|AND it's white...what the?|
Chances are you'll see a few guys in sleeveless cycling jerseys on your next ride. Now, most of us are not strangers to sleeveless kit - pretty much every tri-top is constructed sans sleeves. But racing is a totally different equation, and nothing says "I've come to kick ass" better then a well tailored sleeveless tri-top.
However, context comes in to play during training sessions. Though the physical output of the training session may rival or even exceed the physical output of a race, the mood of training sessions should be more relaxed. Also, when training you need to remember that you are representing all of triathlon in front of the rest of the world - a world that does not completely understand the wonders of ultra high-tech athletic apparel. But we want to look good, and we want to make a statement. Even throwing on a pair of your local bike shop's bibs and an old Barloworld team jersey says "insider casual". And you KNOW it.
So let's not trap ourselves in a sleeveless jersey faux pas. Luckily, the rules are amazingly simple:
1) Sleeveless cycling Jerseys should only be worn when the maximum expected size of your training group is six riders or less. Anything more than six is considered a group ride, and group rides require sleeved cycling jerseys.
2) Sleeveless cycling jerseys should only be worn when there are no plans for any sort of mid or end of the ride stop (like coffee or breakfast), especially if the seating in said establishment is indoors. Acceptable stops include convenience stores for bottle filling (not to exceed 10 minutes) and fast bathroom breaks.
3) When wearing a sleeveless cycling jersey, you are required to be on a Triathlon bike. Straight road bikes are expressly forbidden. Road bikes with clip on aero-bars are allowed only if your next race includes at least 3000 feet of climbing per 50 miles ridden. Said race must be within 3 months of the ride in which you are wearing the sleeveless jersey.
4) When wearing a sleeveless cycling jersey, you must be in the aero position for at least 70% of the ride. If you are wearing a sleeveless cycling jersey AND arm warmers, you must be in the aero position for at least 80% of the ride.
5) Though wearing a sleeveless cycling jersey with arm hair that is a few evolutionary steps behind the rest of your body is NOT forbidden (only frowned upon), it IS forbidden to wear a sleeveless cycling jersey if your legs have not been shaved in the last 48 hours.
6) Wearing a sleeveless cycling jersey does not give you a license to wear an aero helmet. The only exception to this rule is when the helmet is new and requires testing. In this case, cut a 1 inch by 1 inch piece of gaffer's tape, use a sharpie to mark the tape with a "T" and affix the tape on the left hand rear side of the helmet. On the extremely small chance that other riders overtake you during the ride, the tape will let them know that you are in "testing mode" and no etiquette infractions will be reported.
7) Before the ride, if you have reason to believe that one of your female training partners will be wearing a sleeveless cycling jersey, it is customary to defer the jersey exclusively to her. Despite the amount of bicep curls and shoulder exercises you may have done in the past week, her arms simply look better.
8) When in doubt, it is ALWAYS best to defer to caution and wear a sleeved cycling jersey. Cycling has a rich history that includes very little in the way of sleeveless cycling jerseys. Though we are triathletes, it is important to respect the sport that makes up 80% of an Iron distance triathlon.
Congratulations boys - out of 27 comments, only 3 of you managed to follow the instructions correctly - well done! The winner is NattyBumpo! Email me your address at 17281posse (at) gmail.com and I'll get your bar in the mail right away.