Thursday, December 31, 2009


I finally got a Triple Crown jersey. Not that I hadn't earned it before--I did 3+ doubles in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 5+ (the next recognition level) in 2006 & again in 2009.

In 2005 all I wanted was to finish 3 of these insane rides to get the resplendent Yellow Jersey. Had a hard time finishing the "easy" Davis Double and an easy time finishing the "very hard" Terrible Two. Had signed up for two more doubles that fell in the middle in terms of difficulty, so getting 3 and earning Triple Crown Status seemed assured. (Though on doubles 10-20% of the riders, even the good ones, don't finish.) That YELLOW TRIPLE CROWN JERSEY WAS MINE!!

Then on the "fun ride," the Death Ride (much easier than a double) I was following a guy in a Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon jersey on the long twisty downhill on Ebbets 1. This is where the Death Ride gets its name, as the slower riders first coming up are bullshitting 3-4 across the road, well across the center line if there was one. We reach a hairpin--hours ago I remember going up the 14-18% tun. Blind curve. All of a sudden there is an asshole IN THE RESPLENDENT YELLOW TRIPLE CROWN JERSEY SOLIDLY ON OUR SIDE OF THE ROAD. No doubt asshole is looking for the shallowest way around the hairpin. Pink Floyd almost gets wiped out. So does my desire for the Triple Crown Jersey.

A year later, in 2006, after I struggled through 6 doubles, I had a special Diablo Cyclist club jersey made. The official Triple Crown 5 double jersey proudly indicates that the rider did 1000 miles of doubles in a year. I have that down on my jersey--but in roman numerals, along with the Diablo Cyclist symbol, the symbol for the two hardest doubles (Terrible Two and the Death Ride) and the Lion of Flanders.

So, with another year of 6 I decided to get an official Triple Crown jersey. But I really don't like the red-white-blue combo (blue is too dark) and the yellow one is still out. The last alternative is a custom jersey that identifies what doubles you've done.

Problem is I derisively refer to this custom jersey as the "Admiral Dewey Jersey"--its white with gold ribbons. One triple crown rider wrote to me and said it seemed very popular with the older set riding the flatter Southern California doubles. But still, it would list the 6 doubles I did--which I'll probably never do in the same year again.

OK-the Admiral Dewey jersey it is . Fist we'd have to order it with NO gold medals. Then we'd have to "alter it." My fashion plate daughter (who is scared for life when I dressed her in tye-die tee shirts that she made) did some research and found out you can tye-dye polyester but you need special dye and the water has to be VERY hot--hotter than in a washing machine. (Good thing as I can hear my wife yelling about me doing something to the washing machine.) The dye company says that there are many different types of polyester and the dye may NOT take.

OK-strategically placed rubber bands for white lines around all the jersey art. was out with the old camping stove and we simmered jersey soup for 60 minutes. I then simmered the bottom of the jersey for another 30 minutes in the hopes of getting it darker, which didn't quite work out.

Voila, after washing once results are below. Circles and lines came out nicely. Not a vibrant orange, a much more muted orange-peach. Do horizontal lines make me look fat??? How about dressing like Jerry Garcia?

Got some paint swatches. 9-10 are the deepest oranges and not even close. But neither close to 1-2 which is peach. Closest to 6-Orange slice.
1-Peach Crayon, 2-True Peach, 3-Orange Sherbet, 4-Juicy Cantaloupe, 5-Luscious Mango (do hungry people buy more paint?) 6-Orange Slice, 7-Orange Marmalade, 8-Sunbaked Orange, 9-Pumpkin Patch, 10-Fresh Tangerines--Funny names by Glidden. So jersey came out close to #6. I later re-dyed the top and bottom (and inside out-low setting ironed out the wrinkles), so now the color fades from somewhere between #8 & 9 to #6.

So lesson learned is that jersey's can be tye-died successfully--which may bode well if the Diablo Cyclists order white jersey's this year (our US POSTAL blue ones too damn dark for the summer, and white "winning" over light DOMO FARM blue.)

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