Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Bethel Spring Series - Leaders' Shoe Covers

As all of you know, I'm a big fan of the whole Leader's Jersey concept. I got into cycling when it was illegal to have colored socks (white or no socks) or anything-but-Model-T-black shorts. Plain and boring, right?

Then came along one Mario Cipollini. His illegal clothing rampages through the Tour convinced the folks that rule the roost that, say, a green pair of shorts wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

With that the floodgates opened. Instead of just colorful side panels, the whole short became a colorful pattern. To wit - my favorite all time team, controversy over their physiological treatments aside, Mapei.

Talk about a colorful kit.

Of course, in the height of our fan-dom, we went out and bought kits for ourselves, training in them, and, yes, sometimes I'd even race in the shorts.

Now, a decade later, plain black shorts seem almost old-fashioned. And heaven forbid you have a normal pair of shoes!

All this colorful stuff led to, predictably, an over-abundance of yellow for the Tour leader. Polka dot everything for the Tour's leading climber. And a large leprechaun-like look for one Thor Hushovd, resplendent in an astonishing display of courage and grit in the 2009 Tour.

So, a top level race like the Bethel Spring Series (ahem) deserves more than just a jersey, right?


And so, I present...

Shoe covers.

Okay, so they don't look too impressive empty.

Hey, look, I gotta start somewhere. We have jerseys. Shoe covers seemed like a normal progression.

The shoe covers feature Navone Studios, which has totally changed the look and feel of the Bethel Spring Series. Not only did they make indoor registration possible (a huge plus in the cold March/April season), they also put out literally thousands of pictures of the races on

I thought I'd ordered enough shoe covers for the last three weeks of the race, but I got enough, barely, for the last two weeks. So some of the "higher" categories will get shoe covers on April 11th, and every leader should be wearing covers on the 18th. If you wear them, you keep them.

However, if you lose the lead on the last week of racing, you may not want to keep them. Wearers are welcome to hand them over to the overall winner.

There's one more thing for this year - Leader's Helmets on the last day. That'll be in an upcoming post.

One day, maybe, we'll have gloves, shorts, and maybe brake lever hoods. Heh. But for now, shoe covers, jersey, and a helmet.