In search of the world's best club jersey: Birmingham Midland Cycling v KMOTB

Every week we pit two club kits against each other and you get to vote on the best designs

Jersey clash
(Image credit: Future/Simon Scarsbrook)

Each week Cycling Weekly takes one step closer to finding the best club jersey in the world. To enter your club email cycling@futurenet.com

Ever clocked a local club run speeding past and reckoned their amazing kit could teach the WorldTour fashionistas a thing or two? Or maybe you felt it had no place being displayed in a public place and should be consigned to the recycled fabrics bin in the supermarket car park.

A little harsh perhaps, but in any case now you get to take a better look as we assemble club kits from all over the place and get the stories behind them. Even better, you get to choose your favourites in a weekly poll – this isn't called Club Jersey Clash for nothing! In each week's instalment we'll announce the winner of the previous week's clash.

Meet our clubs this week: Birmingham Midland Cycling and KMOTB (you won't guess what that stands for – read on). Let battle commence!

Birmingham Midland Cycling (BMC) for jersey clash

(Image credit: Birmingham Midland Cycling)

We spoke to Graham Hewson of Birmingham Midland Cycling.

Q: How long has the club been going and what sort of riding do you do?
A:
We formed Birmingham Midland Cycling from the merger of Team Midland Racing and Birmingham CC back in 2010.

Tommy Godwin [the Olympian, not the ultra-miles rider] set up Birmingham CC in the mid 1960’s at Salford Park outdoor velodrome in Birmingham. He held regular training sessions for schoolchildren during the summer holidays – I was one of those school kids. In 1999 we felt there was a need for a separate set-up to run time-trials. Team Midland Racing was established and started the TMR Time Trial Series.

We later merged the two organisations into Birmingham Midland Cycling and we still run the club time trial series. Our riders are involved in Audaxes, sportives and gravel bike rides. Our interest in track cycling has continued and we host track training sessions at Newport Velodrome in partnership with PDQ Cycle Coaching.  

Q: Tell us the story behind the jersey design
A:
The jersey was an amalgam of the TM Racing and the Birmingham CC design, featuring both clubs' logos. Special attention was made to making the design as bright as possible to aid visibility while riding for both racing and training, with a predominantly white back panel to improve visibility from behind.

The kit design was refined from our rough drawings by Charmaine Skelton of Endura in Scotland.

Q: What are some of the most interesting rides - or biggest achievements - members have worn the jersey for?
A:
Looking back over the years we are particularly pleased with the 24hr Trackathons we promoted at Calshot Velodrome. With the help of several clubs across the UK, eight teams of riders carried Pudsey Bear around the Calshot track non-stop for 24 hours and were featured in BBC South television reports.

Grigor Wallace was third in the annual BBAR time trial competition in 2013. 

In later years a BMC rider rode as support to [Welsh Paralympic cyclist] Simon Richardson MBE from Paris back to Swansea to raise funds for the Welsh Air Ambulance Charity, and was then invited to ride the Raid Pyrenees with Poole Wheelers as a guest. 

We are regular supporters of Cyclist Fighting Cancer by collecting donated bikes, and riding the challenging sportive up into the Cotswold hills. 

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add about the club or the jersey?
A:
The Birmingham Midland Cycling jersey has come to represent our desire to present cycle sport in a positive light. 

As well as the charity rides mentioned above, we also organised the UK Youth 12hr Trackathon.

When one of our friends suffered horrendous injuries by being hit by a dangerous driver in 2020 we set up the 'Riding for James' winter fund-raiser. This raised some funding but realistically was an encouragement to help him cope with his painful recovery.

Now, four years later the Riding for James event will raise funds for Solihull Wheels for All in 2024. In this way we are helping people get active again after illness or serious injury. As suffered by our friends James Middleton and Nick Selibas 

The BMC kit design represents openness, as we welcome all riders to get involved in our events no matter who their first-claim club may be. 

We have a social conscience and we promote events to benefit our charities of the year i.e. Solihull Wheels for All (cycling for the disabled) and Cyclists Fighting Cancer (helping kids with Cancer)

When I asked for comments from our members about our kit one member Keith Burdett, who is an accomplished triathlete, just said: “I am proud to be allowed to wear it!"

KMOTB riders for Club Jersey Clash

(Image credit: KMOTB)

We spoke to Myles Barrell, KMOTB founder member.

Q: How long has the club been going and what sort of riding do you do?

A: The club was officially born when we adopted our name (Kiddy Mates on Toy Bikes) and first team jersey in 2013. We’re a multi-discipline crew, predominantly riding road but mixing in track and increasingly venturing off-road with gravel and CX.

Our name came about when one of our early riders was ridiculed for his choice of pastime, in an exchange which included the now immortal words 'not toy bikes like you and your kiddy friends'. Half-mockingly but mostly because it suited us perfectly, we adopted it!

Q: Tell us the story behind the jersey design
A:
We’ve always aimed for our kit to be eye-catching and this time around we wanted to do something special, so approached the artist Supermundane for a collaboration. We absolutely love his illustrations and felt his work with blocks of vibrant colour really suited our aesthetic. Luckily he was keen and we worked together through lockdown to come up with the final design for Milltag (no longer trading unfortunately) to produce.

Q: What are some of the most interesting rides – or biggest achievements – members have worn it for?
A:
We’re most proud of Mark Unsworth, who flew the team colours whilst topping the Cat C Veterans track league at Herne Hill in his debut season! We’re looking forward to the 2024 season and getting behind him and his young daughters, who’ve also started racing and are ones to watch for the future.

Alex Harley also saddled up with a couple of squadmates to ride 360km and 3,600mm elevation from Manchester to London to raise money for Peckham Foodcycle. Sprinkle that with Andorra 21, Rapha Trossachs, Brother Cycles Big’Un and various excursions to Majorca to tackle the 225, Sa Calobra and Cap de Formentor.

Q: Is there anything else you might like to add about the jersey or the club?
A:
Competing personal commitments and changing lives have reduced the frequency of group rides but the team remains strong, getting out in ones, twos and threes, and seeking new challenges – including getting our own actual kids and their mates up to speed on their bikes!

IT'S TIME TO VOTE!

LAST WEEK'S RESULTS

In last week's poll US club Chequamegon Coasters won with 55% of the vote against 45% for Scotland's Torvelo.

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