In the eighties, when plain black shorts were set aside for the newer, more radical black shorts with logos, the PRO peloton had taken a step up, raising the level of their game. Fast forward twenty five years and the game is completely off the hook! Jokingly, my friends and I would see the PROs of the nineties and early 2k and comment on how insanely PRO the red or white short is. Then, we would instantly dismiss the notion of wearing them ourselves. In the world of the local criterium or group ride, a rider had better be f#*king fast in order to wear them.
Cycling kits have evolved and morphed despite the canvas remaining unchanged. A jersey and shorts are all that teams, clubs, and shops have to work with, and even with the static nature of cycling clothing, they manage to re-invent cycling gear every season to give the sport a new look. To the untrained eye, it's the same tight-fitting, bright-colored clothing, but to the cyclist the subtleties are evident. Take for example the Tour: it used to be that the Tour leader wore the yellow jersey in place of their team jersey. The team's graphics were stuck on the front, the remainder of the PRO's kit was standard issue. Today everything is yellow, right up to the glasses; the leader of the Tour looks like he rode straight off the pages of a Dick Tracy comic.
Modern cycling kits make no apologies and takes no prisoners. Teams, clubs, and shops have all begun embrace the use of white or red in shorts, rewriting the unwritten rules of the past. Red and White are no longer limited to just the big boys. Back in the day, if I were to show up on a group ride dressed completely in red and failed to do anything other than drop the entire group I would be laughed at. I remember lusting for a pair of red Castelli yPRO3 shorts and thinking, If I were only fast enough to sport those.
I am all for the use of red and white in the shorts, and we have waited too long to bring them into the mainstream. I have a pair of white Assos shorts that I keep in reserve for those special days and it's always a treat to break 'em out. With the red and white hurdle cleared, I guess it's only a matter of time and budget before cycling clubs/teams develop both a "Home" and "Away" kit. Now that will be PRO!