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

-

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. @frank

    @mblume, @Marko
    Biathlon is awesome; I used to race it for fun when I was fit, and I’d just shoot my gun off my back, do my penalty laps, and still do well; the quality of the skier was (at that time) much lower than the pure racers, and that showed. I think its changed, though. We watched some of the Biathlon events at the last Olympics; we had seats right on the range, very cool to watch. I guess they do Yoga and mentally drop their HR from 160 to 80 or lower to shoot and then move on. Amazing to combine those disciplines.

    Nordic skiing is awesome and breeds hardass athletes. I’d be skiing my butt off by now but we’re in the middle of a strange winter with virtually no snow. Ugh. Too shitty to ride as there’s been enough snow to fuck up the roads and render them unsafe, too cold to melt the shoulders, but not enough to ski on. And fuck if I take up running. Lot’s of frustrated people around here.

    This is precisely why I left Minnesota.

    Don’t tell me u ended up in Ballard, home of Minnesotan expats…

  2. @Souleur
    I find The Articles and accompaning discussions enjoyable and an important part of my education as a cyclist but more photos of this type will make me an ex-reader, having gouged my eyes out.

  3. @frank
    True enough but you moved from the southern part of the state. Hardly Minnesota at all. I live in an entirely different climactic zone. One which is dependably snowy in the winter and pleasant in the summer.

  4. @Marko
    I miss the hell out of Twin City summers. Winters not so much.

  5. @Marko

    The Herminator’s foray into cycling, albeit interesting, wasn’t really comparing apples to apples. It’d be more interesting to take a Petter Northug or Bjorn Dahle (highest Vo2 max ever recorded) and put them on a bike just to see what happens. Especially a nordic skier who does consistently well in marathons.

    Daehle’s approach to racing was so great; just go á bloc from the start and see how far you get, As a junior, it was 5K, then 7K, then 10k. Then he graduated to the 15K and 30K. And never really made it to 50K. He would either win, or he’d run out of steam before the finish, put ‘er in reverse, and get 30th. Not to mention his signature finish-line collapse. He just V’d it up every time.

    Most exciting ski finish of all time:

    @Marko

    @frank
    True enough but you moved from the southern part of the state. Hardly Minnesota at all. I live in an entirely different climactic zone. One which is dependably snowy in the winter and pleasant in the summer.

    An having your own island on a lake doesn’t really hurt, either.

    @RedRanger

    @Marko
    I miss the hell out of Twin City summers. Winters not so much.

    I don’t get so nastalgic for the 98*F heat with 99.999999999% humidity. Lift a fork and break out in a sweat. Yuck.

    @gaswepass

    Don’t tell me u ended up in Ballard, home of Minnesotan expats…

    No, no. Not at all. Phinney. A solid three minute ride from Ballard.

  6. @frank
    The 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.

  7. BTW, if we’re going to venture into other sports talk aside from cycling, this is apropro. No ball sport honeybear footballer bullshit that doesn’t equate.

  8. @frank
    Skate-skiing technique is all about the V, obviously.

  9. @Marko
    How about them NY Rangers ay?

  10. @scaler911

    Then of course there’s this kit:

    This seems to me to be required kit for couples tandem riding, no?

  11. @frank
    Good point on that humidity. While I lived there I worked in south saint Paul in the beef slaughter house. Those fuckers get hot what with being elbow deep in dead cattle. Got down to 62kilo @ 178cm. Damn I miss being that slim.

  12. @rhys

    @paolo
    Duly noted, paolo. I realise it wasn’t directed at me, but perhaps I should clarify my reason a little more.Many of my friends ride MTB pedals, black socks, black shoes, and hairy legs. I’m not going to tell them what to do. They were my friends before cycling, my friends now, and they’ll be my friends after cycling.Being new here I was worried about coming off as a pretentious snob, which is why I added the caveat of laying down some serious V (because at the end of the day, it’s the one thing we all have in common).Now that I realise the company I’m in, I understand this caveat is no longer needed, and I feel warm of heart.Fair weather!

    I quite understand old chap. While not telling my fellow cycling buddies what to do I do give them the odd little jibe about things like socks or mtn bike pedals. A joke with a jag as I think they say in Ireland.

    I am quite guarded about overstepping the mark too especially in fairly new company. I am quite new here myself but it seems most everyone has a great sense of humour and its mostly taken in fun and nearly always funny. I’m glad you see some kinship here, hopefully you stick around even if like me it’s to mostly lurk.

    I would argue though (and this was the reason for my original post)that whilst we might make an attempt at maximizing our own subjective level of V what we really all have in common here is either having or wanting to aquire a sense cycling asthetics, etiquette and attention to the minutia of our sport that goes beyond that of the casual or regular cyclist. It’s fascinating and it’s the very discussions and diffferent ideas of what constitutes looking “pro” , casually deliberate or just fabulous on a bike. Or the debates of what the ideal mini tool should have on it or the detailed discussions in the “Anatomy of a photo”, these are the things that keep us coming back here to read and join in with the discussion. So when people say,as they have had a tendancy over the last month to,that it doesn’t really matter, I think to myself, yes…it does matter. That’s exactly why we are here to have these discussions which we all find fascinating but which other people would regard pointless. To us it matters. And this is part of what sets Velominati apart from mere cyclists.

    Sorry for the long winded post. Wow..cheers keeps for the kit dealy…is that permanent or like a weekly thing?? I guess now I feel almost obliged to get the real thing.

  13. @Frank: My favorite biathlete has been Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway, and heck the whole Viking team…always have been my one of my 2 favorite non home country nations is winter sports along with Switerland. This was only strengthened by a trip to the Holmenkollen and seeing one of the shrines of the Nordic world.

    @Marko: I had forgotten Herminator’s flirtation with cycing- that never had any realistic chance with his body type. I have colleagues that were former national level alpine skiers- it was fairly unanimous in these circles that the Herminator was on the juice as well as being a sick skier.

  14. And now for something completely different, check out the madman riding the Zoncolan without a front wheel.

  15. What’s all this, then? No, sorry, it got completely silly. Move along.

  16. Trying to find cheap jerseys that aren’t loose fit is nearly impossible, anyone have suggestions?

  17. @frank
    Right on both counts, Frank. Although the Shamals are decalled up rather than painted. And @Ron they are socks as shoe covers.

  18. Do you all notice that the orange jersey right in the middle of the story image says “Cyclops” on it?

  19. @DerHoggz

    Try a size down from the size you think you should be wearing? I’ve certainly found inexpensive jerseys that seem to fit very well, but are not made with as nice of fabric as their expensive counterparts.

    Also look for keywords such as “race fit” (tight) instead of “club fit” (loose).

  20. @DerHoggz
    Put on weight until the jersey fits snuggly and you’re too fat to climb?

  21. @Nate

    @frank
    Skate-skiing technique is all about The V, obviously.

    The strokes are called V1, V2, and V2-Alternate. Not shit. Fucking hardman’s sport, bitches.

    @Marko

    @frank
    The 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.

    I won Sectionals one year using the same lunge. We came into the stadium and I was cooked because I was using the race as training for the State Champs the next week and didn’t really care if I won or not, so I did the idiot tactical thing and just lead this other guy the whole way around the course because it was better training for my goals. We came into the stadium and he passed me and I was fried so I let him go; we came around the last bend and he hit a snow drift (it was a cold, windy day) and being heavier I just kind of rolled up within range and I gave the sprint a shot. Full-on sprint right to the line, he used a V2 and I used a V1. Most people think the V2 is faster for sprinting, but I could always sprint better in a V1 because of my ludicrously long legs covered a lot of ground during the jump between strokes. Pipped him on the line.

    That was unquestionably the most fun I’ve ever had in a race. The stadium, the crowd, the narrowness fo the win. It felt totally Pro.

    @mblume

    @Frank: My favorite biathlete has been Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway, and heck the whole Viking team…always have been my one of my 2 favorite non home country nations is winter sports along with Switerland. This was only strengthened by a trip to the Holmenkollen and seeing one of the shrines of the Nordic world.

    He didn’t do so well at the last Olympics, but the VMH and I had dinner up on Blackcomb Mountain in this hut that you have to take the now mobile to. We got there and most of the tiny chalet had been reserved by the NORWEGIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE. The chairman for some reason took a liking to us and spent most of the night getting hammered and telling us stories about Bjoerndalen and Daelhe. Man, they worship those dudes.

    Anyway, he gave me his NOC sweater before we left. Pretty fucking cool. Oh, and Dale of Norway’s founder was there too, and we met her as well. That was one stunning woman, even at 65 or however old she was.

  22. @DerHoggz
    Bamboo is a joke – it’s really just rayon. A microweight merino wool layer is great in summer, if you need a base layer.

  23. @Oli

    @frankRight on both counts, Frank. Although the Shamals are decalled up rather than painted. And @Ron they are socks as shoe covers.

    (Putting his big boy pants on) Right whatever. I’m calling you on that, looks to me like it’s a mavic cosmic hub. Yes you heard me, Oli, everyone, you’re WRONG! Five minutes of googling images for Saeco and Mavic were a wheel sponsor at some point. Dunno when but that doesn’t look like a campy hub to me.

    (Prepares to be taken down a peg or 6.)So there. Big boy pants over and out.

  24. Eff it it looks like a Helium front hub. Meh. That’s what didn’t compute.

  25. @minion

    Popping prescription pain-pills on an empty stomach is risky, Minion, don’t you know that? Those are so obviously Campa hubs on all three wheels…you can tell from the little sweep by the axle, as opposed to the Helium hubs that are very angular.

    Whereas the Shamal hub is much like the Record hubs:

    Not to mention the rim decals are plainly visible:

    Saeco and Mavic were a wheel sponsor

    Oh, and that’s not Team Saeco. That’s Mercantone Uno. Saeco was a minor sponsor at that time.

  26. @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!

  27. 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)

  28. @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!

  29. @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…

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

  31. @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.

  32. @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!

  33. @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.

  34. @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.

  35. @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.

  36. Think this era.

  37. @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.

  38. 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

  39. 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!

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

  41. 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.)

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

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

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

  45. 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.

  46. I made a snowman.

  47. 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.

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

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  50. @minion

    Think this era.

    Is that a ‘no-skin suit’?

    (I’ll get my coat…)

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