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The Exclusive

Incotex X MR PORTER

The insider Italian brand creates an urban cycling collection just for us. Plus six scenic city bike rides

When the team at Incotex set about designing an exclusive “urban cycling” collection for MR PORTER, they had a very specific customer in mind. “He’s easy-going,” explains Mr Luca Berga, product director for the Italian casualwear brand. “He’s the kind of guy who lives in the city and rides to work every day – but maybe enjoys a drink in the afternoon. He doesn’t want his clothes to shout, ‘look at me, I’ve got a bike downstairs!’”

Mr Berga’s words will no doubt come as music to the ears of any man who rides a bike but struggles to identify with either of the cycling world’s two extremes, the fixie-riding hipster squad and the loud-and-proud Lycra brigade. “Of course, cycling gear has to be functional,” he says. “It’s designed to be worn while riding a bike, so we have to consider comfort, warmth, flexibility. But these features shouldn’t be obvious. They shouldn’t define your style.”

He cites the cycling blazer as the perfect example. The collar, which has reflective material on the underside, can be worn upturned when cycling at night to increase visibility. During the day, he says, when the collar is worn turned down, “nobody would ever know it was there”. Rounding off the collection are four other pieces – a pair of trousers, a shirt and two pieces of knitwear – that are just as smartly designed.

It’s not the clothes themselves, though, but the logo – a cross between a bicycle wheel and a tortoise – that perhaps best sums up the spirit of the Incotex urban cycling range. This is not designed for the Giro d’Italia; you are not Mr Alberto Contador. These are clothes made for cyclists who put their faith in the old adage, “slow and steady wins the race”.

As for that afternoon drink, might we recommend the Bicyclette? Equal quantities Campari and wine, stirred over ice with a twist of lemon.

The collar is fitted with reflective material on the underside and is designed to be worn upturned while riding in the dark.

The flaps of the blazer can be folded upwards and secured using reflective straps on the outer pockets.

The pocket flaps are cut from reflective fabric and are designed to be untucked while riding.

The trouser cuffs are fitted with a popper fastening and can be secured around the ankle to keep them away from the bike chain.

Reflective material is used for the “locker loop” (a standard detail found on classic button-down shirts).

A buttoned pocket is fitted on the lower back.

Made from merino wool – a material used in performance gear for its breathability and thermoregulation properties

A zipped pocket is fitted on the lower back

Six Scenic Urban Rides

Seeing a city from two wheels can be a superb way to explore. Here, cycling expert and co-author of City Cycling Europe Mr Andrew Edwards reveals the routes less travelled.

LONDON

Start at King’s Cross – once an industrial wasteland, now a vibrant redeveloped area, home to the newly opened House of Illustration as well as a plethora of cafés, bars and restaurants. Join the Regent’s Canal towpath here and cycle towards bustling Camden Lock and then over the top of Regent’s Park (pop into the park for coffee, or a visit to London Zoo). Continue west along the tree-lined towpath in Little Venice, past the houseboats and on to Notting Hill – via Ladbroke Grove – a great place to explore for antiques, food and clothes shopping. ridewithgps.com

POINTS OF INTEREST:
Granary Square water fountains, Camley Street Natural Park, Camden Lock, Little Venice/ houseboats, Portobello Road Market

BERLIN

Set off from the Neue Nationalgalerie, the architect Mr Mies van der Rohe’s last major building, and ride north and east through the beautiful, leafy Tiergarten (wonderful at dusk). Exit at the eastern tip, under the Brandenburg Gate, and ride along Under den Linden, all the way to Museum Island and Alexanderplatz. Then turn back west through Hackescher Markt and onto Auguststrasse, home to lots of interesting shops, cafés, bars and galleries. Sit and people watch with a local weissbier or spin further north along Kastanienallee into Prenzlauer Berg. ridewithgps.com

POINTS OF INTEREST:
Neue Nationalgalerie, Tiergarten, Siegessäule, Brandenburg Gate, Berliner Dom/ Museum Island, Alexanderplatz/ Fernsehturm, James-Simon-Park, Auguststrasse

PARIS

The modern industrial architecture of La Villette includes a concert hall, music museum, a science museum and an open-air cinema. Lots to explore here, or take the bike path southwest along the canal, where you could enjoy lunch, or delve further towards La République, and on to the Haut Marais, home to independent shops, galleries, cafés, bars and some of the best fashion boutiques in Paris. ridewithgps.com

POINTS OF INTEREST:
Parc de la Villette/ La Géode/ overhead walkways, canal/ houseboats/ canal lock, La République/ statue, fashion boutiques

TOKYO

Visit the Meiji Jingu Shinto shrine in the heart of Yoyogi park, then ride south through the park towards Harajuku. There’s a great, but irregular flea market (search online for dates). Head towards Harajuku station and explore Ura-Hara and Cat Street, perpendicular to Omotesando for cafés, food and some of the best shopping in Tokyo. Then continue south and explore the streets north of Nakameguro Metro that come alive at night. ridewithgps.com

POINTS OF INTEREST:
Meiji Jingu shrine/ Japanese gardens, rockabilly dancers, flea market, Cat Street, Shibuya Crossing, Nakameguro narrow roads and waterfront

NEW YORK

Ride a lap of Central Park, one of the world’s most impressive city parks. A full loop is just under 10km, enough to occupy a half-day with stops at one of the adjacent galleries or museums such as the Guggenheim, Frick Collection, American Museum of Natural History, The Met or MoMA. At weekends, the roads are car-free. If you fancy a longer ride, head west and pick up the Hudson River Greenway, a scenic route along the waterfront, that runs the length of Manhattan. ridewithgps.com

POINTS OF INTEREST:
The pond, looking back to skyscrapers, zoo, Guggenheim, Bethesda Fountain, Belvedere Castle, ice skating rink, Hudson River

SAN FRANCISCO

This circular ride will take you along the waterfront, over the Golden Gate Bridge and back via a ferry ride. Start at Pier 33 and ride along the San Francisco Bay Trail. At the Aquatic Park, join the smaller paths along the side of the bay. Pass the yacht harbour and head up to the bridge. There’s a bike path to cross, but remember to stop at the other side and enjoy the view before descending a short hill into Sausalito to catch the ferry past Alcatraz back to the start point. ridewithgps.com

POINTS OF INTEREST:

Vintage cable cars, Bay Trail path markers, Yacht Club, trail ride along bay, Pier 39 sea lions, Golden Gate Bridge, view back to San Francisco overlooking bridge, Sausalito Ferry, Alcatraz

  • City Cycling Europe by Andrew Edwards and Max Leonard is published by Thames & Hudson