Ratty Old Kit.

As anyone who has been in my garage can tell you, I don't throw away much. Random pieces of long discarded junk are kept on the off chance I might need them one day. I very, very rarely do, but both of my parents come from farming families and I guess they passed on their dislike for society's disposable culture. You fix what you can instead of buying a new one. I wish they would have passed on their thriftiness instead. I fix what I can and then buy a new one.

This hoarding of old stuff extends to my cycling kit. I have two large bins of kit under my desk full of kit I don't wear. 
Some of it is too big, but I'm afraid to throw it away in case I one day find myself obese again. It's a very real fear for me, and keeping barn door-sized bibs around can be a powerful reminder of what once was.

Some of it is gawd-awful ugly, fished out of a bargain bin, worn a handful of times, and then set aside. Might need that stuff for trainer kit one day, if I ever lose my remaining self respect.
Some of it was just plain unusable. Bibs that ground furrows into my lady parts. Rain jackets that only held water in. Kit that was so poorly made that you wonder how these respected brands are still in business. Maybe I'll pass it along to a promising young racer one day if I feel threatened.
Some of it is just worn out, even beyond trainer duty. There's only so much I care to subject my family to. They go into the bins, and I have no idea why.
Some of it is slightly chewed up from my rigorous sliding around on asphalt training plan. Some of it, like the skin suit I wore in the Tour of Fairbanks Prologue, will never be worn again. Somehow ragged, flapping Lycra kinda defeats the purpose. I don't know why I keep it, other than it has team logos that I might get my wife to sew into something one day. Even if it was still usable, stuff like that has a negative aura about it, and the last thing I want to think about as I toe the start line is grinding my flesh off on the tarmac.
There are those few examples that get used even after a significant brush with terra firma. I have an old long-sleeve jersey that I keep next to the trainer for cold mornings. While I'm waiting for my body to warm up enough to stand the ambient garage temperatures, its slightly-ventilated-but-still-warm-enough fleece is perfect, if a bit stinky after multiple warmups. I rarely notice, because my nose is usually running like a faucet for the first 20 minutes or so. That beat up old jersey is the shining example all the pieces in the kit bins aspire to. It serves a real purpose, even if it isn't as nice as it once was.
Someday I'm going to have to go through the bins and get rid of all of the stuff I don't use. Since I started riding for Speedway, more and more of the kit I wear on a regular basis has had their brand on it. This means with each passing year the chances for the old kit to see daylight again are exponentially decreased.
But then again, I might find a use for it. Might want to hang on to it, just in case.


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