....of a blog today and it scared the living poop out of me. And I liked it. Belgian Knee Warmers is a phenomenal blog written by an unbelievably passionate cyclist who has the gift of articulation and shares the same sort of zeal I have for our sport (even if the blog is road focused and mine is happily focused more or less on the mud of 'cross). In particular is his insistence to call out the nuances of anything PRO or being PRO (and as you'll see any reference to a professional rider or PRO equipment is called out as "PRO". Hilarious). One entry popped up on my Google Crawler that got my attention. It is Radio Freddy's (the blog's author) observation of the little things...the little details...that only a true geek or PRO can see and follows as he calls the Code of the Road. Read this entry.
So I figured I'd add my own small little details and add to his awesome list and in doing so totally open my kimono and expose my true geekiness. Consider this therapy. You have been warned.
White is the New Black...on clothing.
White sex. You think this started in cycling? Hell no. Joe Namath, baby. For a century, big dudes trudged around football fields with giant black shoes with spikes of death affixed to their soles. Then....along came Broadway Joe. Style, class...white shoes. They made him LOOK faster. Within a season nearly all players copied the Man. And with it an industry dedicated to white shoe dye to help repair the scuffs was born. I remember my brother polishing his white football shoes before his games. Memories...
So fast forward to 2007...and cycling. C'mon. Black shoes? They just look slow. I dunno who the first guy in the peleton was to wear white cycling shoes but the guy was a trend setter. I have gone back as far as the late 80's (note Lemond here in the 89 Tour) and seen the first white shoes in old pics so I'd say that was the tipping point era. You just look more supple with your white hoppers spinning elegant circles. I mean, even the hallowed and utterly traditional ground of Soccer (the other Football) has had its feet penetrated with white. Faster man. It just looks faster.
With the shoes....you gotta have the white appointments. Behold my man Todd Wells on his way to winning the 05 Nats. You've got to note the white sex Sidis, white Oakley Pro M's White gloves (ALWAYS got to match the gloves and shoes...c'mon!!!) and white Lazer helmet (I think this is in poor and fairly pedestrian taste personally). I'd give Todd's application of the white appointments as a 7 out of 10 (3 point penalty for the bunk Lazer helmet). Big props for the attention to the white gloves and shoe combo. Kudos. Nice work, kid.
Black is the new Black....on wheels.
Motocross. BRAAAAAAAAAAAP! You know what I'm sayin. Every frickin one of you reading this do that when you throw your leg over your mountain bike and pull a manual. Now let's get specific: FMX! Now those boys have bike style. The black wheel thing started in this camp years ago with huge and beefier rims designed to take the punishment of the huge air. Black anodized rims, wider flanged hubs and thicker spokes. It is stealth looking and gives the bike a WAY cooler profile with the wheels looking beefier. So cross over to bikes. Well before road bikes got the buzz for black wheels, dual slalom and downhill bikes where following suit due to the cross over between riders moving to dual slalom and downhill. Remember Shaun Palmer??? This time, the DS and DH bikes came equipped with black spokes and black hubs. Yum. So as far back as '96, all my wheels have been ceramic Mavics, black DT spokes and black Chris King or Hugi's. Can't get away from it. Translating this to the road, there is a specific purpose for this which I LOVE: The black wheels and black appointments (especially carbon Campy Record or the new SRAM Force bits) do nothing but DRAW OUT the beauty of the frame..when painted obviously instead of benign carbon fiber frames. Behold Gibo's Scott Addict. There is NOTHING to see but the insanely beautiful frame (minus the totally cheesy Euro 'cool' Spiderman graphics. WTF is that? ("Look out Di Luca. I will intimidate you with my scary pink Spidy head.") In white of course. Very PRO though. Note the white bar tape and saddle. GOT to match and Simoni's at least got that right.
C'MON!!! In your darkest deepest untold secrets, you ALL love your tan lines. You look at yourself in the mirror after your well deserved shower after your long group ride or local race, suck in your gut and envision you are leaving the hallowed showers of the Roubaix velodrome or maybe on teh physicians table the day before Le Tour with your severe arm, leg and neck tans and if you are REALLY PRO, you certainly have yerself some of them helmet strap and/or glove tans. But face it, you just look like this French guy. Still, it is extremely PRO and is like a tattoo worn with honor...earned from hard miles in the sun. Don't forget to lather up with some SPF though.
So maybe if I can think of more of my obsessive and weird bike geek 'habits', I'll jot them down. Mostly though I want to pay tribute to this guy Radio Freddy as a kindred spirit dedicated to the details and nuances of the shit in cycling you know you love but won't admit it.