Handmade cycling cap
A hat is something that changes your identity. Those that meet you are forced to look at it in the same view as your face. This makes any hat a real statement, adding to your personality. Anyone who is familiar with me will know that I have a passion for the cycling cap. As a child, I rode bikes and as an adult, I have worked in no other industry. Cycling is in my blood. The cycling cap, therefore, feels like home. No matter what “The Rules” say about wearing a cycling cap. I love them and wouldn’t have it any other way.
As a child, I dabbled with baseball caps, as many people do. Such is the popularity of baseball caps that an English boy thousands of miles from the closest baseball game can have access to the paraphernalia. Some time in my teens I realized that a baseball cap is for baseball players and has no place atop the head of a scrawny Brit boy. They had become a fashion statement with the likes of Limp Bizkit, Ice Cube, and even Forest Gump, showing that hats can make the man. Was that the man I wanted to be? No, I needed a hat to complement my personality as a non-rapping type.
Cycling caps were an obvious choice but just weren’t cool. Until that is, the movie “White men can’t jump” entered my consciousness. White men can’t jump was released in 1992, just as ten-year-old me was forming an idea of who I would be as an adult. The movie was based on basketball hustlers in L.A, playing to pay rent and survive on the rough streets. Immediately cooler than baseball! Wesley Snipes as his character Sidney Deane wore cycling caps with cool, cocky, confidence as he “dunked on fools”. My young-self made the distinction immediately, these caps weren’t just for sweating up the mountains of France. They were just what I needed.
Pop a cap (on yo head)
My cap collection is forever changing. Cycling caps do not last long, Such is the amount of time I wear each. A sad and lonely tear Is shed when a cap becomes ready for the trash. It’s seams repaired one too many times, the post-cycle wash taking its toll. Just as we become attached to shoes because of the hard work they provide, so do I with cycling caps for the many miles they may have witnessed, and warmth they offer. Read more about cycling fashion here.
New hat day
A fairly standard flick of social media led me to a small company on Instagram who was hand making cycling caps. They are made in small numbers based in Catalonia, Spain. The company is called Ti22. A name which comes from the dream of owning a titanium bike, a dream that I’m told has now been fulfilled with the help of the cap business. The story behind this family operation is heartwarming. A family of cyclists who loved caps but couldn’t find the style they needed to express themselves decide to begin making their own. “I am a lover of design, an engineer and a born cyclist, my wife is a teacher and is passionate about sewing”. The company was launched to enable the couple to spend more time with their newly born son and with the arrival of their second son came the greatest idea, perhaps of all time. Cycling caps for children.
The cap itself is hand constructed using quality materials and features a 3-panel design. (A line in the center from front to back and 2 side pieces.) The designs are stylish without being overly gaudy and there are plenty to choose from available from the Etsy shop. The children’s models are particularly great looking. The fit is as good as any main manufacturer, although the elastic rear is a little tight on my 57.5cm head. This will break-in a little with use, to form a skull-hugging tidy cycling cap. UPDATE:! When ordering a cap from the Etsy store, you can add your head size and the cap will be made specifically to fit you! Now that’s service. The inside of the cap features a lining to soak up the sweat as you would expect. The stitching is professional and finish is amazingly good for something handmade. Ti22 are making some excellent quality, handmade caps for similar prices to Chinese mass-manufactured goods.
For now, this cap sits atop my ” nice occasions” pile before becoming one of the cycling gang. I’m happy to have the opportunity to skill share with a company who have made their situation (kids, work, stress, money) work, through a love of cycling. Finding myself in their exact situation, it is comforting to know that it can turn out well.
You can interact with Ti22 on Instagram @Ti22.handmade.cyclingcap or via their Etsy shop.
Read more from Wheels of Karma here.