Looking fast. Photo: Pedale.Forchetta

To Look Good is Already to Go Fast

To Look Good is Already to Go Fast

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To look good is already to go fast.
-Paul Fournel, Vélo

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.

// La Vie Velominatus // Look Pro

  1. @Chris

    @VeloSix

    @unversio

    Millar is experimenting with his fantasticality.

    That gillet looks like something out of a hikers emergency survival kit. Hideous! And those helmets, did they design those with a crayon on a napkin?

    Those shades have improved a lot since the early prototypes…

    I had a boss at an early job where I met KRX-10 who was a real firecracker. KRX-10 naturally used an Apple, and the boss would sneak in and stick Fisher-Price stickers all over it after-hours.

    Seeing these helmets, I’m find myself yearning for those same stickers…

  2. @Nate

    @PeakInTwoYears

    @Nate

    @PeakInTwoYears Also: @frank repeats himself, first as tragedy then as farce.

    I wish I had the authority to award a badge for this, I suspect the first time “The 18th Brumaire” has been referenced here.

    I suppose you could nominate me but somehow I doubt the 18th Brumaire is a core part of the computer science curriculum and the reference won’t resonate.

    Quite honestly, I’m just smart enough to sort out that you two are being hilarious, but I have no idea why and as such am unable to issue the badge in good conscience.

    @G’rilla

    Stybar looks pretty fast in that road aero helmet. It wraps his head so closely.

    Being covered in dirt that you launched with your own front wheel doesn’t hurt either.

    …and it is all neutralized by those socks.

    I love that he didn’t race CX all year, decided to come back and won the Worlds. I’ve never seen a photo of him off the bike; must Look Epicly Fantastic.

  3. @frank When I started reading that I thought you were comparing desecrating Apples with Fisher Price stickers to posting pictures of blokes in dive masks on your beloved web blog.

    As for the helmets; they’re no worse than many of the others out there. At the end of the day, most of us, pros and mere mortals alike fail miserably to wear them with style. If it wasn’t for the (questionable)* argument about safety, helmets would never have got off the ground, you’d have got round to designing a V-cap and we’d all be sporting those.

    *Given the amount of Hello Kitty posted above, I thought I could risk re-igniting the helmet flame wars.

  4. @frank

    It really is that simple, isn’t it?

    I do however think the “etc” could do with a little bit of definition if it is to become a rule.

  5. @Chris

    I’m sorry, Chris. Were you saying something about V-Caps?

  6. @frank

    @Chris

    I’m sorry, Chris. Were you saying something about V-Caps?

    And can we order it ? Stop teasing us Frank.

    As for you Chris, there’s plenty of other caps out there to look fantastic in. I know I do.

    (now you’re going to mention those bloody tights again)

  7. @frank

    @Chris

    I’m sorry, Chris. Were you saying something about V-Caps?

    Not to be too nit-picky, but when the brim is down, shouldn’t “Obey the Rules” read left-to-right? It reads correctly if the brim is up . . .

  8. @wiscot

    @frank

    @Chris

    I’m sorry, Chris. Were you saying something about V-Caps?

    Not to be too nit-picky, but when the brim is down, shouldn’t “Obey the Rules” read left-to-right? It reads correctly if the brim is up . . .

    Think about that a little bit and I think you answered your own question.

  9. @ChrisO Damn I’d forgotten about those tights.  I’m going to have to get my arse up to the Scottish Cogal just to see them again……….

  10. Frank,

    It is obvious that the brim is correctly designed.  What is not obvious is:

    HOW THE FUCK TO WE ORDER THESE ALTOGETHER BITCHIN’ CAPS?

  11. @wiscot

    @frank

    @Chris

    I’m sorry, Chris. Were you saying something about V-Caps?

    Not to be too nit-picky, but when the brim is down, shouldn’t “Obey the Rules” read left-to-right? It reads correctly if the brim is up . . .

    Pic 2 is from the back!

  12. @frank

    @Deakus

    This is the fastest person I have ever seen. Unlikely ever to be beaten!

    I don’t know how Team Vanderkitten has managed to pull off kittens and rainbows and manage to make it Look Fantastic, but these girls already look fast.

     

    And check it out: it works.

    Responding just so I can see the pictures again.  I have ridden with these gals on a charity ride in California.  They are as fast as they are good looking.  Funny enough, I mostly rode with Amy Charity (Ha!) who is the Colorado State Champ, among other things.  These ladies can crush it in the hills.  They are the Lady with the Hammer.

  13. @RedRanger  Agreed, looking forward to Stybar winning one of the classics this year – I’ve taken ages to write this as I can’t stop looking at the picture of Liz Hatch!

  14. @frank

    @Chris

    I’m sorry, Chris. Were you saying something about V-Caps?

    HURRY UP AND TAKE MY MONEY

  15. In case any of you missed it, Stybar stated just two weeks before the WC that he was still undecided about lining up, but was considering it because his VMH lives near the course. Pay a visit, win some rainbow hoops. Not bad for a weekend plan!

    Gotta love the fact that he started out racing BMX, then went to cross, and now is winning on the road. What a talent!

  16. @ChrissyOne

    @frank

    @Chris

    I’m sorry, Chris. Were you saying something about V-Caps?

    HURRY UP AND TAKE MY MONEY

    this!

  17. @Ron

    In case any of you missed it, Stybar stated just two weeks before the WC that he was still undecided about lining up, but was considering it because his VMH lives near the course. Pay a visit, win some rainbow hoops. Not bad for a weekend plan!

    Gotta love the fact that he started out racing BMX, then went to cross, and now is winning on the road. What a talent!

    Let’s add him to the Boonen, Fabu, Sagan cobbled contenders list.  He was a force at P-R last year, with minimal experience, and only figures to be better this year.  Fuckyeahcobbles.

  18. @Teocalli

    @wiscot

    @frank

    @Chris

    I’m sorry, Chris. Were you saying something about V-Caps?

    Not to be too nit-picky, but when the brim is down, shouldn’t “Obey the Rules” read left-to-right? It reads correctly if the brim is up . . .

    Pic 2 is from the back!

    D’oh! (slaps forehead while blushing.)

  19. I have to admit to owning a lot of POC stuff. However, it is EXCELLENT quality.

    Also, I was at a warehouse sale this weekend selling those TT helmets for $120. I tried one on for shits and giggles. It looks ridiculous and was fairly heavy and cumbersome.

  20. @Nate

    @Ron

    In case any of you missed it, Stybar stated just two weeks before the WC that he was still undecided about lining up, but was considering it because his VMH lives near the course. Pay a visit, win some rainbow hoops. Not bad for a weekend plan!

    Gotta love the fact that he started out racing BMX, then went to cross, and now is winning on the road. What a talent!

    Let’s add him to the Boonen, Fabu, Sagan cobbled contenders list. He was a force at P-R last year, with minimal experience, and only figures to be better this year. Fuckyeahcobbles.

    http://fuckyeahcobbles.tumblr.com/

    …and +1 Badge to you, matey.

  21. @frank I’ve never seen a photo of him off the bike.

  22. @frank It had to happen sooner or later.

  23. @frank and I can’t believe that tumblr wasn’t already in effect. Well done.

  24. @Nate

    @frank and I can’t believe that tumblr wasn’t already in effect. Well done.

    When a bull wanders by, seemingly hopped up on sedatives, grab it by the horns. You can have it if you want; I just grabbed it while I could.

  25. @G’rilla

    HEY! That’s my yard. What the?

  26. @wiscot

    @Teocalli

    @wiscot

    @frank

    @Chris

    I’m sorry, Chris. Were you saying something about V-Caps?

    Not to be too nit-picky, but when the brim is down, shouldn’t “Obey the Rules” read left-to-right? It reads correctly if the brim is up . . .

    Pic 2 is from the back!

    D’oh! (slaps forehead while blushing.)

    Not nit picky at all. Listen Fronk, this is just your target market re-defining the brief a little.

    All we want is a cap with 3 simple words on the underside of brim, oriented so the wearer can read them when the brim is down, and the viewer can read them when the brim is up? Capiche?

    You’re the designer. We don’t want to hear “impossible” we want solutions.

  27. @Harminator

    Coffee spit, right there.  Thank-you and well done.

  28. @Harminator

    Are you somehow under the impression that you have been asked for input? Even worse – are you somehow under the impression that I would give two flying fucks what your input was?

  29. @frank  Certainly not! I live in Egypt mate. Nothing like a bit of dictatorship for gettin shit done!

    Also, as a Design Tech teacher I have a healthy disdain for the ignorant asking for the impossible.

    Carry on…

  30. @frank

    @Chris

    I’m sorry, Chris. Were you saying something about V-Caps?

    About time too. That looks awesome but how close is it to release? How many panels? One on each side and one over the top or multi panelled sides as per the rouleur offerings?

  31. @Harminator

    @wiscot

    @Teocalli

    @wiscot

    @frank

    @Chris

    I’m sorry, Chris. Were you saying something about V-Caps?

    Not to be too nit-picky, but when the brim is down, shouldn’t “Obey the Rules” read left-to-right? It reads correctly if the brim is up . . .

    Pic 2 is from the back!

    D’oh! (slaps forehead while blushing.)

    Not nit picky at all. Listen Fronk, this is just your target market re-defining the brief a little.

    All we want is a cap with 3 simple words on the underside of brim, oriented so the wearer can read them when the brim is down, and the viewer can read them when the brim is up? Capiche?

    You’re the designer. We don’t want to hear “impossible” we want solutions.

    Just remember it without having to read it. Reading on a brim is a bad design choice anyway.

  32. @frank

    @Nate

    @frank and I can’t believe that tumblr wasn’t already in effect. Well done.

    When a bull wanders by, seemingly hopped up on sedatives, grab it by the horns. You can have it if you want; I just grabbed it while I could.

    You have already set too high a standard for me to take over the tumblr.

    Do sedatives have an inverse reaction in bulls?

  33. Some research in the other direction…post-ride beer hampers recovery.

    But is that really a surprise?

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0088384

  34. @G’rilla

    Some research in the other direction…post-ride beer hampers recovery.

    But is that really a surprise?

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0088384

    For Merckx’s sake, people. There must be limits to this kind of talk.

  35. In the interest of karmic balance:

  36. @G’rilla

    Some research in the other direction…post-ride beer hampers recovery.

    But is that really a surprise?

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0088384

    What a load of bollocks.  That study is trying to replicate team sport binge drinking — the protocol is for the subject to have  12 +/- 2 vodka drinks after.  We, in contrast, are cyclists, not barbarians or Russians, and have far more refined drinking habits.

  37. @G’rilla

    Some research in the other direction…post-ride beer hampers recovery.

    But is that really a surprise?

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0088384

    You can’t believe everything you read, and conducting a good experiment is really hard.

    @Nate

    @G’rilla

    Some research in the other direction…post-ride beer hampers recovery.

    But is that really a surprise?

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0088384

    What a load of bollocks. That study is trying to replicate team sport binge drinking “” the protocol is for the subject to have 12 +/- 2 vodka drinks after. We, in contrast, are cyclists, not barbarians or Russians, and have far more refined drinking habits.

    This. There’s a reason you’ve got that badge, mate.

    @G’rilla, I blame that useless 13″ MBP you just told me you’re using. The resolution is way too low to be able to comprehend this sort of Awesome.

  38. @Weldertron I think POC doesn’t like cyclists.  Their helmets for skiing and motocross look pretty slick but their cycle helmets look like brain-injury protection.

  39. Photo: pedale.forchetta

    Photo: pedale.forchetta

    You know, I like looking at VeloKittens, Vanderkittens and Liz Hatch’s thighs as much as the next red-blooded American (or British, Italian, Aussie, Kiwi and any others on this site) male, but I really want THOSE calves. Well, not THOSE calves, rather, calves that look like THOSE calves.

  40. @unversio

    @Harminator

    @wiscot

    @Teocalli

    @wiscot

    @frank

    @Chris

    I’m sorry, Chris. Were you saying something about V-Caps?

    Not to be too nit-picky, but when the brim is down, shouldn’t “Obey the Rules” read left-to-right? It reads correctly if the brim is up . . .

    Pic 2 is from the back!

    D’oh! (slaps forehead while blushing.)

    Not nit picky at all. Listen Fronk, this is just your target market re-defining the brief a little.

    All we want is a cap with 3 simple words on the underside of brim, oriented so the wearer can read them when the brim is down, and the viewer can read them when the brim is up? Capiche?

    You’re the designer. We don’t want to hear “impossible” we want solutions.

    Just remember it without having to read it. Reading on a brim is a bad design choice anyway.

    Not sure you quite got the ‘impossible’ element in there.  That, or you’re operating on a level of irony well above what I can detect.

  41. Not entirely impossible. What’s known as a 180-degree rotational ambigram, readable both ways. The word “dollop” is a natural example. “Obey the Rules” would be a little difficult to render as such, and pretty much illegible.

  42. @postcard

    “a little difficult … pretty much illegible” indeed! Understatedly well played, sir.

  43. @pistard dammit, not postcard.  Damned auto-correct when posting from a mobile…

  44. Did someone say that V-caps are available?

  45. @RobsMuir Yes: and V-Unicorns, too.

  46. This kid gets it: http://www.manualforspeed.com/development/blue-or-blue/

    He’s already won the junior PR & rainbows, though I’d assume he’ll be riding in support of Faboo for a couple of years yet.

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  49. Just clicked on this old article, and what do I see? Back in Feb 2014 there was in existence a design for a V-cap. So in amongst all the rumour and false dawns, a prototype did escape into the wild.

    So essentially it is simply cruelty by the helmet lovers of this world that is holding back the cap lovers as they ‘know’ that once released then We will be the one Looking Fabulous.

    Nurse?

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