Pico's Cycling - Tales of the Road is an online cycling magazine. It is intended for writers and riders who want to share their on the road cycling stories and pictures. Submissions that follow our guideline are gratefully appreciated. See the appropriate page in the site menu. Will publish the best of the best each month. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter @PicosCycling.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Captain Underwear



By Pico Triano
Photos: Pixabay

As a college student back in the eighties, one of the our requirements was to have a number of physical education credits to get our degrees. Our gym uniform consisted of a purple t-shirt, white shorts and white socks (no stripes allowed). The shorts were very high quality and seems to outlast every other pair of shorts I owned.

Toward the end of my college career I progressively travelled more and more by bicycle. Those shorts of course came with. The further I toured the more I tried to travel light. I brought minimal clothes with, which of course always included those shorts.

Washing clothes on tour got done whenever I could find a laundromat. For me it was always the same routine. I washed everything except the underwear I was wearing and my white shorts. Those would get washed separately at the next opportunity. Boxer wearing Americans will immediately see the problem with this. Being a Canadian though, I didn't quite make the same connection. Canadian men and boys embraced coloured underwear long before their American counterparts. I remember going to summer camp in Minnesota. You could separate the Canadians from the Americans based on the colour of their underwear.

The laundry wasn't the only time I stripped down to those shorts. I had no problem washing in public as long as I was wearing my gym shorts, after all I was decent. I did notice people looking at me funny though but just shrugged it off. People stare when you're travelling by bicycle anyway. Being regarded as a bit eccentric stopped bothering me a long time ago. Keep in mind I was attending college and cycling in California not Canada.

Then came the day I had to run from my dorm to the local grocery store. I couldn't find anything but a white t-shirt to wear with my white gym shorts. My only thought was that some one might think I just stepped off the tennis court. When I got there I ran into one of my basketball teammates who loudly greeted me with, “Pico! What are you doing here in your underwear?” In that moment it all became clear to me.

Yes, not only have I been known as the Moncton Maniac for my riding, but you can call me Captain Underwear as well. Maybe I could try riding to the beach in white Speedos. Then I could look like I'm riding in my tighty whities. There's a thought to make you want to claw your eyes out.