Cycling kits … 🤔

IMG_7564

Years ago, I never imagined wearing lycra. Never imagined wearing tight, aero clothing. Never imagined there was any benefit.

I sometimes wore baggy, mountain bike style shorts, even on a road bike. And, I had a pair of cycling liners I might have worn under pants. Oh. I did have a pair of wool tights. With suspenders. Remember those. But bibs? Why would I want to wear them? And tight jerseys? Never. I like baggy clothing. Clothing that doesn’t restrict. Clothing that hides imperfections. Tight clothing is for the young with chiselled abs, quads, and butts.

I remember the first pair of bibs I purchased. A black pair with a matching jersey. Size large. I made certain they weren’t tight. Especially the jersey. I needed room to move. To stretch. Everyone teased me. Who do you think you are? A racer? Are you joining the tour next year? I was ridiculed at home, and everywhere else.

That was a decade, or more, ago. How things have changed. Now, I wear little else. Even when I’m not cycling. I don’t have that chiselled look. No, I have that older, rounder look. But who cares. Bibs are comfortable. They stay up. Don’t cut into my waist when bent over the bars. And, they stretch when I move. The jerseys may be tight, but they too move with me, and feel like I have nothing on. More importantly, they don’t catch the wind like a spinnaker, the way my clothes used to.

Now when I travel, I pack more cycle clothing than I do casual wear. I cycle when I travel, and I need the right clothing. And, I need a lot of it. I cycle a lot. Maybe twice a day. And, I don’t always have a washing machine on hand. I need a lot. Bibs. Jerseys. Socks. Caps. Arm warmers. Leg warmers. Wind jacket. Rain jacket. Long fingered gloves. Short fingered gloves. Booties. I need clothing for all weather conditions. And, the kits have to match. They have to be colour co-ordinated. Socks, bibs, and jerseys have to compliment one another. And, the bike.

I know. You’re laughing. I’m nothing more than a fashionista. A slave to clothing. No. Not at all. Cycling kits are practical. First of all, they are comfortable. That is the most important consideration. If you are going to spend hours on a bike, you need to be comfortable. Second, they are aerodynamic. They don’t catch the wind like a proverbial spinnaker. They make the cyclist more efficient, enabling the him (or her) to travel faster, more easily in all conditions. And, most importantly, they look good. If you look like a cyclist, you are more likely to ride like one as well.

These days, I would never consider riding without a proper kit. I’m a road cyclist, and I want to look like one, even if I can’t ride with the tour 😂

Advertisements

A great ride made better …

IMG_3801

This is not a very flattering photo.

It was taken unbeknownst to me while getting ready for an early morning ride with Lou. The jersey pockets were filled with cliff bars, phone and wallet. And my wind pants were pulled over the pockets. No matter. You get the idea.

It’s the first time I wore my new kit. I’ve never worn anything like it. It felt like I had nothing on. Unfortunately, you can’t see the matching bibs. They are hidden under the wind pants. Once I peeled away the wind jacket and pants, I got a lot of looks. Next time I’ll get a better picture and include Lou, or Chas.

Lou: “We looked like quite the team.”

No one on these roads had ever seen a kit like this before.

Chas: “It would go nicely with my green frame. When do I get a turn?”

This is the kind of kit you prefer to wear. If you have clean kits in the closet and this one is on the floor dirty from you last ride, you’ll wear it again. It’s that nice 🙂

Some things are simply too beautiful for words …

Some things are simply too beautiful for words. When you see them, they take your breath away, and make your heart beat a little faster.

This cycling kit is a belated birthday gift from my son and his partner. It is exquisite. The material is fine and smooth like silk. The colours stunning, frolicking on the fabric like children at play. These pictures don’t do them justice. And, the caricatures … oh the caricatures. They make me smile and depict what cycling is to me. Play.

The Marathon des Dolomites is an epic, historical ride in the Italian Dolomites.

From Wikipedia …

The Maratona dles Dolomites (Dolomites Marathon), is an annual single-day road bicycle race covering seven spectacular mountain passes in the Dolomites. Open to amateur cyclists, the Maratona—with 9,000 riders from over 40 nations—is one of the biggest Italian Granfondo bicycle races. National Geographic described it as “one of the biggest, most passionate, and most chaotic bike races on Earth.

My son and his partner cycled the course this summer. And the summer before. They have matching kits from another year that they wear when they cycle with one another. Here they are at the start the West Maui Loop a few years ago.

IMG_1381

They purchased the 2013 kit for me this summer. Each year there is a theme for the race, and it is featured on the kits. In 2013, the year of my kit, it was Harmony. How appropriate. That’s exactly what this kit will do.

I haven’t worn the kit yet. I am waiting for a warm day, and a time when my son and his partner can join me.

Chas: “It’s perfect! Take me.”

Lou: “I love it! No, take me.”

The kit will look good on both Chas and Lou.

IMG_3698

IMG_3699 IMG_3700 IMG_3701 IMG_3702

IMG_3703