In search of the world's best club jersey: Honister 92 v Kendal CC

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.

I mean, that's a little harsh, 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.

This week's clash is a local derby between Lake District clubs Honister 92 and Kendal CC. Let battle commence!

Honister 92 rider on Hard Knott pass, Cumbria

(Image credit: Honister 92)

Honister 92's John Rea and Mike Earl told us about the jersey and the club.

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

A: "The idea for the club came about when members of VC Cumbria were riding up Honister Pass and proposed the formation of a new club focused on riding mostly hilly sportives. The idea of founding the new club was further discussed over a glass or two at the Black Cock public house, Eaglesfield, after their ride. The year was 1992 and this, and the pass where the idea was formed, gave the club its name; Honister 92. The Black Cock pub subsequently became the venue used at the end of the club’s Sunday rides.

The club members ride sportives, reliability rides, time trials, mountain and gravel bike rides. In addition, the members participate in the two-day cycle fund-raising event following the route of the Clive’s Cumbrian Way, and organised by members of Honister 92."

Q: Tell us the story behind the jersey design. 

A: "The club jersey went through many changes of design and colours through the early years of its existence."

Following numerous iterations in the 1990s, 1999 saw the first appearance of the jersey design which the club's current jersey is based on. Says Mike:

"1999 saw the first appearance of the Honister Pass part of the logo and the black cock image, this was copied from the hand painted sign that hung outside the Black Cock pub. Manufactured by Tal, this was a quantum leap in material quality and cut. It was loosely based on a Pinarello jersey of the time and provided the blueprint for all future jersey designs.

"In 2012 a hi-vis yellow and black version of the jersey was introduced for winter riding but retaining the same logo details of the white and red jersey.

"In 2015 a change of jersey manufacturer to Castelli prompted a further design change although all the elements of the previous jersey were retained along with the white and red colour scheme albeit slightly simplified."

Q: What are some of the most interesting rides – or biggest achievements – members have worn it for?

A: "Over the years members of the club have participated in the following rides: The Fred Whitton Challenge [club members Andy Wriggly and Rob Glaister were joint-first in 2005, while another, Gary Hardie, has completed every edition], the Etape du Dales, the Marmotte, Etape du Caledonian, the Polka-Dot Challenge, the Three Peaks cyclo-cross, and the Tour of Flanders, to name just a few of them.

Q: Is there anything else you might like to add about the jersey or the club?

A: During the covid crisis, the club put in an impressive money raising stint on the Cumbrian fells in response to the London Marathon 26/2.6 appeal.

"In the challenge the club members set themselves a target of riding the passes and fell roads once again to achieve a total of 2.6 million metres (8,530,184ft) of vertical ascent. The money raised (£4,685) was donated to three charities, NHS, Kidney Research, and Doddie Weir’s foundation for MND."

Additionally, "Club member Ryan Bull who rode 12 consecutive circuits of the Fred Whitton Challenge course. Through his efforts, Ryan was able to raise £2,000 to help with the recovery of his friend, James Burns, from a serious health condition known as Selective Dorsel Rhizotomy." 

Kendal CC riders

(Image credit: Kendal CC)

We spoke to Alice Rea of Kendal CC:

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

A: Kendal Cycle Club was established as a cycling club in 2015 so is a relatively new club but has grown rapidly to have over 800 members. We are involved in all types of competitive and non-competitive cycling, including road, track, triathlon, mountain biking, time trials and cyclo-cross. We have a reputation as a friendly club, and welcome cyclists of all ages and abilities. We also have a very active junior part of the club.

Q: Tell us the story behind the jersey design.

A: "The design follows the style of the classic cycle jersey with horizontal stripes and ‘Kendal Cycle Club’ across the chest. The club colours (navy blue, red, white and light blue) take inspiration from the painted lines on the velodrome. The velodrome colours are cote d’azur, black line, red line and blue line, but the kit designers decided that black was too dark and used a white line instead. Using bright colours towards the top of the jersey ensures that club members are visible on the road and are easier to spot in the peloton.

"To make the design unique and to show the club’s provenance, there is an arrow pattern within the sky blue. An arrow was selected because it signifies speed and direction. It also provides a link to Kendal’s history and specifically ‘Kendal Green’ which was a hard-wearing wool-based fabric, and was sported by the Kendalian archers who were instrumental in the English victory over the French at the Battle of Agincourt.

"We have had different suppliers but most recently we have started using Tactic."

Q: What are some of the most interesting rides – or biggest achievements – members have worn it for?

A: "Helen Jackson won the vet 40 national title in 2019 and Carolyn Speirs won the vet 60 cyclo-cross National Trophy series 2022/23. Alongside this many members have completed amazing feats wearing the jersey. This has ranged from cycling across Portugal in five days to personal challenges of competing in the Hill-Climb Championships held this year on our own local col of the Struggle!"

Q: Anything else you might like to add about the jersey or the club?

A: "We also have several jersey variations which use the basic design for trips and other events, such as our Mallorca trip jersey and Women on Tour jersey (in production). We also have vet45 gravel world champion 2023 Helen Jackson within our club so have a rainbow-banded Kendal jersey too."

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