Thursday, October 02, 2008

I'm a retro cyclist

I won't lead anyone to believe I rode Six Gap in the apparel represented to the right, but it wasn't that far off the mark.

Photo credit to James Murphy for the picture at right - which is worth a thousand words

As a matter of fact, I seem to be a dork when it comes to cycling apparel.

There's an old Nike jersey that I still wear. It screams at you, with retro swirls on white. Some who know me well have tried to hide that jersey, but I dig through the depths of my dresser and bring it back from the dead.

For Six Gap, I wore a rather tattered lime jersey, which I purchased from Performance Bicycle for about $12 on a blow-out sale over five years prior.

There's something about looking retro that is safe. It states that you are an old-timer, out of touch and not current with the trends.

It also states that I don't have anything to prove and that once on the bike, a competitive performance is not expected.

That's where I like to turn the tables. Tommy master competitor, old clothes and a dressed like a goon.

But it you underestimate me, be prepared for the unexpected.

I started near the rear at Six Gap, found my rhythm and began to pick off riders. Many were on expensive bicycles, wearing hundreds of dollars of gear. There is a strange satisfaction in overcoming a dude who - judged by his equipment and clothes - should kick my fanny.

But to the contrary, that isn't always the case. I had a fun game at Six I crawled past a rider during one of the massive climbs, I'd look over and ask:

"Hey, I'm new to this ride. Are we climbing a hill or a gap?"

That would seem to increase the blood flowing to the rider's face. Most of the time I'd get a mumble in return, or some comment on the grade of the climb.

Hey, what do I know. I'm a retro rider.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Tom,

    Interesting blog. Just an observation: if you plan using other people's photography in your blog, please be so kind as to mention the source of the image!


    The above photo of an old man cycling in China was taken by me for my travel blog