I can hear my heart thumping. My legs are burning. I hit the top of the climb and slowly assume the tuck position and grab the drops. When I am on the drops, I have to hold my breath. Speed is building. Off in the blurry distance I see another cyclist. The rabbit.
This is no story of the Commuter Cup. This is a blost (BLog pOST) about cycling attire and the seemingly ridiculous lengths people go to look good on a bike whilst at the same time having bugger all ability on a bike. As I said yesterday, I am no Eddy Merckx. I am heavy, closer to 50 than 30 and most days struggle along at my own pace. The opening to this blost happened on my ride after work yesterday. The rabbit as it turned out was a bloke I have seen before. He is obviously younger, leaner and richer than me. He is decked out in Sky racing gear from head to toe. He has the build of a Edvald Boasson Hagen in about 10 years time. The only thing NOT Sky about him is his Liquigas-Cannondale Super Six. I only know it is a Super Six because it says so on the chain stay.
The rabbit is about 300m in front of me, with a small kick in front of him. It is a nasty little rise, topping out at 10%, but it is short. 200m short. He hits it and I am still 150m back. Wait, make that 120m, 100m, 50m. He seems to be going in slow motion. Even his legs. He isn’t halfway up and he is out of the seat and I approach. I pull up next to him and his is bright red and doing about 7kph. Wheezing and groaning he is grinding away at about 40RPM. I remind you dear reader, I am no gun on the bike, but at this point I feel like Contador after a 800g Spanish steak. I fly past, and in the process set my 3rd faster time on the Strava segment I am on.
For reasons even I don’t understand, that sort of thing drives me mad. I know, if people want to spend big dollars, they bloody well can. It just feels like false advertising to me. His bike may well be worth more than my car, and he looks like he has just been plucked from the Pro peleton, but the fact that he can’t get up a small him drives me mad. And before you say “He might be new to the sport!”, I have seen him a few times down here last summer, albeit on a different bike. There is no rational reason I feel this way, so I thought I would take a look at how people look on the bike and how important it is to you.
In the past few days, this photo of Anquetil and Merckx has been doing the rounds.
A lot of comment has been made about tucking jerseys into knicks. Well if it was good enough for the Cannibal, it is good enough for me. What worries me more was the fact they were sitting like a pair of supermodels on a beach in St Barts.
Cycling gear is never the most flattering clobber about. Not many people can get around in bib knicks and a team jersey and look as good as this bloke does.
I am not known as a fashion aficionado, actually, far from it. So looking good on the bike really doesn’t matter a whole lot to me. I have been known to cycling in construction workers fluro tops and el cheapo knicks.
I have cleaned my act up just slightly lately, with bib knicks and even a cycling jersey or two. The problem for me is with the fit. The jersey for instance, fits great around the upper body, shoulders, arms, look great. South of the nipples though it is a very different story. If I let the zipper go just after it has crested my mid section, it will zing 6 inches up my chest all on its own. As for the 2XU bib knicks I just bought. They really are telling me to lose some weight. From the nether regions upwards, they are as snug as a 4 Sumo wrestlers in a Toyota Yaris. But around my less than massive thighs, they are loose like shorts. It really isn’t a good look. But really, I don’t care. All I know is that when I put all that gear on, I am going out for a ride. I might not look the elite athlete, but I couldn’t give a bugger. Looking as flash as a rat with a gold tooth is lost on me. But it got me thinking, it could possibly make for some interesting thoughts, and at least an interesting poll.
So vote away and leave comments. I am looking forward to what people have to say. I know guys like Wade at www.cyclingtipsblog.com love looking the part. I see enough people out there that look the part. Euro cool is all the go. I say stuff that, lets get into to Aussie cool, that is, wear what you want, whether you look pro or not. Who’s with me?