I’m not totally committed to such a, ahem, bold fashion statement yet, but on tomorrow’s epic 63-mile July 4 ride — the backbone of which will be a complete end-to-end traversing of the 27.65 miles that make up (George) Washington Boulevard — I may very well be sporting the following relic, dug out from the bottom of my dresser drawer that still holds the long-unworn Lycra garb I doffed when cycling way back when:
Most jerseys are decidedly less outrageous than this star-spangled spandexness, purchased a long time ago (in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 to be exact) in a fit of genuine love o’ country and pedaled around town with pride. Speaking of fit, it is remarkably less clingy now then the last time I wore it on the first anniversary of the tragedy.
Previous entries here: Leonardo, Vote
If I had to pick one absolutely favorite Midnight Ridazz ride of the couple dozen I’ve been on, it would have to be La Noche De Los Biciclistas Muertos, from November 2006. Not only was it an awesome excursion that went from Los Feliz to East Los Angeles and back along the 6th Street Bridge, but it drew one of the largest crowds in Ridazz history. On top of that the organizer had the stroke of genius to make up these shirts (that he sold at a rock-bottom price) utilizing the perfect artwork of the incomparable JosÃ© Posada:
My Flickr photoset from that marvelous ride can be viewed here.
Inaugural entry here: Leonardo
Back a few months after I got my Street Legal tee-shirts completed, my friend and sincere cyclista Mihai’s main squeeze Brigitte (also a dedicated rider) emailed me saying how much she’d like to buy a his ‘n hers set to surprise her beau for his upcoming birthday.
Buy? Down to the last few of the supply of 24 that I’d been happily giving away to friends and acquaintances, I certainly wasn’t going to start charging now and I packed ’em up and sent them to her and she contacted me when they arrived, thrilled.
T’was my pleasure Brigitte.
Last week I got an email from her telling me she’d like to return the favor in the form of a shirt she’d created whose typographic design is a timely call to action that plays off the iconic Robert Indiana Love sculpture from the 1970s and she wondered if I’d like one. What do you think I said:
It arrived a few days ago, looking awesome. On the back it reads Nov. 4 in the same style. Not only is it an insta-fave but thanks to a purge of my dresser drawers last weekend I have room for it and it won’t get buried.
Thank you, Brigitte!
For as organized as I purport myself to be, the drawers containing my socks, briefs and t-shirts tell a much different story. So badly overstuffed and everything poorly folded, it’s entirely feasible that I could easily place something new in there and not see it again for months — or longer, if I didn’t go digging and chance upon it.
Such is the case of this favorite shirt of mine:
Susan and I found it in Venice, Italy, last year. If memory serves, we had just crossed the Rialto Bridge across the Grand Canal and found ourselves in the midst of a produce market. During our walk that day I had seen this shirt from other souvenir vendors — drawn to it for ob(ike)vious reasons — but I had held off getting on because it didn’t exactly speak to me of Venezia.
Then the next shirt spot we passed after leaving the produce market had one and i said what the hey I had to have it. In the time since I’d worn it a couple times… maybe three. As such it slowly got rotated to the bottom of a shirt drawer, and I only found it today buried at the bottom of one of two drawers holding some shirts I may not have worn since 2005. Outta sight, outta mind.
Time for a purge methinks.
As to whether the reproduction of the bicycle sketch on the shirt represents proof that Leonardo Da Vinci “invented” a bicycle about 300 years before the development of the modern version … well that’s open to debate. Some see it as a downright hoax, others believe somewhat romantically that it’s legit.
So last Tuesday I went to the 5th Annual Blessing of the Bikes at Good Samaritan Hospital and among the shwag I accumulated was a 15%-discount coupon for REI. In the ensuing days since my bike was blessed the coupon has been sitting on my desk, having survived several attempts to discard it because I just don’t do a lot of shopping at REI — not only because there isn’t a store near me but also because I’m one of those snarkos who thinks the company’s acronym stands for Really Expensive Indeed.
Well boy howdy am I glad I kept that piece of paper around because yesterday as I was perusing my Sitemeter referals to see who other than The Google was coming to my blog, I found an inbound link from www.jokeisup.com and as it looked wholly unfamiliar of course I clicked on it and found the blog of a cycling dude I believe I met if not on previous Midnight Ridazz or RIDE-Arc rides than last summer during the Hot Knives’ Le Grand Crew ride. Anyway, he had written this post about Bike To Work Day, which discussed the event’s significance and then segued into bike clothing — ultimately concluding with a link pointing readers to my favorite footwear maker — KEEN — who’d apparently decided it was high time to come out with a badass commuter cycling sandal in full SPD-compatible clip glory:
The catch was the link was to REI.com where the shoes were listed at $115. Immediately I tried to do better on the price via Zappos.com and a couple other online shoe sources where I’ve made previous Keen buys, but the best price I could find was $114.75. Oooooo, a whole quarter! And shiny!!
It was then that I remembered the coupon and in a few minutes spent filling in a few form boxes and entering the discount offer’s code, suddenly the shoes were undie a hundie at $17.25 cheaper and I clicked the submit button in triumph!
So thank you Good Samaritan Hospital for hosting the Blessing of the Bikes. And thank you REI for having a table there at the event from which I took the coupon. And thank me for not repeatedly pitching that coupon away. And thank you Sitemeter for logging the hit from Jokeisup.com. And thank you Doctor J at that blog for coming on that beer ride last summer and meeting me. And thank you for putting my blog on your blogroll. And thank you for whoever clicked that blogroll link and came over to my site. And thank you again Doctor J for being a cyclist and writing about Bike To Work Day and discussing your clothing options and linking to those shoes.
I couldn’t have done it without you!
You might recall my April post detailing the saga of the linen suit my mother purchased for me as an early birthday present.
Well enough with the words, there’s some pixels of the outfit with the blue linen shirt from J. Peterman and the white Johnson & Murphy bucks with me cleaned up and inside it all, snapped on our suite’s balcony by Susan May 14 as we steamed toward Monte Carlo from Corsica just prior to stepping out to attend our final dinner onboard the Regent Seven Seas Navigator. Where and when is there a better to sport such an ensemble? Nowhere and never.
The only thing missing from the picture is a martini.
P.S. The calm of the Ligurian Sea behind me belies the surprise night-long 100-kph windstorm we were to plow into beginning a couple hours later.
In a phone conversation last week my mom told me she’d been out shopping and had come across a men’s white linen suit for an unbelievable price and wanted to know what my size was. I told her I wasn’t sure. The heftier last year’s me was threatening to push into the realm of a size-48 jacket but nowadays I was firmly back in the 46 bracket… 44 even on occasion, depending on the cut of the coat.
With that info she went back out and called the next night telling me she’d picked it upÂ and wanted me to come over sometime during the weekend and try the stuff on and also because sheÂ had a belated birthday present for Susan. So we went over Sunday afternoon and after a trip to the tailor toÂ cuff theÂ pants and take in the waiste a scosh, I’m soon to be the proud wearer of an early birthday present in the form of aÂ spiffy white linen suit that she got at Marshall’s for undie a hundie. Pants and jacket. Nice.
Veeeeery nice considering the latest J. Peterman catalog was delivered yesterday and on page 25 is a linen suit for sale to the tune of $298 for the jackets and $128 for the pants.
But I’m not here toÂ cluck overÂ the price differential or comparison gloat. Instead what got me mentioning Peterman was the sometimes priceless and insightful and always unique and engaging copy that accompanied the illustration of the suit:
Continue reading The Linen Suit