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
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.