|The 2021 choices for PCL jerseys. Image courtesy of the PCL|
Ever since I participated in the 2008 Good Life Gravel Adventure, and ever since the Pirate Cycling League guys started patronizing Trans Iowa, I wanted to be a 'pirate'. Not a rogue of the seas pirate, no, no, no! A fellow of the gravel riding 'Pirates'. I just thought what they had going on down there in Lincoln was something really special. But up here? Ha! I was ignored and considered a weirdo for wanting to ride on gravel roads.
I tried to get things going up here, but it was like pulling teeth. I put on a group ride for years, faithfully showing up weekly and riding, many times alone. After several years of that, I grew tired and just gave it up. Of course now there is a thriving gravel scene up here, but that isn't the point. I wanted to get something going up here along the lines of the Pirate Cycling League. I thought maybe there could be an event started up here, and I even presented an idea to a local cycling team, but they voted it down, (right in front of me, I might add), because they were afraid it would impinge upon their efforts to put on a local cyclo cross event. And since then, I don't know that their event has grown a lick. Meanwhile gravel events are popping up all around us and it is likely that nothing will happen up here at all.
|Here I am flying the PCL colors in 2015 at Odin's Revenge in Nebraska. Image by Wally Kilburg.|
I also thought it would be cool to have our own colors and get a local tribe going, and even though I wasn't successful, another small local group has tried this with about the same response I was getting. It's weird, but you know how it is: "I tell all of you with certainty, a prophet is not accepted in his hometown."
Anyway, no hard feelings, I just think it is so weird things turned out this way. And I found another outlet for my feelings to be expressed anyway. I just decided I would buy a PCL jersey and be a pirate in exile. I've purchased several PCL jerseys over the years, and while I skipped last year's offerings, I decided to buy in again this year. Over the last several years, the PCL has put out two designs to choose from. Boy, was the choice hard this year!
So I just ordered one of each!
|Here I am wearing the last PCL jersey I bought a couple years ago.|
Yep! I couldn't decide so I just pulled the trigger on both designs. I like each one really well, and while the red/black one might be more traditional, the orange one is a break-out from the traditional PCL garb and I think it is a refreshing change. Besides, it's orange. Orange is fast!
Me? Not so much, but at least I might feel faster in that jersey!
It might be fun sometime for me to dig up all the different PCL jerseys I have and show them here on the blog. I didn't buy every single one they put out, but I might have five or six different PCL designs that I wear regularly on rides. I know one I have goes way back, at least about ten years ago, I think.
I also have one other PCL jersey which I have not mentioned to many people and I've only worn it maybe two times because, well.....you'll see. I was at the first edition of Gravel Worlds when I had been drug back to the start by CVO, (R.I.P.), and I had told Corey, "Cornbread" Godfrey, one of the RD's at Gravel Worlds, I was done and headed home. As I was walking away, he shouted out and tossed a plastic bag at me. It was a first year Gravel Worlds jersey. Yeah....I didn't deserve that, and I felt it should be something earned, but..... I'm still a bit conflicted by that jersey to this day. I do get it out and look at it from time to time and remember that day and the kindness of CVO and Cornbread. Ah!.......memories.
Maybe I should have that jersey mounted in a frame. Hmm....
So, anyway, there ya go! If you see me flying the PCL colors, you now know why I do that. Those guys are special and I love them and what they do. Gravel event pioneers and good people. They deserve some recognition, and I can piggyback on and be a "Pirate in Exile" while I wear their jerseys up here. May as well, because the alternatives are few around here......