Monday, June 10, 2013


These Detto Pietro's were the second pair of real cycling shoes I ever owned. Well, not this exact pair but you get the picture. Mine were size 44 and I purchased them from a shop called 2 wheel transit authority in Huntington Beach, Ca. along with the first edition look clip in pedals that had hit the market in late '84/early '85. I was an early adopter to many of the new technologies back then: SIS indexed shifting, Oakley glasses and Dura Ace components are some other examples (I even paired an early Dura Ace brakeset with a Campy C Record drive train on my first proper race bike - a custom made Medici pro strada.... but I digress). 

I loved these shoes. Not that I had any issues with my Vittoria clip in shoes, they were great, and I loved wrapping them with duct tape to look like my hero Sean Kelly, but I was so ready to make the leap to clipless thanks to watching the Badger rock them to first place in the '85 tour. It was incredible racing and over the top drama that year as the battle between he and LeMan played out for all the world to see, with Hinault giving no quarter and having no remorse for taking what was rightfully his as Le Patron of the peloton and the La Vie Claire team. Though Lemond may have had a case to stay out front and win the race, his sometimes whiny lamentations were a turn off to me compared to the "it is what it is" matter of factness that the Badger exuded. He was the epitome of French arrogance but he always exuded such je ne sais quoi that you couldn't help but admire him. 

And all the while thousands of miles away in Southern California this skinny bike nerd sat watching the  CBS racing coverage I had recorded on our Sony Betamax machine; pausing the tape just long enough to examine every piece of gear that adorned my favorite riders bikes and bodies. The look pedals caught my eye that summer, and these Detto Pietro's were the perfect match for that shiny white Delrin plastic housing. I spent every dollar I had been saving from whatever random jobs I had done all year in one fell swoop, but it was all worth it as I rode mile after mile up and down PCH chasing the ghost of the Badger off in the distance. Those are some of my fondest cycling memories. 

Glad to see that companies are starting to pay homage to styles such as these with newly updated models that fuse today's performance and technology with the classic look of a proper racing shoe. Two of the finest examples can be found here and here.

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