Anatomy of a Photo: Drifting Stones

Anatomy of a Photo: Drifting Stones

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I would have put this under the new “Belgian Affirmations” category, but was overcome with fear that King Kelly would hunt me down and strangle me with his death stare for the crime of suggesting he wants to be anything other than Irish.

It is said that some people ride the cobbles with greater ease than the rest. It isn’t necessarily a skill that is learned; on the contrary, some simply ride with a lighter touch than others resulting in them going over the stones a few kilometers per hour faster. These are the riders who excel in the rain-addled editions of the Cobbled Classics. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, I have no choice but to assume I have this skill.

King Kelly, on the other hand, got so bored riding shit-slicked pavé that he decided to start doing tricks and stunts on his way to his second victory in Paris-Roubaix. A moment after this shot was taken, he popped a one-handed Lone Ranger, causing Urs Freuler’s mustache to grow three sizes in amazement before temporarily falling off, ultimately leading to the loss of his ch’i and the race.

Unapologetic Cobblebone continues as I find myself thinking about little else other than Keepers Tour 2012: Cobbled Classics.

// Anatomy of a Photo

  1. @MrBigCog

    Rest well and heal well. This one was part of a total game changer for me.

  2. 1986 Colorado Springs. I walk into the hotel lobby after a evening of spectating the World’s at the velodrome. I was fit at the time and wearing a cycling jacket. Across the lobby Urs Freuler is staring at me with an expression that said, “who in the hell is he?” I am all, “shit Urs Freuler is staring at me wondering who the hell I am!”

  3. @MrBigCog
    That’s a shocker. Heal well.

  4. +1 to that, heal well & best of luck MrBigCog
    that nasty thing makes a fractured clavicle look like childs play
    hats off to you and the real suffering you’ve been in

  5. @MrBigCog
    Yikes – take care of yourself. Heal right and you’ll be much quicker to recover than if you push it too soon.

    Watch that bone density; you could have just had a flukish fall, but bone density is an issue you don’t want to let get out of hand, especially in cycling.

  6. @Souleur

    What a photo and what a hardman
    Not having Cx in this area much, I still am in route to buying a cross bike for off road and the rare cx race that pops up.
    Having raced some mtn bikes though, and having ridden enough in the snow/ice/sleet/rain, the occassional rear end drift does occur, and it is quite the feeling, I personally like it while I have control, but a little overdrift and confidence and you can find your self spinning in circles like the squirrel that gets hit by a passer-byer car…and thats not pretty
    Kelly obviously couldn’t care less, isn’t scared and riding like he always does, and thats why I think he’s half belgian in heart

    I’m glad you said it and not me. When he comes looking, I’ll point him in your direction.

    I asked an Irish mate why the Irish pint is bigger than the others, and he said that when it comes to the Irish and their beer, you just don’t fuck with them. I’m assuming someone in Irland just made a pint glass a random size and no one has had the guts to ask why it was that size ever since.

  7. @Steampunk

    Done this on gravel, on wet leaves, and on snow. It does make the heart rate jump more than a little. I guess it takes a real hardman to take advantage of that adrenaline burst to push even harder; mere mortals are chastened and exhibit more caution for a few moments while they let their courage recover.

    Yeah, and when I was riding the Schwalbe Ultremo slicks, it would happen to BOTH WHEELS any time I’d get caught in a wet corner. That’s unnerving.

    I’m not sure if Kelly raced ‘Cross, but most Belgians/Dutchman do and that’s why they’re good at racing the cobbles – you learn to control these things and actually just work with them. Mountain biking gives a similar quality to your riding and one of the main reasons it so important to ride the tarmac as well as the dirt, in whatever form you can find it.

    Oh, and you have to not care if you crash. That helps. That HR thing you’re mentioning is just an artifact of you being concerned for your welfare.

  8. @Rookie_Roubaix

    His interviews in “Road to Roubaix” are awesome.

    VMH in Kenya, so I’m watching Cycling videos almost non-stop. Road to Roubaix has got to be the best cycling film made. Awesomeness.

  9. @wiscot

    Fantastic photo! I’m estimating that 95% of riders who might find themselves in Kelly’s situation would be on their asses before they knew it. Kelly, I’m sure, got shipshape immediately and on his merry way.
    And yet again, in the thick of the action is the ‘tash with panache, the mighty Urs Freuler. You know Frank, someone should write an article about Urs . . .

    All in good time, mate – its due for it’s glory before too long. Getting to a regular pattern on the guest pieces so they come out more predictably. Gianni’s got it covered for me so I can focus on other things.

    As for Urs, though…what happened to the big guys in our sport? Seems like the 80’s had loads of ‘em. Check out Rogiers, dude is truly massive. I like him, obviously. But Kelly – KELLY. Talk about a magnificent stroke!

    @Jim

    1986 Colorado Springs. I walk into the hotel lobby after a evening of spectating the World’s at the velodrome. I was fit at the time and wearing a cycling jacket. Across the lobby Urs Freuler is staring at me with an expression that said, “who in the hell is he?” I am all, “shit Urs Freuler is staring at me wondering who the hell I am!”

    Awesome!

  10. @frank
    check out the 7 minute vid i just posted in the Rules. Gold!

  11. @itburns

    Well, luckily I’ve never had it cause a crash but those moments when you push down on the pedals and they don’t “push back” like you’d expect are interesting, to say the least!

  12. @Marcus
    Awesome video Marcus, thanks for posting.

  13. @MrBigCog
    Sorry to see this Mr Big Cog. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  14. @frank

    @Rookie_Roubaix

    His interviews in “Road to Roubaix” are awesome.

    VMH in Kenya, so I’m watching Cycling videos almost non-stop. Road to Roubaix has got to be the best cycling film made. Awesomeness.

    It’s so damn awesome that I grabbed it via a bit torrent, which a friend kind of explained to me, but which I’m not that informed about, and watched the whole thing a bunch of times…before my computer had a massive issue. I had to get a friend to help me fix it and adamantly claim that I was watching cycling vids, not porn. And I really was.

    There are so many different parts from it that give me the chills. I need to put that on my holiday gift list. Of course, the only things I’m asking anyone for are cycling-linked.

  15. @itburns

    @mcsqueak

    What always gets me is climbing out of the saddle in wet weather, when you get rear-wheel slip as you lose and regain traction on the wet road surface – gotta watch your rear-front weight balance in those situations.

    Getting out of the saddle on rollers will help with this. Forces you to focus on smooth weight distribution.

    Hell, man! I can hardly get my water bottle out of the cage and back again without shooting through the wall on rollers! That takes some skill, there.

  16. @itburns

    @mcsqueak

    What always gets me is climbing out of the saddle in wet weather, when you get rear-wheel slip as you lose and regain traction on the wet road surface – gotta watch your rear-front weight balance in those situations.

    Getting out of the saddle on rollers will help with this. Forces you to focus on smooth weight distribution.

    Ha, best work up to this type of riding on rollers. It ain’t easy, but does get easier. A lot of stuff on rollers makes you positive you’ll kill yourself, even just getting on them the first time. But yes, it will help for sure.

    You know what else helps bike handling skills? Cross racing after only a handful of proper cross rides and absolutely zero background in off-road riding. Whistle blows, some fat, slow fucko cuts you off and forces you to sit in for a bit, and then you just start to hammer it and go as fast as you can, while keeping it upright.

    After just a bit of cross racing I feel like I’m a much, much better bike handler. Shoot, even corner on the road now seems vastly easier, smoother, and improved.

  17. @Xyverz

    @Ron
    Many of my riding buddies on Strava have CX bikes. My coworkers are all MTB-ers. I’ve only got a single road bike (which I do know violates the rules, but I’m working on it – I’m a broke bastard), and a CX bike might just fill the gap between the two worlds. I’ve been considering it a lot, especially since my LBS currently has a wide selection of ‘em on sale right now…

    I might get shouted down for this, but if funds are low at the moment, but you need the n+1, I’d say get a cross bike and run it with wide road tires or some light cx tires. A second, third, or fourth road bike is awesome, for sure. I kept on buying more road bikes, since I love road riding and everyone needs a carbon, a steel Italian, a classic bike, et cetera.

    But, you can get a pretty solid cross bike for a great price, especially on sale. Not worth it to get a so-so road bike, best to save for something slick you really like and lust after. And, if you only have two bikes the cross bike is key. You can use it for winter train, you can throw on full fenders, or, you can do some cross racing.

    I have four road bikes & one cross bike I picked up in April. Just last week I saw a cross bike on sale and couldn’t pass it up. As an all-arounder, cross bikes make far more sense than a road race machine. More versatile, more air in your tires, cheaper, less sensitive about care, etc.

    Road bikes are great, but if you already have one and would like a second bike, a cross bike just allows for more applications. I tried to turn an Italian steel road bike into my do-it-all bike, but the geometry wouldn’t allow for full fenders + bigger tires. And, it’s a shame to lock up such a nice bike. And, no matter how much I told myself it was my n+4 road bike, I still couldn’t just ride it in rain and be done with it.

    That’s just my input for someone who has been bitten by the cx bug and decided to trade out a road bike for a cross bike. I truly admire people with just one bike. And sometimes it makes me kick myself, since the more bikes you have the more options/headaches you have.

  18. @Ron
    Just don’t get it too dirty so you can trade it in for whatever’s in fashion next year.
    Snarky, I know, sorry. And they do make a lot of sense.
    Just really noticed how CX has taken off this season.
    This is a year old, but relevant.

  19. @Ron
    Ron, it sounds like you should try riding a cyclo-cross bike – I have a feeling you might enjoy it.

  20. @mcsqueak

    @itburns
    Well, luckily I’ve never had it cause a crash but those moments when you push down on the pedals and they don’t “push back” like you’d expect are interesting, to say the least!

    I took a core sample of my knee like that mountain biking once. BUMMER! You know its deep when it takes a solide minute or two before it bleeds. And then…whooosh!

    As @itburns says, it’s all about balance. That, and learning when to put more on the back wheel versus the front, because different road surface, as you’re discovering, won’t accept the same balance. Finally, you can learn what we do in old school Mountain biking back when they still rode uphill (and I assume in ‘Cross) to stick your ass out over your wheel and keep your shoulders over your bars so you keep both ends weighted. That’s a beauty.

    @Oli

    @Ron
    Ron, it sounds like you should try riding a cyclo-cross bike – I have a feeling you might enjoy it.

    Now you’re just making things up! How could you possibly know??

  21. Ah ha ha. Nice work, lads. I’ll keep it clean. And, I might like cyclo-ing.

    Oli, don’t get me all worked up!

    Blah, I think I know what you mean. An interesting mix of folks ride/race cross. It IS pretty cool these days.

  22. @Blah

    @Ron
    Just don’t get it too dirty so you can trade it in for whatever’s in fashion next year.
    Snarky, I know, sorry. And they do make a lot of sense.
    Just really noticed how CX has taken off this season.
    This is a year old, but relevant.

    I’m not so sure CX is a fad; it’s just a sport that’s gaining popularity. Fuck the hipsters. RDV did it. Merckx did it. That’s good enough for me.

    And do debunk my earlier statement about best cycling movies, I have to admit I love this one an awful lot.

  23. @frank
    Too true. I did admit it was a snarky comment that, as you said, focussed on the quick rise in popularity of the sport.

    And yes, fuck the hipsters. But that’s kind of implied in most comments posted here.

  24. Great photo frank.
    Kelly just looks like he is pissed off that there ain’t cobblestones.
    Urs is wearing a a sensational piece of kit with the stripes. Forgive my ignorance but… which team? Reminds me of a 1920’s one-piece swimsuit, i.e. I want one

  25. @il ciclista medio

    Atala.

  26. @il ciclista medio
    I knew I could rely on you Oli, cheers

  27. No worries! Here’s a colour shot of The Stache.

  28. @Oli

    I love how subtle WC bands in that picture are it just says yeah I was a WC but theres no need to brag about it. All the impecably groomed tash, in comparision to the one in the background just says class.

  29. @Oli
    Urs is looking puzzled because there is another ‘stache in the peloton and someone might think it is he – and that is upsetting as the other guy is a schlub. Urs was never a schlub. No sir.

    Damn, that Atala jersey is so fine.

  30. @jimmy

    Luckily I avoided the surgery and hardware because I didn’t displace. First time in 25 years my Ortho said he’s seen a fracture like mine not require surgery. How long was your recovery with that hardware?

  31. @G’phant

    @Souleur

    @frank

    @LA Dave

    thank you for your best wishes! I just want to ride again! So if you don’t mind, I’ll be living vicariously through you all for the next 2 months or so!

  32. @MrBigCog
    Don’t have to be a radiologist to read that film! I did almost exactly the same thing at roughly the same age (except mine was on the left). Low speed fall when I hit one of those rubberized fog lines in the rain. I tell you this, ’cause I know how bad it sucks. For my PT they had me riding a stationary bike at their clinic @$75 co-pay a visit. Needless to say, there was only one trip there. Heal well sir!

  33. Oh my god! That mustache! That jersey! That cap! That Casually Deliberate pose! What a photo. I now must get back to work so I can cycle this afternoon!

  34. I think I need to go on that trip… sounds to good to be true.

  35. @Oli
    Yes, FUCKING awesome photo! Reminds me of the Tombstone (movie) line spoken by Billy Zane when describing Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russel):

    ‘My dear, you’ve set your gaze upon the quintessential frontier type. Note the lean silhouette… eyes closed by the sun, though sharp as a hawk. He’s got the look of both predator and prey.’

    Happy Hunting, indeed.

  36. @Oli

    No worries! Here’s a colour shot of The Stache.

    Although a little high on the brow, check out that masterful three-point system application of the cap. It’s guys like that who inspired the system. Perfection.

  37. @wiscot

    @Oli
    Urs is looking puzzled because there is another ‘stache in the peloton and someone might think it is he – and that is upsetting as the other guy is a schlub. Urs was never a schlub. No sir.
    Damn, that Atala jersey is so fine.

    He’s staring at this guy, who’s name escapes me at the moment.

  38. @Ron

    Oh my god! That mustache! That jersey! That cap! That Casually Deliberate pose! What a photo. I now must get back to work so I can cycle this afternoon!

    Yes, also perhaps the most elegant saddle ever made, the Selle San Marco Rolls.

  39. @frank
    funny. lech piasecki, i think. i have rolls too. also, turbo special and regal. weird. non of the gels versions work for me.

  40. @MrBigCog

    @jimmy
    Luckily I avoided the surgery and hardware because I didn’t displace. First time in 25 years my Ortho said he’s seen a fracture like mine not require surgery. How long was your recovery with that hardware?

    I was weelchair bound for 3 mo as there was an elbow break and shoulder damage not allowing crutches. Other factors and issues put the recovery to all activities with only minor pain at 3 1/2 years. this was on the return from rehabing a massive pelvic break(s) including much tendon and muscle tearing that took 18 mo. Between the two rehab aproaches 5 yrs. 4 weeks off bike is just a vacation. But I feel for anyone with breaks that affect joints.

  41. @Ron

    Ron, your evil siren song is getting to me. Must have that n+1… =)

  42. @Oli

    No worries! Here’s a colour shot of The Stache.

    Yusss! Mwahahahahaaaa! That rules.

  43. @frank
    This movie inspired me to ride. Still Love it!

  44. @frank
    frank the rider whose name escapes you is polands lech piaseki, not sure about the spelling though.this is him in the 1987 tour de france prolouge.he rode for del tongo, and almost won that day, had the fastest time for a long time,jelle nijdam won that day, stephen roche was third, and went on to win overall, a great race. Hope that was helpful frank.

  45. You surely wouldn’t mistake this for the start of a road race with uptight, number-crunching roadies with power tap meters and garmins…

  46. @frank

    @Ron

    Oh my god! That mustache! That jersey! That cap! That Casually Deliberate pose! What a photo. I now must get back to work so I can cycle this afternoon!

    Yes, also perhaps the most elegant saddle ever made, the Selle San Marco Rolls.

    That is the exact saddle on my ’92 Merckx. Man, I had forgotten how wonderful those saddles were. Thinkning about getting the “new” Rolls that San Marco are making for the newer Merckx in the stable.

  47. @chubster
    Yup, Lech Piasecki. Very good TT man in the 80s. Here’s what Wikipedia has on him:

    Lech Piasecki (born 13 November 1961) is a Polish former racing cyclist. Born in Poznań, he became the first Polish cyclist to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, in 1987.[1]

    After Piasecki became Amateur world champion in 1985, the Colnago team wanted to sign him. The Polish cycling organisation allowed that in exchange for bicycles.[2] His first victory as a professional cyclist was in a time trial in the 1986 Giro d’Italia, where he surprisingly beat many favourites.[3] In 1987 he won the first stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico. It was a time trial in which he started early, and the wind changed direction after Piasecki finished, so the main favourites who started later had a disadvantage.[4] In the 1987 Tour de France, Piasecki became second in the prologue, and took the yellow jersey in the team time trial. After he lost the lead, he had to abandon in the seventh stage due to dhiarrhea.[5] On August 24, 1998 he became World Track Champion in individual pursuit.

    I love the quid pro quo of the Polish federation saying ‘we’ll let him go if you give us some bikes.” At least they had the good taste to ask for Colnagos. What Wikipedia fails to mention is that his mustache was inferior to that of the mighty Urs.

  48. @frank
    To borrow from Spinal Tap, Urs is an 11 on the scale of cool.

  49. @Ron
    Ron, were you really at this event? Please tell me you sourced this eyesore off the interwebs.

  50. @wiscot

    Nice one.I’d also add that he was not only the first but also the only Polish cyclist to wear a yellow jersey.I remember Jaskula in the 90’s and the fact that he won the stage and was 3rd overall but I don’t think he ever wore yellow,did he?

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