Friday, March 19, 2010

boys in knee socks

I rode up the canyon the other day when the temperature was hovering in the upper 50's.
I wore capri length tights, a long-sleeved jersey, a headband, fingerless gloves. I brought a thin jacket for the way down.
it was a glorious ride: fresh air, rested legs, plenty of lung capacity, blue sky barely covered with near-translucent white clouds, and just enough snow hanging on the southern hillsides and dales to remind me that I am incredibly lucky to be out riding while it's still winter.
I was passed by four fast boys heading up, two on tri-bikes, all friendly enough, and three of whom were wearing knee socks.
okay, I know they weren't really knee socks.
but here are these slender, muscular, athletic manly men out there wearing cycling shorts with socks that come to their knees.
I can't help but smile.

john suggested that they might be compression socks, so I've just spent the last little while googling every combination of cycling-compression-knee socks-athletic I could come up with, and I haven't been terribly successful. nothing I've found showed me a picture that looked like the cute little socks these guys had on.

but I did find a reference to compression knee socks in Joe Friel's blog, where he shared his attempts to research the benefit of such things, having noticed their prevalence in the Hawaii Ironman back in 2007. (said research showed that they might have some benefit for exercising users with issues such as varicose veins and thrombosis, and that they may be of some help in reducing delayed-onset muscle soreness, but that was about it.)

and I did find a pair of compression recovery socks, that the manufacturer suggests wearing while traveling on airplane flights or after exercising, for just $50.

so maybe these guys were just cold. or perhaps they didn't have time to shave their legs that morning. maybe they raided their teen-age daughters sock drawers, just for the fun of it.
or maybe they just know things the rest of us don't know.
it's most likely the latter, because these were triathletes, you know. (that's that group of nutty people who swim a couple miles, then hop on their bikes for 112 miles, then run a marathon. see, I'm not far out there at all now, am I?)

whatever the truth may be, it was sure fun for me, and as these boys sped off up the hill I watched their muscular calves and pictured them in kilts, absolutely making my day.

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