The Extreme Heat Forecast that Sparked Innovation
The LA 84 Jersey
Summers in Southern California can be unbearable. Intense heat combined to the region’s closeness to the ocean and high mountains makes it for a regular, extreme heat forecast. The summer of 1984 was no different, as Los Angeles was about to host the Olympics Games with a smog alert threatening the event. Back in Quebec, Canada, 24 year old cyclist Louis Garneau wasn’t going to let a heat wave get in his way as he would soon board the plane for his first Olympics.
Garneau wanted a highly ventilated jersey with three main features:
1-Mesh panels at the front to provide as much ventilation to the body as possible
2- A breathable fabric at the back that is dense enough to protect from the sun rays
3- Lycra sleeves for a great range of motion and again, breathability and sun protection
So was born the LA 84 Jersey, the first of many highly ventilated Garneau products that later served Tour de France riders facing intense heat waves, or helped triathlete Lionel Sanders secure an Ironman World Championship podium in the Hawaiian lava fields.
Eventually, the Los Angeles smog cleared away and the whole Canadian Cycling Team wore Louis’ special jersey for the Olympic race, with Ontario’s Steve Bauer claiming the silver medal in this gruelling event. Nowadays, Louis Garneau still reaches for the American sun over the winter, mostly in Florida. Meanwhile, others head for the rollers in their own basement, preparing for next season. Whether it’s for Florida or the pain cave, that jersey-building philosophy from over 30 years ago is still accurate. This is why Garneau brings the LA 84 jersey back into the custom collection for 2021. For both extreme heat days and those hardcore virtual bike races, you can now sport you own team’s colors in any extreme heat environment. The Course LA 84 Jersey made its racing debut at the UCI Cycling Esports World Championships on December 8-9 2020 in the virtual world of Watopia, with pro triathlete Lionel Sanders, who’s a top-level cyclist in his own rights, representing Canada. This jersey is the first of many custom clothing options that Garneau aims to offer to the virtual cycling community. Because we’re not alone in our basements anymore, dressing as we would be riding outdoors is becoming the standard. A temperature-regulated body means better performance, more fun along the way and great team spirit even when socializing at distance. An extreme heat forecast sparked Louis Garneau’s will to create his own weather-specific cycling kit, but it’s your intense passion that keeps the fire burning.