Twiggo survives in 2009. Photo © Sirotti

Twiggo survives in 2009. Photo © Sirotti

Anatomy of a Photo: Sticks and Stones

by / / 76 posts

It’s no secret that the cobbles are the domain of the big men. Look through the list of winners in Flanders and Roubaix, and you won’t find any flyweights, grimpeurs or probably anyone under 80kg. Ok, maybe lighter than that, but more likely the weight will be compacted in muscle and distributed over a shorter body than Jolly Naughty Wiggins displays here.

With the Keepers Tour locked and loaded for the Euro Spring, the anticipation of riding the roads I’ve revered for decades is building to a point that could be deemed unhealthy by outside observers. Anyone within earshot gets bombarded with “did I tell you I’m going to be riding the cobbles?”, usually met with a blank stare and a quick retreat. But after I think about the truckloads of awesome to be had riding the hallowed ground, my mind invariably wanders to the ‘what if’ scenarios. What if Il Profetta gets rattled to death and cracks? Well, it’s meant to be, it’ll be dying in its bithplace, a return to the soil from whence it was born. What if The Lion tells me to Rule #5 it and stop being a pussy? I can live with that, even welcome it (especially if we are in the bar after the ride!). But what if my over-zealousness gets the better of me and I’m sent plummeting to the ground, and my spindly Twiggo-esque limbs succumb to the stones that even the Lion’s mighty knee had to concede to? Snap, game over.

So it looks like the best preparation will be a training regime of Welli-Roubaix gravé riding, peppered with weights to build some insulating muscle. And for fuck’s sake, I’m a mountain biker, how hard can it be to ride over some rocks? Harder than I can even imagine, I’d say. I’m praying for a wet Roubaix next Spring, but only for the Pros… I won’t mind riding in dust one bit.

// Anatomy of a Photo // Keepers Tour

  1. It is really short though. People still go down like it is their job.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3bHNcO_Wwc&feature=related

  2. Is there a way to edit posts? I just had to show you guys this video I ran across with the “ultra-climber”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgIL6eHHgZU&feature=related

  3. @DerHoggz
    That’s just ridiculous.

  4. @DerHoggz
    Visually offensive: too many Rules violations in the Mur de Pittsburgh

  5. @brett

    @DerHoggz
    That’s just ridiculous.

    Wow.
    Is the ultra climber also the butterfly whisperer?

  6. @DerHoggz
    Woah, Matt Busche has really let himself go in the off season.

  7. Wiggins finished 25th that year

  8. @DerHoggz

    That’s a strong argument for banning bearded people. I’ll bet he has a recumbent, wears socks with sandals as part of his casual attire along with one of those belts with a little bag. I hadn’t realised my dad was still into cycling.

  9. @DerHoggz

    Is there a way to edit posts? I just had to show you guys this video I ran across with the “ultra-climber”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgIL6eHHgZU&feature=related

    Rarely am I appalled and transfixed at the same time but that climb video managed both.

    7.5 gear inches. If that’s what it takes to get up a hill… why not just walk ? It would be faster.

  10. @DerHoggz
    Never be concerned about being too fat too climb again. And the Herb Alpert/Chuck Mangione soundtrack is awesome.

  11. And the Pittsburgh vid shows a guy with aero bars on a cross bike. Wow.

  12. @ChrisO

    @DerHoggz

    Is there a way to edit posts? I just had to show you guys this video I ran across with the “ultra-climber”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgIL6eHHgZU&feature=related

    Rarely am I appalled and transfixed at the same time but that climb video managed both.
    7.5 gear inches. If that’s what it takes to get up a hill… why not just walk ? It would be faster.

    Actually, in the second climb, using 8.6 gear inches, a pedestrian does overtake him.

  13. @Chris

    @DerHoggz
    That’s a strong argument for banning bearded people. I’ll bet he has a recumbent, wears socks with sandals as part of his casual attire along with one of those belts with a little bag. I hadn’t realised my dad was still into cycling.

    That’s a beard? I thought it was a full face-mask. And why is he wearing a fake-muscled Captain America suit?

  14. @Chris
    Oh, and my favourite equation ever, courtesy of The Fast Show, is:
    Socks + Sandals = Beard

  15. @DerHoggz: those are killer climbs, the pave’ going up like that must be like a million speed bumps in a row

    @Chris O@ChrisO

    @DerHoggz

    Is there a way to edit posts? I just had to show you guys this video I ran across with the “ultra-climber”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgIL6eHHgZU&feature=related

    Rarely am I appalled and transfixed at the same time but that climb video managed both.
    7.5 gear inches. If that’s what it takes to get up a hill… why not just walk ? It would be faster.

    now now, why not walk?? Because we are cyclists, velomanti…created in the very image of Eddy, thus we ride and NEVER walk…because eddy doesn’t walk, thats why. Its like giving up. Even if its faster, thats not the point. I know you weren’t thinking that…ride on

  16. @Nate, yes they do have those ‘tummy ticklers’ here. I have never heard it called that, but that seems right on. Short steep climbs all day long, short down, short up. Buddy and I call it the poor mans interval, hill repeat, breath, hill repeat, breath..ignore the burning, just go. Although, at times, the riding here is really beautiful and part of the beauty is I have it all to myself, relatively speaking.

    @mblume: Alps, traded for the ozarks, thats like trading from ford to mercedes, right? Not bad. My family lineage is actually swiss, so maybe i have family in switzerland. Nice. Enjoy.

    I did have the privilage to work w/the Tour of Missouri as a technical stage director and when they came through, i picked out the absolutely hardest parts for them that day, rouled out 150k for them. Tommy Danielson called it ‘fuckin ridiculous’ afterward on velonews. Thats what I thought too BTW, they smoked the thing, german team Gut had never rode any faster all year they said. The peloton used the ‘hills’ as a build up for momentum every time, literally hitting the next hill and just smashing it, finished the 150k in 3hrs and change. Micheal Barry won that days stage dropping Louder in a breakaway and lone wolfed it to the line.

  17. happy fat thanksgiving everyone!!!

  18. @Souleur

    @DerHoggz: those are killer climbs, the pave’ going up like that must be like a million speed bumps in a row
    @Chris O@ChrisO

    @DerHoggz

    Is there a way to edit posts? I just had to show you guys this video I ran across with the “ultra-climber”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgIL6eHHgZU&feature=related

    Rarely am I appalled and transfixed at the same time but that climb video managed both.
    7.5 gear inches. If that’s what it takes to get up a hill… why not just walk ? It would be faster.

    now now, why not walk?? Because we are cyclists, velomanti…created in the very image of Eddy, thus we ride and NEVER walk…because eddy doesn’t walk, thats why. Its like giving up. Even if its faster, thats not the point. I know you weren’t thinking that…ride on

    I’m with @ChrisO on this one, if you have to do that to a bike to get up a hill then walk. Eddy wouldn’t have walked but I’m sure that if he’d found himself going that slowly the world would have ceased to exist.

    I’m all for carrying on in the face of advancing years but one must also recognise ones limitations and seek more suitable routes in the same way that there comes a time when one should acknowledge that ones hair line is not what it used be and reach for the clippers.

  19. @Souleur

    @Nate, yes they do have those ‘tummy ticklers’ here. I have never heard it called that, but that seems right on. Short steep climbs all day long, short down, short up. Buddy and I call it the poor mans interval, hill repeat, breath, hill repeat, breath..ignore the burning, just go. Although, at times, the riding here is really beautiful and part of the beauty is I have it all to myself, relatively speaking.
    @mblume: Alps, traded for the ozarks, thats like trading from ford to mercedes, right? Not bad. My family lineage is actually swiss, so maybe i have family in switzerland. Nice. Enjoy.
    I did have the privilage to work w/the Tour of Missouri as a technical stage director and when they came through, i picked out the absolutely hardest parts for them that day, rouled out 150k for them. Tommy Danielson called it ‘fuckin ridiculous’ afterward on velonews. Thats what I thought too BTW, they smoked the thing, german team Gut had never rode any faster all year they said. The peloton used the ‘hills’ as a build up for momentum every time, literally hitting the next hill and just smashing it, finished the 150k in 3hrs and change. Micheal Barry won that days stage dropping Louder in a breakaway and lone wolfed it to the line.

    My sister and I called them “tummy ticklers” when we were little. Never have ridden them, but the thought of riding hills like that over and over sounds like a hell of a workout.

    I remember that stage. When I first heard there was going to be a Tour of Missouri I thought they should hit those kinds of roads. Awesome work, there was a lot of the V going on that day!

  20. @DerHoggz

    Is there a way to edit posts? I just had to show you guys this video I ran across with the “ultra-climber”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgIL6eHHgZU&feature=related

    Amazed and confused at the same time here. Amazed that someone took a shit ton of time to think up and then assemble that two wheeled contraption. Confused as to why.

  21. @Souleur

    @DerHoggz: those are killer climbs, the pave’ going up like that must be like a million speed bumps in a row
    @Chris O@ChrisO

    @DerHoggz

    Is there a way to edit posts? I just had to show you guys this video I ran across with the “ultra-climber”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgIL6eHHgZU&feature=related

    Rarely am I appalled and transfixed at the same time but that climb video managed both.
    7.5 gear inches. If that’s what it takes to get up a hill… why not just walk ? It would be faster.

    now now, why not walk?? Because we are cyclists, velomanti…created in the very image of Eddy, thus we ride and NEVER walk…because eddy doesn’t walk, thats why. Its like giving up. Even if its faster, thats not the point. I know you weren’t thinking that…ride on

    That, and Rule #69.

    @Souleur
    AWESOME STORY.

  22. @Souleur

    happy fat thanksgiving everyone!!!

    You too! For anyone celebrating the holiday, Happy Chow-Down Day!

  23. It’s going to be a few awesome months of anticipation & training for all you lads doing the ride! Christmas eve forever and ever.

    I was just looking at Le Tour the other day at the uni library, a big photo book covering the entire history of the Tour. I couldn’t believe how stocky and thick-legged many of the riders were in the 1960s and 70s. A lot more farm boys I suppose.

    Those Twiggos are strange looking.

  24. @Ron

    Back then they had “real” jobs in the offseason.

  25. @brett
    First post – are you receiving me? How does he generate any power out of those twigs of wood?

Leave a Reply