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Cyclists, what’s with the outfits?

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I love bikes. I was a bmx-punk in my pre-teens, always zipping around town, inspired by the pages of BMX Action. I was always hitting the mail truck’s loading ramp and the corners of sidwalk blocks pushed up by the roots of chesnut trees. We tore ass. I can still recite the first five minutes of “RAD.” As an adult, sort of, I evolved into mountain biking.

A few months into knee rehab last year I picked up a single speed for trips to the gym and bank and Fresh-n-Easy to help with the non-impact component of rebuilding all those disintegrated ligaments. I know all about sharing the road. I bought my wife a nice mid-grade Raleigh road bike for her birthday and she’s a fan of rides into the desert and Red Rock Canyon NCA. So yeah, I’m familiar with the joys of bicycling and I’ll support every rule and law that encourages our increased use of two wheels.

I just don’t get the outfits.

If you’re in a race and have a local bike shop sponsor, awesome. Represent. Although, what if you’re just riding for exercise after work? Are you really part of the U.S. Mail/Specialized/Trek/Shimano teams? I also don’t get it when there are four or five of you sporting coordinated ride garb. This next question is legititmate but yeah, it’s kind of a jab too: Do you call each other to discuss outfits prior to the ride? I have to assume you do.

If I’m just ignorant about the inner workings of the road cyclist, please let me know. If I’m not, at least give me an explanation for the shorts.

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