Anatomy of a Photo: Injustice

Anatomy of a Photo: Injustice

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One of my favorite pass times is to chuck a cycling term into Google’s Image Search, set the filter to Large, and see what turns up. It is incredible how much porn you have to sift through, by the way. I would really think words like “shaved” and “hardman” would be innocent enough, but take it from me – that is not the case.

I have found, however, that through perseverance, determination, and a dash of grit comes reward, and this photo is evidence of that. I don’t know who this strapping young stud is, but he wrote at least one of the chapters in the Book of Awesome. The hair, the cap, the brazen expression, the jersey, the guns, the Chuck Taylors, and riding cross on slicks. And that’s not a fucking compact, either. Well done, my son. It is an injustice beyond comprehension that you did not become a Giant of the Road.

// Anatomy of a Photo

  1. I think this might fall under the “bike porn” nomenclature.

  2. Two more things illustrated by the Clark picture: barend shifters, a cap that fit over your hairnet helmet.

    On any cx weekend these guys would school me on dirt. You could line up with:

    Lawrence Malone, multi-US champion, reported to be the first guy to bunny-hop a barrier at a major Euro event. (The crowd went wild.)
    Jim Gentes, who would create the first Giro helmet and found the company.
    Danny Nall, the godfather of US cyclocross.
    Gary Fisher, you have already heard of him.

    Before a cold, damp race in Santa Cruz, most of us were wondering what we were doing there. Gary Fisher flings his bike frisbee-style into a muddy pond, stomps out into two feet deep water to retrieve it, and says to the effect, “OK, now let’s get started.”

  3. @frank
    I have to get that issue as well as it sounds like a bit of a lnadmark article. Not normally an SI/ESPN sort of guy but this one has actually reeled me in.

  4. @Jim

    Before a cold, damp race in Santa Cruz, most of us were wondering what we were doing there. Gary Fisher flings his bike frisbee-style into a muddy pond, stomps out into two feet deep water to retrieve it, and says to the effect, “OK, now let’s get started.”

    PURE. FUCKING. AWESOME.

  5. @Jim
    It sounds like Fisher was the unattributed original inventor of the Millarcopter. Fishercopter?

  6. @Jim, @Jeff in PetroMetro
    Reminds me of the tale Spankles told on Project Zero:

    Although Brett beat me to it in naming Gene, I can top that with an eye-witness account of Gene’s style. Picture the start to a typical mountain bike race in the early 90s. Lots of lycra. A few rock-shox (maybe), and a couple of guys locked-in to their Look road pedals (I was one of them), teetering at the start and waiting for the gun to go off. A cloud of dust in the distance is followed by a car that pulls up to the start line. Out comes some dude in a white t-shirt and jeans, appearing to be in no hurry. He opens the trunk, pulls out his MBzip, and slowly puts on his jersey and those sweet original Oakleys. Rides up right to the very front of the start line just as the gun goes off and proceeds to win the race easily.

    Legend.

    @Geoffrey Grosenbach
    Spot on, mate.

  7. Three points.

    Clark Natwick is as porn a name as I’ve ever heard

    I have loved the use of both “fucktard” and “twatwaffle” in the above conversation. Chapeau.

    I love even more (from @Frank’s photo at post #18) that the boys doing the cyclocross start were all in aero positions. While standing still.

  8. frank:
    @mightyninja, @Jeff in PetroMetro

    Google such words as: shaved, hardman, lube, chain, position, velcro, stroke, etc. You know.

    Is it wrong that I giggled like a school girl when I read that?

    No, because that’s exactly what I did & am still giggling re-reading this!

  9. The original photo now has me longing for a long, gnarly climb. Just me and my bike against some steep, seemingly unending singletrack. Preferably with some tight switchbacks. And my determination to get to the top without putting a foot down. And nobody would ever give a rats ass but me when I made it, and that is the way I like it.

  10. @Il buccaneero
    Right. That is exactly right.

    And yet, here in the PetroMetro, if I want to climb anything, I have to go to a highway overpass. I’m at 16 meters above sea level. A 2-hour ride in any direction gets me to 20 meters. It’s a 3-hour drive west to Austin where climbs can be steep (short but steep). It’s an hour drive north to the Sam Houston National Park where there are rollers, but anyone from a climbing region can do them Belgian-style in a big ring while singing at the top of their lungs “Friggin in the Riggin” by the Sex Pistols.

    Oh, and that’s my training goal for 2011. I have great aspirations.

    Warning–NSFW. None the less, a classic.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhHAVaOEO8g

  11. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    I don’t know how you do it. I grew up in Fort Worth and spent 4 years in Galveston, where the steepest climb would have been going up over the curb. And your Rule #9 is summer-based.

  12. After looking at the startline photo more closely–
    Number 12 is Clark Natwick, number 11 is Jim Gentes. This is a junior race. The guys in the grey jerseys (actually orange) are from the Velo Sport Club. Velo Sport was a shop in Berkeley owned by Peter Rich (not a porn name) who provided opportunities for a lot of talent to go racing. Mike Neal and George Mount (not porn names) are two that made it to a high level. Velo Sport always had a squadra of juniors. Sorry I can’t name more in the photo.

  13. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    Hey Mate! Where do you live currently? I just found out that I am moving to Ft Sam Houston in San Antonio this summer for two to three years minimum and have NO IDEA of the terrain there. Any rolling hills at all?

  14. @Jim
    Neal and Mount; classic porn names I’d say!

  15. @xyxax
    Yeah. I didn’t do a damn thing on my bike for years here. Honestly, I was scared to death of the traffic and disgusted by the sprawl.

    I started racing in high school in Dallas, raced all through college in Austin (until ’90), then moved to Houston in ’94.

    It’s weirdly hot here from April through October. It’s a stale, humid, still, sour, acrid, chemical burn kinda hot. Until you step off a plane in Houston in early September, you can’t imagine its quality. It takes your breath away.

  16. @Buck Rogers
    I live in the shade of Downtown Houston–nowhere near San Antonio. I’m about 3 1/2 hours east of San Antonio by car.

    San Antonio is pretty cool. You’ll be on the southern end of the Texas Hill Country. Lots of hills, big live oak trees, limestone outcroppings, spring fed rivers. Boerne, TX is northwest of San Antonio by about 40 minutes by car. It’s cool. That’s where the state championship road course was for a while. To the northeast by about 100 minutes is Austin.

    San Antonio is really just a city, but I like it. Once you get out of the city and into the Hill Country, it gets really nice.

  17. Jeff in PetroMetro:
    It’s a stale, humid, still, sour, acrid, chemical burn kinda hot.

    Mmmmm. Texas City and an off-shore breeze.
    Carbon fiber is less useful as a lung component.

  18. @xyxax
    1. When I first moved here (August of ’94), I asked a person I worked with what that smell was in the air first thing every morning. His answer, “Money.” Actually it was benzene.

    2. About five years ago, Houston made the top of three lists in the same year: fattest city in America, worst air quality in America, and worst traffic in America.

    3. There is no zoning in Houston. You can have a topless bar next to a church next to a mansion next to a crack house next to a strip mall next to a used car lot next to a school next to a freeway.

    4. Two years ago, my daughter’s elementary school had the 2nd highest number of confirmed cases of swine flu in any one school in America.

    Come on back, xyxax. We miss you!

  19. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    Thanks for the info! Doesn’t sound too bad after all. Cannot wait to et there and start doing some riding in the area and figure out routes, local clubs, etc.

  20. @Buck Rogers
    San Antonio’s not too bad. The tourist stuff (the Alamo, the Riverwalk) is just that–for tourists. You owe it to yourself to see what the fuss is about. But when you start to go into the Hill Country, there are some places that are pretty special.

    We’ll chat when you get here. I can be persuaded to drive to the Hill Country to ride. Just don’t expect me to climb well for my weight.

  21. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    Man, you know I would be there in a heartbeat, but both my napropath and herbalist recommend a low benzene environment for me. I do visit my brother in Nacogdoches every few years.
    Hats off to you for making cycling work in the town of Buffalo Speedway.

  22. Ah, Buffalo Speedway. Yeah, I guess they shot all the buffalo before I got here. Makes things safer.

  23. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    We’ll see you this late summer/early fall out on the roads, then. And do not worry about the climbing wieght, I’m still about 5 kilo’s over my ideal weight myself!

  24. @Buck Rogers
    See you in the fall!

  25. Frank, thank you for this article!

    I love the random article feature on Velominati. Every once in a while (ok, everyday) something really catches my eye from previous years past. This AOAP has brought back memories of when I felt cheated that my family could not afford to get me a BMX. Thus, I would ride my father’s road bike (ten-speed was the term in those days) on the monkey trails (local pump track) to everybody’s amusement, including my own. Rocking the table-top or the S-turns on 700c wheels when I could barely touch the ground when straddling the tube top, I developed a bit of handling skills that paid off in the later mountain bike craze.

    Injustice indeed.

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