Capitalism vs. Road Chic

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March 04 2014 Source: Road Holland

Vote Now! Road Holland’s 2014 Makeover ContestMarch 04 2014

Let’s face it…we’ve all been there. Maybe it was that shop team kit that you bought when you got your first real bike. Or perhaps it was that on-clearance jersey with the cereal box characters. We understand that you’ve made some pretty horrendous choices in the past when it comes to your cycling gear. We have too. After all, it takes the dark to be able to see the light. But we want to help and celebrate how you can move on to better rides ahead. For the past two weeks, We asked readers to email us a photo of their worst cycling garb ever. It could be a terribly mismatched kit, some poor fitting gear, a ridiculously loud jersey, or anything similar. For our amusement and yours, we are posting what we consider among the TOP entries! Now it is your turn to help us choose who will win a Free $250 Makeover from Road Holland? SCROLL DOWN TO VOTE below for your favorite and ask your friends to do the same! Winner will be announced on March 18, 2014.


So I awoke to a bit of email about a contest on the Chicago ChainLink Forum. I often describe the place as the Chicago Urban Cyclist’s “Whine and Jeez Club” Forum. It’s a bit of an olio of “Hard Radical Leftist Activist” and “World Naked Bike Ride aficionados” meets “Diane von Furstenburg Dress-wearing Feminist-Nazis” and “Hispter cum Metro-Sexual“. In short there are few “fashion plates” anywhere to be seen. What they do have in abundance is a willingness to “diss” just about anyone wearing Lycra™. And that makes any “roadies” fair game.

A Look Back At NAHBS 2014 from Road Holland on Vimeo.
One of the frequent contributors to the forum is Jonathan Schneider. He has a business that he wants to create some “buzz” around. One way is to get some “eyeballs” on your corporate website. And that is easily accomplished with a “tongue-in-cheek” makeover competition. It turns out that the winner of this year’s competition was none other than Frank Geilen another frequent contributor to the same forum who goes by Duppie when on the forum. If you consult the link to the article below there is a somewhat disjointed telephone interview with Frank after having “won” the competition. From the point of view of the contestants and the entrepreneurs who got the whole thing going, this is both great fun and a chance to get a business off the ground. But it did raise a few hackles on members of the tandem club whose jersey was the source of what they interpreted as “ridicule“. Clearly that was not the aim. But I can understand why the Chicago Area Tandem Society took umbrage. We happen to have been a member of the club and actually own four or so of their jerseys from back in the day. Frankly, I have always liked their visual appeal. And in a normal competition setting this would never have won an “ugliest” jersey competition. But the “fix” was in folks. So everyone take a deep breath and enjoy your newfound notoriety. CATS gets a chance to log onto the ChainLink Forum and vent about the indignity of it all and in the process snag a few Urban Cyclists who both ride tandems and still wear Lycra and need an outlet from all the insufferable moaning and whining that goes on within the ChainLink Forum. And Road Holland gets to have their name appear in the midst of the kerfuffle. It’s a “win-win” situation for everyone. And besides you can always run over to my favorite bike shop Wheel and Sprocket in Evanston and buy a “The ChainLink” wool jersey (they are on sale right now) and wear it on a bank heist. I would not be surprised if that did not “kill two birds with one stone“. Why? Well it would not surprise me to learn that Road Holland is the source of these jerseys. Like I said the “fix” was in. You do realize we are talking about Chicago, right? Finally, let me suggest that one of the CATS riders had an awfully good idea. Why not have a CATS rider contingent show up at a Chicago Critical Mass Ride? Nothing does more to take down the Urban Cyclist’s Arrogance Quotient more than having to ride alongside a group of Lycra-clad riders. You might even attend their after-ride drunk-fest and swap cycling “Near Miss” stories with them. That would be something deserving of a video memorialization.