I’ve often complained about the severe shortage of jersey designers who have eyes. At least for womens’ jerseys. Which may be one reason I wear my NYC Velo jersey with such pride. Okay, it could also be because it’s the only jersey I own that’s not summer weight. Red, white, and bearing the triangular logo that makes me look and feel like a superhero, my “three season jersey,” as I like to call it, gets zipped up over the only proper long-sleeved baselayer I have. Every day. That’s right. Every. Single. Day.
This can be called either disgusting, frugal, or both. But it makes for getting dressed fairly quickly. While others might peruse their massive collections of gear, unless I have my period and am therefore too busy complaining about riding rather than getting dressed, I can be ready before chamois cream hits taint.
But that doesn’t mean I’m immune to wanting a new jersey or two. With the 2011 teams falling into place and the curtain being lifted on quite a few kits, I was kind of excited about the whole thing. Until that whole Leopard [or LEOPARD or LaYpArD or whatever] thing.
I actually didn’t see the kit until a few days ago, mostly because I was afraid to. I saw the twitter storm it fueled; claims that it was exactly like Rapha, or, no, Rapha-influenced. Heavily Rapha-influenced. Allegations that the entire peloton was going to turn into some giant black mass that would also function as a solar power generator. Well, actually a black, white, and blue mass. And then we would all be confused because none of us actually have eyes.
...Jesus. I knew you guys were drama queens.
Okay, to be fair, Garmin-Cervelo and Sky, both of which have mostly black kits with a single stripe across the chest, may be difficult to distinguish. But how is anyone going to miss the almost-no-logo, allegedly Rapha-ed kit of Leopard? More importantly, how is anyone going to miss the deliciousness that is FabCan in, well, anything? Or at least a kit that can make Andy look like he’s been eating too many donuts? Although look at Frank. Boy lookin’ fiiiiiiiiiiine. Makes me want to lick that...kit.
Anyway, while we’re on the subject of crushes, because a good friend of mine has the biggest boner for Cav, can I just say: I am really happy for HTC-Highroad? Because now they can have a much sleeker looking kit without the weird fake abs outlined in yellow because whoever designed it might have thought they would need an excuse for Cavy’s butterteeth? Like “well, it was the yellow from the kit reflecting in his teeth,” when everyone would know that’s not true? Point being, I would totes rock that.
So 2011 looks like it’s going to be a year of simpler, understated designs, with an aesthetic that isn’t so in your face. At least for the popular teams. Except my favorite, my Tour wild-card-hopeful, apparently never got the memo.
When I first saw the new Skil-Shimano kit, I didn’t so much as scream as feel this sense of deep betrayal. The white kit with red stripes that have been the signature of Skil-Shimano have been replaced with neon green ones, justified as some sign of commitment to environmental sustainability. What? I mean, I understand that Argos Oil is a new co-sponsor, but unless “Argos Oil,” is read, “BP,” I don’t really understand this whole argument. Friends pointed out how “euro” the new design is, and how the new kit is awesome because the green stripes are really pretty random. After a few hours of staring at it, I see their point. Although to be honest, I’d support any team with a Japanese rider known for attacking, no matter how lame their kit.
And at worst, it doesn’t even come close to the monstrosity I saw in Peloton Magazine the other day. Unfortunately, I think the "hit list" means "this is a hit!" rather than "this has been hit with the ugly stick!" Because there's no way around it. That jersey is hideous. It’s almost like some sadist decided that, since there’s no UCI rule that requires female pro cyclists to get paid a minimum wage, they might as well make their lives even more miserable by making them wear this jersey, too.
Remind me to never aspire to become a pro. Unless Skil-Koga wants to pick me up, of course.
Note: pictures blatantly stolen from other sources, except the first and last.