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Let's settle this once and for all; Wearing pro-team jerseys :)

post #1 of 225
Thread Starter 
All right, I've had some fairly intense discussions with friends and acquaintances on this subject, and a post recently got me to thinking about recent events concerning the wearing of pro-team jerseys while cycling when in fact you are not a member of even the local bike club, let alone Once, Fassa Bortolo, Telekom, or USPostal...

I myself have several Pro jerseys including USPostal, 7up, Navigators and Saturn. Three of them were given to me by my wife as a present at one time and I bought the Saturn jersey for myself.

I almost always ride by myself, being still a complete novice at road cycling. and normally I would typically wear plain black or blue cycling shorts and a plain white t-shirt or a beige cycling jersey I used for mountain biking for years.

But on occasion I would don one of the pro jerseys for a ride. Until a few days ago, I never garnered the attention of anyone (What would say, a Saturn rider be doing in my no name neck of the woods? If I could even be mistaken as a pro rider in the first place!)

I wear the jerseys not to impress anyone else, I know people who are familiar with cycling will just shrug it off, and those who aren't will wonder something along the lines of "When did US mailmen start riding bikes instead of driving those little vans?"

Wearing the jersey is a visceral experience for me. Something that lends a strong feeling of connection to my newfound enthusiasm for the sport, and a tribute to the teams that I have ultimate respect for.

Friends have told me "You shouldn't wear the jerseys" and when I ask why, they reply "Because other riders will look down on you and think you're posing" At that moment in the conversation I pointed over to my friends BMW and gave him a confused look. "You mean like when you drive a very expensive car that you have to make payments on?"

My take on the whole thing is that if someone could explain to me that non-pro's did not wear pro-jerseys because it was a show of respect and honor, the same way that you didn't just pin a Medal of Honor on your chest and parade around, in that instance I could completely understand and would happily comply.

But up till now, the only reasoning I have heard is that OTHER people will ridicule me? Is that the prevalent feeling? Because if it is, then I'm wearing the jerseys ALL the time *laughing* I'm a rock bottom newbie road cyclist in a "drive your car to the corner grocery store country" how much more ridicule could get heaped on me than isn't on my shoulders already?

There seems to be alot of "don't do that because other cyclists will blah blah blah..." I refuse to believe that any group so dedicated and disciplined as serious cyclists would be so superficial... and I'm hoping that the true reasoning behind friction created by wearing a jersey you didn't earn, is a violation of the sense of honor and respect that just doesn't get communicated with the appropriate articulation when people attempt to explain.

I wear the Jerseys because they give me a sense of being a small part of a greater whole. And if a cyclist who looked down on me for doing so would blast by me on the road to embarass me or otherwise prove that I was smaller than the jersey, doesn't that speak more to their faults, then to my small indulgence?

The incident that in part prompted this new thread was on one of my normal short hill climbs I was in the USPostal Jersey and huffing my way to the top... I passed a young kid maybe about 16 or 17ish watering a lawn... He yells out at me as I pass in a very sarcastic tone "going to the Tour de France next year Lance?" I glanced over at him and replied "No, you going to the superbowl?"

He was wearing a Raiders Jerry Rice NFL jersey...

Could I have misheard his sarcasm? or was he just so dense as to not realize the level of his own hypocrisy? If not, then I would wager I had more right, huffing up that hill in pain, to wear my Jersey than he did while hosing down some grass...

...

Tell me how you feel on this subject, I genuinely would like to know... Do you not wear the Jersey's for fear of ridicule from others? or as a sign of respect, as if they were in fact something like military uniforms that should be earned...

Thanks much!

Feanor
post #2 of 225
I say wear whatever you want and don't worry about what others think of you. There are far more important things to worry about than cycling attire.
post #3 of 225
Exactly, wear what you want. Like you said, there are plenty of us wearing Football, baseball, etc jerseys out there and we arn't exactly professional athletes. We wear ball caps of our favorite teams 'cuz we like something about them and are not considered posers. It should be the same deal with bikes and jerseys. Wear it and have fun Feanor.

K.
post #4 of 225
If wearing a Pro-team jersey is being a dork..then we have a few thousand dorks in our country. There is even a club who wears pro-team jerseys (SA pro-team).

Hell, I will wear any jersey, as long as it does what it is supposed to .... and it fits the colours of my bike
post #5 of 225
I don't wear curent pro jersey's but I do wear jersey's that are no pro, like apollo or raceline etc. The thing I like about them is the pockets which I dont get with t-shirts.

I did wear mapei etc 5-6yrs ago but that was when I was super fit and could sustain a good pace but I have never encountered bad attitude riding in Adelaide as we all love the Anzac Road Beach to the Port Adelaide run.

cheers

Dave
post #6 of 225
As long as you don't give me one of those snooty looks when you see me, and you wave, I couldn't care less what you are wearing. I wear an official Marine Corps jersey, and I was never on the cycling team (although I was on the cyclic rate of fire team).
post #7 of 225

Speak with your legs and wear what you like!!

Wear whatever you want, and don't give a second thought I say.

I really believe that what you say relative to how you ride, and how gutsy you are considering your ability are much more important!!

I see tossers in Team Kits who make themselves appear arrogant because of the way they talk, or because they ride competitively regardless of the circumstances.

On the other hand I know some great guys who always look really good in some of the pro-kits, and are humble and realistic about their ability.

I myself am closer to the dork model, than the arrogant smack talking pro-kit wearer!!

I have a few odds and sodds of gear, and one kit from the local bike shop which I think looks great. I wish I could afford some of the great looking gear that the pros wear, and would happily buy it if money didnt order my priorities differently.

post #8 of 225
Feanor,

Wear what you want... period.

Guys who ridicule pro-gear wearers are arrogant snobs - you don't need their friendship.

I think whether you race on a team or not has a big impact on this question. As a non-racer or unattached racer - go for it (just don't wear it in an actual race!). Not only is it a tribute to the sport, but the gear is generally of higher quality (i.e. more comfort and better function) than the cheaper gear. On the other hand, as a team racer we have our own gear - wearing a pro-team kit would feel (to me, anyway) like self aggrandizing - I just don't want to give off that air. I guess for me it's an issue of humility - something I find increasingly lacking in our sports culture. There's too much show boating as it is (e.g. ridiculous celebrations after a measley tackle much less a touchdown, standing at home plate to watch your home run clear before 'pretending' to run the bases, ridiculing other cyclists for what they wear, etc.). Athletes oughta be humble, respectful, and just let their accomplishments do the talking - regardless of the level at which they compete.

I think 7-Up and Saturn have way cool pro-kits, but my favorite is Kelme. On the other hand, Mapei is the most hideous kit I've ever seen.
post #9 of 225
I reckon that people who buy team kit support the continuation and status of our beloved sport and the teams and/or riders they admire or aspire to be. I say buy up whatever team kit you like and as much as you like, I do.

AS LONG AS YOU DONT WEAR IT ALL AT ONCE, I MEAN YOU CANT BE LANCE OR WHOEVER BUT YOU CAN LOVE HIM AND HIS TEAM, SO WEAR A JERSEY OR KNICKS, JUST NOT BOTH AT THE SAME TIME
post #10 of 225
I don't know why riding gear should be any different than anything else in life. You aren't making any pretenses of being a pro rider in a race being sponsored by someone. Hey, wear what gives you a kick. I actually think the wilder the better as far as jersey design. My favorite men's jersey is in the Colorado Cyclist catalogue - Flyin Dog Brewery with a design by Ralph Stedman -- but that's just me. (Unfortunately I can convince the BF to get one.) But, life is too short to worry about what others think. I also like fun socks. Hey, might as well some fun. :-)
post #11 of 225
I agree with everything posted

1) I couldn't careless what other people think....

2) Most of the gear is quality stuff

3) Watch Monday Night Football or any pro or college games... I see tones of people that have NFL jerseys on...

It is about belonging to something and showing your colors... Gosh, I must be a real geek! I have as Trek USPS Frame (1999) that I just bought new... If I don a Giro USPS Pnemo (sp) and a USPS Jersey...
post #12 of 225
Pro team kit is OK, and the retro gear may even be cool.

I wouldn't wear world champ or national champ jerseys unless you have won them, as IMHO this really devalues them.
post #13 of 225
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your great replies so far!

Encouragingly, your thoughts seem far more reasonable and grounded in logic and clear thinking than the friends and aquainteances here But in their defense (and as Bugman pointed out) some of those people race for teams or bike shops, and perhaps they are answering from their perspective and not considering the fact that I am completely unaffilliated with any team and just ride for fun...

I would have to agree that special jerseys like "World Champion" and "Best New Rider" would fall more accurately into the analogy of the Medal of Honor I used previously, and though I would never question someone's right to wear one of these, I would never do so myself out of respect for the title, and the hard work and suffering the person went thru to really get it...

In my mind, someone who has earned the right to be recognized at the elite level, or ultimately the title of Champion, should be more than just a collection of overall times and finishing places... The individual should be a complete person. Someone who has endured personal sacrifice to prove themselves on a level playing field against others of great skill. I wear Pro-team jerseys not because I have delusions of being one of these people, but because I celebrate and take heart in the fact that they exist...

Have a good one all!

Feanor
post #14 of 225
I like team jerseys, but only when with black, non-team shorts. Wearing the whole kit does look a bit snobbish, uppity, I don't know what the word is. Pretentious, maybe. One guy on a group ride I'm in even has pro-team shoe covers, which he wears all the time. I'd also be careful about wearing a yellow jersey on a group ride, especially if it's a fast, hard-working group.
post #15 of 225
I can't run 1000 feet without tripping over my own toes. I can't kick a ball. I'm not intelligent or quick enough to play even minor league football (soccer for those on the west side of the Atlantic) but I'm Arsenal mad all the same....and someone's gonna need a gun to get my Arsenal gear.

Just because I'm wearing the shirt, doesn't mean I think I'm Theirry Henry or Robert Pires. It's just my footy loyalties lie with the greatest football team that ever graced a pitch, (always a good opening line with the ManUtd fans at the pub).

Seriously, wearing the jersey of a favourite team is a sign of respect for those who have made those colours recognizable. And anyone who reads more than tribute and honour into it, really should consider pulling their head out of their ass.
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