Friday, January 23, 2009

At Least I'm a Warm Hypocrit

I have a strict rule about wearing special jerseys. As in, if you didn’t earn it, don’t wear it. The special jerseys I’m talking about are World Champion Rainbow Jerseys, National Champion Jersey’s, Yellow TdF Leader’s Jerseys and things of the like. It’s a sentiment echoed by most of the cycling community. The athletes that earn those jerseys deserve to be the only ones with the right to wear them. Dropping $80 at the bike store to have your own Rainbow Jersey to wear at your local club ride is simply tacky.

It’s because of my strict rule on special jerseys that I have now found myself having an inner struggle as of late. One of my teammates is a former World Cup Champion. As a former champion, she is allowed to put the rainbow stripes on the sleeves or collar of all the jerseys she competes in if she wishes. Although she doesn’t put them on her jerseys anymore, she still has some clothing with those stripes. So, imagine my surprise the other day when she handed me one of her Team Fuji jerseys with her World Cup Champion stripes. The inner struggle began.

“I can’t wear a jersey with stripes.” I said, jaw on the floor at the generous offering. “Yes, you can. It’s a really warm jersey. You’re gonna love it,” she said. And with that I took the jersey from her.

She wasn’t kidding either. It’s a nice thick long sleeved jersey. I imagine it is nice and warm for these cold winter rides. But, I wouldn’t know. I haven’t worn it yet. I see it hanging in my closet every morning and am dieing to throw it on my back. But, how? How do I wear it without becoming a hypocrit to my own strict rules?

The answer: gaffers tape.

I’ll use gaffers tape to cover the stripes. My fellow riders will undoubtedly know the stripes are under there, but will also know I still hold special jerseys in high regard. Am I still a hypocrit?


melina said...

Could you also have her name added to the jersey, so it is clear that you are honoring her by wearing it? I don't know enough about the etiquette of the culture to know if this is an inappropriate solution or not!

How lovely that you take the time to think about your actions and what they mean, how they reflect your values.

No One Line said...

No, you're not a hypocrite. I think there's a huge difference between going out and buying a jersey with stripes, and having one given to you by a former WC. You get an excellent gift with personal and utilitarian value, you cover the stripes and don't front like they're yours... problem solved. It sounds like a pretty neat problem to have, too - My WC friend gave me these stripes...