Lost in the discussion about the revival of American-made clothing brands is the relative lack of sporting or special-purpose gear that’s actually done in this country. In particular, it can be very tough to get cycling stuff that was sewn in the United States. I placed a pretty large order with Canari a while ago, only to find that only a very small portion of their lineup is actually made here.
Voler is a different story. Everything I’ve ordered from them has been clearly labeled as Made-In-California. It’s also remarkably expensive — we’re talking $100 or more for cycling shorts that are functionally equivalent to the $49 product from Canari. Oh well. Sometimes it costs you money to walk the walk, as it were. And there’s nothing I love more than putting my American-made Lynskey or Laird bike in my USA-ish Chevrolet “Like A Rock” Silverado…
…okay, I’m just trolling part of the commentariat here. Where was I? Oh yeah. Voler is expensive. Occasionally, however, there’s a chance to save a few bucks. Which is where the jersey pictured above comes in. It was cheap for me, but it could be free for you.
In a failed attempt to save some money on a shirt for the 100-degree South Carolina riding days, I ordered the Mystery Club Fit Jersey. Somebody at Voler must have a sense of humor, because they decided to send a jersey celebrating the Los Angeles LGBT Center to the heartland of Ohio.
If you’ve been reading me for a while, you know that I was publishing gay, trans, People-O’-Color, and female writers back when nearly everybody in this business including the entire staff of Jalopnik consisted of straight (albeit celibate) white men-who-identify-as-men. I wasn’t trying to be progressive, because I’m not terribly progressive. I was just looking for good writers with unique stories to tell. Nevertheless, I suppose that I could wear this jersey in good faith…
…if I didn’t ride 20-40 miles at a time in rural Ohio. There are certain routes where I wear a Harley-Davidson shirt instead of a cycling jersey because it significantly reduces the number of times I get buzzed by half-ton trucks. There is no way I’m going to wear this out there. Somebody will kill me, and the headline will read “Gay Man Gets Run Over By 1992 F-250 Custom”.
So. I know that there are several Friends Of Dorothy among my committed reader base. I know that there are a lot of road cyclists in the reader base. I know that there are plenty of men with a 46-48″ chest who read this site. If you are at the center of this Venn diagram, being
* a road cyclist (BUT I REPEAT MYSELF, LOLLERCOASTERS!)
* able to wear a 3X size in Voler’s Club Fit, which is the same size as a Gildan XL T-shirt
then comment below *or* contact me at email@example.com, and I will send this to you at my expense as my thanks to you for reading. Alternately, if you know someone who would really enjoy it, let me know and I’ll send it to you. Finally, if you have a diabolical plan to wear this to your local cyclocross races, tell everybody you’re gay, and have some of those muscular young women try to “convert” you… obviously we support that kind of skullduggery here at Riverside Green.
As always, I appreciate all of my readers, regardless of race, creed, color, sexual orientation, and all the other new stuff that I vaguely understand. It is my earnest hope that somebody will ride with, and enjoy, this jersey. It’s really gay.