The American Southeast has long been a hotbed of competitive cycling and Charlotte, North Carolina in particular has grown into a robust and diverse cycling scene. One of the major rides that marks the Charlotte cycling community’s calendar is an annual event known as the 24 Hours of Booty. It’s not a road race, epic century, or white-knuckle criterium. It’s a charity event that takes place on a 3 mile loop around a historic Charlotte neighborhood just south of Uptown. Over one thousand cyclists of all different riding abilities and ages spend 24 hours riding the Booty Loop to raise funds in the fight against cancer.
Giordana Cycling Apparel has created custom kits for Team Gita, the US distributor of Giordana, since 2005. Starting with a team of just 2 riders, Team Gita has grown to include many of Gita and Giordana’s employees as well as family and friends.
Sponsoring the same team for the past 10 years has given us the annual opportunity of providing Team Gita with custom cycling kits. We’ve been able to do something unique each year to highlight the team as well as represent the loved ones that they ride for.
Year one of Team Gita featured a bold all over zebra print which was inspired by the Italian Aqua Sapone Professional Cycling Team. The theme lent well to Gita's Italian roots and was chosen by our company’s namesake who rode for the first time that year. Giordana Andretta started the tradition with a friend and co-worker and continues to participate in the ride each year. She also recently took a chair on the 24 Hours of Booty's Board of Directors.
Year two the Team Gita kit took on a green, yellow and white palette with shamrock graphics and the words “Riding For Patrick”. Patrick, a close friend of the Giordana family, was battling a rare form of cancer and Team Gita rode in support of his fight in 2006. Patrick's mother Sharon was also diagnosed just a few years later and although they are no longer with us, “Riding For Patrick and Sharon” and the shamrocks that represent the family's love of their Irish heritage has continued to grace Team Gita’s kits every year since.
In the following years, Team Gita’s kits grew to honor many friends and family members of the riders who joined the team. In the 2007 edition our good friend Dario Pegoretti, a master frame builder from Northern Italy, took up a battle of his own which he would eventually win but asked us to include him as a sponsor on our newest design.
A close friend of Dario’s would often send him hand drawn illustrations to keep his spirits up during his painful treatments. One of Dario’s favorites was a depiction of himself roasting a crab over a campfire with his son and faithful dog close by his side. The crab is the zodiac symbol and constellation of Cancer. Dario’s friend was symbolically encouraging him to 'Cook the Crab', to fight the cancer, and beat it. We included Dario’s logo and also this graphic of the crab which has been a part of Team Gita’s kits every year since.
Each year has brought a new kit, a new color palette, and a growing number of team members. To date we’ve produced 10 unique kits and we’re excited to say we’ll be putting the 11th into production this spring!
We’re proud to have played a role in Team Gita’s ride every year. To help them represent the people they ride for, to help them look and feel like a team, and to protect and keep them comfortable through the many miles and hours in the saddle that they endure to honor loved ones who have faced a far greater challenge. We are humbled to be a part of Team Gita and 24 Hours of Booty family.
We have also had the honor of making many other kits for teams that ride in 24 Hours of Booty. We have seen first hand the wonderful things this event does for the fight against cancer and the thousands of lives it has touched over the past 12 years. That's why we offer a special custom clothing program to anyone who is riding in one of these events. Learn more here, we'd be honored to be a part of your team too!
6828 Olney-Laytonsville Rd.
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