The Polka Dot Jersey

The red polka dot jersey is awarded to the best climber in the Tour de France.  In this competition, riders race up the hills and mountains accumulating points based on their place crossing a finish line at the summit.

Only in cycling would anyone proudly wear a shirt with giant red polka dots.  Here’s a picture of Rafal Majka (2014 Tour de France, King of the Mountains winner.  Picture from


Clearly pride extends beyond the shirt to the shorts, helmet, and bike.  While my wife’s opinion differs, I think polka dots are cool.

A couple years ago,  I entered a drawing during the Tour de France hoping to win a vacation to Paris.  To my surprise, I won the next best thing … a polka dot jersey.

photo 1

Still, I don’t wear the polka dot jersey too often.  It seems like every time I go riding in it, I’m challenged to ride harder than I plan.  This summer, I chose to wear the jersey when I  joined a group ride.

The first comments didn’t come out until we reached the major climb of the ride.  At the foot of the hill, a group of riders quickly passed me and I  heard one person say, “Are you going to let that those other guys get away like that?”  With the gauntlet thrown down, I crouched into a drop position and accelerated.  I passed riders one-by-one until only the leader was left.  Sensing weakness, I attacked near the top of the hill claiming the victory.

For the rest of the ride, I was challenged on every hill.  With each victory came the growing fatigue in my legs and the satisfaction of living up to the high calling of the polka dots.  In the end, I no longer had a name, but earned a title (and very tired legs).

The first followers of Jesus were called Christians (Acts 11:26) because the acted like Christ. They too lived up to expectations and gained a title.   I wonder if they wore polka dots too.

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