I was treated to the most unusual fashion show at the end of my ride on Saturday. I left the group a little early and was riding back to Healdsburg solo. As I rode along Dry Creek Valley Road, there were many, many cyclists coming from the opposite direction. You could tell from the somewhat matching jerseys (more on this later)and aero bars that they were all practicing for the upcoming Vineman triathlon.
Before I describe the show, let me describe the progression most semi-serious cyclists go through with regards to clothing. Since buying your first bike can be an expensive endeavor, you decide that you don’t need all that fancy clothing when you have a drawer full of shorts and t-shirts at home.
When you come back from your first ride, chaffed in all the wrong places, you realize that bike shorts may not be such a bad idea. And, since your buying shorts, you should get at least one jersey because those back pockets might come in handy. Now, you have a pair of black bike shorts and a sales rack jersey.
As you ride more, you begin to pick up more jerseys. Then you buy a wind vest, which has to color coordinate with your jerseys. You don’t know it yet but this is the beginning of the end for your black shorts. You see, not long after that you buy your first matching kit. Now you’re hooked. A few short years later you now refuse to wear anything but matching kits and all your original black shorts and multi-colored jerseys are relegated to trainer rides in the garage.
There is one exception to this rule and that’s guys who kick ass on the bike. I have friend, who happens to own a great Italian restaurant (don’t worry GP, I won’t tell them it’s you) and his philosophy on what to wear is “I wear what’s clean”. You may be lucky enough to ride with him one day as he rolls up in red & black shorts and a lime green Liquigas jersey. If you decide to tease him about this on the ride he will simply drop you. Hard!!! He may then come back and drop you again just for fun.
With that as a base, let’s get to the faux pas fashion show from Saturday. All of these folks were from a team that raises money for a devastating disease by completing a triathlon, marathon, or century. While they may get coaching on how to ride, I’m guessing they missed the class on how to dress. Here’s just a sampling of the awesomeness I saw on the road. (BTW, their team gear is purple.)
- Team singlet (no sleeves) with white arm warmers.
- Team singlet with knee-high black compression socks.
- Team singlet with white arm warmers AND knee-high black compression socks.
- Team jersey (with sleeves) tucked into black shorts.
- Black shorts worn over team shorts with just the team name showing underneath.
- Team singlet with baggy shorts.
I could go on but you get the point. While I’m very proud of all these good people for raising money and improving their fitness, I can’t help but to poke a little fun at them for their fashion choices. After all, when I first started riding, people couldn’t help but poke a little fun at the way I was dressed.