January 01, 2013

How To Pin Your Flipping Number!

This is the first in an as yet-undetermined-how-many-series on pet-peeves...


This is often put out as an issue for officials - in fact there is a webpage dedicated to it from the Western Pennsylvania Officals! Maybe go look at it and see how you can help those much maligned officials help you!

Let's be honest, though...it's really about aesthetics and looking pro... and bad pinning ain't pro Joe! Examples? ...well, thanks to the blog link above we've got a few and I've pulled a few of my own thru 'diligent research' (I swear I read at least 4 articles on pinning, no lie!) and luck. Let's break 'em down for ya. I look at pinning in two categories: Placement and Pin Technique.

First placement:

The High Hip: Where to start. First, no access to the pocket (hello, how do you put your 'kerchief back?), second the fact that it's no even readable is sorta a gimme...but you get the point.
image from W Penn Officials Page
The Parachute - needs no explanation and is the sort of 'rook-look' that almost guarantees no podium. This isn't an ideal example, but it's pretty good.

image from W Penn Officials Page

The "I Have No Clue":
image from W Penn Officials Page
The Upside Down: You can't really pick on this one..they just need your help, so help 'em!

image from W Penn Officials Page
Now that we've covered the basics of what NOT to do, let's talk about what's right.

Ok, first, crumple that number! Every official says not too (heck USAC has a page on it in the rule book - text is below!), and more and more race directors say not to too...don't want to miss that crucial sponsor placement! To that I say phooey....crumple that number nice and small. Don't fold it, don't leave it as new...CRUMPLE!

To pin it right you're going to need five pins. Fools that say seven obviously need something to occupy their time, but since it's also "PRO" to show up late to the start you don't have time for seven....you barely have time for five..but FIVE is the number*.

*In a pinch you can get away with four...or if you are well versed in pin-ology you can possibly do it in three, but not really b/c you're not that good

Those five pins should be used in the following locations: 1 at each corner and one in the middle of the leading edge - that's it. No creativity needed...

The real ART TO PINNING is how you pin the number aka

The Technique! where the rubber meets the road and the real point of this entire ramble. First, let's review the bad.

1. Using the actual pin holes - come on really?
2. Using the single puncture, or hanging chad style - stick the pin thru the number and once thru the jersey... fun with floppiness is sure to follow!
3. Pinning your jersey pocket closed...you might need that pocket!
4. Over pinning - our friends at the Western Pennsylvania Officials page were kind enough to have an 11-pin example. Unfortunately, they seem to actually LIKE this version...oh the horror b/c this is not pro...
image from W Penn Officials Page
Instead, you want to create a platform that supports the number in an unmoving ode to perfection. Start by figuring out which side the camera is on (simple), then grab a seat and spread the number across your knees with one of the arm taut at your knee cap. Set it on the jersey so it covers about half the side panel (sorry to those sponsors) and rests about 3 inches below the arm pit. I usually start at either the upper corner near the shoulder blade, or the lower corner near the arm pit as it allows you to position the jersey parallel to the side panel stitching (yea, this is where it gets a bit overboard). When inserting the pins..be sure to push thru the number, then into the jersey, then..and this is key...allow a few milimeters between your entry hole and exit hole, that's what keeps the number taut. Then simply re-push it thru the number and clip it. Be sure to pull the number tight and move on to the next...easy!

I want to get this up, so I'll have to come back and add the "CORRECT" photos later...but there ya go!

1N7. Racing numbers.   ( Page 58 in the 2010 USA Cycling Rulebook )
(b) Riders shall place their numbers as prescribed by the officials and in such a way that they are visible when the rider is in a racing position. When shoulder numbers are provided for cyclocross, they are worn on the upper arm to be visible from the front. Hip numbers shall be attached securely at least at the four corners with pins and no accessory or hair may obstruct a clear view of the number (riders with misplaced, obscured or unreadable numbers will not be placed). If shoulder or frame numbers are provided, they too shall be placed as prescribed. Numbers may not be folded, trimmed, crumpled, or otherwise defaced. [Replacement of the numbers at riders' expense if noted before the start, otherwise warning or relegation.]

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    I have a question about your blog, could you please email me? Thanks!!