Anatomy of a Photo: The Bowels of Spectating

Anatomy of a Photo: The Bowels of Spectating

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Perusing the Velominati Archives of Cycling Photos Liberated from the Interwebs (VACPLI), I stumbled across this little gem. I’m sure they are lovely people on the inside, but this photo showcases one of the most unflattering examples of spectators we find along the roadside of the Great Races. I’m not sure how you can be at the Queen Stage of the 2009 Tour – on the final climb no less – watching the key break led by three of the finest climbers in the world, and look quite so…constipated.

Here we have a misguided Euro hipster doing his best impression of an American Frat boy douchnozzle. Whomever decided it was cool to perch a baseball cap backwards and tilted like a yarmulke should be given a stern talking to. I can only assume this a strategy to protect the neck from flying debris. Unacceptable. Please review the three-point system immediately. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

The cap on what I’m guessing is a woman with unnecessarily wide shoulders letting out a Bantha call is really no better, but can be blamed on the Tour caravan that passes before the race and distributes this type of paraphernalia to fans whose judgement has been impaired by a combination of sun exposure, boredom, excitement, and copious quantities of alcohol. Nevertheless, those hats should be summarily incinerated, and all photographic evidence destroyed.

 

// Anatomy of a Photo

  1. I know we went all ape-shit over the sartorial splendor of the tifosi in one of the 1950’s photos from a previous article, but I’ll be damned if I can find it. Today’s spectators are just daft.

    I know at this year’s climbs, at least one of you in attendance will be dressed to the nines. You promised.

  2. Notice the guy on the left holding the flag matador-style ? Proof that someone already knew the Cheatador was loaded to the eyeballs with Spanish-fly steak, and was hoping to confuse him into charging…

  3. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    As Pedale showed us there are plenty of old school tifosi out watching MSR in proper clothing too. Those old Italian dudes know how to dress.

  4. Sorry, this isn’t the proper venue, but I just spotted this pic on Inner Ring and I just had another body double inspiration:

    Cadel

    Ruprecht
    http://atnzone.com/nz/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/ruprecht.jpg

    I beg your collective indulgence…

  5. Couldn’t you find one of those photos with a skinny frenchman in a speedo sans his shirt? I saw several of those guys running alongside the peloton as they climbed to the top of the Col in last years coverage.

  6. @Nate
    That’s because they’re Italian. Italians ooze style. It’s the French, Germans, Americans, and Merckx knows what other tribes who are responsible for this shameless public display of tastelessness.

    Holy Crap, Batman! There’s some dude in that photo wearing camo like he’s bow-hunting turkeys in Arkansas.

  7. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    The guy in cammo is holding out some clenbuterol-enriched salad leaves to Contador..more proof !

  8. You gotta give the velominhottie in the freebie had some credit. Looks like she and her matchy-matchy boyfriend did actually ride up the climb which is more than can be said for most of the folks in attendance. We can only hope that’s not her mountainbike leaning against the rock in the background. As for Mr. Backwards-cap, he looks so dumb I think if he tries to clap his hands will miss.

  9. So when does the Velominati campaign to place at least one sharply dressed Follower in all photos of major races for 2011 begin?

    I can cover the Ronde and P-R next week…

  10. Jeff in PetroMetro:
    @Nate
    That’s because they’re Italian. Italians ooze style. It’s the French, Germans, Americans, and Merckx knows what other tribes who are responsible for this shameless public display of tastelessness.
    Holy Crap, Batman! There’s some dude in that photo wearing camo like he’s bow-hunting turkeys in Arkansas.

    I hate to burst your bubble, Tex, but I’ve spent enough time among the Euro-hordes to know that man for man, they’re just as fashion challenged as us Yanks. And don’t even get me started on the Aussies. Here’s how I see it (warning, gross generalization alert!):

    Most Americans dress like their five year old kids (baggy shorts, untucked polos, baseball caps for the men, cotton blouses, loose jeans and Ugg boots for women). Awful.

    Most Euros dress like their 15 year old kids (tight jeans, ridiculous shirts with unintelligible English slogans, and completely outrageous shoes). See the image below of a pair of Italian matrons strolling in Montepulciano for proof.

    Aussies dress like Americans, but with beer stains on the fronts. (You Kiwis are getting a pass on this one)

    That said, there is certainly good style to be found in Europe, just as there is in the US and Australia / NZ. Typically among our elders.

    Never forget that one of the benefits of being a cyclist is being thin enough to wear bitchin’ clothes that make us look even more fabulous. La Vie Velominatus should extend to off the bike as well.

    Peace Out.

  11. Nuu Zillnd uniform?

    There you go, just for you. Don’t mention it

  12. While I truly believe you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover….. I do love analysing these photo’s and imagining the worst.

    back facing cap = tosser frat boy douchenozzle, could possibly be an inbred
    gingham sun hat = not sure if they would even hand those out from the caravan, think that one’s been brought along for the ride. She’s kinda cute though in that Euro way
    I’m guessing the goose in the matching Caisse kit is the partner, though me thinks he may be checking out the brother’s grimpeur arses
    spotty cap is cool. The look of genuine awe and admiration in her (?) face is great. I’d have a similar look myself, though a bit older and more wrinkly
    Mr. Adidas – probably spent quite a lot of time pondering what outfit to wear to look as sporty as possible but… fail. Love the brand, shame it has to look like this
    red and black sweater tied around neck (top right) with what looks like knicks on the bottom, fuck me, that look went out in the 80’s didn’t it? Unless it’s Barry Manilow incognito
    blue and white cap, no teeth, (top middle) letting out a bantha call, guessing it may be related to back cap, possibly sister/brother and/or partner, probably both.
    Male pattern baldness awareness group (front bottom group)- nice to see them sticking together but gotta remember, it’s either sunscreen or hats to protect the noggin. The first one at the front of the pic does look like he may be trying to pull a condom over his head for a bet while yelling “hey Contho, this is what a dickhead looks like”

    thanks frank, it’s Friday after a busy week, I needed a good laugh

  13. @minion
    That’s how we do casually deliberate and the three point system down this way!

  14. I love Fred Dagg. Thoroughly ruined by moving to Strayla.

  15. @minion
    You forgot the velcro gloves

  16. minion :
    I love Fred Dagg. Thoroughly ruined by moving to Strayla.

    Have to agree with you there.

    You know John Clark, along with Bryan Dawe, still pops up here on the ABC – 7.30 report every week night over here. Dawe is always the straight man interviewing Clarke, who usually plays a politician. Their political commentary/satire is second to none and hilarious. Brilliant man.

  17. I met Fred Dagg (John Clarke) at an art gallery function here (Melbourne) for Kiwi contempory art recently (que Marcus for predictable Friday kiwi bashing sledge). He’s even cooler in real life than on the telly.
    Jeff in P – I am one of those who will be on the side of the road up the big climbs of this year’s Tour maintaining high standards of viewing attire and personal grooming.

  18. @sgt
    ok, you’re fishing and I’m biting. I take great umbrage at the suggestion Australians dress like Americans. I think you will find we are sartorially far superior to the mall attending masses.

    To wit, please refer to one of our Australian Living Treasures, the be-suited and inestimable Sir Les Patterson. This photo is from the Australian National Portrait Gallery, no less. It is a point of personal pride that in his construction of this character,Barry Humphries chose to give Sir Les as education from the school that I attended.

  19. Ron :
    So when does the Velominati campaign to place at least one sharply dressed Follower in all photos of major races for 2011 begin?
    I can cover the Ronde and P-R next week…

    Any idea on the choice of sartorial splendour? I only ask so I know what to look for

  20. @sgt
    btw ++1 on the Ruprecht inclusion.

    And speaking of Cuddles, look at what landed on my door last night. Auctioning this for charity tomorrow night. Signed by all members of the 2010 Aussie World Champs team.

  21. Kiwicyclist :
    I met Fred Dagg (John Clarke) at an art gallery function here (Melbourne) for Kiwi contempory art recently (que Marcus for predictable Friday kiwi bashing sledge). He’s even cooler in real life than on the telly.Jeff in P – I am one of those who will be on the side of the road up the big climbs of this year’s Tour maintaining high standards of viewing attire and personal grooming.

    Sir, two things to envy about you.

    Perhaps we should propose a common theme or tell tale sign, that will make the Velominati stand out in the crowd? I realise that the high standard of dress codes that will be applied by the Velominatus/ta will more than likely set one apart from the slovenly dressed general public, but imagine being able to spot the Velominati as the camera’s roll by!

  22. @il ciclista medio
    the man is a DEADSET FUCKING GENIUS.
    They both are, I’ve watched the box set of the friday night reports, the complete catastrophe, the games is hilarious, in other circumstances I might wish the guy was my dad.

    Its worth googling a few of his clips, I particularly enjoyed one where he pretended to be a Chilean miner, Julio Gillarde, putting the shaft in (rescue shaft) to a thinly disguised Kevin Rudd. He and Brian Dawe have made an admirable career out of sharp, whimsical nonsense and I am increadibly jealous.

  23. @il ciclista medio
    Absolutely spot fucking on.

  24. @Kiwicyclist
    Thank you. It’s about time we Velominati stand up for good taste in all manner of cycling, either riding or viewing.

  25. Here’s me and my brother all ready to watch the Tour down under. Unfortunately our wallaby saddles went missing and we were unable to hop down to the finish chute.
    Maybe next year…

  26. @all
    Sometime back, I gave you my opinion about side-of-the-road dress code for any major race: I love the linen suit and straw panama for the Tour. For the colder stages or Spring Classics, I’m all about the heavy weight wool slacks paired with a classic tweed sport coat and herringbone Donegal cap. If it’s muddy or wet, pair up the tweed with Wellies (real ones). And don’t forget a proper umbrella.

    And never never never denim. I don’t care how much you paid for those jeans. Denim screams, “I’m not trying very hard.”

    Until the rest of the world stops running naked along side the peloton, I think a tie is required. You really have to step it up and fight the forces of evil.

  27. @Harminator
    Which one’s Marcus?

  28. @il ciclista medio
    Here is kiwicyclist pre-race (on right)

    And here he is putting some smack on the field coming into the final straight. A kinda cool photo til you realise the person he has gapped is a chick.

  29. @Marcus
    What are you raising money for? That should cost someone at least a large.

  30. @Jeff in PetroMetro

    Not everyone is classy enough to get away with a cravat. (I’m on the left)

  31. @Marcus
    Anatomy of A Photo–lose that fucking huge bottle, kiwicyclist. And colored bibs? Really? Sock length looks great. Love the shallow drops on the bars–very current, very now. Running the big ring, layin’ down the V. Everyone behind is inhaling wasps while kc is casually deliberate. Quien es mas macho? kiwicyclist es mas macho.

  32. @sgt
    I’m good with gross generalizations. I think you’re absolutely right about Americans dressing like five-year-olds. And the Ugg thing has to stop sometime soon. My daughter won’t take hers off, even when it’s 23C outside.

    Oh, that’s another thing besides no denim on the side of the road. No Velominata in Uggs or flip-flops. They’re tired. They’re gonna have that acid washed jeans and rats nest hairband feel five years from now. Maybe some ballet flats this year, ladies?

  33. @Marcus
    @Harminator
    @Jeff in PetroMetro
    I’m taking full credit for lighting a fire under this thread… first rate work, y’all!

    And that rainbow jersey’s the bees’ fuckin’ knees…

  34. @Harminator
    Plaid Stallions – the name of my 70’s porn star ensemble. Leeesure suits and all. Where did you find this? It looks like one of those dress maker patterns my grandmother used to have next to the Singer sewing machine

  35. @Marcus
    awesome

    correction – two chick’s

  36. @Marcus
    on closer inspection –
    1 x chick
    1 x old bloke

  37. Marcus :
    @il ciclista medio Here is kiwicyclist pre-race (on right)

    And here he is putting some smack on the field coming into the final straight. A kinda cool photo til you realise the person he has gapped is a chick.

    Ahhh C grade with Southern at Sandown Raceway the home of our bogan V8 taxi racing, nags and I think dishlickers as well. Crit season nearly all over for us, soon it will be wet and windy road racing season. Bring it.

    Excellent observation and commentating skills on the topics photo – very entertaining for a wet and cold Friday afternoon.

  38. il ciclista medio :
    @Marcus on closer inspection -1 x chick1 x old bloke

    Correct – 3rd wheel is a bloke in a Celtic Decor kit, a local club team.

  39. @Ron
    Fuck you, Ron. Don’t rub it in. (Sorry if that sounds a bit surly). You may atone by providing full, detailed reports. Don’t forget to tell us about your choice in Belgian beers, how many grams of frites you consumed, and the tobacco preferences of the locals.

    @Jeff in PetroMetro
    I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist the bait on issues sartorial.

  40. And here he is putting some smack on the field coming into the final straight. A kinda cool photo til you realise the person he has gapped is a chick.

    If you look closely you will see Marcus swallowing a wasp immediately behind the rider in the yellow and blue jersey after being gapped by the author and the chick.

    (I haven’t had a gift like this since my last birthday – cheers M)

    @Jeff in Petrometro
    Good question regarding TV recognition of Velominati on the side of the road. Any suggestions are welcome…(In truth I’ll probably be wearing the new version of the Toro kit we having made…or my team NZ skinsuit ’cause its the ducks nuts).

  41. @Kiwicyclist

    So, is it Marcus’ lead out train then KC?
    KC, a chick, old bloke and some random? Awesome

  42. il ciclista medio:
    @Kiwicyclist
    So, is it Marcus’ lead out train then KC?
    KC, a chick, old bloke and some random? Awesome

    Ok – before it was fun – now it is getting out of hand! I promise that wasn’t the last lap!

  43. @Nate
    You got me hook, line, and sinker.

    @Kiwicyclist
    All joking about viewing wardrobe aside, I don’t know how Velominati can stand out on TV. Behaving like a cycling fan without crossing over into the realm of psychotic media whore will probably leave you invisible. TV producers and camera men automatically focus on the truly insane. If you’re riding up a climb, I guess you pick your favorite kit and wear it (although I’m not a fan of standing around in cycling kit).

    What if you waved a large flag with the V-cog? All of us could spot that, no problem.

  44. @Ron

    So when does the Velominati campaign to place at least one sharply dressed Follower in all photos of major races for 2011 begin?
    I can cover the Ronde and P-R next week…

    I say grassroots is the best way; you get out there and start it! We will be looking for you, do us proud. I’m thinking derby hat and can or umbrella along with a nice wool three-piece suit. Harris Tweed if possible.

    Aside from Scottish wool, the only thing besides Spandex that touches this body is hand-made Italian suits.

  45. @sgt

    Never forget that one of the benefits of being a cyclist is being thin enough to wear bitchin’ clothes that make us look even more fabulous. La Vie Velominatus should extend to off the bike as well.

    Sometimes Truth just jumps right out of a page. I love that this has come back to fashion.

    @Jeff in PetroMetro
    In case no one else has pointed it out, the fashion discussion was over on Casually Deliberate.

  46. frank:
    @Jeff in PetroMetro
    In case no one else has pointed it out, the fashion discussion was over on Casually Deliberate.

    One of my favorite articles.. I just went back and skimmed it for fun. Gotta give a shoutout to Steampunk, tho. As he so rightly noted, being Casually Deliberate requires laying down The V (or at least the potential thereof), but looking good doing it. We must be Casually Deliberate, not Deliberately Casual.

  47. @ Frank – yeah, I try to make certain that the only clothes to touch my body are the finest.

    Is it just me or has cycling made anyone else a fit-freak? Since I wear Lycra for a few hours a day I can now no longer stand any clothes that don’t fit me just so. I go crazy. It’s like a new obsessive compulsiveness.

    It’s weird. Baggy clothes or ill-fitting ones or poorly cut clothes drive me crazy.

  48. Say what you want. Down here in the humid SE (USA) my favorite off-bike attire during the summer is a pair of baggy under armour shorts, t-shirt, slides, topped by with a yellow Discovery Cycling Team cap. I may switch up this year for a Garmin-Cervelo cap. I’m all about comfort over style, got really comfortable with the “i’m not trying too hard” style back in the 70’s. Yea, I have ties in my closet but I only wear one a couple times of year if I can help it.

  49. Thankyou all for another fabulous read.
    I’d typed out a tirade against all low-rent bogan’s with no teeth and fashion clone/victims, then stopped as the thought struck;

    “What would Jens wear?”

  50. Ron:
    Is it just me or has cycling made anyone else a fit-freak? Since I wear Lycra for a few hours a day I can now no longer stand any clothes that don’t fit me just so. I go crazy. It’s like a new obsessive compulsiveness.

    I experienced the same thing lately. Good news is that many clothing stores have “slim” and “super slim” lines that fit really well. I just gave away a bag of five baggy shirts and replaced them with three that feel really great.

    frank:
    Aside from Scottish wool, the only thing besides Spandex that touches this body is hand-made Italian suits.

    And shoes! After wearing cycling shoes that fit so well, one has to seek out a similar pair for off the bike. The problem with buying a nice pair of Italian oxfords is that you realize why some shoes are so expensive.

    If you can help it, don’t Google “Santoni.”

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