What does the layman observe when he sees a cyclist in the wild? While we do our utmost to Look Fantastic, in our own eyes and minds at least, outside observers may as well be witnessing little green aliens who’ve just stepped off their spacecraft and are heading to their very first fancy dress/drag party on this weird and wonderful planet called Earth. We go to great lengths to carefully match our kit, keep our shoes clean, make sure we are smooth and hairless, tanned, toned and terrific. We check the mirror as we’re leaving the house and see Merckx or De Vlaeminck looking back at us, hair slicked back and perfect sideburns. We see the brown skin and lean, lithe body of Contador or Nibali. Others may be greeted with a reflected visage of a Thor, Tommeke or Spartacus if more on the ‘Classics’ scale of the cyclist’s BMI. We see greatness, a fine example of athleticism and presentation, bound to turn heads and elicit breathless epithets as we glide easily by.
What the man in the street sees is a twat. And he probably has a point. Continue reading