A Jersey With a Message: One Cyclist Weaves His Story Into Lycra

You could look at this jersey and chalk it up to just another artist collaboration. Or you could dive deep into the story behind it.

Oct. 11 marks Indigenous People’s Day. And one cycling brand is acknowledging it in a very special way. Velocio ambassador Gregg Deal is a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute, an activist, an artist, a disruptor, and a cyclist. But that’s not all that defines him.

In this collaboration film with Velocio, Deal retraces a migration of his tribe from Lake Tahoe, Calif., to the Pyramid Lake Paiute grounds east of Reno, Nev. “These are my homelands. These are the places of my people — my ancestors were in these spaces. It’s incredibly important to me,” Deal said.

And starring in the film is not just Deal, but his artwork that he specially designed for a cycling jersey.

gregg deal wearing his artwork cycling jersey

So, why choose a cycling jersey as his medium? “There’s a lot of ways I connect to the spaces that I’m in, and the bike is one of them,” Deal said. “This entire concept was born in the idea of amplifying marginalized voices.”

Here are just a few components of the jersey:

  • A woman with a red handprint over her face, symbolizing MMIW (missing and murdered Indigenous women)
  • Deal’s “Zig Indigenous”: Shoshone Pete emblazoned with the lightning bolt from David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”
  • Basket and textile patterns from Deal’s tribe

gregg deal designed jersey with native woman on front

The jersey is definitely a work of art — it’s a collection of faces, images, visual patterns. It’s minimalist and busy at the same time. It’s both bold and subtle.

“The jersey is a culmination of representation of Indigenous people,” said Deal. “It’s totally different from other things I’ve seen, certainly within the cycling industry.”

Deal’s goal with the jersey art? To press forward with Indigenous representation, but also challenge our perceptions.

Today, Velocio will release the jersey on preorder. It’s available in sizes 2XS-3XL. Funds from the jersey proceeds will go to The Sovereign Bodies Institute (for missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people) and Illuminative (who works to further Indigenous representation in media).

Preorder Men’s JerseyPreorder Women’s JerseyLearn More

gregg deal designed jersey with patterns, shoshone figure, and red and black colors

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Mary Murphy
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Mary is based out of GearJunkie's Denver, Colo. office. She has a degree in English and journalism, and has been writing professionally for more than six years. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to skiing to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.