I think I’ve finally reached t-shirt saturation. I’ve long since passed the point of having a lifetime supply of t-shirts. So I won’t buy any more, but if you’re passing out free ones, I’m there. And that is pretty much how I acquired my collection. I recall a seminal moment back in the 80’s (maybe 70’s) when I determined that $7 was too much to spend for a t-shirt. That was pretty much when I stopped buying t-shirts, which proved to be not a problem since I was constantly being showered with free ones from one source or another.
I have a collection of civilian t-shirts and a variety of gag t-shirts that rarely see the light of day, but by far the largest portion of my t-shirt collection is bike related.
Back in the days of bicycle rallies, there was a local one named NEAR (New England Area Rally). Their signature t-shirt was a handsome number with three white stripes down the sleeves. Susan for reasons I could not understand did not think this was the epitome of haute couture, refers to them as my “bowling shirts” and makes rude comments whenever I wear them, so I have to be a bit circumspect.
Another rally freebie was a Shimano SPD shirt. This was in the early days of SPD and they were giving these away for merely getting on a bike and trying out a pair. So, I spun my little legs around a few times, got my t-shirt and have never used SPD’s before or since.
One of my favorites is a green Cinelli t-shirt that was a birthday present many moons ago. I used to like it more, but now it seems on the small side, since most of my t-shirt collection looks like they were designed by Omar the tent maker. Having t-shirts that reach most of the way down to your knees hides a lot of evils in the mid-riff area. You can even forget to close your fly and no one will be the wiser.
Then of course, I have practically a closet’s worth of CRW volunteer t-shirts. There’s the GEAR ‘98 shirt (an event that was sort of the Woodstock of CRW). Ride leader t-shirts, volunteer t-shirts, and one or two non-denominational ones. They all bear the CRW logo, and look pretty much the same except for the fine print and the color, so I have to make sure I mix them up a bit so my coworkers don’t think I’m wearing the same t-shirt more than the allotted week (in on Monday, into the laundry on Friday whether it needs it or not).
There’s the “Slapout, Oklahoma” t-shirt. Slapout’s main claim to fame is that it is the halfway point on RAAM (bicycle Race Across AMerica). Mrs. D. was on the crew for Ed Kross a few years ago, and got that for me. Mirabile dictu, someone at work actually knew what RAAM was when I wore it in the office.
Then there are the t-shirts from CRW tours, Arnold’s Nova Scotia trip, Charles Hansen’s Memorial Day Dash to Montreal and CHAD Tour. Some of these I did not actually go on, but they had some left over, and I’m their favorite charity. We each got Applebrook 10th anniversary t-shirts based on our having led so many trips there. I’ve never done t-shirts for Velo Vermont, mostly out of laziness, cheapness, and the fact that I have no talent in graphic design (the logo I finally came up for the trip is well within the abilities of a 5th grader). So, no Velo Vermont tees for you.