British Summertime Begins.

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Pearson’s launch best sustainable road cycling bib shorts yet.

Made entirely from recycled materials, Pearson's lightweight cycling 'British Summer Time Begins' bib shorts owe their name to a lightbulb moment from a fellow rider.

By James Faulkner.

Pearson's new road cycling bib shorts are designed for blissful summer riding. Those days when the sun seems never to set and your legs don’t get tired. Not only are they lightweight and breathable these bib shorts might be the best cycling bib shorts, certainly sustainable cycling shorts, we've made to date. The main fabric of the cycling shorts is constructed from recycled polyamide, blended with a Lycra which is also recycled. And we haven't stopped there. The high-wicking mesh is recycled too, part of our commitment to manufacturing cycling products using the most environmentally friendly methods.

 

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 Pearson cycling bib shorts, the most sustainable of our time.

 

Being a family-run company, the concept of legacy is extremely important. Not only do we hope future Pearson's will take over the world’s oldest cycling company, we're also doing our best to make sure the world they inherit is in the best state possible. In considering future generations, we echo the thinking of the man who gave these cycling bib shorts their name. The inventor of British summer time (BST) was one William Willett, a proud son of Surrey. Just like those generations of Pearson's who trace their origins all the way back to our founder, Tom, who established the company in the county in 1860. (In this time of Zoom pub quizzes, general knowledge buffs should also know that Willett's great-great-grandson is Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin.)

William Willett and Coldplay's Chris Martin, famous in their own rights for 'Clocks'.

 

Willett was born in Farnham four years previously, in 1856, and public service was something he came to believe in profoundly; he was educated at the Philological School, in Londons Westminster, an institution to help families who had suffered misfortune.

Like Tom Pearson, Willett became a well-regarded craftsman, a master-builder whose properties in the more select boroughs of London and south-east of England were much in demand. Willett liked to ride horses, although road cycling was fast-growing and, as are many road cyclists today, he was an early riser who enjoyed getting out before it got busy.

 

A man for all seasons.

 

It was during these morning rides that Willett noticed the many houses that still had curtains drawn long after the sun had risen, a result of clocks being set to accord with winter daylight. In 1907, Willett published a pamphlet, The Waste of Daylight, in which he argued that running the country on winter time during summer squandered resources, on street lighting for example, and was a missed opportunity for improving public health.

The solution, Willett believed, lay in changing the clocks. This was not the hour changes we know today; in fact, Willetts initial idea was four, 20-minute advances in April, moving clock hands back in the same increments the following September. A key reason Willett wished to extend daylight hours was to create more leisure time for working people. Like Pearson today, he believed in the importance of maintaining wellbeing through exercise, which is why Pearson continues to champion the numerous health benefits of road cycling.

 

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Spring forward, fall back. 

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) had been applied as the national standard in the mid-19th century but it wasn't until 1895 that George Vernon Hudson, a New Zealander, officially proposed the idea of varying GMT to align it with the seasons. What sets Willett apart is his perseverance, campaigning tirelessly for the best part of a decade Winston Churchill was briefly a supporter until his vision passed into law, in 1916.

The invention of daylight-saving time (the US version is 'DST') is attributed, wrongly, to Benjamin Franklin. The American polymath was responsible for many things, not least helping found; the United States of America. Credit, in the matter of daylight saving, however, rests with Pearson's home county.

Wherever your road riding takes you this summer, were confident the cycling bib shorts named in honour of Willet's efforts will ensure comfortable cycling from dawn to dusk especially in those precious extra hours at days end. We even think Mr Willett would, as an innovator and craftsman, have approved of our sustainable manufacturing philosophy.

More from the 1860 hub

1 comment

  • Posted on by Julian

    Very interesting. Having said that I’m in favour of binning forward back time changes.

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