Going pro (or at least looking the part)

11 05 2016

It was an inauspicious start to my first official ride in the new FRF kit. The pothole jumped up at me; and while I was able to lessen the jolt at the last moment with a bit of a bunny hop, a kilometre later I could feel the front tire begin to soften. Pinch flat. Bane of my existence.

First flat while wearing the new FRF kit.

First flat while wearing the new FRF kit.

But hey, at least this time I looked good changing it at the side of the road.

The FRF has gone pro. Or, at least we look pro.

The kit project grew from the nub of an idea to at least convey the image of looking pro. After all, other clubs in the area have their own kit, some of them kaleidoscopic assaults on the eyeballs.

From there, discussion grew to the possibility of getting sponsors to foot the bill, or at least subsidize the cost. We’re not proud, we’ll pimp ourselves out as rolling billboards if it means saving a few bucks.

A list of potential local cycling-friendly or FRF-favoured businesses was drawn up: a stylish new Mexican restaurant; the local craft brewery where many of our Sunday rides end; the only local bike shop, also one of the oldest in the province; a physiotherapy clinic for those suffering aches and pains after another Curtis cyclocross special; our resident cap maker.

Our patron, Guy WR, drew up formal proposal sheets, with various financial options available to sponsors. Meetings were scheduled.

Amazingly, everyone we approached was enthusiastic.

As New Westminster’s only organized riding group, it’s a unique opportunity to promote the city and some of its businesses as we roll around Metro Vancouver and beyond.

Heading to the North Shore, where ominous clouds embrace the mountains.

Heading to the North Shore, where ominous clouds embrace the mountains.

The sponsorship commitments allowed us to move forward on design. A competition was struck, votes were cast. The end result incorporates some of the ideas from several designs onto a central concept by Richard, of Red Dots Cycling. We like to think it’s classy, not too loud, and shows off some of the spirit that drives the FRF.

An extreme cyclocross maneuver necessitated when a bike route spit us onto the shoulder of a busy highway.

An extreme cyclocross maneuver necessitated when a bike route spit us onto the shoulder of a busy highway.

The kit is manufactured through the custom program at Louis Garneau, who worked carefully to refine our rough design sketches and delivered the end product affordably and fairly quickly. They’re also Canadian, and make the custom kits in Quebec.

Wednesday's kit ride was the "Triple Collar," climbing 1,500 metres up the early slopes of all three of Vancouver's big mountains.

Wednesday’s kit ride was the “Triple Collar,” climbing 1,500 metres up the early slopes of all three of Vancouver’s big mountains.

When the big box arrived on Monday, it was like Christmas for the FRF. Twitter couldn’t move fast enough as members made arrangements for pickup.

Saturday will be the kit’s debut on a large group ride, a special memorial roll for our friend John Lee, who unexpectedly passed away in his sleep exactly a year ago. It will be a fitting tribute to his missing spot in our peloton.

A just reward for a big day out. Of course the refreshing radler is by our sponsor!

A just reward for a big day out. Of course the refreshing radler is by our sponsor!

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One response

11 05 2016
Jesse Cahill

Hi Mario. Nice talking with you the other day. Drop me an email when you get a chance. Jesse

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