Look it’s all very well dishing lycra, and saying those bicycle store dooshbags are milking customers unnecessarily when they try to sell clothes with each bike, but when cycling is so much a part of your identity as it is for bike tragics like me, cycle specific garb just kinda breeds in your clothes drawers.
Here’s what I’m left with after throwing as much away as I can possibly bring myself to give to the homeless: 3 pairs of Rapha bike trousers; 1 pair of Rapha shorts; 5 bib and brace sets; 1 gore-tex jacket (made for mountain climbing, or some such nonsense, though I bought it for riding); 2 pairs of shoes; 1 pair of rain pants (that really don’t work); 5 pairs of gloves; 9 race jerseys, that include a few vintage classics; 1 pair of waterproof socks; 1 reflective beanie from CultureCycle; 1 itsy bisty cute as all get out Paul Smith/Rapha cap; 4 dirt-cheap tops for training rides that I picked up at Aldi; 1 set of arm and leg warmers; 2 helmets; and some weird thing that’s meant to just keep your ears warm. Add to that another merino top and new gloves now in transit from Rapha, a bowler hat I bought to look bad-ass when riding my Brompton, umpteen pairs of bike-branded socks, and you’re looking at more than I can fit in three drawers. Meanwhile, as many as 10 homeless junkies might be seen wearing bike shorts around Newcastle in coming weeks, if the Salvos don’t price them too high.
I support plain clothes cycling, truly I do. Long term readers will also know, how I once tried it myself. Curse this sprawling city I live in, for making me spend so long in the saddle, that I ruined all of my jeans, and curse this sport I do for recreation, for being impossible to compete in without the right threads. All you folk who live in dense cities, and who don’t go in for bike racing, know that I love and respect you, just as you are. Hugs and kisses ex ex zero zero zero, as Laurie Anderson would say.