Monday, February 13, 2012

Back in the Day

I was with some friends recently, discussing the days when we all first started riding. We laughed at the bikes we used to ride and what we thought was appropriate and 'cool'.

I reminisced about riding everywhere on the huge antler-like aeorbars that were bolted to the front of my bike and crying as I rode up, what was at the time, a HUGE hill on my first long ride.

Despite my numerous stories surrounding my entry into cycling, one particular story took the cake. I initially started riding in the summer of 2002. At this time of year, I was more accustomed to sitting in a kiddies pool with a six pack of beer rather than exercising in the sun. To limit my suffering in the heat, I decided to purchase a sleeveless jersey, which still is common fashion amongst triathletes today.

I headed down to the local bike shop and found a nice, plain blue sleeveless jersey. I wanted something that didn't stand out so the plain blue option was perfect. The bike shop owner didn't flinch when I bought a sleeveless jersey in the middle of summer and why would he??

I went home and donned my new sleeveless jersey to take it out for a test ride. It was hot and humid, so perfect weather to see if it made a difference. 1km down the road and I couldn't stop sweating. The short-sleeve jersey was stupidly hot. I may as well have been wearing a sweater. 15mins later and the sleeveless jersey was sticking to me and I couldn't take it anymore. I unzipped the jersey and made my way home, baffled by my purchase.

I did't use the sleeveless jersey again all summer, concerned that I would die of heat stroke if I wore it again. Then winter rolled around. I suffered through the colder temperatures as it got colder. All of my friends recommended that I consider getting some arm and leg warmers to beat the chill but there was one purchase that was absolutely vital to staying warm. It was something called a wind-vest and was made of a special material that blocked out the wind and trapped in the heat.

After seeing one in the flesh, it dawned on me. Turned out, last summer, I was riding around in a wind-vest. No wonder it was so damn hot!! I now wonder what the guy at the bike shop was thinking when I was buying a wind-vest in the middle of summer!!

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