Known for riding off the front of group rides only to be caught in the first mile, CJ got back on a road bike and realized he must win the Donut Derby at least once in his life. Regularly pledging he's "not a climber," he can be found as a regular attendee of Trexlertown's Thursday Night Training Criterium or sitting on the couch watching Paris-Roubaix reruns. CJ has been a constant rider of the Hell of Hunterdon in New Jersey and races the Tour of the Battenkill before going into seasonal hiding on cross-country ski trails.

Review: Rescue Project Preston Trucker Hat ($20)   

Review: Rescue Project Preston Trucker Hat ($20)  

A couple of months ago we reviewed the multi-layered giving system that is Rescue Project. Take the rescue world for dogs and mix it with cycling and a winning formula is born. Rescue Project’s kits in the past have proclaimed ‘Pack Leader’ on the back panel of bib shorts. So where would one rank oneself within a criterium pack on any given weekend?

 

I have recorded numerous places I have found myself in bike racing. There have been awful times when I was off the front by accident because I got to the race late and continued the rattling for roughly half a lap before the whole field duked me out the back. I have quietly stayed in the pack – hiding until the final sprint – only to never make it to the front. The view never changed. In my much younger racing days I used to hang around the back of the pack and hit the gas when the group came together. Then I held on for dear life. Those were great times.

 

There is a decades long ride that happens every Sunday near here. I have dabbled in it from time to time. The T’town Derby is a casual outing with a violent ending. It has seen pros and fast guys alike. What I won’t do is show up wearing either a Rapha kit or the Rescue Project ‘Pack Leader’ kit. That would put pressure on me to get to the front and stay there. The ride home of shame is worse rolling into town dead last with the word LEADER on the butt. Perhaps mid-pack is where I am meant to exist.

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 I am sure people will look at this review and state, “So he reviewed a hat?” but it’s much more than that. When purchasing from Rescue Project’s store, a portion of the sale goes to revolving shelters around the United States. Typically these programs have dodgy kit but a good cause or vice versa. Rescue Project has beautiful wares as well as a good cause. Because we haven’t place the order for the 2019 Rescue Project just yet, the Preston Trucker Hat was snatched up. It does not say ‘Pack Leader’ or ‘Podium Hat’ or ‘Enjoy Second Place’ anywhere on it. That means it can be used anywhere, free of stress. 

 

In all seriousness, Rescue Project continues great items for on and off the bike. The subtle nature shows those at Rescue Project have kept up with the times. The minimalist design is perfect for those who enjoy recognizable logos on a regular background. Should you find yourself on the podium of this season’s road racing or ‘cross calendar, feel free to pop this hat on. People may ask what the logo means and be inspired to purchase their own selection from the Rescue Project store. With portions of each sale going to shelters, the multi-layered giving system remains healthy. Cyclists win because we are part of a growing pack, Rescue Project wins because its namesake is gaining momentum, and rescue dogs across the country win because they benefit from the donations collected by purchasers. Dogs, cyclists, and Rescue Project winning all at once? That’s a great system.

Essay: On the Future of Virtual Cycling   

Essay: On the Future of Virtual Cycling  

Review: Lazer Blade Helmet ($80 USD)

Review: Lazer Blade Helmet ($80 USD)