New Road Uniforms and the Other

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by Byron on May 16, 2013 at 7:34 AM

Thanks WSJ and Kevin Helliker for the follow up to my Giro Road review. I’m quoted along with the Fredcast and others about the trend away from wearing team kit. We don’t think that trend extends to baggy shorts on the road, but Kevin figured out what’s going on too. David wrote about this trend last year

But what occurred to me last night, while looking at the crestfallen before me, is that Lance has tumbled from his pedestal at a time when his pedestal may no longer matter. Cycling is no longer in the hands of the professional athletes but in the hands of companies like Rapha who have just finished a power transfer that’s been quiet and smooth while the walls of professional cycling come tumbling down.

Is it a Lance backlash? Sure, but I think the trend is more about individuality. To not look like or ride what everyone else does is why Handbuilt bikes builders are thriving. Also in areas with a thriving bike scene, it lessens the amount of commuter challenges you get, when you’re not in kit.

Kevin writes

Snap-on shoes. Shaved legs. Bright-colored jersey over Lycra bibs. Any deviation from that look could subject a cyclist to howls. He even might be called a “Fred”—cycling lingo for loser. Getting it all right would still elicit snickers if he called the outfit a uniform. It’s a kit. Got it, Fred?

That the WSJ also noticed this trend, has got me pondering why our culture criticizes itself so much – we all ride, but amongst us is “the other.” Likely because there are so many different types of riding. A super fan dresses up like his/her heroes, or a racer is fit and lean so f’ing what? I’ve written about the Hipster is you too and observed Fredville here in Seattle.

We need to celebrate the sport and bike better across all the niches. As if to punctuate this point, this cyclist said to me, “Bike to Work, what’s the big deal? I’m Belgian.”

Belgian

Belgian doesn’t get the big deal about the bike in the States

Indeed. It isn’t a big deal. Just the bike and cyclists.

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