – but I did catch up with him at the screening of a film made about the Hack Bike Derby. Tom was one of the builders asked to take part in that event, and his 'klunker' bike was also on display. Here's the packed house waiting for the projector to roll.

Rusby Cycles

Jake Rusby of Rusby Cycles is a one man bike-building outfit. I was really impressed with his frames, as was Jools Walker (better known by her nom de blog LadyVelo).

Dear Susan

Dear Susan does a lot of things right for me when it comes to bike design. The stuff they are building is so lairy and out there – they're the perfect tonic to a lot of boring black bikes that you'll see produced commercially. You custom bike is by its very nature a one-off, so why not have fun with that?

Yes, those are Jack Daniels bottles in the specially-designed square cages.

Quirk Cycles

If Bespoked confirmed one thing for me, it's that I'm not a bike photographer. It seems there is a lot more to it than pointing a camera at a beautiful bike. As a result of my amateurish attempts, I haven't got a really great picture of this Quirk Cycles machine. I urge you to seek out their work, either in the flesh or as snapped by a pro. In the meantime here's my best effort at capturing the awesome paintjob on their Brooks Choice-winning ride.

I've no idea who the small child is, but she certainly seems to be enjoying the bike.

What to do now the Giro d'Italia is all but wrapped up?

Tired of watching Alberto Contador take more and more time from the other GC contenders, just because he can? Couldn't care less about who grabs the last few stage wins? Does Kruijswijk's KOM claim leave you cold? 

Yeah, me too.

Instead of following the last throes of this Giro, why not prepare for the weekend with this awesome video from the Dosnoventa boys.

Follow Your Way – an amazing cycling / film-making project from Poland

I discovered this little gem on Vimeo and have watched it through three times already. It instantly made me want to buy a gravel bike and go to South America.

It was created by a Polish film-maker called Bartosz Lisek and you can see his other adventures on two wheels in Peru and Chile on his channel.

Is this the worst cycling-related advert ever?

I mean we can't hold it against old Tommy Gurnface, he's spent his whole career at Europcar and no doubt could've taken a much better salary at some of the other teams. So what if he supplements his income with the odd terrible, terrible promo? The bit when the helmet flies through the air though... SHUDDER.

Sporting inspiration

So you might already of heard about Sam Priestley, the man who spent pretty much all of 2014 trying go from a novice to master table tennis player by practicing every day. His video of the project already has a million views.

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