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A New Road Less Traveled, Courtesy of Giro

30 Apr

I’ve been bicycling long enough and am curious enough that I’ve ridden most of the backroads in the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains. I know which roads are beautifully quiet and I know which are prone to heavy traffic. I know which roll along or climb gently and I know which will brutally punish you with steep 15%+ grades.

So when Katie and I found ourselves riding with a strong group on Summit Road and she said, “They’re turning on Loma Prieta Road. What’s it like?” I was surprised I didn’t know. I knew that Loma Prieta ran parallel to Summit, but that was it. “They say it turns to gravel,” she said. I said, “Let’s do it” and surprised myself.

Loma Prieta Road

We had joined up with a ride sponsored by Giro to promote the launch of their New Road clothing. Santa Cruz-based riding club Steel Wül had planned an all day route in the hills, but details were thin. All we knew was they were starting at Giro headquarters in Scotts Valley and climbing the painfully steep Mountain Charlie Road.

Katie works for Giro as their marketing director and wanted to ride with the group, but she wasn’t looking forward to driving over the hill to Scotts Valley like she does every weekday morning. And I wasn’t looking forward to starting a long ride with climb up Mountain Charlie, much less riding with a pack of fast bike industry riders. Our plan: climb up the other side of the hill from Los Gatos, take a few photos and play it by ear.

We ended up climbing into the unknown on Loma Prieta Road, dropping down the dirt on Mt Bache and then riding along the delightfully remote, but potholed Highland Road to a lunch stop in the redwoods at Buzzard’s Lagoon. I quickly snapped some shots and got a better look at the Giro New Road line.

Giro New Road Apparel

The bicycling world often divides riders by discipline: roadies, mountain bikers, commuters, urban hipsters and more. Each requires a specific uniform: lycra kits for roadies, baggie shorts for mountain bikers, hi-viz for commuters and skinny jeans for hipsters. Giro New Road goes beyond the tribal distinctions with a line of bike wear that can take a rider from road to trail to cafe in comfort and style. The secret is merino wool, the original technical fabric, carefully tailored cuts and performance features, and a healthy dose of relaxed California style.

As someone who belongs to several bike tribes, New Road appeals to me. I can see myself wearing it for weekend trail and road rides and on my longer commutes. What’s currently available is cut to fit men, but inside sources tell me there’s a women’s line in the works. You can get a glimpse of a prototype in the slideshow.

Katie and I left the group after lunch. They rolled down to the coast while we headed back over to the bay side of the hills. Not an easy day in the saddle for me, but my curiosity was satisfied by a New Road from Giro.

What bicycle tribe(s) do you belong to? Does each require its own uniform? Does each have its own style?

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10 Comments

Posted by on April 30, 2013 in Backroads

 

10 responses to “A New Road Less Traveled, Courtesy of Giro

  1. frank8265

    April 30, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    I don’t exactly “belong to a tribe”, I ride tarmac, off-road and cobble-stone roads with one and the same bike and wear whatever I fancy. All except lycra that is, not a flashy / speedy kinda guy. ;-)

    I do like the kit by Giro showed here! Let’s see if I can find a dutch dealer.

     
  2. TinLizzie72

    May 1, 2013 at 6:24 am

    I kinda hate the whole stereotype outfits for each group, perhaps a holdover from my high school anti-clique days. The only reason why I even own Lycra is because it is the best on a ride longer than 10 miles. Then again, I make my own “bikey” commuter clothes to be office-appropriate yet add some hi viz that isn’t in-your-face fluorescent yellow. I have no idea what I’d wear mountain biking, but as soon as my mountain bike is built, I’ll let you know!

     
    • ladyfleur

      May 1, 2013 at 7:25 am

      I agree that after 10 miles or so, the technical fabrics like lycra really help. That’s what’s cool about this clothing line. The lightweight wool handles sweat as well or better than lycra and it’s a lot more stylish.

       
      • TinLizzie72

        May 1, 2013 at 8:10 am

        Except I can’t wear wool. It’s a shame, because I read so much about how it’s a better fiber, but I can’t have it on my body, ick. It drives me nuts, so itchy, and yes, I’ve tried them all. But these jerseys are cute, I like the vintage vibe. I look forward to what they create for women. I just hope it’s not too girlie!

         
      • ladyfleur

        May 1, 2013 at 8:16 am

        Too bad about the wool “allergy.” The jerseys definitely have a subtle vintage vibe. For the women’s I’m guessing they won’t go girlie. The prototype I saw certainly wasn’t.

         
  3. Erica B-W

    May 1, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Do you normally wear a medium width in street shoes like pumps or dress sandals? Some bike shoes are built on the narrow side… giro and sidi come to mind. Specialized and Mavic seem to have more girth in the medium width. Now can giro come out with a line of dress/casual open toe bike shoes for cosmopolitan women that bike work? :-)

     
    • TinLizzie72

      May 1, 2013 at 8:11 am

      Ooh I’d vote for that! I do like my Merrell bike heels, but would love to see more options!

       
    • ladyfleur

      May 1, 2013 at 8:13 am

      My feet are definitely on the wide side for a woman, regardless of style. And the women’s models of Sidi and Giro are definitely on the narrow side. I definitely prefer the fit of my men’s Sidi’s to the women’s ones. I had to go up a 1/2 size for the women’s in that line.

       
  4. Psy

    May 1, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Ohh, I’m glad to hear there’s a women’s line in the works! When they announced this line a while back I was a bit bummed since it was for men only.

    I don’t say I’m part of any particular tribe…I can go in a full kit on a weekend ride, but generally just rock shorts and a T-shirt if I’m doing anything under ten or so miles. Though I do sometimes rock mountain biker cargo shorts on the road bike just because it’s one of the few non-lycra options available on rides that end with me being somewhere where perhaps a full kit isn’t the best attire.

     

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