Monday, November 21, 2011

Nostalgia Attack! In Search Of... A Cool Cycling Jersey

The title of this post (for those too young to know or others too smart to have watched) is an homage to the In Search Of... TV shows hosted by Leonard Nimoy, aka Spock from Star Trek. The show premiered when I was 7 years old and finished when I was 13. Here's a sample:

Those were some pretty formative TV viewing years, but thankfully I was the second youngest in an intelligent and completely cynical family of groovy monster and paranormal naysayers. Whew.

The thing is, cycling jerseys can be just as freaky. I don't even currently own a real cycling jersey; I've always opted for the cheaper, wicking, and  generic athletic shirts sold by gigantic cut-throat unethical big-box retailers because, well, I'm selfish and cheap.

What got me on to this topic was thinking about creating a RANTWICK shirt to wear when I go out collecting SARATS votes. I figure it would promote the blog with local readers and add some legitimacy to the freak asking people to look at tree photos out of the blue. So, which to choose: The more widely accessible and cheaper to produce cotton T-shirt, or the often visually striking and much more expensive to produce Cycling Jersey?

I personally wanna go cycling jersey, because they can look so damn cool. Trouble is, there are SO MANY that could trump anything I could come up with. I visited a major online retailer looking for inspiration, and man oh man...

Who wouldn't be into sporting a navel-sniffing (or is it grazing?) giraffe, or for that matter a giant giraffe butt mocking all those you overtake? The maker of this jersey also makes this intimidating item:

Whoa. You just don't mess with a tiger, especially one worn by people who appear to have time-travelled straight out of the 80's... they are hardcore, for sure.

Although I started my browsing with an eye for weird jerseys of any kind, I ended up finding several novelty cycling jerseys I really liked. When I look at the ones I chose to post about here, a theme has emerged... nostalgia. Perhaps it was the blast-from-the-past hairdos of the tiger wearers, or the "In Search Of..." thing I kicked off with... who knows? Nostalgia is a symptom of growing older, I guess, and I expect it will only get worse. Just the same, check it out; there's a cycling jersey for every stage of my young life, starting with pyjama-clad cartoon watching:

What can I say? Awesome. After some early-morning TV, I might well have been served something rather alarming for lunch...

In the interest of total accuracy (which is of paramount importance in a blog post of such gravity) I must make a couple of notes here. First, although I believe Spam was available on Canadian store shelves, it was more likely that I would receive a Canadian equivalent called Klik.

Secondly, my Mom wouldn't normally put a slab of the stuff in a sandwich, but rather create a "ham salad" kind of mixture with it and do the sandwich that way.

Moving from cartoon and mystery meat nostalgia to the musical, this jersey really took me back...

The album cover art from Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd is imprinted on many people's brains. In my case, it was featured on a big poster that graced the wall of the bedroom that I shared with my two older brothers when I was a kid. That bedroom was in the house I wrote about in a different nostalgic post over a year ago. Sigh. Those were good times. As I grew older, the band providing the soundtrack for my life became...

Every guy I hung out with was into RUSH, the extraordinary Canadian power trio that featured three remarkably talented individual musicians all in one band; Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart are widely regarded as among the very best at what they do. They also wrote songs that appealed to my adolescent brain. Though it sounds kind of childish to me now, I still get pumped listening to "Red Barchetta" in particular. Strangely, I have never met a girl or woman who liked RUSH, even a little. If you happen to be such a woman, don't tell me, because I might have to visit you in person just to confirm that you are for real.

Soon after those teenage years, my memories become somewhat more fractured and clouded. I can't imagine why.

When I emerged from the haze, I found I was a fully formed old man, well ahead of literal old man status:

So there you have it; my life as told by cycling jerseys. I started this post meaning to write mostly about RANTWICK shirt design considerations, but this blast-from-the-past tangent has already hijacked your time for long enough. I'll write about my RANTWICK shirt production planning and woes another time, for which you will no doubt be waiting in a state of breathless anticipation because it is just so fascinating. All I can say is...

Keep Yer Shirt On!


Steve A said...

You're collecting SARATS votes and our trees haven't peaked yet!

anniebikes said...

Hey Mr. Rantwick, how about stapling real leaves onto a cycling jersey? That ought to get enough attention and make a statement about your contest...

And yes, so many parts of our country are way behind in peak foliage. Better wait for more entrants.

RANTWICK said...

I've only been thinking about when I do go out to collect votes... please rest assured I won't collect any votes until all entries are in, after the deadline of Dec 15.

annie - I like trees alot, but not that much.

limom said...

I believe I saw that "In Search of.." episode.
I also have that Rush CD though "Fly By Night" is my favorite.
I eat Spam two or three times a month.
I too was a Speed fan.

Okay, this is getting sort of scary.

johnnytrashbike said...

i think you should grow a moustache and a mullet and go with the tiger jersey.

cafiend said...

Many modern cycling jerseys are made of fabric about as comfortable as a plastic bag. Another point to consider is that the jazzy, busy design that looks eye-catching by itself can act as camouflage on the street because the intensity of the colors is more uniform than it looks and the busy design just breaks up your outline.

How about that, eh?

GreenComotion said...

The Pink Floyd jersey looks cool! I have seen some cool Hendrix ones too.

Paz :)

cafiend said...

The Pink Floyd jersey, while dark, is also one of the simpler designs that retains the human outline of the wearer.

RANTWICK said...

Cafiend - The Rantwick cycling jersey in my mind would be black like that, but even less fancy... although I doubt I'll ever get around to producing one.

I'm probably more at the ink-jet printer T-shirt transfer level right now.

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