You pin a number to your back. You go faster. It’s a fact. Whether the number be that of the local sportive, the national time trial championships, or your first road race, the concept remains.
Inside your mind, inside your muscles, something changes with the simple act of pinning a number. And it’s not just the speed and strength you gain when having someone to chase, as you do in a race. Even in the solitary act of time trialling, with no wheels to follow and finish line to get to first, that small piece of paper lovingly and meticulously pinned to your jersey is going to somehow propel you to better things.
The ‘bonus watts’ you gain in competition start to build with that well practiced ritual of number pinning. You perform it in the same manner every time, the pins in the same orientation, the same spot on the pocket. It’s done slowly and lovingly, as you feel the glycogen accumulating in your legs and the adrenaline building in your brain. You look with satisfaction at the number on your jersey when you’re done, and you reflect on what it symbolises; the months of preparation and training, the sacrifices made, the sweat you spilled and the hours you dedicated. The number and you become one and the same thing; you feel proud to represent it, you want to do it justice.
Cycling is about pride. Pride in your performance, in your machine, in your appearance. Just as pride prevents you from riding a dirty bike, just as it means you have to have socks perfectly complementing the rest of your outfit, you want your passion and commitment to shine through in your performance. Knowing that you raced and didn’t give it your everything, your every last ounce of energy and commitment, will leave you disappointed in yourself. And you are your harshest critic, the most scathing of judges.
Even at the very highest of levels, the UCI world road championships – the race every September that dictates the ‘best rider in the world’, the prize money on offer is relatively meagre. Instead, the riders demonstrate their achievement with a relatively subtle rainbow jersey. For them, however, racing in that jersey means so much more than money, and it’s the most potent of all performance enhancers. Those rainbow stripes instil the bonus watts of a number pinned to their pockets, only enhanced one-hundredfold. The hours of training and dedication invested in the win is worn by a world champion every day; they wear their passion on the go.
You can wear your passion on the go every day. You don’t need to have a number pinned to your back or rainbow bands across your chest. Instead, wear cycling socks that make you look and feel awesome, and let them symbolise your love of the ride. Choose PONGO, and wear your passion on the go.