Monday, December 26, 2011

Racing - Kit Time, Again

It's winter time here in New England, and if you're on a cycling team, it means one thing.

Kit time.

Okay, so it means other things too, trainers, snow, booties, gloves, studded snow tires, and other unpleasantness.

For me, though, kit time is a love-hate thing. I love new kits. I hate dishing out for them.

I've never been one to get free kits, and any "free" kits I've gotten have cost more than the kit itself. For example I have a great kit from a team in Pennsylvania, a team the co-promoter of Bethel raced with for many years. We donated thousands of dollars to their national level Junior and Women's program.

The last year we gave them money, they gave me a jersey and shorts. I joked with the co-promoter that this was a "several" thousand dollar pair of shorts and jersey.

"Free" kits aren't that free.

I do get some actually free jerseys every now and then, from all sorts of sources. The Missus had one for me. A good friend has plied me with a few. I got one for promoting a race for a collegiate team (a team jersey - if you ever see me in it you'll know it for two reasons; first, I weighed about 150 lbs when I helped them, and second, I never went to Yale).

Okay, so that last one wasn't free.

But you get my drift. Kits cost money. Kits are great.

Since I try and wear my team kit whenever I go out, I buy 2-3-4-5 pairs of shorts at a time, a similar jersey count, and I usually get a wind vest, long sleeve jersey, and a jacket.

The "deluxe" purchases would include knickers and any detail stuff, shoe covers, gloves, hats, stuff like that.

For 2012 my kit will be a much simplified Expo kit, a retro kit if you will. It'll be missing a lot of the commercialism of the 2010-2011 kits. The team's goal is to have a long term kit, a kit that doesn't change constantly, a kit that one will wear until it actually starts to get a bit worn.

What this means is that my 2010-2011 kit is about to be outdated. It consists of about 6 or 7 bibs, 5 or 6 ss jerseys, 1 ss jersey, 2 vests (well 1 vest, I just gave one away), 1 jacket, 2 sets arm warmers, 2 sets leg warmers, some other stuff.

My 2012 kit so far is jacket, wind vest, arm warmers, shoe covers, hats. It covers some basics (jacket, vest) and some deluxe stuff (everything else). The team hasn't ordered any jersey/short stuff yet; that's scheduled for our just finished team meeting, and it's basically shorts and jerseys.

My order tonight? 3 jerseys, 3 pairs of shorts.

Maybe later I'll get a long sleeve jersey. Knickers would be a dream.

But that's it. I'm set for 2012, at least as far as the kit goes. The team has gone with Verge, a clothing company I really like. They help out with the Bethel Spring Series (they do the Leaders Jerseys) but more importantly they've shown up for Sweep Day even though their schedule prevented them from doing a single race.

That's grassroots support.

Since I usually wear Verge knickers, I have a bunch of them anyway, so I'll be okay for the spring races in 2012.

At some point soon, when we have our kits, I'll post pictures and stuff.

For now though I'm going to bed.

I have to admit that I've been a bit remiss in posting regularly. I have several 2/3 written posts, a bunch of ideas with framework, and a whole lot of posts waiting for the right time. To put it in perspective I have 163 posts in draft form.

I know, even I can't believe that.

I hope to get them out a bit more regularly going forward.


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