This morning we went for my second ride on my new/old bike. It's fall now so I'm faced with the challenge of dressing myself for the weather without any real resources to do it with.
Part of the image of a cyclist is the clothes. Let's face it....would any of the super-cyclists look so super if they were wearing cut-offs and a ripped Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt? Probably not. Does the clothing make a difference in a non-professional rider? Meh...some. So the key is to balance just how good you think you are (or could be) against how much you want to (or can) spend. And whether or not you care what the people you ride with think.
Making this a no-brainer for me. I'm almost certain that at my age I should aspire to nothing more than "pretty good" and I would like to do it for free. So for this fall I have to come up with a clothing strategy out of my closet that actually works. Creativity counts and in fact is needed for this. Warm but not too warm, cool but not too cool, comfortable but still fits like a second skin. I'm not exactly comfortable with the whole "second skin" aspect, but then again I don't have to look at myself so I don't worry about it too much.
I think I've come up with a combination that works, although when I bought all these things a couple of years ago I had no idea what they'd be used for. They belong in the category of "clothes that are too on sale to pass up and just might come in handy some day, not today or tomorrow, but someday."
- Smartwool socks, because they're God's gift to humankind. Everyone should have at least one pair of these.*
- Cycling shoes. They're actually more like sandals, but with the above socks I was toasty warm.**
- One pair of actual cycling shorts because I need the cush they provide.*
- One pair of black silk long underwear from Cabella's.*
- One pair of black leggings from Target.*
- One UnderArmour compression turtleneck in black with "Augsburg" tastefully embroidered on the neck. This is one of those things I bought not knowing why, except that it was super cheap and "I might need it someday." A crazy rationalization that actually panned out. I think my original plan was to wear it shoveling snow.*
- A borrowed Florence By Bike jacket, because every cyclist needs pockets.**
- A little beanie hat I got from a friend who said I might need it if I'm gonna keep riding bike.**
* bought on sale
** gift from a friend
Honestly, any Real Cyclist out there would probably cringe at what I'm wearing, but on the upside at least it's all black and therefore matches. Only those with truly discerning eyes will catch my fashion faux pas as I whiz by. I hope.