We want to look like Pros, sure, but what we’re really after is feeling Pro. All the aesthetics are just a tool we use to fuel the fickle internal combustion engine of Morale. In the end, there is little that will make you feel Pro more than clattering along a stretch of cobbles in a small group; instant “select breakaway”. One of the magical things about the cobbles is the risk of crashing is always there, so your adrenaline is always pumping. The other magical thing about the cobbles is that you have to ride them full gas to smooth them out, which means you have the combination of bombing along a tooth-rattling road at full gas with adrenaline coursing through your veins like it’s New York in 1984. And then Johan Museeuw blows by in the gutter and now it’s a real party.
The most Pro you’ll ever feel, however, is clattering along the cobbles, feeling your back rim start to hit the stones and realize the worst: you’ve got a flat. You don’t have any tools; in fact you have nothing in your pockets at all. But fear not, you just swing off, do a cyclocross dismount while reaching for you back QR skewer which you unlatch right as your second foot hits the ground. A snap of the seatpost and the wheel comes loose. You hold it up in the air and the support van screeches to a halt as the mechanic jumps out with a fresh wheel. Moments later, you’re back on the street, in the non-prostitute sense. Continue reading