Anatomy of a Photo: The Bowels of Spectating

Les Fréres Grimpeur et Clenbutador

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.

 

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59 Replies to “Anatomy of a Photo: The Bowels of Spectating”

  1. 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!

  2. @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.

  3. @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.

  4. @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.

  5. 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.

  6. @ 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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?”

  9. 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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