Sometimes I wish the cycling clothing companies would just stop making matching apparel sets. That may sound like an odd request but let me explain, because there’s a story that prompted this conviction. This morning I was flipped off on the freeway driving to work. One of those deals where you really didn’t realize you were slowing someone else down for so long. After tailgating me, the man pulled around me on the right, passed me just enough so that I couldn’t tell who he was and stuck his middle finger out the window. What impressed me the most was that it was raining outside, and I had gotten him so worked up that he saw fit to hold it there for almost a minute! Now as far as insults go, I would have to agree with Jerry Seinfeld and say that getting the toe would be much more of an insult than getting the finger. But this person did go through the trouble of getting his hand wet and leaving it outside for quite some time.Yesterday, I was reading another cycling blog and all these people were commenting on how if you wear white cycling shoes (or anything flashy), you automatically look like a d%#k.
What both events reminded me was that people care too much and are too uptight about stuff. I think roadies are generally too image conscious. The proof is that after ten comments, no one had yet said color shouldn’t matter. Apparently the wisdom of don’t judge a book by its cover is forgotten in cycling circles. I just don’t understand why people get so bent out of shape over nothing! White shoes, 10 seconds in the fast lane, it doesn’t matter what it is.
My point is this, if you want to wear white shoes, wear them proud. If you want to ride a fixie and wear tight pants, do it. We place too much importance on our image in this society, and even worse, we make character judgements based on it. If you want to wear the red polka dot KOM full kit, go for it! Just promise me this, that you’ll enjoy it and not think twice about wearing it. Secondly, if you feel like commenting negatively on someone else’s apparel, get dressed up in your spandex and go ask a retail clerk of a high fashion store what they think of your outfit. We all look like goofballs out on the road so don’t think that just because you wear a black spandex kit that matches itself you somehow look good all of sudden. It doesn’t matter what you look like (as long as you’re descent of course), it only matters that you enjoy riding your bike. Lose sight of this and you’ve lost sight of what cycling’s all about.
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