Rule 28: Dissenting Opinion

Submitted Evidence "A" photo credit © Chris Protopapas

Rule 28: “White is old school cool. Black is cool too, but were given a bad image by a Texan whose were too long.  If you feel you must go colored, make sure they damn well match your kit.”

You bet white is old school and for good reason, it is the only color of cycling socks that is truly acceptable. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, what color did Merckx wear? What color did Jesus wear in his all-too-short cycling career, Kelly, Coppi, Rik Van Steenbergen, Rik Van Looy, I could go on and on. Not one of them have worn anything but white socks. Years back, black shorts were a regulation of the cyclist’s uniform. It may have not occurred to people to try other colors but black shorts were the only allowed color. Perhaps white socks fell under the same regulations; I’ll let @Oli answer that question. Black socks, god damn it people, are not cool, maybe on a mountain bike while getting wicked air, but not in the world of road riding.

I’m obviously outnumbered by the other Keepers here or the Rule would be three words, “Socks are white.” Every one of the Keeper’s executive board meetings seems to end with me drunkenly banging the table, paraphrasing Bones, “In the name of humanity, Jim, Rule 28 must be revised,” as I slowly slide off my chair and disappear under the table into a puddle of my own sick.

Only in the last fifteen years have the standards been lowered and now it’s a total confusion of bad taste. Again I implore the jury, have we no pride in our guns? A tanned, shaved, well-honed gun can only be properly punctuated by a white sock. Granted the sock pool has become so fouled it’s nearly impossible to even find all-white socks so I won’t be an absolutists (cognoscenti?) but please, mostly white. I won’t even argue length, I find tall socks (Wiggo tall) an abomination but I guess that shows how damn old I am.

Let’s reverse the trend. We have wasted too much energy worrying about podium caps when not many of us are on the podium yet each and every day we ride we make a decision about our socks. If you want to look Pro, get in the know, have a sack, don’t wear black. Write your local Keeper and make your position known.

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211 Replies to “Rule 28: Dissenting Opinion”

  1. I mentioned much earlier in this thread that I sided with Gianni and his “socks are white” principle, but was reading William Fotheringham’s biography of Fausto Coppi this morning (sitting at the mechanic’s waiting for them to drop me with a new bike-sized bill””but it’s okay: I’m over that), and this came up.

    [At the 1940 Giro, Mario Ricci] had noticed that his young team-mate only wore black socks and asked him why. Coppi replied that as an independent he could not afford white ones, which got dirty far more quickly and were harder to wash. ‘We joked that when he won the pink jersey, he would get white socks to go with it.’

    Boom. White socks. End of.

  2. I prefer to keep the any-damn-colour-you-like rule. It’s first and foremost the size that matters, and knee socks on a road bike are just wrong (whereas non-white knee socks or no socks at all are a gentleman’s only two options when not cycling, of course.)

  3. The great Armstrong (as in Louis – arguably to Jazz what Merckx is to cycling) often wore white socks while in a suit or a tux.  Style is style.

    Satchmo in White Socks

  4. He was a great musician, and an unsophisticated dresser ad one can also tell by his fugly shirt-tie combination.

  5. White socks look cheap. Like a little kid who has a drawer full of tube socks his mother bought at the local swap meet.

  6. @marko I was only referring to 108 DRESS (b), re white socks. Anyhow, the rules  there were for amateurs. We’re here for The Rules for looking Pro.

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