Gunslinger

It is well known that knee warmers look better than leg warmers. Which isn’t to say leg warmers can’t look the business as well, but they will never look as good as knee warmers. The science is very clear on this.

Nevertheless, I’ve been enjoying wearing full leg warmers even when the weather doesn’t necessarily require them. Something about the orange bands getting nice and cozy with my orange Bonts has me mesmerized. But, since they were designed for the Classic V-Kit with the chevrons running along the cuffs, they don’t properly match the VLVV V-Kit. Which presents a small challenge because then the cuffs on the jersey doesn’t match the cuffs on the leg warmers, so that shit needs to be covered up. Which means if I’m riding in that kit with leg warmers, I’m compelled to wear overshoes irrespective of the weather. Which are also orange and also mesmerizing.

This is all very natural, there is nothing mysterious in it.

But what has always been mysterious is how a rider with the kind of impeccable taste, style, and class like Tom Boonen could suffer the indignity of wearing his leg warmers over the legs of his bibs. Everyone knows they go under the bibs and booties, and over the socks. Basic laws of Physics, right there with gravity and e=mc2. Tom often wears them properly in training, so it is obvious he understands this. It has, until recently, completely dumbfounded me.

Thanks to me being a strangely obsessive individual with a unjustifiable willingness to ask near-strangers to clarify things that should not be kicking around in anyone’s head in the first place, I have managed to gain clarity on this matter. One evening during the Rouleur Classic at a noisy hotel bar, the question was loudly posed to none other than Chris Juul-Jensen, whose approachable nature made him seem like the right guy to ask. He raised an eyebrow and immediately agreed that it looks completely rubbish and he would never do it himself. But he went on: it turns out that the big boys in the bunch do this as a statement that their race does not start until 50 km from the finish. In a race of 250 kilometers, only the last fifth matters, and it is more important to Look Fantastic on the finish line than on the start line. Particularly if you happen to be the one with their arms in the air. Until then, the gunslingers are just sitting in and trying to stay warm while the domestiques are flogging themselves to bits on the front.

If you’re a gunslinger, and you’re bringing your game to the party, then this is how you tell the wee folk that you’re what’s going to happen.

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80 Replies to “Gunslinger”

  1. @Pete

    @Buck Rogers

    Kudos to Paolini for wearing the same colour leg warmers as knicks. If you need to wear them then they should match.

    And be black.

    The designer of Katusha kit is obviously colour blind but the D/S is really the one who should be shot for allowing red knicks.

    Maybe this is why Paolini got so whacked out… saw his team kit made him look like one of those clowns that get shot out of a cannon in the circus and just couldn’t face it.

    I can only assume the safety pin has come from his dealer.

    …and a second helping of coffee on the keyboard!

     

  2. @osbk67

    @Fred

    So, why is he on the front with his leg warmers on if “his race hasn’t started yet?”

    His may not have started yet, but he can certainly end the race of a few others fighting for the gutter a hundred riders back. That’s where the real gutterbitching goes on…

    This….

    @Oli

    @Fred

    He’s thinning the field with three laps and four hours to go.

    And this. (Except I think it’s Oomloop and no laps…)

    @wiscot

    I don’t know the name of the climb in the lead photo, but isn’t it a bit of a tradition that Tommeke “stretches” his legs here and strings out the peloton?

    Also, I think Boonen prefers no gloves. Doesn’t wear them in Paris-Roubaix. Maybe he believes that he can “feel” the road better? I don’t know, I’m just making this stuff up.

    It’s the Taaienberg; great little climb with an incredibly smooth gutter and they basically do a sprint to get to the base of the climb in front so they can ride it up. It’s short and steep and in the gutter you can pop right up it, but if you are on the stones, it is a real brute.

  3. @Ron

    Can someone please misspell another Italian name? It has been a few posts since that happened.

    Wear gloves if you want, or don’t wear them. But if you think I’m going to base my estimation of your Vness on that, you’re wrong.

    …and third helping of coffee on the keyboard! What a great morning read this has been.

  4. @Ron

    Can someone please misspell another Italian name? It has been a few posts since that happened.

    You must mean like Tyler Ferrari?

    Oh wait… no, he’s not Italian.  I was thinking of Enzo Farrar

    Wait… Shit.  Forget it.

  5. @PT

    @Buck Rogers

    Well fuck, and here I thought class was not using the “C” word around here.

    What, Chipollini? Or was it Chiapucci? Surely not Coppi?

    Whatever….what the fuck did they ever do to us?

    I’m a bit slow… are you being ironic by misspelling Choppi?

  6. @Shane Courtney

    The leg warmers over bibs is a track riders thing……. don’t know why, but it is.

    BITD rubberised rack skin suits were a ton tighter than the current versions, so the leg warmers would go over for the warmup. Come off at the last minute, when you’re about to walk on. Now in indoor tracks they crank the heat up, so warm ups are normally done in less clothing than the riders race in.

    Additionally, if you can’t remove clothing like shoe covers and leg warmers while riding, you’re probably not in the pro peloton. Those riders are normally there for a reason.

  7. @pete

    @PT

    @Buck Rogers

    Well fuck, and here I thought class was not using the “C” word around here.

    What, Chipollini? Or was it Chiapucci? Surely not Coppi?

    Whatever….what the fuck did they ever do to us?

    I’m a bit slow… are you being ironic by misspelling Choppi?

    You may well be slow but you spotted it. Did you also note my deliberate misspelling of Ciapucchi?  Probably.

     

  8. @PT

    I always try and double check my name spelling for typos but I generally misspell something else.

    The thing is if you do get somebodies name wrong then you come across as a real chunt.

  9. @frank

    @Ron

    Can someone please misspell another Italian name? It has been a few posts since that happened.

    Wear gloves if you want, or don’t wear them. But if you think I’m going to base my estimation of your Vness on that, you’re wrong.

    …and third helping of coffee on the keyboard! What a great morning read this has been.

    Fausto Coffee?

     

  10. Oooops. That is more awkward than me writing the same article that Frank had written a month ago, which I have almost done. Caley might have to give us a nod.

  11. @universo

    @Fred

    Good catch. Frank will be forced to send unappreciative sentiments to Caley Fretz.

    Well, at least we know Caley is a reader of the site…which is good, I guess…

    Still, crediting the obvious source of the material would have been the right thing to do and would have been a boost for this site.

  12. I just read this article too and was coming here to check and see if the thieving bastard used the same lead image…and yes he (or possibly she?) did.

     

  13. Hi all,

    All due respect to Frank’s excellent post, but this is something that comes up every spring when the journos grab a beer in Belgium. It was not invented by Frank.

    Further, I was unaware of this post until someone sent it to me yesterday. I’m not a frequent reader here (perhaps I should be?), as evidenced by the fact that I’ve spent the last 10 minutes trying to get this comment to show up.

    Further further, we used that shot because when you search “Boonen Taaienberg” in our media library, it’s the first thing that pops up.

    So, please send your accusations of plagiarism and thieving bastardism elsewhere. Two stories on broadly the same subject does not constitute plagiarism, and the two stories in question share no narrative structure or phrasing. There is plenty of content theft about, if you’d like to look for it. Just take a peek over at BikeRumor. In this case, I can only assume that great minds think alike.

    Caley

     

  14. @Caley Fretz

    Thanks for reaching out, Caley. While I’m pleased to see the community come to our defense, I certainly agree that this isn’t plagiarism, although I was flattered by the similarity of the subject.

    Anyway, I appreciate you reaching out and no worries about it from me.

    And how awesome is that photo?

    This one ain’t bad neither, but is useless from the leg warmers perspective.

  15. And…it was caught by none other than…Fred!

    Since the Velominati care about style and class, I feel the need to comment, Mr. Fretz. I really wish “as evidenced by” would disappear. “As demonstrated by” is stylistically V to the V power superior.

    And don’t get me started on “grow your business,” which isn’t about style, but about a serious grammatical assault by MBAs on language. You grow turnips, not businesses.

  16. @Caley Fretz

    @frank

    Right, well resolved in a gentlemanly manner.  I’m sure many were hoping for frame pumps at dawn but good to see cooler heads prevail.

    But, my main take home point out of all of this is that Mr Fretz obviously needs to spend more time around here.

    Might even help to bring velonews back up to the standards of the “Golden Age” of oversized newspaper printed issues that were eagerly awaited for every month while I was a rider of 17 years of age in the pre-internet age like Christmas morning for a five year old!

  17. @frank

    @Ron

    Can someone please misspell another Italian name? It has been a few posts since that happened.

    Wear gloves if you want, or don’t wear them. But if you think I’m going to base my estimation of your Vness on that, you’re wrong.

    …and third helping of coffee on the keyboard! What a great morning read this has been.

    Holy CANNOLI! Or should I say canoli? Or was it cannelli I was after? Or cannelloni.

    As a lover of riding bicycles and an avowed loather of liquid speed (and the marriage of cyclists to that bad-breath, brown teeth diuretic)…I might have to officially retire now that I’ve succeeded in getting a Founder to lose his coffee.

    This has made my day, now that I’m seeing it. Can’t BELIEVE I got Frank to spit out that foul stuff. Incredible! I shall mark this as the first crack in the foundation, the first major win for my movement Cyclists Against Coffee.

    As everyone should know, we should all be on hallucinogens if we’re gonna ride bikes. What else would Albert Hofmann do after the first purposeful ingestion of LSD? Go for a goddamn ride, man!

  18. @Ron

    This has made my day, now that I’m seeing it. Can’t BELIEVE I got Frank to spit out that foul stuff. Incredible! I shall mark this as the first crack in the foundation, the first major win for my movement Cyclists Against Coffee.

    Easy there, @Ron.  It was just coffee.  When you get @frank to spit out his IPAs (plural, because he gets them in multiples), you’re on to something.

  19. @Caley Fretz

    @Ron

    I use up all my grammers at work and have none left for extracurricular activities. But point taken ;)

    Dang, though there is something wrong with the punctuation keys on your keyboard – we don’t use them things around these parts.

  20. @Caley Fretz

    Hi all,

    All due respect to Frank’s excellent post, but this is something that comes up every spring when the journos grab a beer in Belgium. It was not invented by Frank.

    Further, I was unaware of this post until someone sent it to me yesterday. I’m not a frequent reader here (perhaps I should be?), as evidenced by the fact that I’ve spent the last 10 minutes trying to get this comment to show up.

    Further further, we used that shot because when you search “Boonen Taaienberg” in our media library, it’s the first thing that pops up.

    So, please send your accusations of plagiarism and thieving bastardism elsewhere. Two stories on broadly the same subject does not constitute plagiarism, and the two stories in question share no narrative structure or phrasing. There is plenty of content theft about, if you’d like to look for it. Just take a peek over at BikeRumor. In this case, I can only assume that great minds think alike.

    Caley

    A denial worthy of Pharmstrong himself.  The text of the actual articles may be substantially different but almost everything you wrote about was contained in the V article or the comments below.  And yes, you should read things here more often.  (Hint: because Frank is dutch, he trumps all of the rest of you journalist types–just ask him).

  21. @Ron

    And…it was caught by none other than…Fred!

    Since the Velominati care about style and class, I feel the need to comment, Mr. Fretz. I really wish “as evidenced by” would disappear. “As demonstrated by” is stylistically V to the V power superior.

    And don’t get me started on “grow your business,” which isn’t about style, but about a serious grammatical assault by MBAs on language. You grow turnips, not businesses.

    Like a very famous sailor–“I am what I am”

     

  22. @Buck Rogers

    Might even help to bring velonews back up to the standards of the “Golden Age” of oversized newspaper printed issues that were eagerly awaited for every month while I was a rider of 17 years of age in the pre-internet age like Christmas morning for a five year old!

    Yes please.  Those issues were the best!

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