I once traded a brand new Cuisinart Coffee Maker for a set of Ultegra brakes. (click here for story) You think that was sweet? A few years ago I traded a leather anniversary edition Harley Davidson jacket for a bench-top vice. (Read: Being The Office Bike Bitch Here) My bearded chrome lovin’ motorcycling co-worker got a jacket for his bitch to hold on to at top speed and I got a vice in the shop to make it easier to swap cassettes. In these tough economic times, maybe EBay isn’t the best way to get the most bang for your crap.
My recent score revolved around the 3 year old BioWheels team skinsuit in my closet. A teammate was moving out of state just before cyclocross season. Within a week, he’d be in a whole new world of CX hurt. Moving is tough enough. It’s even tougher being in your 20’s with the income of someone in their 20’s. You have to make tough choices between racing in a skinsuit and not living in a van down by the river. So, he asked about my old skinsuit. I had worn it maybe a handful of times, the team switched designs and it’s been in the closet ever since. Brand new I think I paid north of $120. Since my boys had already called the chamois home, despite its great condition, the street value of it is practically nothing. Practically.
On one of his last days in town, he showed up at my house and picked it up. We said our man-huggy goodbyes. “Do ya want anything for it?” He asked. I thought. The angel on my left shoulder said, “Well he is a good friend, shake hands and wish him well.” The devil on my right poked back, “you paid $120 and now you’re giving it away? You raced against Jeremy Powers in it and won a payout in a UCI race. If anything, it does have sentimental value.” I replied back with something like, “I tell ya what. When you get settled with a new team, sponsors and your job, send me a care package.” (pictured above left: my buddy in his "new" skinsuit)
I sliced the box open with a razor blade. Inside was a sweet pair of black and white herring-bone Panache Cyclewear brand patterned socks, a bottle of Optygen pills and a brand new water bottle. Perfect, I thought. I just ran out of my Sport Legs and that’s a tough pill to swallow at $50 a bottle. To save money at work, management stopped buying paper drinking cups, so the water bottle will come in handy in the office. And, these are some of the coolest socks I’ve seen in a while. Herring-bone is the new argyle. Even though I already have 27 pairs of cycling socks, if I saw these babies at the shop, I’d probably buy ‘em anyway.
Only problem is, looking at the photo of the crisp new socks, now I need some better looking road shoes. I’ll trade ya.