It’s that time of the year again, when blokes dressed in Lycra pedal their way through some of the most picturesque landscapes on the planet.
Most days in the early going of Le Tour have been a long, hard slog; a battle against rain, wind and mind-numbing pain.
This is why Executive Style is happy to watch the race from the comfort of our sofas and surround ourselves with cool accoutrements that make us feel like we’re part of the whole celebration.
Here are eight of our favourite cycle inspired designs:
Vintage cycling coasters
Watching Le Tour is damn thirsty work, so you’ll need something to rest your tumbler of Pastis on. That’s where these cycling coasters come in handy.
Featuring four classic images from the grand tours of the past, they not only capture the raw emotion of racing, they protect your valuable coffee table. Made from premium cork on MDF, they are available from Bicycle Age.
If you’ve got a big thirst, you’re going to need a bloody big corkscrew. And there ain’t no bigger corkscrew than this one by Campagnolo; the Italian company better known for its beautiful drivetrains.
Created by the man himself, Tullio Campagnolo, back in the 1960s, the Big Corkscrew is a hefty piece of industrial design. It’s made from hardened steel and comes in a sexy wooden gift box. You can buy it from Atelier de Velo.
Does your other half hate it when y ou bring your bike into the house and start pulling down the drivetrain on the living room floor? The only hope you have of dragging your treadly through the front door is if you manage to convince them it’s a piece of post-modern art. And for that you’ll need something with some designer-cred to hang it on the wall.
This is where the Cycloc excels: it looks great even when there’s no bike attached, and there’s even a handy compartment to keep your gloves in. Cycloc fits a wide range of bike frames and comes in a large selection of uber-cool colours. From Everest Sports.
Gerry Ryan might own the Aussie-based Orica GreenEDGE team, but you can own the entire peloton - albeit a miniature version of it.
These tiny (5cm) racers are the appropriate objet d’art for your side-table during the month of July. Manufactured by the same family-owned foundry (Fonderie Roger) since the 1950s, each cyclist is made from zinc alloy and hand-painted individually. From Bicycle Age.
In the age of smartphones, nobody really needs a watch. But if you’re going to wear one and you’re a cycling fanatic, it may as well be one of these from Bianchi.
There’s real old-school charm about the Bianchi ‘Barcelona 1973’ range, named to reflect Felice Gimondi’s victory aboard a Bianchi bicycle in the World championships of that year. The quality Swiss-made timepieces feature sapphire crystal, scratch resistant faces and are waterproof to 100m.
All models are available in Bianchi's classic celeste sky blue colour, or black and white alternatives. And in a flashy twist on the standard watch-box, these Bianchi numbers arrive in a stainless steel water bottle. From Atelier de Velo.
Recycled bicycle chain bowl
You’ll need somewhere to keep your emergency supply of chocolate-covered coffee beans in order to make it through late-night after late-night viewing of the race. So you may as well help out a charity (Oxfam) by purchasing this cycling-inspired bowl.
It’s made by some altruistic folks who collected a bunch of old bike chains from India and had them hand-soldered into all kinds of stuff, including trivets, bowls and even key rings. This bowl is 22cm in diameter and nickel-plated; plenty of room for a night’s supply of sleep-defying caffeine.
For any cycling tragic it’s always good to get the rugrats into the sport; that way you’ll have somebody to lead you up the hills as you approach old age. Anyway, we reckon this multi-coloured bicycle wallpaper in the kids’ bedroom could be an appropriately subtle form of indoctrination.
Designed in England by Ginger & French (who were pretty excited about this year’s race kicking off in Yorkshire), the wallpaper has a spongeable surface and comes with preparation and hanging tips.
Giant Propel Advanced SL
OK, so you’re too heavy and much too slow to actually ride in Le Tour. But that doesn’t mean can’t own the exact same bike as the guys from Team Giant-Shimano (yes, the colour-scheme is different) and impress the hell out of the MAMILS at your local coffee shop.
The Propel Advanced SL has already carried Marcel Kittel to three stage wins in this year’s race, so it is imbued with loads of street cred. One of the fastest bikes ever tested in a wind-tunnel, the carbon composite frame is equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic 11-speed componentry, Shimano C-50 tubular wheelset, and Giant Contact SLR Aero Integrated handlebar and stem. A snip at $9999.