On day two of a Colorado vacation this summer, my wife looked at me, narrowed her eyes and shook her head.
This situation is not altogether different than most days in my life. I like to think of my general state as entertaining and slightly bewildering, so my wife routinely reacts like this.
“What?” I said. “What?”
She looked at my socks. I knew what was coming.
“Did you bring any regular socks?” she asked, as if cycling socks (in particular, blue-and-orange, 2008 vintage Garmin-Cervelo socks) weren’t “regular.”
“Um … nope. This is it.”
“Do you even wear regular socks anymore? Like, cotton socks?”
Again, nope. Why bother? Cycling socks are more comfortable, anyway. Besides, I’m a bike guy. And I like cool socks. Argyle? Stripes? Yep – cool.
At some point, your hobbies and interests become part of your identity. It’s like when you buy a Harley-Davidson. You automatically get a half-dozen T-shirts, a pile of stickers and at least one sweatshirt with a skull, an eagle, flames or some combination thereof. You can spot a Harley owner even if there are no motorcycles within a mile of them.
Less than two years ago I was a newspaper writer who liked bikes. Then I became I bike shop guy. And now … well, look no further than my wardrobe. It’s one cycling T-shirt after another. A drawerful of socks; tall socks, short socks, merino socks and everything in between.
I’ve spent so much time in a chamois over the past few years, it takes me a minute or two to figure out why people stare when I roll into a store in full kit. “What? What are you looking at? Oh … .”
For better or worse, I’m that guy. Even out of kit, I’m easy to spot. I think of it as a kind of secret handshake between fellow cyclists.
Just look for the socks.
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