US Postal dilemma

by bikeboy76   October 10, 2013  

So it has been a few months since the Lance/Oprah interview and although there have been more burblings about court cases and movies people have moved on for now. So my mind turns to the winter and my dilemma. I have always been a keen fan of collecting team kits and riding/commuting in them. I have some complete sets of USPS kits from 2000 black/white and 2001 blue /red. I have enjoyed wearing these kits for over a decade and worn them on hundreds of occasions, but now I am embarrassed to see them sitting there on my shelf slowly working themselves to the bottom of the pile.

My philosophy has always been to have multiple uniforms to give me a variety of things to wear, there is always something clean and dry in soggy Manchester, and it greatly reduces the damage on the kits as they are in rotation. Maybe some days are red Saeco Thurdays. This way my kits can last for years and they have. I even go as far as buying two pairs of shorts for each jersey to reduce wear, and I have always been able to find other matching jackets etc. on ebay. So over the years I have built up quite a collection. I also have, Once, Saeco, Gerolsteiner, Leopard Trek items from the last 14 years of riding. In the meantime plenty of their riders have doped but none are like Lance. I doubt most people would be bothered what team the jerseys are from except US Postal.

I suppose this was to be expected as the rumours have been building for years, but way back when I first bought this kit I was just a kid but the only time you saw Lance was on the Channel4's Tour de France coverage, half an hour a day for three weeks a year; there wasn't any of the multiple streams going on like today. I just though it was sport, no more significant than a ManU shirt. It is a bit like seeing Morrissey in a bar, telling him you love his music, then he calls you uncooth and you are not allowed to like his music (which I do,) but at least we know Morrissey will do that. This is like Lance trying to steal back my years of happy riding.

I doubt pedestrians and motorists care what I wear, but I am concerned that riders I see going the other way might notice and shout out 'cheat' or 'f*off Lance' and think that I am condoning what he has done. I have already decided to never wear them to any events, just for local training, but don't think I can part with *my* kits. I have traveled far further in them than LA ever did. The designs look as fresh today as when new. If I tried to sell them on ebay I don't think I would get very much at all at the moment, and I can't just chuck out hundreds of pounds of perfectly good bike kit. So I just can't let go of them, but feel a little embarrassed to wear them. I have given the summer a rest but with limited winter kit available it might be time for the Blue to return to the streets. If I wore them would you tut or still give a wave?

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My horde of contraband:

usps collection.JPG



I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1395 posts]
10th October 2013 - 16:54

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I like to see a bit of retro kit and I don't suppose anyone will mistake you for LA.

So I'd wave, but judging by your comment on the 'grumpy git' thread you'd ignore me Smile

Crosshouses's picture

posted by Crosshouses [210 posts]
10th October 2013 - 18:09

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I still have a pristine 2003 USPS team shirt and Nike cycling mitts, which I was wearing before it all properly blew up. Won't wear them out of principal now as they are a sign to me of following cycling more passionately during those years and turning into a bit of a fanboy of Armstrong. I'm also thankful now that I never bought the Trek 5200/5500 that I had my eye on at the time.

I personally wouldn't hurl abuse or tut at another cyclist in USPS kit though, but would smirk privately to myself. Besides, should be dead give away of their age/time on a bike and probably less likely to result in young kids shouting Wiggo if they see a cyclist in USPS kit, compared to one wearing Team Sky, which I can imagine is probably far more annoying than being called a doper or liar by another cyclist over 30.

posted by Ghostie [86 posts]
10th October 2013 - 18:24

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I wouldn't personally wear it, because I was always a Jan Ullrich man, but I still wear my Team Telekom jersey out and about sometimes.

I'd wave/nod/say 'Hello' if I saw you. As said before, it is nice to see some retro kit about on the roads, lets you know that there are still some people who didn't just jump on the bandwagon a year or so ago. I'd only tut if you weren't friendly back.

posted by djb123 [86 posts]
10th October 2013 - 18:49

3 Likes

I'd use the "care factor" as in, Do I really care what others think??

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9014 posts]
10th October 2013 - 19:09

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I for one do not care what you wear, I also know you don't like me too much. However there is no point letting it rot away and you might as well use it.

You are obviously not Armstrong and if anyone wants to hurl abuse at you because of what you are wearing they really need to get out more.

Though if anyone started lobbing syringes at you I would perhaps have a rethink.

Regards

freespirit1

posted by freespirit1 [186 posts]
10th October 2013 - 19:10

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Crosshouses wrote:
I like to see a bit of retro kit and I don't suppose anyone will mistake you for LA.

So I'd wave, but judging by your comment on the 'grumpy git' thread you'd ignore me Smile

"I give an almost imperceptible nod or raised fingers to someone going the other way, just in case they don't reply. If someone gives the nod first I am more responsive.
Meanwhile some guys say 'hey' as they over take me. I translate this as 'I am f***ing beating you sucka, eat my dust.' So I tend not to say anything when I overtake someone so as not to rub it in (cause I iz beatin thems, yeah, me!)"
I am really happy to see other roadies going the other way (not so happy to be overtaken,) so a little wave of recognition is really welcome.

@freespirit1 I don't dislike you, I just wonder what you are doing still reading the forum. After your vocal discontent at us road cyclists coming down and making one Sunday inconvenient for you, the fact that you are still here makes me think you might be a little persuaded that a bike can solve your problems. It is transport and exercise; a culture, a sport, a hobby. Have you decided what bike you are going to buy?

@djb123 Obviously I am showing my age, even though I have kept my kit in good nick. I was never tempted by the pink of Telecom. All my kits are primaries, Black, white, blue, red, yellow. Though if I did buy a Sky kit now (I won't) would I have to wait ten years to wear it so you know I am not a fanboy? [says an obviously conflicted former Lance fanboy.]



I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1395 posts]
10th October 2013 - 19:40

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Wow, that's a lot of kit! Who else has pictures of piles of kit? I've only recently expanded to a second jersey after many a year! On topic. Wear it. I rarely even notice what others are wearing unless its a polka dot jersey!

The Human Cyclist A blog. Try it, you might like it...

sm's picture

posted by sm [355 posts]
10th October 2013 - 20:23

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That is an unbelievable hoard. I have a bag thaf has to live in airing cupboard. Wear it. Will bring qry smile to everyone faces. Full usps team kit. Id find that that mildly amusing and f**k I mean everyone knows Armstrong was a complete t***. Bravo for your collection

posted by sea_biscuit [22 posts]
10th October 2013 - 21:26

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I don't really mind that people have just got in to cycling, but the people that don't say 'hi' back. Seeing old kit mainly just gives me a warm nostalgic feeling. Occasionally one can have a chat about old races etc.

posted by djb123 [86 posts]
10th October 2013 - 21:44

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Wear it. But I do hate it. I will think you are some deluded LA loving chump, misguided by the syrupy lies he wove. I will think about the destruction to the sport of cycling that he wrought....that is right up to the point where you charmingly introduce yourself and all your other commendable attributes which recommend you as a person of the human race come out, at which point I will bury my prejudices.

It will have connotations for people. You have to think why you want to wear it, and whether those meanings are sufficiently good to outweigh the negative connotations. Even if it does have negative meanings for the wider population I doubt that most people will do much more than think negatively. I'm not a fan of the Sky kit wearing brigade either, I don't say anything to anyone about it (except the occasional comment here for which I receive much love) and beyond making pointed barbs amongst friends (who don't want to look like Brad/Froome) as I don't expect my comments to be happily received. At the end of the day if you want to wear it, then who can stop you?

As a post script I cycled up the Col d'Aspin this summer and clocked a guy wearing the old Mapei kit. I gave him a thumbs up and 'bon journée', he turned out to be English and we got talking about his epic ride on his old aluminium framed steed. My point is, maybe just give it time - and when you do pull it out of the cupboard 5-10 years hence you'll get a thumbs up from a dolt like myself whose appreciation for it has changed (the Mapei kit is actually hideous and looks like a box of crayons vomited on it).

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1186 posts]
10th October 2013 - 21:55

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That's a serious hoard! Is that JUST your USPS kit? And you've got more from other teams?! Awesome effort sir.

F*** it, wear it. Most people don't know Lance's history, he's just a cheat to them. Cyclists know, but ah what the hell.

A clubmate has the old PDM kit, I'm quite jealous of that.

I nearly got it more wrong than you, anyway. Late 2011, Lance was in the past and I couldn't care less anymore. I saw a cut-price on, IMHO, one of the best-looking kits around; the black & yellow Livestrong. It lacked the gaudy graphics of most pro kits too and I nearly bought it. Dodged a bullet there!

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3424 posts]
10th October 2013 - 22:26

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Imagine for a moment that this was only just over a third of my kits, um I might have a problem. I buy everything on ebay and pick up anything from my favourite kits (not exactly same as my favourite teams) and what you are looking at there is over ten years of collecting. You can see a little sliver of Leopard Trek 2011 turquoise on the shelf above. Everything comes from ebay, my bike was bought off... you guessed it ebay.

Really want 80's 7-eleven kit but keep getting outbid.

So the consensus is wear it and be robust about why I want to wear it. Just sign the rights to the team name over to me as no one else deserves it; how dare someone sully the record of the team kit in which I have been riding for so long; screw you Lance, Blue Mondays are back.



I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1395 posts]
10th October 2013 - 23:41

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Wear it. Hate the sin, love the sinner. As others have said, we all know now that Lance was a total t*t. But he also entertained us all.

Plus, USPS was the best looking kit he ever got to wear. (Lance was never on a team with really cool kit).

That kit shelf is amazing! I have one (enormous) drawer which is stuffed with lycra, but that is something else.

PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [591 posts]
11th October 2013 - 6:48

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If you're going to buy pro team kit for a sport where doping has been endemic since before replica kit was sold you have to be able to just wear it no matter what. You could probably never buy another jersey, looking at that pic!

posted by teaboy [186 posts]
11th October 2013 - 8:07

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You must have more cycling kit than I have normal clothes!

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3424 posts]
11th October 2013 - 8:44

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Wow, that is taking kit collecting to an obsessive degree! I'm full of both admiration and revulsion.

I love it when I see people out in a USPS kit, and I'm one of those people who's just not a fan of team kit at all. But wearing the kit of the baddest doper there ever was... that's an awesome 'fuck you' to the world, with a massive smile on your face.

posted by bashthebox [647 posts]
11th October 2013 - 9:57

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Interesting where people draw the line differently on these things. I really liked the USPS kit and if I had some I'd probably still wear it, and if I see anyone else out and about in it I don't assume they're condoning doping.
OTOH Livestrong stuff is more strongly associated (for me) with Armstrong's disgrace so I wouldn't wear that, and I might even wonder why anyone else would choose to now.

As for avoiding Trek or Nike stuff- that's going waaaay overboard for me!

posted by Chuck [427 posts]
11th October 2013 - 10:10

4 Likes

Go the whole hog and get the yellow version!

Am now thinking of getting some 'retro' USPS for the f* you factor, which somehow makes it cool, IMO!

posted by 700c [587 posts]
11th October 2013 - 11:46

4 Likes

Just get it worn ! I think that due to the notoriety of LA his kit is kind of cool.

The bad guys always wore the nicest threads - PDM, Telekom, TVM, Mapei, USPS.

I've got a similar stash. I have the advantage that I buy and sell vintage jerseys so come across quite a few. I've still got the first jersey I ever bought a Panasonic Isostar back in the late eighties and still can squeeze into it.

I always give the nod to anyone else on a bike regardless of what they are riding or wearing and have struck up some great conversations in the past.

Each to their own.

ride safe,

Paul

Velotastic !

Too many hills, but too little time.

badback's picture

posted by badback [273 posts]
11th October 2013 - 13:17

3 Likes

you don't want to wear it - send it to me!! Wink
seriously though i like to see retro kit being worn, wouldn't bother me mate

posted by Adey [98 posts]
11th October 2013 - 14:49

3 Likes

I think it would be funny and you should definitely wear it! Keep meaning to get round to building up my old steel Peugeot Festina frame with Richard Virenque's name emblazoned along the top tube! will be after a Festina kit on ebay as soon as it's on the road too!!

andybnk's picture

posted by andybnk [94 posts]
11th October 2013 - 15:06

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Colin Peyresourde wrote:
Wear it. But I do hate it. I will think you are some deluded LA loving chump, misguided by the syrupy lies he wove.

Heh heh. How true...

posted by benji p [54 posts]
12th October 2013 - 13:53

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Gkam84 wrote:
I'd use the "care factor" as in, Do I really care what others think??

Well, if he didn't care, I don't think he would have written about his dilemma... It's very human to care about how you're perceived...

posted by benji p [54 posts]
12th October 2013 - 13:56

3 Likes

Wear it. It won't make you look like a Lance fanboy; it'll make you look like a bad-ass.

Swami Dave's picture

posted by Swami Dave [51 posts]
16th October 2013 - 12:52

2 Likes

Thank you, I am a bad-ass.
I may have just been seeking validation, but my Postal kit is still better looking than 90% of the bike gear I pass, especially the yellow-jacket-black-tight guys I pass wearing that even in 20 degree heat like it is a team uniform.



I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1395 posts]
16th October 2013 - 13:05

1 Like

So... wanna buy my USPS kit? (for real)

posted by morethansonglyrics [56 posts]
16th October 2013 - 13:35

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morethansonglyrics wrote:
So... wanna buy my USPS kit? (for real)

You'd be surprised but I don't just buy anything and everything. It has taken many years to build up this lot. I wear specific years and sizes. There are a few items of year 2000 I wouldn't mind though...



I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1395 posts]
16th October 2013 - 14:31

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Any way to date my selection?

posted by morethansonglyrics [56 posts]
16th October 2013 - 17:32

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Morethan, send me some pics at graememx@hotmail.com and I may be able to help you identify/see what you have. I am also a whizz at ebay so may be able to help sell them for you (yes, if I will still buy usps for the sake of completion, others will too, hopeful including film companies!)



I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1395 posts]
16th October 2013 - 21:42

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