To look good is already to go fast.
-Paul Fournel, VÃ©lo
My approach to research is pretty straight forward. First, I develop an opinion – usually in a cognitively compromised state. This is the first step in the process for the simple reason that it avoids the bulk of the hard work involving things like reading and thinking. Next, I cherry-pick evidence from my experience and what few materials I have read on the subject in order to support my opinion. Finally, I defend myself with whatever dirty tricks or facts I need to invent in order to maintain my position.
It is only on rare occasions that I will be unable to guess at the evidence I need to support my claim, but in those cases I already know I’m right, so not finding evidence that contradicts my position is almost the same as finding some that supports it. I consider those circumstances validation of my opinion and thus fortify the resolve that I’m right.
Over the lifetime of The Rules, numerous bright sparks have popped up out of the ether like some sort of internet Whack-A-Mole to point out that many of them are all about aesthetics. The point is true enough, but the Velominati have always understoodd that Looking Fantastic is the fundamental building block to finding the motivation to get out on the bike day in, day out – Rule #9 or shine. The fact that the hard work of training is what actually makes you faster is glossed over when you get excited about kitting up in your Flandrian Best, echoing the summoning of Flemish hardmen who have come before you, and using their image to inspire you to get out and lay down the V. Its basic, really.
Despite how certain I’ve always been that this is Truth and that The Rules have been handed down by Merckx from high on Mount Velomis to inspire the masses, an Austrian professor, Dr. Erik Postma of the University of Zurich, recently conducted a study to see whether Looking Fantastic really does indicate athletic prowess.
The results confirmed that Science is unnecessary when you’ve already guessed the truth, but nevertheless it is handy to have a scientific study support my assumptions in case I can’t make up facts as quickly as I need to during an argument. It also strikes me as interesting that the study found that women on the pill are about as good at identifying attractive males as men are.
Thanks to Shaka Mitchell for sending this validating study along to us.