I like supporting a local artisan who creates unique cycling caps. (Taddihogg.com) I also like how this particular cycling cap seems to fit in with my Scandinavian ancestry.
I admit it. I like lids.
I probably come by it honestly. Dad always wore a lid to cover his bald head – “to protect it from the sun,” he said but I always thought he sported a cap to look dapper.
Cycling caps have a certain style to them that appeals to my personal aesthetic. Not everyone can wear one without looking like a dork – or, perhaps, like Huntz Hall from one of the Bowery Boys movies. (Which is, of course, exactly the same thing.)
Wesley Snipes managed to pull off the bicycle cap look in White Men Can’t Jump, but he’d be too cool for school even if he chose to wear an old sock for a hat. It seems to me that you just about have to be on a bike or next to a bike, or looking pretty much as if you are just getting off of a bike in order to get away with publicly wearing these funny cloth things on your head.
- Feel free to scream at me about riding without a helmet. I prefer a cap when I ride (although I do use a helmet much of the time.)
And yet they still appeal to me, in much the same way as the fashion chic of vintage cycling does as well. I love vintage jerseys and I’ve seriously considered picking up needle and thread and trying to replicate the sort of top one might have seen on cyclists in the forties, with front pockets rather than in the back.
I’m even considering trying a pair of cycling knickers, which seem to me to be rather sensible cooler weather wear. (And besides, tights really don’t seem to me to fit the part when one is riding around on a forty year old racing bike.)
- Just a small sampling from my collection of vintage cycling wear.
Heck, most of the cyclists I see out and about are dressed up in full kit lycra, sometimes looking just a bit like one of the X-Men; my own high school and college years bore witness to me in bell bottoms, Saturday Night Fever shirts, and the half-shaved face and knit ties of Miami Vice (not to mention riding a Centurion with matching Miami Vice-colored tubing.) I figure if my Vinny Barbarino and McGyver hair styles didn’t get me laughed off the planet back then, I can certainly handle the looks while riding around today in cycling kit of a vintage to match my current bike loves, right?
On a cold autumn day, it just feels right to be dressed in a long sleeve wool jersey and cycling cap while I tool around on a Bob Jackson. Veddy, veddy British, I suppose. Pip, pip. Cheerio, and all that jazz.
Maybe that makes me a poser – but I really don’t think so.
I like the idea that I’m in some small way honoring the tradition of road biking by getting decked out this way. It’s all just a bit ceremonial – and more than a bit ritualistic.
And I do think the ritualism is part of what makes the act important to me rather than a rather more shallow and self-decorative action.
And you know… of course, it doesn’t hurt that these threads really do look pretty cool.