Guest Article: Just give me something – something I can use

Guest Article: Just give me something – something I can use

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In our continuing guest article series, @eightzero weighs in on the modern cycling jersey. It’s made of some unholy material which has a half-life of fifty years and unless you crash in it, it’s still in your kit drawer.

Yours in Cycling, Gianni

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As the song goes, “we need dirty laundry” so goes the pile of road gear. While the preferred kit is the Sacred Garments of the Velominati, it is also true that said SGs need periodic washing. Nothing is worse (and potentially dangerous to one’s health) than pulling on yesterday’s bibs and jersey. I know the commandment to heed Rule #5 at all times, but staph infections are taking it to the extreme. I suspect even The Keepers would not endorse throwing one’s self to the pavement intentionally to acquire road rash just so we can look like Jens. Since giving the Machine a quick rub down after the ride is a priority, getting the SGs through the laundry often requires a delay.

Thus, most Velominati have a store of various bibs, base layers, gloves, and jerseys. And the latter is what gives me pause. Oh, what to do with those jerseys acquired with stars in my eyes – when those same jerseys and logos were adorned by the True Giants of the Road I so wished to emulate? A certain Texan made buying postage stamps cool, and then I had to have shark week on my TV. My sister-in-law was afflicted by MS, so it was natural that I show my support for the Tyler Hamilton Foundation, and his teeth grinding rides with CSC. And then, I had to look like Floyd. Had to. He was the Guy That Got Screwed. The guy that stood up to the alphabet soup groups. The guy that was going to make a difference and provide the hardmen with fairness.

Yeah, that turned out well.

I do my level best not to think that I have more invested in cycling clothing than I do in Machines. This clothing stuff is expensive. And, even though I now know that USPS was likely defrauded, that THF spent donations on Ty’s legal defense, that I can’t afford cable TV anymore (much less a science-y channel on the premium lineup) that CSC… well… hell, I don’t even know what CSC makes. And of course, Floyd has moved on to something called NASCAR, something I don’t even think of as sport. (I know I am going to catch hell for that, but really, driving in circles isn’t even exercise. What will be next? Olympic bus riding?) But I still have all these perfectly functional cycling kits and jerseys. They will function just fine, but somehow they always seem to find their way to the bottom of the stack, far, far below the SGs. I seek the path of the Velominati, and it is oh so hard to feel the guiding hand of Merckx upon me when resplendent in the wardrobe of… douchebags.

I guess I can be a little philosophical – I did resist the urge to buy Rock Racing’s kit – the most expensive of them all. Sure it looked pretty jazzy – I even met Michael Ball once – but $280 for a jersey? No wonder the dude has more money than, well, the United States. And I just never did get around to a Bahati Foundation jersey. I think my internet connection was down the day Floyd was on that team. My dad does like his Phonak hearing aid I got for him though. So I got that going for me.

So, off I go to eBay again looking for bargains. I see BMC kit prices are way, way up. For now. Sigh. Guess I’ll have to have one. La vie Velominatus.

// Accessories and Gear // Guest Article // Kit // Nostalgia

  1. @All
    Form follows function… closely. Given two competing and (roughly) equivalent solutions, the true Velominatus will always select the more Casually Deliberate / Look PRO option. I’ve got a longer contemplation on this topic germinating, what with the recent arrival of the Witte and Winter Kits, along with my new Carnacs. I need to assemble a few photos first.

    Man you guys are really posting a lot of stuff here lately! Strong work!

  2. Ah, well, durrr. I misread Der Ron’s quote wrong – of course they’re Shamals. I was looking at the finish line photos, with Cippo with his arms raised. One looks like a helium hub, the second in the zebra kit looks like a black mavic hub. I was wondering how you got that much detail from those pics.

    BTW, Campagnolo, if you’re reading this, THOSE FUCKING SHAMALS ARE THE BEST WHEELS EVER MADE AND THE FACT YOU STOPPED MAKING THEM IS THE GREATEST CRIME EVER (in cycling of course)

  3. @frank
    Awesome video. Makes me want to ski even more. I need a month vacation where I can ski every day. Definitely will not loose any fitness and it would be so much fun. Next year I am spending Christmas in VT and will be skiing at Catamont and Bolton Valley, not to mention Trapp. Such great nordic centers!

  4. @frank
    That would be Mercatone Uno. Typos are acceptable in English, not Italian. And calling it “Mercantone” is what too many Anglos always did.

    I used to have a pair of black and celeste Mercatone Uno bib Knickers and matching l/s jersey. I really thought I looked the business in them – whilst riding my red Cannondale CAAD6 frame fitted out with Ultegra. I wince at the thought of that clash now…

  5. I lie – just remembered it was a CAAD4…

  6. @minion
    Back to school, little boy. When that picture was taken Mavic didn’t even do road wheelsets, let alone Cosmics.

    @Marcus
    Black and celeste Mercatone Uno bibs? Pics please, as I don’t recall any such strip.

  7. @Marko

    @frankThe dude took second in a photo finish in 2010 in the American Birkie classic race. He’s still killing it. That video is awesome. Those guys are so fast.

    One of the best reasons to be a Sconnie!!! Now if we could just some snow!

  8. @minion

    Ah, well, durrr. I misread Der Ron’s quote wrong – of course they’re Shamals. I was looking at the finish line photos, with Cippo with his arms raised. One looks like a helium hub, the second in the zebra kit looks like a black mavic hub. I was wondering how you got that much detail from those pics.
    BTW, Campagnolo, if you’re reading this, THOSE FUCKING SHAMALS ARE THE BEST WHEELS EVER MADE AND THE FACT YOU STOPPED MAKING THEM IS THE GREATEST CRIME EVER (in cycling of course)

    Naah. I’ll get a ton of shit for this but the greatest wheel set I’ve ever ridden was (and here come the downgrade to VM4): Spinergy Rev-X. Loved those things even if they’d lop off an hand in a crash. Oh, and if you’re over 80K they’ll collapse under your weight. Skinny guy like me, fuckin’ awesome.

  9. @Oli
    No pics – I tend not to photograph clothing (at least back then I didn’t!). Knicks were blacky/blue color with white panel and yellow/celeste writing.

    I love your attention to detail – you would have aced anatomy.

  10. @Oli

    @minionBack to school, little boy. When that picture was taken Mavic didn’t even do road wheelsets, let alone Cosmics.

    Bah humbug Just cos I wasn’t even born then (I can lie can’t I?) I’m talking about the later photos, in the original post photos 3 and 4, not the ones Fronk has repeated above, with Super Mario winning the sprints. (Even though they’re track Shamals but I’m not about to start chucking more rocks am I) Even Mario’s Wiki has him on Cosmics.

  11. Think this era.

  12. @marko: you have to admit though on cipo, he was so freakin awesome at times, Cipo was a class act. Like RDV, didn’t matter how ugly his kit was, it always looked good.
    And the rest is history…

    These two photos.

  13. Totally off the topic, but if any of you watch cycling on Universal Sports and you don’t have Dish Network, (like me, it’s free here), it’ll be gone in January. Check this out here, and sign the petition if ya like.

    http://www.universalsports.com/iwantuniversalsports/iwantuniversalsports_datacollection.html

  14. Did anyone mention The Jersey Project? A book full of both classic and weird jerseys. Probably not a good one for @eightzero’s VMH to buy him for Christmas!

  15. @minion
    I know when he was on Mavics!

  16. I own exactly two team issue jerseys. Both CSC and I can say that I did not purchase them, but was issued them. No I am no PRO, but I did work for CSC and thus know that they are a computer services company (it stands for Computer Sciences Corporation)

    When we would represent the company on organised rides, they would issue us with Team CSC kit. It was great. The last year of their sponsorship, they also organised a Sponsors access to the Giro. Special access to the team etc. Alas I was unable to go (Velominatus Budgetarius).

    So I don’t believe that I am violating Rule #17 when I wear them. (I was issued it and I didn’t buy it so I earnt it.)

  17. @Oli
    I’m taking my toys and going. I’ll be over there.

  18. @Minion
    I can still you, you know.

  19. @Minion I can still SEE you, you know.

  20. Thats how children throw tantrums. Chuck their toys, storm off but not TOO far.
    Then forget about it while playing with their lego. It’s like a second childhood round here.

  21. I made a snowman.

  22. I may say that this is the greatest factor—the way in which the expedition is equipped—the way in which every difficulty is foreseen, and precautions taken for meeting or avoiding it. Victory awaits him who has everything in order — luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck.
    — from The South Pole, by Roald Amundsen
    One-hundred years ago today Amundsen was the first to reach the South Pole. It was a good day for skiing. Badass.

  23. @ChrisO
    Count me in… my Lezyne is ready…

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  25. @minion

    Think this era.

    Is that a ‘no-skin suit’?

    (I’ll get my coat…)

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