Monday, February 27, 2012

Cycling Fashion Faux Pas

I was trawling through some old photos today, thinking about the good old days when I first started cycling and noticed some horrible fashion trends. I would like to say that these horrible fashion trends were common amongst cyclists in general, however, I have a feeling that they may be restricted to my trends only. Similar to when you look back at photos of yourself a decade ago and you can't believe you used to wear those clothes.

Despite this, I am going to say that they were the style at the time and thankfully, I have since out grown them. I suffered these cycling fashion faux pas so that others could learn from my mistakes. Pretty much like the 80's (except it seems that today's younger generations didn't learn anything!)

When I first start cyling, bright coulours were in. Giant were making bright pink bikes in honour of their Deutchland Telecom sponsored team and everyone was buying coloured tyres and bar tape to match their bike frame. I too was victim of this and rode around on my blue Trek with blue tyres and blue handlebar tape. I didn't know any better.

Following this came the trend of white knicks. They looked spectacular when they came out of the packet, gleaming in their shiny, white glory. But after a few uses and a bit of sweat or wet weather, they became a little see through. I'm certain that there are some regretable podium photos out there.

Although today it seems that every single cyclist owns a pair of Oakley Radar sunglasses, the moto used to be 'the bigger, the better'. Rudy Project were my brand of choice as big sunnies were made popular by the King of cycling fashion himself, Mario Cipollini. If your sunnies didn't cover the bulk of your face, they weren't big enough.

Another cycling fashion faux pas that came and went was the cycling euro mullet. I often wondered where guys were getting these haircuts done and exactly what they would ask for... 'Give me a Billy Ray Cyrus but make it classy'??? I'll admit it, I had mullet envy but thankfully, the craze disappeared. I have a feeling that it receeded along with Tom Boonen's hairline as he seemed to be the pioneer of the euro mullet.

Another trend was the swinging necklace pendant. This was made famous by Lance Armstrong as his cross that swung rhythmically around his neck as he 'danced' on his pedals and climbed his way to victory in the Tour de France despite openly admitting that he doesn't believe in God. The only thing worse than seeing people unzip their jersey to expose a necklace is seeing them try to mimick Lance's trademark 'Look back' while going up a hill.

Another cycling fashion faux pas that Lance Armstrong can be held responsible for is the yellow rubber wrist band. In its peak, it was tough to find a single person that was not sporting a bright yellow 'Livestrong' band. It made Livestrong a household name and paved the way for hundreds of charities to get on the band wagon and push the wrist band idea. Sadly, it is a trend that continues today.

Finally, the last cycling fashion faux pas is ankle socks. This was perhaps limited to the triathlon crowd that I was involved with when I first started cycling, but a faux pas nonetheless. To be honest, I don't know why ankle socks are frowned apon in the cycling community, they serve the exact same purpose as longer socks but are probably a lot cooler. Despite this, today's sock fashion is at the other end of the scale, with the sock coming right up to sit just below the calf. It seems, it just means that your sock tan stands out more.

So what will be next on the list of lessons learnt. For me, I have a feeling that it will be the white tyres that I have been sporting or the mud guard that is permanently attached to my road bike. Regardless, I'm going to carry on and learn the hard way so that future generations don't have to. Afterall, where would we be without hindsight?

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