Former military medic launches Barnard Castle eye test jersey

£5 from every sale will be donated to the NHS

Barnard Castle jersey (James Smith)

A former military medic who runs a custom cycling apparel company has created a Barnard Castle eye test jersey.

While the coronavirus lockdown has prompted many to get out on their bikes to enjoy the quieter roads and pleasant early summer weather, UK Government adviser Dominic Cummings has been forced to backpedal on questions surrounding a 260km drive to Durham and subsequent visit to nearby Barnard Castle.

Cummings explained the trip to Durham was in order to secure childcare for his son after both he and his wife fell ill, but he has since faced questions over a 45-minute round trip to popular tourist destination Barnard Castle. Cummings' explanation was that he had gone out on a drive with his wife and four-year child in order to test his eyesight before the family travelled home to London.

Now, cyclists can pay homage to Cummings' plight and also offer up a handy eyesight test to other motorists by wearing a special jersey commemorating the saga.

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Priced at £55, £5 from each sale will also go to NHS Charities Together, with the product description reading: "We do not recommend you testing your eyes by driving, but we do recommend having a chuckle at this jersey."

The jersey is made with SpeedPro technical fabric, featuring a full-length YKK zipper and three rear cargo pockets.

James Smith, CEO of custom cycling clothing company Primal Europe, is also a former military medic and previously ran professional cycling teams, including Starley Primal.

He says he created the jersey to remind people that going to an opticians rather jumping in your car is the best way to check your eyesight.

"We thought it was a good way to remind people to test their eyesight by visiting an optician not going for a drive," Smith told Cycling Weekly. "We have been trying to figure out a way to raise funds for NHS charities together and felt this was a fun way to make a point. The jersey is not a political point but more a road safety point."

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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.

Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).

I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.