We don’t see a lot of letters here at Paved, and to be honest, this one was actually directed at our sister publication, Bike. And despite its somewhat critical tone toward a reasonably large percentage of recreational road riders, it made us laugh.
We cyclists are a goofy lot. What is it about becoming a cyclist that renders so many of us colorblind and suddenly absent of any inkling of fashion sense? What about our sport makes otherwise-conservative, middle-aged men suddenly think it’s a good idea to wear a Minnie Mouse jersey—or perhaps one that’s tie-dyed, featuring a cartoon of a lizard doing bong hits?
What would Sammy Davis Jr have worn, had he been a cyclist?
More pedal power to anyone who hops on their favorite two wheeler and takes off down the highways and byways of Northern California. I have no idea how anyone actually completes the Tour de France let alone the Tour to de Grocery Store.
Seems to me that recreational cycling is a much better way to get around while doing your part to squelch the petro-burning damage done every time the key turns in your gas guzzler. Cardiovascular conditioning is a positive that comes from those uphill climbs. Putting more muscle on the legs makes for quicker breakaways from your local Peloton and elicits the occasional wolf whistle.
OK, now that I have paid my positive dues to those who mechanically push pedal to the metal its time to hit the hand the brakes and ask all you peddlers: What is the story with your garish garb?
Do you actually think an urgent phone call is coming in from the organizers of the Vuelta a Espana pleading with you to jet over and fill in for Alberto Contador?
Why do you insist on pouring yourself into those neon colored, form fitting, logo encrusted, Spandexed Lycra cycling togs. I'm guessing that you aren't being paid to ride for Team Astana, Radio Shack, Saxo Bank or Garmin Transitions. I need some help in understanding some of the other silly stuff you bikers do.
THOSE SUPER AERODYNAMIC HELMETS
I understand the need for helmets, any knucklehead who goes without one is asking for major noggin trouble. However, those super swept back helmets make you look like the monster from the original "Alien." How many of you space age cyclists need these customized cranium cruisers if your top speed is 17 MPH.
CLICK CLACK SHOES
I spend a fair amount of time in coffee shops and when the biker gangs hit the hardwood floors they seem to be channeling Savion Glover breaking into a tap routine. If I wanted to hear your damn click clack cycling shoes while catching up on the days news I'd buy a ticket to "Stomp."
I'm totally confused by the glove thing. Full fingered, three quarters, half fingered, no fingered. I'm thinking that the real use is holding a piping hot Cinnabon on your morning ride.
Those hand signals for your turns and lane changes are greatly appreciated. I'm sure that those drivers who are texting, talking, brushing their teeth, shaving, writing a presentation on their laptops while going over the speed limit will swear they never saw you until they forced you off the road. I appreciate all the one fingered hand signals you use for those drivers not paying attention.
YOU LOOK SILLY
Just think if everyone dressed like you when participating in their favorite sport. Should schoolyard hoopsters turn up in full NBA uniforms?
Would your kid's T-Ball coach show up looking like Tommy Lasorda in a form fitting Major League uniform?
Do you dress like Venus or Roger when smashing balls into the net at the local courts?
Would you wear a NASCAR flame retardant jumpsuit and your crash helmet every time you went for a drive?
THE YELLOW JERSEY
Here is my solution. Why don't all serious cyclists just wear a yellow jersey and black compression shorts—and your click clack shoes.
"Look at me, ma, I'm King of the Cycling World!"
If you completed the entire 3,642 kilometers of the Tour de France over the last few years I sincerely apologize. Congratulations! Wear whatever you want.
Andy Dolich; via internet
Good question, Andy. Our only answer is that just as there’s a time and a place for tap shoes, there’s a need for cycling shoes—every once in a while.