Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"The Old Man" Talks About Cyclists Clothes (1936)

Through the 1990's I knew a few cyclists that would jump on their bikes for weekend rides wearing aerodynamic helmets, tight pants that would un-flatteringly show every grotesque contour of the 'fruit basket', special bike riding shoes with little clips that would prevent one from walking any distance, the awful bright colors with ridiculous amounts of advertising all over the place. These were the cyclists I knew.

These people always seemed miserable when they rode. It seems they saw the whole thing as exercise and would push themselves physically to the point of being miserable. The fact that the only thing they ever said of the ride was regarding the amount of miles they had traveled also rang empty with me.

One of the things that attracted me to the vintage style 3-speeds is the fact that they were used as transportation by normal commuters. People in a dress or a suit going to work, families riding to the park, riding to the country or the lake etc... The way I wanted to tackle cycling was to wear whatever I am wearing, go where I want, when I want, for (relatively) free. I think I have achieved this with my 1970's Raleigh. This bike is perfect for my needs. I would like to find a helmet that is not aerodynamic, is a conservative color and does not look like the day-glow hairstyle of a 1980's cartoon character... Alright, I am not one to give any thought to style, but I want a helmet that doesn't make me feel like I look like a douche. Any ideas?

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