My parents were pretty tight with a buck when I was growing up. Frivolous purchases weren't an option, so I never really got the chance to own a sweet set of Spiderman Underoos. The closest I got was a set of Johnny Bench underwear. They were pretty much tighty whities with red piping and a number 5. For those unfamiliar with Johnny Bench, he was a catcher for the Cincinnati Reds back in the day. My grandparents lived in southern Ohio, so he was something of a hero back when Cincinnati could win a World Series. As one would imagine, I was pleased with the gesture, but the reality of running around the house in Johnny Bench underwear was a little uninspiring. Destined to spend the first 18 years of my life in tighty whities, my first shot at being a super hero was a pair of La Vie Claire cycling shorts. It was circa 1987, Greg Lemond was the closest thing I had to a hero, and Performance Bike had a set of knock off shorts. Those were the days. 35 miles was an epic ride, I wore the same shorts almost every day, I never performed any sort of bike maintenance, and I wore said tighty whities under my shorts every time I rode. Ignorance is bliss I guess.
Fast forward 22 years and I'm in the parking lot of Syracuse Bicycle picking up my new team kits. Three sets of bibs and jerseys, one light jacket, a cap, and one sweet superheroesque long sleeved skinsuit for CX. I washed them as soon as I got home, and modeled them for my wife the next morning before work. I can't say she was inspired, but she humored me at least. A 135lb grown man in lycra at 6:30 in the morning really couldn't be inspiring now that I reflect on the moment.
I'm sure the novelty will wear off after a couple thousand miles, but I'm still pretty excited to suit up and ride. Maybe Champion Systems should include a free cape with every skinsuit. *Telephone booth not included.
Here's a pic of the kit from a recent race. As you might guess, I'm the skinny one.