What’s with the Funny Shirts?

Why do bikers wear ugly jerseys? from Roadie by Jamie Smith and Jef Mallett

Enjoy this brief excerpt from ROADIE: The Misunderstood World of a Bike Racer by veteran road race announcer, Jamie Smith, and nationally syndicated Frazz illustrator, Jef Mallett

Why do bikers wear ugly jerseys? from Roadie by Jamie Smith and Jef MallettAdd a colorful jersey to a colorful pair of shorts, and you have what Roadies call their “kit.” The jersey attracts a lot of attention, so I’ll give you some reasons for wearing one. It’s made of a technologically advanced material that wicks away the sweat. It fits tightly to keep from flapping around in the wind. It has pockets in the back, so my stuff won’t fall out. If the pockets were in the front, everything (cell phone, energy bars, tire pump, etc.) would dump out onto the ground as soon as I leaned forward to grab the handlebars. Also, these jerseys are usually colorful, which helps motorists see me. That’s a significant point; being visible on the road is important when you’re competing for a driver’s attention amid the McDonald’s, Blockbusters, and Starbucks of the world. The color of the jersey reflects my sponsor’s personality, for I am a brightly colored rolling billboard emblazoned with the names of about ten different sponsors who have given me everything from the clothes on my back to the bike I’m riding.

I find it funny that other sports clothing can be worn in public. To me, softball uniforms look like pajamas, yet grown men have no qualms wearing them to Pizza Hut. I see kids wearing soccer uniforms everywhere. No one bats an eyelash. But try wearing a cycling kit to the supermarket, and you’ll hear hearty laughter throughout the store. These clothes are not meant to be worn anywhere but on the bike.

Roadie: The Misunderstood World of a Bike Racer is a light-hearted exploration of the world of road cycling, bike racing, and the people who love it. Good for belly laughs from veteran roadies and perfect for those puzzled by their road cyclist friends, Roadie explains all the curiosities of the sport of cycling so you don’t have to! From shaved legs to Lycra kits to how stage races work, author Jamie Smith and nationally syndicated Frazz illustrator Jef Mallett celebrate cycling and poke fun in equal measure.