#MakeYourEscape: commute in style with Huez*

Life on the bike is a tale of two contrasting styles. 1) the lycra-clad, KOM setting, head-down rider and 2) the sweat-absorbing, suit-wearing cyclist.

Thankfully, there’s a middle ground for commuters who want to look good as good on two wheels as they do in the boardroom. This rise in multi-purpose clothing, featuring the latest tech and materials, simply didn’t exist 10 years ago. But increasing demand has seen a whole wave of aesthetically-pleasing, performance-focused products hitting the market. We’ve got the practical side of Olympic fever to thank for that.

British brand Huez*, which takes it’s name from Tour de France favourite L’Alpe d’Huez, is already known by bike aficionados for making high-quality bib shorts and jerseys. Now, with their new Summer 2017 range, they’re taking on the commuter market.

During some unseasonably hot weather, I went out on a few rides in a pair of Khaki Utility Shorts and a Tempest Bomber. What’s noticeable straight away is how light they both are, making it a lot easier to dart in and out of traffic. Doesn’t sound like much, but in everyday clothes this can feel like peddling through sand.

The stylish bomber, which you’d expect to feel heavy, was light and breathable. Small holes beneath the armpit help keep sweat at bay, with an open triple vent letting warm air out and cool air in – a welcome feature on clammy climbs.

Rain and low light are no problems, either. The reflective Darklight tape provides maximum reflectivity while a breathable, waterproof lining keeps you bone dry – essentials for a late-night dart back from the pub.

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Off the bike, it looks equally at home. A pair of zipped pockets keep your belongings safe and make a welcome change from being weighed down by a bulging jersey.

The durable utility short features some practical tech of its own, including reflective stripes. But, as I often ask myself, what if I fancy a swim after a hot ride? Well, this is where the quality of the quick-drying, water-resistant coating comes into its own. You can dive straight in! Mesh-lined pockets complete the transformation from bike to pool.

Bike security is covered, too. The reinforced belt loop means it’s simpler than ever to carry a sturdy D-lock around town. Ideal if you’re out and about, travelling from meeting to meeting.

When the temperature does drop, you can layer up with a Scandi-inspired softshell jacket and crewneck, keeping your legs warm with a slim-cut pair of utility jeans.

If you’d like to see the range, find it all here.

Or if you’re in the market for a new jersey, take a look at their sport gear.

Whether it’s a scorching urban ride or a rainy trek home, Huez* has it sorted. Go #MakeYourEscape

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IWC Ingenieur at Goodwood 2017

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Shooting, sports cars and Swiss watches. What’s not to love? I was lucky enough to head down to Goodwood for the 75th Members’ Meeting, courtesy of IWC Schaffhausen.

Creative Director Christian Knoop kicked off the day at the hotel, alongside Lord March, unveiling the expanded Ingenieur 2017 line, building on the updated three-piece range from Goodwood 2016. The new collection covers the bases with three automatic models, four IWC-manufactured chronographs and a limited-edition reference with perpetual calendar.

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Starting at a shade under £4,000, the Automatic 40mm occupies the entry-level spot and draws most heavily on the original ’55, with a classic silver dial and black leather strap. However, a 18-carat red gold case is beautifully understated, complemented by a stylish black alligator leather strap.

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The IWC Ingenieur Chronograph starts at over 5k and comes in three 42mm styles: a 18-carat red gold and two stainless steel dials, with a hefty 120m depth rating on an all-new movement called the IWC Caliber 69375.

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Finally, the top-of-the-range model is the £34k IWC Ingenieur Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month. Based on the IWC Caliber 89800 movement, this limited-edition version of just 100 pieces, features a perpetual calendar and digital indicators for the month and date.

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My personal favourite was the Automatic 40mm, though. Clean, classy and sat rather nicely on my relatively small wrist. Sadly, I was unable to sneak it out of there, despite my best efforts.

It reminded me in many ways of the Bremont Solo – a watch I was planning to get this summer. But, the iconic racing heritage tied up in the Ingenieur may have tipped the scales in favour of the Swiss offering. Only downsides being the £1,200 difference and mooted September release for the revamped 40mm, we’ll see…

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Anyway, individual preference aside, this trip wasn’t just about watches.

IWC brand ambassador and former Formula 1 driver David Coulthard took an exquisite Mercedes-Benz 300 SL – Gullwing for a spin, once the herd of photographers had cleared, that is.

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Following the pit walk and Coulthard’s hot lap, I ventured out on the hunt for some original ’80 BMW M3s, luckily they didn’t take too long to find….

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Unsurprisingly – it was Goodwood, after all – there were a bevy of beauties I could wax lyrical about, including a stunning Jaguar XJ220, but clay pigeon shooting at the far end of the estate was calling.

I’ve never done it before, but if you’re even slightly competitive, this is the sport for you! Who knew taking aim at flying objects was so enjoyable?

And, though I’m no gun expert, legendary manufacturer Purdey was in town and had brought along a selection of its wares, with one pretty special 120k model taking centrestage. (I’m having a go on that below…)

9/12 hit rate – but who’s counting?

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Perhaps even more impressive is the fact Purdey, the only British manufacturer to be awarded three royal charters, handbuilds all its shotguns to order from the ‘Fort Knox of West London’ in Hammersmith. Which goes some way to explaining the monumental outlay.

So with that, and a final glass/bottle of Perrier-Jouët, we were back off to London. Thanks again to IWC and Mercedes Benz.

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