As a cyclist I am used to people mocking our chosen apparel without the slightest understanding that each painted on purple Barney the Dinosaur jersey and $90.00 16 panel chamois shorts that can’t even double as a bathing suit are not clothes, but essential gear. The velcro cleats with the distinctly Elvish (or is it Elven?) point to them are designed for snag-free aerodynamic performance- even when you spend most of your time standing around the trailhead.

Still, even though I know the sting of being misunderstood I can not get over the preponderance of cowboy hats here in Tucson. I know that kid at the Starbucks does not clock out and rope doggies on the prairie before supper, or does he? Where I come from the only folks wearing cowboy hats are sorority girls, and they got it from that Kid Rock jackass who also does not, I am quite certain, rope doggie one.

But whatever, I will try to stifle the giggles, it’s a culture thing and I make my living tolerating cultures of all kinds, even the intolerant ones. There is probably a good explanation for wearing a cowboy hat for the duration of a 4 hour flight even though that means you can’t make use of the 4 square inches of headrest you bought with your $400.00 ticket.

I am curious as to whether or not I could pull it off. I’m built like Hoss Cartwright except maybe a bit shorter and he certainly looks natural in a prairie lid.

I don’t think I would wear one with my cycling outfit. Don’t call it a kit, oh Lord please do not call it a kit. My skin crawls when you call it that, kits are for model airplanes and such. Cycling clothes are just that, clothes. Once you start saying kit you are one step away from thinking outside the box, the hatbox in this case. Next you will be discussing “the way forward” and telling me how you like to “conversate”. All the same I may pick up a legitimate cowboy hat and try to wear it out in public, all natural like.

If I’m going to do that I better know the rules, and you should too.

Here they are

Cowboy Hat Etiquette

Any hat should be removed when eating anywhere, that includes baseball caps!

Any hat should be removed when the national anthem of any country is played. Hold your hat in your right hand, over your heart. This applies to women, unless their hat is held on with hat pins.

Cowboys tip their hats to ladies when out doors, remove them when being introduced, and remove them when entering a ladies home.

Men never tipped their hats to other men in the Old West. It was akin to calling them a woman. A nod was a common greeting when not shaking hands. The Code of the West

In commercial or public buildings it’s not necessary to remove your hat – but should be when entering a private office. Generally considered polite to remove it in a private home, unless other people are wearing their hat.

Wearing a {cowboy} hat to a theatre or movie is fine but should be removed if it blocks any one’s view of the entertainment.

A dubious list to be sure.

I’m glad I forgot to tell you about Sunday’s ride, especially the part where W.B. nonchalantly planted himself deep in the smoky ash of a recently burned forest. That guy is smooth, real smooth.


10 Responses to Giddyup.

  1. Insult observed, deserved and taken as such.
    Halfway through this post this thought entered my mind:
    “Damn I’m gonna get off clean here!”
    I will, on our next ride, pound a mud hole in your chest and walk it dry.
    I tip my hat to you sir.

    W.B.Z.N. DAMMIT!

  2. I think you would look good in a cowboy hat. The huge ten-gallon kind. And really, is riding a horse that much different than riding a bike?

    I also think you need some setting-straight concerning Kid Rock. We may argue over the quality of his music (I hate it) or his sartorial qualities (again, they are pretty terrible) but he is no jackass. Let me illustrate this with a little story. Last year a local middle school girl golf coach’s car was burgled and all the kid’s clubs were stolen. After reading about this tragedy in the local rag, Kid went out and bought every girl on that team brand new Taylor Made clubs and bags. Totally hooked them up. During the Super Bowl a while back, the man was a tireless supporter of Detroit. He was everywhere signing stuff, saying hello, throwing free parties and just in general being a great ambassodor for the D. So the leave the Kid out of it.

    Dr. D

  3. BTW? Now you sound like a 14 year old girl instant messaging her BFF.

    Also, poking fun at my admittedly wordy and unwieldy turn of phrase is a low blow. Am I held to higher standards? It is the first criticism of comments on the basis of grammar/word choice that I can recall. You could have chosen instead to praise my use of the words “burgled” and “sartorial” instead. Now I have to go buy myself a shootin’ iron and a cowboy hat of my own. Pistols at dawn!

    Dr. D

  4. Juancho, Cowboy hats are foolish to some like baseball caps are to others-just depends on context. It also depends on gumption, do you have enough to pull off the cowboy hat?

    Dr. D, Kid Rock is foolish in any context, no, stop, don’t argue-he just is.

    W.B., “…pound a mud hole in your chest and walk it dry.” is the greatest manlove statement I’ve heard in a long time, cheers! I imagine you’re only wearing your cowboy hat and your elven bike shoes when you say it.


  5. Excuse me. I walked into the wrong bathroom. I recognize that this here blog isn’t girls’ graffiti.

  6. I know you’re kidding, but the thought of you in a cowboy hat is almost obscene.

    A cowboy hat is the LAST piece of clothing anyone would choose if the general goal is not to accidentally call attention to yourself in a way that could invite disrespect/trouble. The only way you’d ever wear a cowboy hat is if you were actually hanging out with a posse of cowboys and going to cowboy bars, in which case you’d wear a non-assuming, but definitely black hat. Maybe an 8.5 gallon, black hat.

    Imagine, though, that you did hang with a cowboy posse and you did wear a cowboy hat to cowboy bars with said posse. For them, the thought of you EVER, EVER donning a bike “kit” or “cycling clothes,” or whatever you want to call the fruitiest sportswear in existence, would be even worse than us trying to imagine you walking around in a Stetson.

    But then, I guess there are universes (like Tucson?) where cowboy cyclists kit up by day and cowboy hat up by night. It’s a postmodern world.

    I thought the sorority girls wore those hats because of Lucinda Williams….

  7. Do they? I doubt that sorority girls know who Lucinda Williams is. In fact, who the hell is Lucinda Williams?

    There is nothing wrong with Dr. D’s grammar, but it is an unwieldy phrase, and nice word- unwieldy.

    Paddy’s right too, a few sets of golf clubs can’t explain away that scraggly ‘stache.