The Legend of the Pink Slipper

September 13, 2007 · Print This Article

By LiLynn Graves
Ithaca, New York

The little town of Ithaca, NY has some of the strongest riders and most humble and supportive of all. I am lucky to have joined these amazing athletes the past few years and participated in the town races held every Tuesday evening after work starting right after the spring forward time change, and lasting right up until the lack of daylight forces us to hold the infamous "pink slipper race."

The true meaning of the name means the summer road races have come to a close, but the legend of the "pink slipper" is so much more meaningful that these folks actually train for this event. There is no set date, there is no purse, there are no actual prizes, but the sincere commitment to the legend is taken so seriously that the casual gathering in the parking lot after the race to ask who won is burned in each riders memory for that entire year until the next "pink slipper."

The actual slipper does exist. It was a strappy pink sandle found on a ride along the side of the road about ten years ago and picked up by a rider which he placed on his handlebars not knowing the future of such an item. From there the legend began and a few years later a beat up old brown berkinstock was added for the B group of riders. They felt they needed a shoe to shoot for also. Now the races have at least 60 folks per race so we have A, B, and a C group.

Last night a most appropriate, run over silver ballarina shoe, found next to a dumpster up on campus was donated to the C group. So the race was a great success and with the weather looking like tornados threatening the race, I was the only chick. Feeling a little nervous about the weather and if I had a chance at winning such an important event, I put on every piece of velo bella war fare I could find. Sleeveless jersey, sleeved jersey over, arm warmers, team shorts, team socks, team vest, pink helmet, pink wheels, pink handlebar tape, pink fluff, team gloves, and I smoked the boys in the C’s. I got my name on the silver slipper!

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