Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

04 August 2015

Your Secret Is Safe With Me

Nearly every one of us has done something we won't admit--except, perhaps, under extreme duress-- to having done.

People have confided such misdeeds to me. Back when I was a Rutgers student and riding with the Central Jersey Bicycle Club, a ride leader about three times my age whispered to me that he voted for Richard Nixon.  One of my fellow students, who wanted to be the next Sir Kenneth Clarke, confided to me that he once paid full price for a copy of Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet--in hardcover, no less!  And a woman I dated tearfully related how, around the time she was entering puberty, she had a crush on David Cassidy, a.k.a. Keith Partridge.

Of course I assured them their secrets are safe with me.  I am not breaking my promise:  I am sure that none of them read this blog.  In fact, I know the Nixon voter never will, unless he can see it from that great bike path in the sky.

Now it's time for me to come clean.  No, I won't tell you about the things I've done behind closed doors:  Some things are best left to the imagination.  (I assure you, though, they were done only with consenting adults and no endangered species were harmed.)  I actually had a Members Only jacket--and copy of Spandau Ballet's True. (The latter was a gift--I swear!)  I also straddled the 80s trends of camouflage and neon colors:  When I wanted to look tough and macho, I did camo, but in my heart of hearts, I loved that neon pink, especially my Italian winter cycling jacket in that color. 

And I also--please, please don't tell anyone--wore something that looks even more ridiculous now than Duran Duran's hairdos: 

So you wore them, too?  OK, I promise not to tell.  I had a pair of those Oakley Factory Pilot goggles, circa 1985, in--you guessed it--neon pink. 

To be fair, they were more practical for cycling, in a number of ways, than traditional sunglasses.  For one thing, they had interchangeable lenses. So you could wear smoke-gray on sunny days, the amber lenses on cloudy days and clear ones at night.  Also, because they wrapped around the temples, they provided protection from wind and insects as well as sun.  (I really appreciated them the time I got caught in a sleet storm during a ride!)  Finally, they weren't as fragile as other sunglasses were.

But they seemed to cover the face of just about anyone who wore them. 

Now that's a strange combination:  Oakley Factory Pilots with a "leather hairnet".   But he needn't worry:  His secret is safe with me!  ;-)



  1. My Members Only jacket was purple. Yeah, really. Damn I thought I was cool.

    My factory pilots were red to match the red bike I had at the time. My cleated shoes were white with red trim. I was very matchy matchy.

  2. Brooks--You had a purple Members Only jacket, too? How rad. :-)

    My pink Oakleys matched the winter jacket I mentioned as well as my shell jacket and the graphics on a couple of jerseys I had. Alas, they didn't go with any of the bikes I rode at the time!

    I think I actually wore my pink Oakleys with my purple Members Only jacket on a few occasions.