David Millar, who we profiled a short time ago in Thomas Pink outfits, is a man on a mission
We recently photographed and interviewed David Millar for our Profiles in Pink series, for which the former champion cyclist rode his Brompton folding bike around Shoreditch in some of our clothing to demonstrate how well it performs on the on-saddle commute.
The response we got from you about including David as one of our featured people in this series – all of whom are in our eyes perfect Thomas Pink ambassadors – was remarkable, something we now put down to our Thomas Pink-wearing community’s evident love of cycling.
These are the discoveries that help shape what we make in the future, and so we’re currently looking hard at integrating more stretch fabrics into our shirts, and developing great layered knitwear and outerwear that can be put on and peeled off, depending on the weather when you ride. But as you seem so interested in him, we also felt it would be good to tell you a little more about David.
David Millar is quite simply a cycling evangelist. What we love about him is that he is no road-cycling snob. The perception of the rise in popularity of cycling over the past decade – a rise that can be quite reasonably said to be a result of Team GB’s spectacular performance at the London Olympics in 2012 – is that it has been powered by the phenomenon of the MAMIL: the Middle-Aged Man in Lycra. And while there is some truth in this, there is also some truth in the idea that the Olympics established a hierarchy in cycling, where road racing sits at the top and everything else – mountain biking, cycling for fun and, indeed, commuting – comes a pale second.
You could be forgiven for thinking David Millar would subscribe to this view. After all, he’s won four stages of the Tour de France and was both British national road champion and national time-trial champion. And he now runs his own cycling apparel brand, CHPT3, kitting out those who need serious cycling gear.
And yet, you’d be wrong. Millar is all about the love of two wheels. Hence the Brompton. Under the CHPT3 label, he has developed four iterations of a customised Brompton built to be lightweight and incorporating titanium. Now on edition four of the bike (the first came out in 2018, four years after CHPT3’s founder retired from competition), these Bromptons are, according to Millar, a throwback to when he discovered the joys of riding as a kid.
‘They take me back to riding my BMX when I was about 12,’ he says. ‘The fun, the freedom. When you’re a kid on a bike, it’s your ticket to independence, and that’s what a Brompton gives you. Jump on and ride. Go to a meeting and carry it in. Or put it in a restaurant cloakroom. Go to the pub and if you don’t fancy the ride home, take it on the tube or sling it in a cab. It’s a great way to navigate a city.’
Millar takes his Brompton abroad too. It can be checked as normal luggage in a carry case. When he commentates on the Tour de France for ITV, he and his co-presenters ride from the hotel to the commentary box on Bromptons, and even ride the stages to prepare.