Saturday, March 01, 2008

My Original Biking Gear

Greetings Readers

Today's picture is the original biking gear that I started out with back in 1996. There is that "Plain Jane" bike jersey that I got from Gart Brothers. I also bought that biking shorts from Garts. The bike gloves were from a fitness shop, which are actually weight lifting gloves with wrist support. Finally, that helmet is from Walmart - Styrofoam all the way, I think.

Anyway, I thought to share since someone asked what did I start out with early in my career.

The "Plain Jane" yellow bike jersey. I thought that was just, in the words of my ex-co-worker would say, so awesome (no head tilt). I can not remember how much I paid for the jersey, but I think I paid close to $ 50.00 dollars. Back in the day that was alot of money to me to spend on a bike jersey. Good lord! The bike jerseys that have logos, colors, prints, etc were not even an option to purchase.

Though look at me now. I would not even think about buying just a "Plain Jane" bike jersey. I even detest wearing the two yellow "Plain Jane" bike jerseys I have in my closet. Yet, there are some rainy/muddy days that require that I wear those two "Plain Jane" yellow bike jerseys so I will not ruin my "gorgeous" bike jerseys.

I was on top of the world, yet that was the only bike jersey I had given thought about buying at that time. I can still remember how I felt back then - Fuck if I was going to buy another $ 50.00 bike jersey. I think, I wore that jersey until I had to buy another bike jersey in 1997. I finally figured out that I could not keep washing the same bike jersey every time I plan to go riding. So, to keep things simple I bought another yellow jersey, bright yellow.

Two bike jerseys and I was content. For two years I was okay with the two "Plain Jane" yellow bike jerseys (bright and dull yellow). Then, in 1998 I decided it was time to ride in my first bike event. I saw the brochure, which I got in the mail, I think and that was when I decided right there and then to bike 3 days in the Rocky Mountains for a total of 150 miles.

Boy, at that time that was a lot of miles to me. More importantly, was I ready?

Oops readers, I am starting to digress from the post title. Perhaps I will continue that story another time. Back to the topic at hand.

Now, the Bike shorts were another investment that I did not want to buy, but then I needed to look like a road biker/cyclist. So, I started the search for a biking shorts that would look good on me. I looked far and wide and I decided upon a bike shorts from the same place that I bought my first bike jersey - Gart Brothers.

There is a difference in bike shorts as opposed to regular everyday shorts. Padding, feel and more importantly how they look - on me. Once again I stuck to my rule of not spending more money than I need to. I stuck with one pair for a long, long time, until once more I got tired of washing my bike shorts every time I wanted to go riding. Along came purchase number two.

And as you can see from the picture I wore that pair of biking shorts until I could not any longer, mostly due to me perhaps getting a ticket for indecent exposure. What you can not see are the safety pins in the inner thigh location. What the hell was I thinking? I was trying to keep my shorts from exposing more of my bare assets. Yet, what I did not realize I had safety pins down there. I could have stabbed myself down there. Really? I had no clue how much I wanted my money's worth out of those biking shorts since I paid an arm for them.

Readers - Should you get into biking you are going to realize that it will and is an expensive sport activity. Believe me I went into biking at the bottom level - spending no more than I had to. Biking can be inexpensive should you not care. But 12 years later I now have certain desires and money is sometimes no object. Though sometimes I have to cut back for an entire month. That's when I heard my old boss "Sucks to be you. Hah hah!" I can still hear his voice whenever I say/think that phrase.

My biking gloves. Looking at the bike gloves that are available are just not me. I do not know. I do have a pair of bike gloves that I bought after this orginial pair pictured, but official biking gloves are just not right for me. Not enough padding in the right place, to thin, not fitted right, colors.

Anyway, I decided to go to a fitness store after seeing some weight lifting gloves at the Mall. I really liked the way that the gloves looked. At a fitness store I knew that there would be a greater selection, not to mention, probably better quality.

I was right. I saw the gloves I wanted and from there you can see how much I loved those gloves. Over the years, the gloves were wearing out on the pads of my hands and along the forefinger to the thumb area. If you look at the photo you can see that brown area. That brown area is leather that I sewn into the gloves. Oh yes, Leather lasts and in order to make my favorite gloves last I wanted leather. Boy, I can remember sewing the leather into the gloves. It was a bitch! Broke a few needles, but eventually I got done with all the sewing and when I put that glove on for the first time after my tailoring - wow! There are even safety pins in the gloves from me trying to keep and hold together the gloves for more biking.

I hated to give up those biking gloves, but I knew that I needed to buy another set of biking gloves. This original pair was getting very worn out, the fabric was getting fragile and no more comfort was in the pads of my hands.

I am currently on my fourth pair of biking gloves and love them. I love this fourth pair so much that I bought an extra identical pair for the future. How's that for thinking ahead this time.

Lastly, the bike helmet. The Walmart Bike Helmet. The bike helmet was probably not even $10.00 but my train of thinking back in the day was to spend the least I could. The Helmet is such old school, but still legal for racing and riding events. ANSI approved. My "fellow" riders love it. I am not sure that you can tell from the photograph, but I have stickers all over the bike helmet. I have Britney Spears (who's navel back in the day was the most erotic thing about her, but overall all women's navel are such a turn on for me), Burt (of Burt & Ernie of Sesame Street), Beeker (a Muppet), Betty Boop, Heidi Klum and my favorite sticker "Warning - I will kick your ass if I have to."

As you readers know, perhaps assumed, on a bike I usually desire attention and this was a way to get riders to talk/comment to me. I am not sure why or how the sticker thing started, but if I was to guess, I think I was tired of the Walmart white, white and I mean white bike helmet.

Of course, I now have two Giro Bike helmets (over $100.00 each) and those helmets get all the riding time, but should I be doing an event that I think I want to be the center of attention I will take that old Walmart bike helmet off the wall and get her ready for action.

By the way, I also tape a big "Watto" topper on top of this helmet. A Topper was a lid that was available during the promotion of Star Wars - the Phantom Menace that was available at KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hutt. Riders joke that I must fly since I have Watto's wings.

We cyclist do have a sense of humor, well some of us do. Like me.

Well, I am sure that I taken much more of your time that you thought, but this is something that I started to think about when the question was asked of me.

Note: The only thing that I forgot was the original sunglasses. I still have the original pair. Boy oh boy. What the hell was I thinking. I was so green behind the ears that I did not realize that I was fashion faux pas disaster on a road bike. Thank goodness for my Oakleys M-Frame-Sweep that I love to wear while riding.

Update: I think two days ago was the one year anniversary of my first Ipod - the "hot pink" Ipod. Complete with 825 songs and basically the best of the best of my collection. I keep adding songs and deleting songs, which means I have to delete the less best song on this Ipod. The decisions to which songs to delete are very hard to make, but I have to since I need room to add songs. This is why I have been bike riding with this Ipod. Not to mention that this ipod is relatively small and light to my other two Ipods. I have also bought a Ipod case cover/protecter that I absolutely love. Supposely from Hawaii, but what the fuck does that matter. I have no clue, except that's what was stated on the packaging

Update 03/04/08 - Sorry readers - I have 4 Ipods, not 3 Ipods. I forgot I bought an Ipod Nano a month or two ago. I have not even loaded that Ipod up yet. That would be the smallest one that I have, but I have not made the effort to get that Ipod up and running.

Until the next time

Daryl Charley
The Fallen Athlete