Walter Godefroot. photo from www.gios.it

Can’t Do That

Can’t Do That

by / / 99 posts

Pity our cyclist, it’s Saturday and he won’t shave his face, it might sap his strength but he has to shave his legs or he won’t look serious. He certainly can’t have sex, more strength stealing there, and kissing his wife, whoa, slow down, that could spread some germs. He doesn’t want to get sick so going to that birthday party tonight, that could be dangerous, crap fattening food on platters, touched by possibly sick people, and standing around, no way, think of the guns. Who can drink alcohol before racing anyway? I need some steak and pasta. Darling, I’ll go to your office Christmas party, I promise, if I can sit with my legs up a bit, and take the elevator up to the office on the second floor.

A little browse around the town center Saturday evening instead, can’t do that. That would require walking and standing. I’m an athlete, damn it. And this talk of going to the pool, basta! Every cyclist knows swimming is bad for the legs.

Pre-race Sunday morning breakfast- this oatmeal could stand some butter and maple syrup. In the name of Merckx, non-fat milk please and what part of high glycemic index don’t you understand? Oatmeal, does that contain gluten?

Our cyclist rolls with two teammates to the race. In the car all the talk is pre-race excuses: I’m too heavy, I might be getting sick, my legs are unbalanced (?!), I drank too much coffee, I stopped drinking coffee, I have too much inflammation in my body.

Cycling mythology never dies. In a world were we still can’t predict the day when we will have great legs, there are still a thousand things out there that will give us not-great legs, and I’m pretty sure it’s all crap. Having just read this amazing interview with Freddy Maertens (thanks @pistard), it’s plain what gives you great legs, train like a bastard. And by bastard I mean back to back to back to back 300 km training days. Only professionals need do this, or can do this (who has the time or will?). That, get a lot of sleep and eat well, that is what a professional from Freddy’s day might tell you. No one was losing sleep over their power to weight ratio, no Pros then looked like Chris Froome now. These passistas looked like guys you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley.

Now cyclists train smarter, watt meters and training coaches, weight rooms and soy milk, skinnier and colder. Is there a professional now who just scoffs at such data and just trains long and hard? Look at the legs of riders in the 1970s, almost no one looks like that now and it’s not drugs that did that. It’s unholy training in big gears, some V in the bidon, repeat tomorrow.

Slideshow:
Fullscreen:
Download:

// Folklore

  1. @Buck Rogers

    Jesus. What a business.

  2. @Ron

    Who wants to play Caption The Off-Season Training Camp Activity Photograph game?

    No one takes photos of me when I’ve thrown up and passed out after drinking a fifth of Old Crow in the cold dark of January.

  3. @LutherB

    I think that’s Gustaaf van Slembroeck on the right, lighting a fag for Maurice Geldof. Here he is smoking his way to a stage 20 podium in 1927. It ain’t water in that glass bidon.

  4. Sorry for restarting the thread drift, but I can’t resist adding to the Ama Dablam love.

    Camp 2, November 1996. For sure one of the top 5 coolest places I’ve spent the night.

    @Buck Rogers, glad you avoided the chop. Good luck with your 8000er aspirations!

    Cheers,

    Dave R

  5. @Buck Rogers@Dave R   You both are men of fine taste.  As far as I could tell Ama Dablam is the finest-looking mountain in Nepal.  Dave, I was in the same neighborhood that very month, but down in the valleys.  Small world.

  6. @Nate

    @Buck Rogers, @Dave R You both are men of fine taste. As far as I could tell Ama Dablam is the finest-looking mountain in Nepal. Dave, I was in the same neighborhood that very month, but down in the valleys. Small world.

    Awesome stuff,

    a guy I work with ( soon to be official photographer for the Fleurieu Cogal in Feb ) went to base camp at Everest last year and is back there this year as we speak climbing to Gokyo Peak via Renjo La.

    By all accounts and his stories of last year, its an addictive place !

  7. @Barracuda Awesome stuff.  I hope I get to go back to that part of the world some time.  And I wish I had taken more pictures when I was there before.

  8. @Nate Wow Nate. Small world indeed. Mountains do that though. I have a friend from Boulder who I don’t often see. Last three times we just ran into each other by chance in Talkeetna, Namche and Zermatt.

  9. @Dave R

    Sorry for restarting the thread drift, but I can’t resist adding to the Ama Dablam love.

     

    Camp 2, November 1996. For sure one of the top 5 coolest places I’ve spent the night.

    @Buck Rogers, glad you avoided the chop. Good luck with your 8000er aspirations!

    Cheers,

    Dave R

    NICE!!!  I remember that ledge!  Seems bigger in your photo than I remember.  I swear that 25% of our tent was over free space in Camp 2.  Straight multi-thousand foot drop off the back, right? Crazy!  This is at 19,800 feet, correct?

    Ahhhh, memories!  No suffering like 20,000 foot load hauling suffering, unless, that is, you’re thinking about riding Paris Roubaix for 8.5 hours or running for 27 straight hours!

    Thanks for the photo!  I’ll have to dig around and see if I can find a few and scan them in.

  10. @pistard

    I think that’s Gustaaf van Slembroeck on the right, lighting a fag for Maurice Geldof. Here he is smoking his way to a stage 20 podium in 1927. It ain’t water in that glass bidon.

    Thanks for the info & that’s a great pic above.

  11. @LutherB

    @pistard

    I think that’s Gustaaf van Slembroeck on the right, lighting a fag for Maurice Geldof. Here he is smoking his way to a stage 20 podium in 1927. It ain’t water in that glass bidon.

    Thanks for the info & that’s a great pic above.

    Back to an ancient observation I made about riding on the hoods – namely that with a pre-war set up you are either on the drops, the bends or the top – never the hoods.

    This picture shows why.

    Also – what is the appropriate pro way to light your snout? Does one get one’s domestique to get the old Gauloise going and bring it to you lit or does one have to perfect a riding whilst lighting one’s own Woodbine technique? What does one do in Rule #9 conditions? Is the Zippo appropriate?

    I think we should be told.

  12. @LutherB

    @pistard

    I think that’s Gustaaf van Slembroeck on the right, lighting a fag for Maurice Geldof. Here he is smoking his way to a stage 20 podium in 1927. It ain’t water in that glass bidon.

    Thanks for the info & that’s a great pic above.

    Smoking aside, you just know those brakes were shit. Flexy just doesn’t begin to cover it – and these guys were descending gravel-strewn mountain passes.

  13. @the Engine

    @LutherB

    @pistard

    I think that’s Gustaaf van Slembroeck on the right, lighting a fag for Maurice Geldof. Here he is smoking his way to a stage 20 podium in 1927. It ain’t water in that glass bidon.

    Thanks for the info & that’s a great pic above.

    Back to an ancient observation I made about riding on the hoods – namely that with a pre-war set up you are either on the drops, the bends or the top – never the hoods.

    This picture shows why.

    Also – what is the appropriate pro way to light your snout? Does one get one’s domestique to get the old Gauloise going and bring it to you lit or does one have to perfect a riding whilst lighting one’s own Woodbine technique? What does one do in Rule #9 conditions? Is the Zippo appropriate?

    I think we should be told.

    First part of the cigarette, last bit of the joint. On the road he lights up and delivers. He sets the fire and  rarely is allowed to bask in its warmth. Back at the hotel, he brings the buds, but lets the leader twist up and pass around the glow. He waits patiently for the roach. Some say he’s missing the best bits but he would never have it otherwise.

  14. @Buck Rogers Yes, the photo captures well the beauty but not the exposure. Kind of like a photo I have from atop the Stelvio with the 48 hairpins below. Does not convey the magnitude of the climb to that place. At C2 there was discussion with my partners about not falling off the mountain while taking a piss during the night. C 2 is around 5900m (we are Velominati after all), but yes, about 19,700 ft. We avoided load hauling. Carried one load from BC to C1. Then launched and went up and down in 5 days (BC-C1-C2-C3-Summit-C3-BC).

  15. I finished the interview with Freddy this weekend but I can’t get over how awesome it was. Loved the history I learned, the parts about pay offs and pay outs and maybe why Freddy struggled a bit – 30 years of tax troubles? Damn.

    The article, aside from being beautiful in its own right, only demonstrates why I feel so passionate about cycling. Enlightening, beautiful, insightful, like a good early morning ride. Also, it highlights why many modern, popular sports in the U.S. don’t hold my interest. Characters and champions have been replace by corporate machines and robotic, overgrown children.

  16. @Dave R So nice!  That push from C3 to the summit looked pretty amazing from C3.  Envy you the summit on that mountain.  Impressive.

  17. @il ciclista medio

    Here’s the difference between then and now!

    @frank

    @il ciclista medio

    Translation: I’ve switched to R6. For me, its the first great-tasting nicotine and tar cigarette.

    And…

    @frank

    The greatest cycling photo ever.

    @sthilzy

    To prepare for a race there is nothing better than a good pheasant, some champagne and a woman.

    Jacques Anquetil

    @pistard

    @LutherB

    I think that’s Gustaaf van Slembroeck on the right, lighting a fag for Maurice Geldof. Here he is smoking his way to a stage 20 podium in 1927. It ain’t water in that glass bidon.

    It’s no wonder I’m so fucking quick…

  18. Jeeeshz, I’m away front the site for a little while and it’s become Velomounti. Must be the off season!

    Very cool alpine stuff though guys, very impressed. I guess  all just love mountains eh? I do, anytime I see one my first thought is. Want to ride it, then I start wondering about hiking and climbing it.

    I read somewhere (wish I could do the recollecting thing better) that Thomi Voekler still trains old school.  Can anyone verify that?

  19. I’ve seriously go to stop typing on my iPad, it’s making me seem like I’m drunk all the time…

    …must be time for another Sydney Cogal…

  20. @Alex

    Jeeeshz, I’m away front the site for a little while and it’s become Velomounti. Must be the off season!

    Very cool alpine stuff though guys, very impressed. I guess all just love mountains eh? I do, anytime I see one my first thought is. Want to ride it, then I start wondering about hiking and climbing it.

    I read somewhere (wish I could do the recollecting thing better) that Thomi Voekler still trains old school. Can anyone verify that?

    I have a theory (or personal view) that people should only ever hike or climb mountains as part of the process of building roads for us to ride on.

    Regarding Tommy V, I’d heard that also.  That man rides with nothing but his V-meter !

  21. @Chris

    Jacques Anquetil

    Are you sure that’s Anquetil?  He’s doing a pretty good impersonation of a young Kirk Douglas. “I’m Spartacus”.   Not sure you’d ever see Spartacus toking on a cigarette though.

  22. @Mike_P

    @Chris

    Jacques Anquetil

    Are you sure that’s Anquetil? He’s doing a pretty good impersonation of a young Kirk Douglas. “I’m Spartacus”. Not sure you’d ever see Spartacus toking on a cigarette though.

    That’s JA for sure. I’ve seen various versions of the picture. He was a man of unorthodox habits in eating, drinking and, ahem, relationships. Having a ciggie pre or post ride would have been one of the more “acceptable” things he did.

  23. @Mike_P Possibly, it’s surprising how many of stars of cinema were also quite handy bike racers.

    It’s even rumoured that De Niro started out as a wrench at an LBS in Brooklyn but his attitude towards customers was a problem…

    You lookin at me? WTF, are you lookin at me?

  24. @Chris Chapeau!!!  Well played!

    As for Douglas and Sparticus and smoking something:  Have you seen the uncut version?  Talk about homoerotic overtones!!!  Amazing movie!

    Still think that Douglas’ best movie is Paths of Glory, though.

  25. @Chris

    @Mike_P Possibly, it’s surprising how many of stars of cinema were also quite handy bike racers.

    It’s even rumoured that De Niro started out as a wrench at an LBS in Brooklyn but his attitude towards customers was a problem…

    You lookin at me? WTF, are you lookin at me?

    Bobet says “stick your 11 speed cassette where le solieil don’t shine, mon ami. I’ll still kick your ass.”

    That’s a hardman’s freewheel right there. Those wheels ain’t for sissies either – not with the rough roads they had back in the day. The pic probably dates from 51 or 52 as he was French champ in 50 and 51.

    Here’s a tasty nugget from Wiki:

    Bobet was driven by personal hygiene and refused to accept his first yellow jersey because it had not been made with the pure wool he believed the only healthy material for a sweating and dusty rider. Synthetic thread or blends were added in 1947 following the arrival of Sofil as a sponsor. Sofil made artificial yarn.The race organiser, Jacques Goddet wrote:

    It produced a real drama. Our contract with Sofil was crumbling away. If the news had got out, the commercial effect would have been disastrous for the manufacturer. I remember debating it with him a good part of the night. Louison was always exquisitely courteous but his principles were as hard as the granite blocks of his native Brittany coast.

    Goddet had to get Sofil to produce another jersey overnight, its logo still visible but artificial fabric absent. Bobet’s concern with hygiene and clothing was accentuated by frequent problems with saddle sores.

Leave a Reply