Defining Moments: My First Kit

Defining Moments: My First Kit

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As children, none of us were given an allowance. Instead, we were taught from a young age that if we wanted to buy something, we had to earn the money in order to do so. To facilitate the model, and possibly to avoid child-labor law infringement, we were paid to do chores around the house in exchange for a cash payment directly proportional but not necessarily related to the amount of time it took us to execute the task. The hourly wage, at it turned out, was at the discretion of the one doing the overseeing and commissioning of the task at hand.

In my view, it worked out very well for us. Coming from a family that was neither wealthy nor poor, it taught us a number of important lessons about life, money, and the important ways the two are separated. It’s one of the fundamental things I’m very glad about regarding my upbringing.

My grandmother, by choice or otherwise, was in on this scheme of leveraging our desire to earn money as a means to achieve her end of having her dog tended to regularly. As grandmothers are wont to do, however, she found ways to be knowingly complicit in circumventing the intended lesson by overpaying us for our labor; she was perhaps too fond of her dog, and I was perhaps too willing to walk it repeatedly and unnecessarily in order to earn my wage.

I don’t remember how old I was, but I was still riding my old Raleigh made of Reynolds 531 tubing and clad in a Weinmann grouppo which I now wish I’d kept; I could have been no more than 10 years old. Nevertheless, I had already made the determination, by studying the pros in the races I watched on scratchy old VHS cassettes, that if I was going to amount to any kind of cyclist, I would require proper cycling kit.

I needed cycling shorts and I needed a cycling jersey; t-shirts and an old pair of lederhosen simply wouldn’t fit the bill. And cycling shorts and cycling jerseys would cost serious money. So off I was, walking my grandmother’s dog fourteen times a day – collecting payment every time – and before very long, I had saved up the money I needed.

I don’t remember the name of the shop, but I do remember on which rack and in which corner of the store it hung. It resembled Laurent Fignon’s System U kit, though I felt a tinge of guilt that it wasn’t as fluorescent as LeMond’s ADR strip. It was nothing compared, however, to the unexpressed guilt I’d felt all year at secretly having hoped Fignon would win the Tour against my countryman.

Riding my trusty Raleigh, I spent the summer of 1989 riding with my left hand on the tops of my handlebars and my right hand on the hoods. I’d spotted a photo in Winning Magazine wherein Laurent Fignon was leading the Giro d’Italia riding in just this position; I summarily emulated him in this regard.

The fact that this was just a moment captured in time as Fignon changed hand position was lost on me; the fact held neither relevance nor value to my view of the world. Fignon rode like this, and so would I. This single photo fueled my desire to ride a bicycle for an entire summer. Up and down the streets I went, imagining myself making history as I left both Fignon and LeMond in my dust and I took off up the road – one hand on the tops, one on the hoods – with Phil Liggett’s voice in my ears as he commended the ferocity of my attacks.

I found daily motivation in riding like Fignon. In rain, in shine; I rode the way the photo I saw showed him riding. Every time I climbed aboard my bike, I wanted to be a better cyclist; I wanted to be more like Fignon. I was nevertheless bound to eventually discover that Fignon didn’t really ride like that; it had been a trick of the camera. By the time I discovered the truth of that photo, I had ridden like that for so long that it felt lop-sided to go back to riding sensibly, with both hands level.

I felt awkward then, riding with both hands in the drops, as I chased my sister down a mountain during a family vacation in New York State. She was in front on her Raleigh with pink  handlebars, and I was frantic at the notion that she was ahead of me. There was no alternative but to beat her through the series of sharp corners coming up ahead on the road we had dubbed “Alpe d’Huez” for its steepness and numerous twists and turns.

There was, of course, a very real alternative to beating her through those corners.

As I laid in the emergency room with the doctor scrubbing furiously at my wounds, he posed several theories that might explain the flawed decision tree that placed me in his care. The prominent thought suffocating my mind was that my cherished kit had been torn apart firstly by the crash and secondly by the doctor – and that neither seemed to hold the garments in the same esteem I did. It was destroyed; a summer of over-paid dog-walking lost.

As a matter of comparison, this commercial, aired during this year’s Tour de France, is exactly how I rode as a kid. In fact, I still do today.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BwnuBVUBsQ[/youtube]

// Defining Moments // Nostalgia

  1. @the Engine

    @wiscot

    @the Engine

    This may not be the correct thread but I need to say that the Team GB Cycling Team have been utterly brilliant – chapeau

    Hear hear! Amazing dominance of the competition. Alas, the French seem to think the Brits are using funny wheels leading the sprinter François Pervis to tweet “la sodomie continue.” Interesting turn of phrase to be sure.

    Well he certainly had to assume the position.

    My friend Stewart reckons no one can hold a candle to Boom Boom this year though – and he does have a point.

    We did manage to agree that Wayne Rooney is a c*nt though – in fact it was remarkably easy to do that.

    I’ll agree on Rooney. In fact, I have to say that the Olympics have been full of class acts and sportsmanship – something that is sorely lacking in professional fitba. Eg: Mears and Pendleton on the podium. Wiggins waiting until Faboo finished before celebrating. The athletes waiting for the Chinese hurdler to finish. The attitudes towards Oscar Pistorius. That’s all I’ve got. Anyone else got some fave Olympic moments of class?

  2. @frank

    @Bianchi Denti

    @the Engine

    This may not be the correct thread but I need to say that the Team GB Cycling Team have been utterly brilliant – chapeau

    Yep. They ain’t bad.

    And it gets better – Wiggo at a Stone Roses gig with Jimmy Page and Mick Jones (and Jessica Ennis – rowrrrrrrr!).

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/aug/07/jessica-ennis-bradley-wiggins-stone-roses

    Had I known that all it took to meet Jimmy Page was to win the fucking tour and take home a gold in the ITT, I’d have done it ages ago.

    Wiggo and Paigey have the same physique. Wiggo wins on the sideburns though.

  3. I don’t have any pics of my first real cycling jersey, a purple and yellow woolen one reminiscent of Poulidor’s Mercier one, but here’s the first proper pro jersey I got my hands on. The shorts are NZ made woolen ones that I raced in for a couple of seasons – comfortable unless wet, when the weight of the trapped water would severely compromise the strength of the braces we used to have to wear…

    Despite the Italian mystique of the above jersey, the first jersey I really loved was my Port Nicholson-Poneke club jersey, as shown here before racing the tough Palmerston North-Wellington Classic – note the abundance of bananas and other foods stuffed in my pockets! I think I’m still in wool shorts here too.

  4. @the engine

    “You may well have stumbled upon the reason behind length of Wiggo’s stockings, they’re a either a throw back from days when you needed the length to secure your trousers or they herald a new development in aerotweed skins suits being worked by Brailsford’s secret squirrel department to ensure continued domination over the Aussies.”

    This might be a pisstake, but its on the right track.  Pippi’s long stockings and sleeves are discussed here http://inrng.com/2012/08/british-cycling-funding/

  5. @Brian W

    @the engine

    “You may well have stumbled upon the reason behind length of Wiggo’s stockings, they’re a either a throw back from days when you needed the length to secure your trousers or they herald a new development in aerotweed skins suits being worked by Brailsford’s secret squirrel department to ensure continued domination over the Aussies.”

    This might be a pisstake, but its on the right track.  Pippi’s long stockings and sleeves are discussed here http://inrng.com/2012/08/british-cycling-funding/

    The early attempts at using an arran cable knit to produce a UCI compliant aero profile were doomed to failure and it was only with the introduction of Harris Tweed that progress began to be made.

  6. @Bianchi Denti I’ve had ‘I am the resurrection’ in my head for a while now when I go on particularly hard rides (something about the rhythm seems to work with my cadence) and recently found myself wondering, as a Brit myself, whether Wiggins is a fan of the Stone Roses. Question answered! Wiggins has to be the first cyclist who is both truly gifted and cool.

  7. @James Although Ullrich was also pretty cool…

  8. heh. My first proper cycling jersey was a bright yellow kiwi express jersey that I bought when I was a cycle courier. YJA yellow, leather patches sewn into the shoulders to stop the straps from the bag wearing through the jersey, and a massive Kiwi on it. In winter we had  goretex tramping jackets to wear, which were tolerable to wear for about 40 minutes on the coldest morning of the year and tits on a  bull for the other bajillion work hours.

    No pics cos a) that’s not ghetto and b) they’d possibly be incriminating.

  9. Photo from The Horton Collection: (first this grabbed me)

    Excerpt from an article on James Joyce by John Madruga, Peloton 14 magazine: (then this article stuck – last paragraph)

    Dubliners, Joyce’s collection of 15 short stories, was published in 1914 and depicts the domestic, social and political life of middle-class life in Dublin. Joyce writes in a letter: “My intention was to write a chapter of the moral history of my country and I chose Dublin for the scene because that city seemed to me the centre of paralysis. I have tried to present it to the public under four of its aspects: childhood, adolescence, maturity and public life. The stories are arranged in this order.”

    The naturalistic conditions of the stories (“It is not my fault that the odour of ashpits and old weeds and offal hangs around my stories”)””are offset with Joyce’s notion of epiphany, a sudden moment of inner, felt awareness for something, and out of that moment of merging both the seer and the thing seen (or felt or thought) is changed. Joyce, again through the character of this way: “The radiance … is the scholastic quidditas, the whatness of a thing. This supreme quality is felt by the artist when the esthetic image is first conceived in his imagination. The mind in that mysterious instant Shelley likened beautifully to a fading coal. The instant wherein that supreme quality of beauty, the clear radiance of the esthetic image, is apprehended luminously by the mind which has been arrested by its wholeness and fascinated by its harmony is the luminous, silent stasis of esthetic pleasure, a spiritual state very like to that cardiac condition which the Italian physiologist Luigi Galvani, using a phrase almost as beautiful as Shelley’s, called the enchantment of the hear.”

    After the 41.5-km time trial at this year’s Tour de France, won by Bradley Wiggins, the Team Sky leader expressed a very clear sense of his clock had stopped timing his ride. “I had a great day today,” Wiggins said. “I knew from the first pedal rev that I was on it. Everything felt fantastic.” Of course Wiggins had to turn the cranks, pump the blood and use the oxygen necessary to win the TT, but his comment afterwards suggests that the efficiency of those physiological processes, at least during stage 9 of the Tour, may have been informed by that same “supreme quality felt by the artist” that Joyce speaks of. Is it too much to suggest that Wiggins may have been guided in his ride by his own sense of beauty, wholeness and “aesthetic pleasure” of the act of riding, and that this state of
    awareness/feeling is what elevated him to win the stage? I don’t believe so. “I love this race,” Wiggins continued. “I love this sport and it’s moments like today that make all the hard work worthwhile.” Cycling offers such moments of clarity when we suddenly realize the meaning, the “whatness” of what we are doing (and it’s not simply turning over the cranks) and those moments can change our lives.essence, what is a kind of elaborate parallax machine, something that propels us through space (as we sit still in one place) and offers us the thousands of spectators, there’s a lot of road dividers, and the whole peloton was going fast … it was already hectic a long way before the finish.”

    Peloton 14 issue

    I love this whole notion of James Joyce!

  10. “The radiance … is the scholastic quidditas, the whatness of a thing. This supreme quality is felt by the artist when the esthetic image is first conceived in his imagination. ??? I love it!

  11. I messed up the transfer of text after “…those moments can change our lives.”

  12. @Jamie

    Three years ago, only dimly aware of, and not much caring the concept of Rules, I rode around in cheesy Cannondale shorts and whatever mountain biking jersey struck my fancy – including my favorite Grateful Dead Bertha jersey.

    I bought my current Campy equipped BMC from what I now understand to be a very Rule compliant BMC employee neighbor. Danish born to Sardinian parents, this gentelman eats, lives, and  breaths euro cycling.  As we concluded the transaction, I was sternly admonished in a crisp Italian accent: “On this bicycle, you must NEVER wear that skeleton jersey!” With that, he tossed me a new Campagnolo jersey.

    … and so began my journey to Rule compliance.  Soren, you would be proud of me now, (although I still don’t climb well even for my weight).  I do still wear that Bertha jersey in the dirt though.

    Wow, that is fucking awesome! Very cool story & wonderful that you happened to meet such a person who turned you onto the good stuff, in a good way! Nice.

  13. @frank Can you chop out the last bit of jumbled text after “lives.” ?

  14. I’m always really impressed and blown away by how long many of you have been cyclists and Followers and enthusiasts. It’s awesome.

    I hope I can stick with it as long as some of you have, and reap the rewards for so many years…

    Oli – GREAT photos. I’ve really liked my visits to NZed but never done any cycling there. Seeing your photos has me wondering what life was like on a bike in the early 1980s in your part of the world. Very cool!

  15. My first kit was my Central Ontario Racing Cycle Club kit. It was white, turquoise and maroon.  That’s me inhaling wasps on the left beside Super TT specialist Dave S.  Strange combo but sure stood out.  I missed the whole wool shorts period, but had proper chamois that always got a bit stiff after washing.  I would always have to flex it about to soften it up prior to putting it them on to avoid the sensation of sitting on bent cardboard.

  16. thanks for bringing back some fond memories… I too remember my first kit (black shorts and a La Vie Claire) jersey…

  17. My first jersey was a LeCoqSportif wool in blue with a white band around the chest. I’ve hung onto it and 1 each of most of my old team jerseys. Also kept my first Sidi’s. Leather sole, cleat plate nailed on. Size 36 I think. Also the Hinault autographed edition Turbo saddle that shaped me as much as I shaped it as a junior. My kid wore an old hairnet around the house a little and decided his own helmet is way more comfortable than dads’ old one. He’ll never have to wear a V1 Pro! That Specialized commercial was the best part of the Tour this year for me. I grew up on the same roads where the footage of the kid was filmed.  Great post Frank, thanks for stirring up more memories.

  18. @frank

    Love that photo. Bartoli knows that Il Grillo is his bitch. What he doesn’t know is that Il Grillo will go on to eclipse him.

    I loved the Briko stingers – red mirrored frames. I would argue that they looked even more awesome on cross country skiers/biathletes than on the bike. Mine were superseded by some Mapei edition Rudy Project Tayos for when I was pretending to be Andrea Tafi winning Roubaix in the Italian national champions jersey after moving to the UK in 1999. They are still in the shed – they now get used as safety glasses.

    My first jersey was from ZG Mobili, as modelled here http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.dewielersite.net/db2/wielersite/beeldbank2011/1307130595AndreaFerrigato.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.cyclingarchives.com/beeldfiche.php%3Fbeeldid%3D98003&usg=__ZxPk1_JKVWcvZY4HGBssjhBfBFg=&h=582&w=450&sz=170&hl=en&start=14&zoom=1&tbnid=afw_MXPBXjd6OM:&tbnh=134&tbnw=104&ei=bDEiUNumC4jXsgbWxoDoBw&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dandrea%2Bferrigato%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DX%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-US%26tbm%3Disch&itbs=1 by Andrea Ferrigato. I wore this mountain biking. With a pair of neoprene, Rip Curl board shorts (it was Australia). And a pair of purple Nike Air huaraches (I think). And an enormous red Bell helmet. I still remember the first time I went out to Helensburgh for a weekend ride with the crew who rode out there and being informed – politely – that perhaps I should get some proper tyres, the semi slicks that had come on my Avanti Barracuda not really being up to the job. It was all downhill (figuratively) from there. Ritchey Z Max, SPDs, then the inevitable frame and shock upgrade, the wheel upgrade – 18 years later and I have more bikes than limbs.  And I still don’t ride as much as I’d like.

  19. @Nof Landrien

    @frank

    Love that photo. Bartoli knows that Il Grillo is his bitch. What he doesn’t know is that Il Grillo will go on to eclipse him.

    I loved the Briko stingers – red mirrored frames. I would argue that they looked even more awesome on cross country skiers/biathletes than on the bike. Mine were superseded by some Mapei edition Rudy Project Tayos for when I was pretending to be Andrea Tafi winning Roubaix in the Italian national champions jersey after moving to the UK in 1999. They are still in the shed – they now get used as safety glasses.

    My first jersey was from ZG Mobili, as modelled here http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.dewielersite.net/db2/wielersite/beeldbank2011/1307130595AndreaFerrigato.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.cyclingarchives.com/beeldfiche.php%3Fbeeldid%3D98003&usg=__ZxPk1_JKVWcvZY4HGBssjhBfBFg=&h=582&w=450&sz=170&hl=en&start=14&zoom=1&tbnid=afw_MXPBXjd6OM:&tbnh=134&tbnw=104&ei=bDEiUNumC4jXsgbWxoDoBw&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dandrea%2Bferrigato%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DX%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-US%26tbm%3Disch&itbs=1 by Andrea Ferrigato. I wore this mountain biking. With a pair of neoprene, Rip Curl board shorts (it was Australia). And a pair of purple Nike Air huaraches (I think). And an enormous red Bell helmet. I still remember the first time I went out to Helensburgh for a weekend ride with the crew who rode out there and being informed – politely – that perhaps I should get some proper tyres, the semi slicks that had come on my Avanti Barracuda not really being up to the job. It was all downhill (figuratively) from there. Ritchey Z Max, SPDs, then the inevitable frame and shock upgrade, the wheel upgrade – 18 years later and I have more bikes than limbs.  And I still don’t ride as much as I’d like.

    On looking at the picture more I couldn’t help but notice that Bartoli is wearing what I could only describe as an “extemporised gilet” fabricated by ripping the sleeves off a jersey. Is this pro? Is there a rule to cover this? Did Sansone the dog rip it off perhaps?

  20. @mxlmax Great stuff, cheers.

  21. @Ron Cheers, Ron! If you ever make it back this way make sure you swing by.

  22. @the Engine

    I think it was the style at the time.  I recall there was a stage (late 80’s early 90’s) that riders were doing similar work to their jerseys in the TdF due to the heat, and probably as they thought it looked cool.  That lasted only for a few months until it was banned by ASO or UCI or somethin’.

    Oli will know.

  23. This is how I usually feel about advertising

    But every rule or feeling needs an exception and that Ad is it. Love it.

    Also thought this one was good too.

  24. @mouse Nope! I remember the fashion fad, but I don’t have a clue about any UCI ruling on it – makes sense though in light of other bullshit rules they are obsessed with enforcing…

  25. @mouse

    @the Engine

    I think it was the style at the time.  I recall there was a stage (late 80″²s early 90″²s) that riders were doing similar work to their jerseys in the TdF due to the heat, and probably as they thought it looked cool.  That lasted only for a few months until it was banned by ASO or UCI or somethin’.

    Oli will know.

    @Oli

    @mouse Nope! I remember the fashion fad, but I don’t have a clue about any UCI ruling on it – makes sense though in light of other bullshit rules they are obsessed with enforcing…

    There was a little while in the nineties when LS jerseys had full zips but that the team short sleeve jerseys had regular zips. I’m also not sure that, during this time, gilets were in wide use. Riders were cutting the sleeves off jerseys to get a short sleeve jersey with a full zip. In this case, it looks like Bartoli wanted a vest and just cut the sleeves off a LS jersey. Tony Rominger also did this to his polka dot jersey, except he just converted it to a regular SS.

    Oh, and final ruling: does not Look Fantastic, and is Not Velominati Approved! On the other hand, the pros were doing it, so it definitely was Pro. (Don’t confuse Looking Fantastic with Looking Pro. Some Pros and some Pro choices are completely shit.)

  26. I really liked that Specialized commercial as well. Reminded me of being a 10 year old in Southern California in the early eighties and time trialing my older brothers Centurion on the 5 turn access road that went around the outside of his condo complex. I would clock myself and every time i went over there I would try to break my PR on a flying lap that started and ended at his garage. Kind of a poor boys Strava using my cheesy little Timex wristwatch.

    I got my first “real” road bike 3 years later for Christmas – a Japanese built KHS Fiero (I still have it) and proceeded to strip it down and repaint it to look more Italian (Mom was pissed).

    The first proper team kit was La Vie Claire of course…

  27. @frank Yeah, I know all that thanks – we were wondering if the reason the practice stopped was due to the UCI, or do you think it’s just because of a sudden leap in gilet technology?

  28. @frank

    @the Engine

    We need photos of the PDM kit, matey. Immediately. This kit that I crashed in was also accompanied by white tennis shoes; it wasn’t until several years later that I bought a pair of lace-up Duegi’s which I sewed a leather flap onto to cover the laces and an extra strap sideways to make them look more like LeMond’s shoes.

    Found and modelled by No1 Son

    “Dad – these smell of shed”

  29. @Oli

    @frank Yeah, I know all that thanks – we were wondering if the reason the practice stopped was due to the UCI, or do you think it’s just because of a sudden leap in gilet technology?

    What I was clumsily trying to say is that I think the manufacturers started making full zip jerseys across the board, and that the gilet came into prominence later.

    I can’t think of any vests being used regularly before the 2000’s…can you? My theory is that someone was cutting sleeves off their jerseys to make gilets and eventually someone said, “Right, I can do that much better than you can with those shitty scissors you’re using.”

  30. @the Engine

    @frank

    @the Engine

    We need photos of the PDM kit, matey. Immediately. This kit that I crashed in was also accompanied by white tennis shoes; it wasn’t until several years later that I bought a pair of lace-up Duegi’s which I sewed a leather flap onto to cover the laces and an extra strap sideways to make them look more like LeMond’s shoes.

    Found and modelled by No1 Son

    “Dad – these smell of shed”

    AWESOME!! Event the beer koosie foot warmers!  RAD!

  31. My first post and already Rules #26, #30, #36 and #41 broken, albeit 1979, but here goes… after performing any unskilled labor I could find during a typically brutal Indiana summer, I was able to afford my first kit: Le Coq Sportif jersey, wool shorts with “genuine” chamois, and an unknown brand of shoe with wooden sole (had tiny Italian flags sewn to the rear seams). The helmets in the shop were “hairnet” style which had a bad rap for making head injuries worse, so I wore a kayaking helmet – heh. The bike was also new: I had saved $200, which my father wished me to spend on a used car; instead, I purchased a steel-framed “Ross Super Gran Tour” (nearly gave my father a heart attack) that was dearly loved for many years, on which I raced and won, and was my daily commuter – car shmar.

  32. @Thighmaster That image and post has the makings of a full-length motion picture. At least sell these as post cards.

  33. @unversio

    @Thighmaster That image and post has the makings of a full-length motion picture. At least sell these as post cards.

    The motion picture idea very interesting, but I think “Breaking Away” cornered that market.

  34. @Thighmaster

    Rule #41 is a personal thing anyway, as I think we’ve discussed here before, as long as you don’t put the damn things facing forward. So really that’s just three rules – a lot of people start from further back than that.

    Were you like the prototype for Breaking Away ? Used cars, Italian flags, unskilled labor, upset father… I hope they paid you a consultancy fee.

  35. BTW I like how you have put the shoes on the ground and are in your socks, to save them for ‘on the bike’ I guess.

  36. @ChrisO

    @Thighmaster

    #41 is a personal thing anyway, as I think we’ve discussed here before, as long as you don’t put the damn things facing forward. So really that’s just three rules – a lot of people start from further back than that.

    Were you like the prototype for Breaking Away ? Used cars, Italian flags, unskilled labor, upset father… I hope they paid you a consultancy fee.

    I wish… the real prototype was Dave Blase, whom I had the privilege of riding with in a handful of road races in the late 70, early 80s. I dreamed of riding “the Little 500” and got an offer to do so, but ultimately chose not to matriculate to that university despite the dark forces that were tempting me.

  37. Kit devolution -fast forward 5 years (re: post #112): 1984 cat 4 criterium at Purdue University, me in no.2 slot – still could only afford same  jersey, LeCoqSportif, but new shorts – my rich girlfriend, probably sick of my crack-dangling wool shorts, purchased me these snappy red/black lycra ones. My first lycra, ah, a fine day to be sure. The chamois was excellent. The newer helmet was a strange birthday gift from my father – it was trying to emulate the “hairnet ” style with safer materiel. You can see it came with a true chamois for forehead perspiration! It was replaced that day with a black Bell helmet I received as part of the winner’s booty (unfortunately had to give back the prize money of $100). Was still riding the beloved Ross with Shimano 105, but had Weinmann hubs by then. Brooks saddle. I think the guy in front of me was riding a Pinarello.

  38. @Thighmaster

    Kit devolution -fast forward 5 years (re: post #112): 1984 cat 4 criterium at Purdue University, me in no.2 slot – still could only afford same  jersey, LeCoqSportif, but new shorts – my rich girlfriend, probably sick of my crack-dangling wool shorts, purchased me these snappy red/black lycra ones. My first lycra, ah, a fine day to be sure. The chamois was excellent. The newer helmet was a strange birthday gift from my father – it was trying to emulate the “hairnet ” style with safer materiel. You can see it came with a true chamois for forehead perspiration! It was replaced that day with a black Bell helmet I received as part of the winner’s booty (unfortunately had to give back the prize money of $100). Was still riding the beloved Ross with Shimano 105, but had Weinmann hubs by then. Brooks saddle. I think the guy in front of me was riding a Pinarello.

    Here’s the photo…

  39. Clearly someone isn’t following the rules here…

  40. @Thighmaster

    @Thighmaster

    Kit devolution -fast forward 5 years (re: post #112): 1984 cat 4 criterium at Purdue University, me in no.2 slot – still could only afford same  jersey, LeCoqSportif, but new shorts – my rich girlfriend, probably sick of my crack-dangling wool shorts, purchased me these snappy red/black lycra ones. My first lycra, ah, a fine day to be sure. The chamois was excellent. The newer helmet was a strange birthday gift from my father – it was trying to emulate the “hairnet ” style with safer materiel. You can see it came with a true chamois for forehead perspiration! It was replaced that day with a black Bell helmet I received as part of the winner’s booty (unfortunately had to give back the prize money of $100). Was still riding the beloved Ross with Shimano 105, but had Weinmann hubs by then. Brooks saddle. I think the guy in front of me was riding a Pinarello.

    Here’s the photo…

    The guy in front is actually a time traveller sent back to test this year’s Team GB track aero helmets away from prying eyes.

    Why do the people sitting on the bench only  have one leg each?

    What’s the hippy doing behind the telephone pole?

    And why is there a gallows just off the course? Is this for anyone found doping?

  41. @Thighmaster the bloke in front of you obviously didn’t subscribe to either Rule #5 or Rule #9 if he’s in full tights & long sleeves while you’re in shorts and a short sleeve jersey. You look like you’re travelling about 15% faster than him in that shot.

  42. @Mikael Liddy you are spot on… I was overtaking him in that, the last turn heading into the straightaway, I was so far ahead of him at the finish I was elated, but because I started in last place (I arrived late) and he was in the top three for most of the race, they assumed he was the winner while I looked like the guy keeping up the rear. I was crestfallen until the crowd, the guy who actually placed second, and my team convinced the judges it was I who actually won.

  43. @Thighmaster These photos and stories are super! Great stuff, and more please if you got ’em!

    (Why did you have to give back the cash prize?)

  44. @Oli

    @Thighmaster These photos and stories are super! Great stuff, and more please if you got ’em!

    (Why did you have to give back the cash prize?)

    Thank you for your comment  You are too kind.

    In terms of the prize – after a week or so I was asked to give the money back. Apparently a highschool student was in the race, but that day neither the race organizer nor the student were aware that he could lose his highschool sports eligibility for participating in a paid sport competition. If I returned the money all would be well for him, so…

  45. @Thighmaster

    Fantastic story and pictures. That is what it is all about. Fantastic stuff. And I echo Oli in saying, why the fuck did you have to give your money back? Test positive for Too Much Awesome?

  46. @Thighmaster Wow! And looks like the Blues Brothers are parked at the race (far left in the distance).

  47. @Thighmaster Those days of USCF are great to remember. Being hauled around in the back of a VOLVO from one state to another. Selling items to come up with weekly race entry fees and travel. I am not a sentimental person, but I do have my original “paper” license in the wardrobe. Thanx for finding this and posting.

  48. @Thighmaster So you’re a Champion as well as a winner. Chapeau.

  49. My first kit consisted of an old hand-me-down Saeco bib that flew in the face of Rule #8 and directly violated Rule #53, a jersey purchased at Winners, and an MTB hlemet.

  50. Crappy b/w photo… but me in the late 80’s rockin the Look/Wonder, Sidis, and early Poly helmet (death knell of the hairnet) – remember when they had lycra/net covers?

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