I went through an anti-lycra-clip-in-shoes-synthetic-jersey period. Here in Boulder it feels like rebellion when you aren’t lathered in lycra to go for a spin to the coffee shop. It felt good to spin
along and end up in places where neither the bike nor myself were appropriately attired. I still abide that handle bar tassels look good on a Trek Madone. Of course, I ended up by just adopting the other extreme of Rivendell-wool-leather-high-heels to cycle up Canyon. So, late last year, I thought I’d try and swing a little more towards the center and actually wear clothing that made sense for the ride I. I hope to do some longer rides in 2014 and cute capris, with strappy sandals may not cut it.
The Horror of it all—Trying on Lycra
This meant looking at, trying on and ultimately buying cycling shorts. I didn’t really have a strategy for my approach. Most people I know do research on the web, canvas friends, read up on what the pros are wearing. I had no such strategy and it may have been because I liken to trying on cycling shorts to trying on a bikini right after lunch, on stage, in front of 1000s. I went to University Bikes* and figured if I was going to subject myself to my own private humiliation, I was going to go big, all in and damn the expense. This mean I made a b-line for the Rapha line. I wanted to love the Rapha shorts; just picking them up meant that I was preparing for big adventure: big climbs, long rides in golden sun light and amazing European meals at lovely cafes after 100 mile spins in inspiring country side. What I saw reflected in the mirror was someone who had more than likely driven to that amazing little cafe, which turned out to be a truck stop to eat twice-fried chicken fried steak. You always hear the term potato sack but it’s not until you’ve fastened a tourniquet around your own waist do you fully appreciate the site.
Most people would have been sufficiently cowed and humbled but I have an amazing ability to ignore the implications of my reality. Case in point, I hung the Rapha shorts back up and plunged myself back into anther pair. This time they were Sugoi. They were.very.short.Very. I wasn’t entirely certain if they were full cycling shorts or cute liner shorts designed to be worn under other shorts. Finally, I tried on a pair of Specialized despite my initial reverse snobbery—if everyone likes it, it’s probably not for me. And I loved them. They were the RX Comp style. I have no idea what the style is meant for but they fit perfectly: no weird gape around the leg grippers, comfortable fit around the waist, not so long in the left that I felt like I was wearing bloomers and not so short I felt like I was wearing lingerie.
(Brief side note: I can’t remember the guy’s name at U Bikes, who helped me pick out and try on various shorts but he was awesome and is why U Bikes has remained in business for so long.)
Inaugural Lycra Short Ride
Has not happened. The weather, the cafes and general seasonal challenges have meant that the shorts still have their tags on them. I’ve still been riding but it’s been spotty and close to home. Incidentally, the forecast for the weekend was supposed to be 1-3 inches and I think there’s closer to 8 inches of snow collected on my deck. It seems that both I and the forecasters are delusional when it comes to accumulation and it’s impact on sizing.