Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Number Pinning For Dummies

Barry Wicks ain’t no dummy. I’ve searched the internet and in my entire cycling life, I have only seen one example of this genius number pinning technique. Back then, I was too green to have the epiphany I had Sunday. Over the weekend at the Cincinnati UCI-3 International Cyclocross Festival, more specifically at Harbin Park, the Kona truck was parked behind me. As I rolled back and leaned my bike against my car after my race, Barry Wicks was inside the Kona truck pinning on his bib number and I nearly crapped my chamois, not because I was star struck or because I saw his schmengie (I did not), but because I saw how pro’s pin their numbers.

I’ve have a teammate that nearly reaches a near Tourettes syndrome nervous tick trying to get his number pinned on correctly. Sometimes the number accidently gets pinned through the base layer. Sometimes it goes a bit deeper. “Ouch! “Sorry Brother.” “I’m good.”

Sometimes you get the number on perfectly, only to have a pin blow out when the jersey is pulled in. Or, maybe you’ve got a lycra-phobic friend who isn’t quite cool with delicately touching a man in spandex. I’ve heard all the tips: put your jersey on the hood of the car, you got to leave room for jersey stretch…blabidty blabidty blah blah.

I wish I had taken a photo of Wicks pinning his numbers to his jersey. Then again, it’s not cool for a man to take a photo of another man who’s about to don spandex. And…he’s bigger than me. So, I took a photo of myself to demonstrate this technique. Behold my children:

Maybe it’s something secret you only learn after a pro hazing or written on a flyer when your pro license arrives in the mail. Maybe I’ll be lynched by Lance Armstrong for sharing this with mere amateurs. But, I’m going to lay it on you anyway.

There’s a number of ways to get to the point in the photo. I did not see how Barry got his jersey or skinsuit around his legs. As far as I can figure, you can zip up your jersey part way, and then pull it on your legs with your feet going through the arm-holes till the body of the jersey comes up over your quads. Or you can zip your jersey around your upper legs, skipping your feet in the arm holes, and then twist the jersey around your legs till the back is facing up and the zipper is down. Or if it's a skinsuit, maybe just pull it on backwards so the back lies on your upper thighs. Now the jersey/skinsuit is pre-stretched to the approximate dimensions of your upper body and you can precisely pin it so that when you put it on your upper body, your number will be flat and perfect every time. At least you’ll look pro. And, please don’t tell anyone I told you this or I could get man-slapped by a gang of skinny bean-armed pro cyclists.

Check out Barry Wicks Blog "Wick Nasty" by clicking here.


shannon said...


gewilli said...

no skinsuit + cross = FAIL

oh and pinning:
use the steering wheel...

and obra had a great pinning post but it ain't there (link is hosed).

Start at the arm pit. Pin along the seam, use 5-6 pins for cross.

It's dead simple. don't use the holes in the numbers (those are for runners who are challenged with mechanical stuff). Don't wrinkle your number (harder for high speed camera to read) and don't let it flap.

And for god sake don't race cross w/o a skinsuit.

Joe Biker said...

Barry did it with the Kona skinsuit. Maybe it was backwards and he pulled the back up onto his upper legs. I SWEAR I SWEAR. I saw it with my own eyes. Well maybe there was some mud in them. But I saw him do this and it was pure genious!