Jul 13, 2018

COLOMBIA TE QUIERO

  • The Colombia, Te Quiero Edition
  • Sacks of Coffee Beans
  • FARC
  • FARC Coffee Farmers
  • Colombian Landscape
  • Colombian Cities
  • The Tate Modern
  • Accordians at the Ready
  • Café de Colombia jersey
  • Colombia National Jersey
  • The Colombia, Te Quiero Edition

On the face of it Colombia is a country we’re all familiar with, whether through a love of coffee or a familiarity with football. In cycling we’re used to seeing the climbers of the South American republic grace the World Tour with Quintana, Chaves, Uran et al well established in the pro-peloton. It was a visit to the 2011 World Track Championships that sealed our designer Nick Classick’s love of the country. Welcomed and embraced by the people, despite Team GB wiping the floor with everyone, Nick has been a Colombia aficionado ever since and it’s easy to see why.

Colombians take great pride in their country

Buy the Etape jersey in this photo

Coffee


Synonymous with cycling, coffee is a major reason to love Colombia, the country produces 11.5 million bags annually – more than enough to fuel the collective Monday mornings and café rides of even the most ardent caffeine addict. Colombian coffee beans are often well suited to espresso, so it’s fairly likely your favourite tipple is an Arabica from the region. Sweet chocolatey flavours are often prominent with some fruity notes that touch on caramel – it’s easy to see why a Colombian coffee goes well with your mid-ride Bakewell Tart.

Following a peace treaty in 2016, Colombia’s Revolutionary Armed Forces – a rebel guerrilla army – laid down their arms and picked up coffee farming. Their efforts have seen production double in some areas, with peace comes productivity and a better standard of living. Better to be serving shots than firing them.

Try our Chapeau! coffee, available as both whole beans and ground.

Landscape


The country isn’t only a massive coffee farm, of course – with incredible Andean mountains, unspoilt Caribbean coasts and the vast Amazon jungle Colombia is a sight to behold. With former colonial architecture, ancient ruins and modern cities the man made is as spectacular as the natural. You only need to check out Lonely Planet’s guide to Colombia to get lost in a wide variety of must see tourist highlights.

Bogotá is a famously bike friendly city, with more than 360km of cycle paths used by nearly 84,000 people every day. Cars are banned from the city roads every Sunday morning, the concept of Ciclovia (cycle way) was pretty much invented in Colombia so Londoners using the city’s superhighways owe them a debt of thanks. Cyclists are often car drivers too, so we understand the need for driving – but how good would it be to ban cars from our cities on a Sunday.

Contemporary Art


Thanks to its numerous libraries and universities, Bogotá has earned the title of the Athens of South America. Also home to a cornucopia of galleries and museums, the art scene in Colombia as a whole is thriving. In 2007 Doris Salcedo was commissioned to produce work for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. Shibboleth was a 167m long crack in the floor which mesmerised visitors as to just how the feat was achieved. If you want to know the answer, read on (Stuart Smith on Making Doris Sacledos Shibboleth a Reality — It's Nice That).

Music


The music in Colombia is punctuated by one sound in particular, it’s very likely that you’ll either love or hate the accordion but in the sweltering heat of South America it just seems right. They say that Colombians don’t tell stories, they sing them to the sound of the accordion and a few minutes in any taxi, bar or street corner will prove that point. Brought to the country by German merchant ships in the mid-19th Century, the instrument has become a cornerstone of the upbeat rhythms and poetic lyrics of vallenato music.

The laid back grooves of countless salsa and bossa nova songs have had a surge in popularity on Spotify lately, with many a workplace bouncing to the sound of singing trumpets and bongo beats.

Cycling Jerseys


We can’t talk about Colombia without talking about El Jardinerito, the Café de Colombia rider who lit up the peloton in the late 80s. The team kit was an absolute classic and we love it – even the team name is a belter, it’s got ‘Café’ in it! The national champions jersey is almost ways a cracker too, largely due to the pleasing aesthetic of a tricolour flag that uses a 2:3 ratio of stripes. The yellow takes up 50% whilst the blue and red take an equal 25% each for a graphically superior tricolour than any other. Now that’s a flag you can salute.

The People


What struck Nick the most on his trip to Colombia was the people – “I found a lot of Colombians often asked me “Why did you come to my country?” They take great pride in their country on a personal level, emphasising the ‘My’”. Welcomed and treated as an old friend, Nick fell in love with Colombia instantly and was keen to pay tribute to them in a limited edition collection jersey. “I was really moved by my experiences in Colombia, it’s a country that has stayed with me and that i feel a real affinity for.” Our new Colombia collection will be available later in the summer, the perfect addition to your summer wardrobe and our thank you to Colombia for giving us so much joy.

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