Friday, March 11, 2011

Barry Manilow's Eurotrash Wardrobe

A few weeks ago during a cold group ride, Mark Savery (Mod) commented favorably on my 'eurotrash tights-over-booties' look.

tights over booties eurotrash look
I suppose eurotrash is cool. Then again, most Europeans don't think showering is cool, so I can't be absolutely certain.

That Mod said something positive about my cycling fashion was a real feather in my cap. I mean, Mod's the guy to turn to when it comes to looking good kitting up. He reads all of those eurotrash cycling magazines and has great taste in gear. His bikes are well-equipped and are always spotless. He eats a steady diet of twigs and berries, believes in colonic cleanses and shaves his legs. But I doubt he shampoos his hair. Eurotrash? Absolutely.

Recently on the 622 REALM, Mod shared about his sock & hat fetish.

In this day and age of custom team kits about the only way to have some sense of individuality is by selecting your own socks and hats.

Taking Mod's cue, I stamped my own sense of individuality with a hat selection on last weekend's group ride.

At ride time, it was 19F and I was fretting over looking good and dressing functionally for the cold. I managed to piece together an ensemble that was both up to eurotrash snuff while providing excellent warmth for legs and torso.

But I had a problem with my head wear.

A thin balaclava provides good insulation for the face, but doesn't do enough to keep the rest of the head warm. So my solution was to add a knit skullcap. The problem was that my skullcap has got to be the ugliest hat ever made. For starters, it's Miami-Vice teal. Secondly, it has a dizzying array of orange, yellow, blue and green color splotches throughout. But the worst part are its ear flaps. Yes, the 'flaps push the hat beyond simply ugly and well into the hideous-phere.

Here's what the ugliest hat looks like rendered by msPaint.exe
knit skull cap with earflaps in teal, orange, yellow, blue & green splotches

But as I said, it was 19F, and a long, cold winter had already nearly broken me. In a moment of desperation, I convinced myself that my helmet would obscure most of the hat from being seen.
Desperation will drive a man to believe just about anything

I rolled up to about a dozen riders finishing their coffee. Then somebody had a flat to repair before we pushed off. In all that time, nobody said boo about my hat.

A voice in my head reassured me that the helmet was doing its job concealing my secret.

I took a position in the back of the pack as we rolled down the keystone trail. Rotation of the pace line brought me through the rear quarter and middle without a mention of it. By the time it was my turn to pull up front, my confidence had swelled to the point that I totally forgot about the hat and its hideous ear flaps. I took a long pull with a little swagger in my cadence.

You could say I was be-bopping and skadadeling up there.

But as we turned northwest to go to Bennington, a solitary voice called out from the back of the peleton, "Does your wife know that you borrowed her hat?"

It was like being socked in the gut when you least expected it.

It was David Randleman. He rides for the Velo Veloce club. This is important to note because the Velo Veloce team, or 'Tiggers' as they're affectionately known, ride in powder blue and bright orange tiger-striped team kits. Until last year's Futon-Cervelo's tan-on-brown kit, the Tiggers had a very strong claim on the most outrageous kit ever created.

And now I was being called out by a Tigger.

David might as well have asked me if Barry Manilow knew I was raiding his wardrobe.

Which got me wondering if Barry Manilow would let me raid his wardrobe. I could certainly use the help. So I tweeted the following:

Copa-cabana pow -- that Barry Manilow is a one man marketing dynamo!

So anyway, let's recap: 1) I have an ugly hat that needs to be burned, 2) I've been called out by a Tigger and 3) Barry Manilow won't let me raid his wardrobe. Yes, I'm a little hurt. Defensive even. Yes, angry.

I now know what it means to be this guy:

Happy Friday everyone.


  1. Great read Brady. However, no cycling duds/bike/gear ever look that bad when you're making the rest of us work our asses off. Much can be forgiven.

  2. I really like reading your site. The way you were riding, you can dress any way you want! You were as strong (if not stronger) than anyone there. I'm looking forward to racing with you this year, it's gonna a blast.

  3. Spence says it's OK to wear whatever you want because he used to wear a fanny pack full of ... well, I don't know what was in there, but it was a fanny pack.

  4. I needed a giggle .... and you delivered. I'd keep the hat. That way, on the cold days, they'll all know who's ripping off their legs.

  5. Dude, you're right, our shit is ter'rble. Thankfully we don't hafta wear it anymore. Rumor has it that Barry Manilow lent us some gear. It's gonna be awesome. FYI, Spence's fanny pack was probly a holdover from his bodybuilding days.

  6. How 'd you know I don't shampoo my hair? You're amazing!

  7. Yes - the world is an imperfect place and nuts and bolts fall out all the time.

  8. Brady, " You write the congs that make the whole world ping." Ol' Dad