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Singing the blues
I have a confession to make: When it comes to clothing, I’m just a big, dumb guy.
That should come as no surprise to anybody who’s ever seen me and my dress, which is not to be confused with seeing me in my dress. But I digress.
I hate to pigeonhole, so let me emphasize that when it comes to clothing I’m not suggesting I’m a typical male. I’m just a big, dumb guy.
Which is to say, I don’t give a rip about what I’m wearing.
The only thing worse than thinking about what to wear is shopping for something to wear.
When it comes to threads, I’m all sloping forehead, knuckle-dragging Neanderthal (with just slightly more synthetics in the wardrobe). Clothing is practical: It keeps you warm, prevents you from chafing, keeps hangy-down bits from getting caught in machinery.
What does this have to do with cycling?
Thanks for asking.
The other day, I slipped on my favorite pair of blue jeans — my “riding” jeans — and was dismayed to see the holes in the seat had become worse. Don’t-wear-them-again-or-risk-charges-being-filed worse.
I’ve had these jeans for years.
I profess no great love for clothing, yet these jeans are more old friend than mere garb.
The fit is a bit baggy, but comfortable. They’re broken-in just right.
And, most importantly, they’re perfect for riding.
As my beloved blue jeans became less and less acceptable to wear in public, my dear wife — well aware of my aversion to spending money or, worse, time in the pursuit of new duds — purchased a couple of pair of jeans for me.
They fit fine, looked great (I guess) and were quite stylish (hey, my wife bought ’em). Trouble was, every pair she bought for me just wasn’t quite right on the bike.
All seemed too thin to handle the rigors of the ride for long, but, worse, had loose-cut legs. I’m not a skinny-jean kind of guy (yeah, I have no idea what that is, but I read it in an ad somewhere once), but loose legs sink cycles. I’m used to cuffing my right pant leg — and I’m so lazy or inattentive I usually forget to uncuff it when I reach my destination, so I walk around drawing quizzical looks that I decipher to mean the quizzical-looker figures I must think I’m still in the ’80s, when people actually cuffed their pant legs on purpose.
But when the left cuff gets fouled on the downtube or caught in the drivetrain, which is on the right side of the bike, there’s something wrong.
So new pants became my “dress jeans,” and I dutifully commuted in my tried-and-true old blues.
The bulk of the damage seems to be to the seat. I have two gaping holes on either side of the, shall we say, center seam, the result, I’m sure, of friction with the bike saddle. The holes have been patched a couple of times, but the patches have worn through, too, leaving an obscene scene.
The other night, I noticed an unusual chill while riding, which I traced to my bum.
I imagine every time I rose out of the saddle, I was giving drivers in the cars behind me a glimpse of the moon.
Sorry about that.
I’ll try to patch ’em again, but I’m afraid my old blues are on their last legs.
Big, dumb guy or not, I expect to shed a tear or two when I hang ’em up for good.