Smit­ten by the Cas­quette

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - 2018 GIFT GUIDE -

I re­mem­ber my first cas­quette, which I no doubt called a “bike hat.” It was a Bat­man-themed cap, which I got be­fore the pre­mière of the Tim Bur­ton movie that sum­mer. I was in mid­dle school and thought the cap was pretty cool. I still do and wish I still had it to­day.

Through­out high school, I tried to make the base­ball cap work. It seemed to work for ev­ery­one else. But for me, it just didn’t jive with my head (or my van­ity). Later, as my in­ter­est in the sport­ing side of cy­cling grew, I be­came reac­quainted with the cas­quette, which is a sim­ple and bril­liant lid.

I pre­fer to flip up the brim, for the look. But in fall, when the sun is low dur­ing my com­mute home, I will flip down so the brim shields my eyes. No, it’s not all van­ity; I can be prac­ti­cal with my cas­quettes. I have a retro Molteni one that was white at one time but has ac­quired perma-grime. The way team names and spon­sors change so quickly, my Garmin-sharp cap now seems a bit retro, too. A few years ago, af­ter I did a few laps of the Roubaix velo­drome, I made sure to get a cas­quette from the shop just across from that mecca of cy­cling.

This past sum­mer at Euro­bike, I ar­rived late to an end-of-day meet-and-greet spon­sored by a cloth­ing brand. Im­me­di­ately, I could see that cas­quettes had been given out. Be­fore I went for a free beer, I tried to get my­self a cap. They had all been given away. I soon found my­self in con­ver­sa­tion with my col­leagues from the mag­a­zine (who all had caps) and a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the brand, who also had a cap on his head. We chat­ted about the show, rid­ers and gear. The con­ver­sa­tion came around to the cas­quettes. “Oh yeah,” I said to the cloth­ing-brand guy, “they are cool. I’m kinda bummed they ran out of them by the time I got here." The kind man of­fered me his. There was no, "Oh no, I couldn't," from me. In­stead, I said, "Great. Thanks," and put it on. Suc­cess.

In fact, I'm wear­ing that very same cap as I write this, with the brim up.— Matthew­pi­oro

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