When it comes to Miami, the word epic can be used to describe many of its facets. Awesome weather and beautiful beaches come to mind, but who would have thought the word would also be used to describe a cycling ride. Miami’s cycling culture is in the midst of a lot of change, it’s growing more and more but at it’s core cycling in Miami still remains a counter-culture sport. It’s being embraced a lot by millennials and that change tends to effect all aspects of the cycling community.
To cyclists, the “kit” or the “cycling kit” is a big deal, think of it as an essential tool for the sport. Offers padding, ventilation, protective and compressing features. It’s also a way to express yourself on the bike. The Team Epic kit is not only epic but it also screams Miami (art, style and culture). As Miami residents ourselves here on Morning Ride CC, there’s a huge appreciation for this kit. Our cycling culture is in the cusp of change, and this kit sets the tempo. For this feature we get a chance to catch up with Tom Evental, who’s the designer behind the Team Epic kit and also the founder of The Epic Ride.
MRCC: Tom, how did you first get involved in cycling?
TE: “I’ve been seriously riding (as well as dabbled in some racing), and heavily involved in the South Florida (cycling community). I’ve ridden many many local rides, as well as many group rides, Gran Fondos, scratch races, Alleycats all over the country and the world in places like New York, Ibiza, Mallorca, Italy, France, Israel, etc…Frankly I’m addicted to cycling, I assume like most serious riders out there. Last year, my habit/craziness about cycling brought me to climb the Stelvio pass. If you ask any serious cyclist, especially out in West Broward, where the majority of the group rides in Broward run out of, there’s a great chance they would know me, mostly, because of the beard lol. I grew up in New York City and style, culture, along with design have always played an important role in everything I’ve done.”
MRCC: How long have you lived in Miami? And what do you think about the road cycling scene here?
TE: “I’ve lived down here for a while, I always felt that the style, culture and design aspect of our sport has been a missing in our local scene, and I saw no one make progress toward embracing it, so I figured I’d try doing something about it.”
MRCC: Which is how The Epic Ride came into being?
TE: “Yeah, first I organized a ride. The ride would ALWAYS culminate in post ride shit talking over a serious cup of coffee or three. The ride is still going strong and takes off Saturday’s at 7:15 in front of Graziano’s in Weston Town Center. The basic premise of the ride is that for 35 miles or so, we ride like a pro team time trial, everyone takes a turn at close to full gas, we do not allow ANY wheel sucking. We then stop for a quick 3 minute water fill-up and then, the ride turns into a race type ride, where it’s every man for himself, and tactics come into play for another 40 miles or so. Winner gets bragging rights over coffee. It is a soul crushing, brutally hard ride. But it’s very safe, which was so important to me and the group I put together. We are a friendly welcoming bunch, but we are jackasses, so anyone who wants to give it a shot, get ready to get roasted, do work, don’t wheel suck in the begin half, and try not to hang on.”
MRCC: Sounds pretty epic indeed, but what about the kit?
TE: “After I set up the ride, I figured we needed a dope kit for our unsanctioned ‘race’, so I designed the kit. I wanted something loud, fresh, and sarcastically funny and not too serious, something that evoked the kits I was seeing out of more developed cycling communities. The main design element was the local palm trees, which you can see on the kit, in the UCI champ colors. I then added little Easter eggs like a bottle of beer in one of the pockets, a “no wheelsuckers” butt cheek slogan, and pizza slices under the armpits, because pizza.”
TE: “I now rock it with pride every time I get on my bike, and I always get the same reactions, the riders that just don’t get it, well, they just don’t get it, really , because they lack any sense of style, but the one’s that do, LOVE IT! And that’s all that matters to me, those who know what’s up, well… they know what’s up.”
MRCC: Awesome…or in this case, EPIC. Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us Tommy.