Three things define a Cyclist: their ability to crush fools, their ability to Look Fantastic, and the Magnificence of their Guns. If you are lacking in one, it is mandatory that the other two are increased in compensation. In the immortal words of Paul Fournel, “To Look Good is already to go fast.” Thank Merckx for that, because not all of us can be bothered with all that training business and other stuff required to crush fools. It is rather practical being a fool, then, as I can simply crush myself to tick that particular box.
My biggest shortcoming as a Cyclist is my lack of Magnificent Guns; long, skinny pins is what I’ve got. Ride as I might, there is nothing I can do outside of taking HGH or testosterone. Both of which I’ve considered. All this results in a severe case of Gun Envy any time I see a rider endowed with rippling cannons. Cancellara and Boonen come to mind in the modern generation; Jan Ullrich and Gilberto Simoni from the generation just gone.
It takes more than girth to inspire Gun Envy; it takes definition and shape. The quads and calves must be well-balanced; giant, amorphic cannons are just as shameful as the starter pistols I’ve got. The holy grail is a sharply defined boundary under the Vastus Medialus, a razor-sharp inverted V on the top of the quad, and a Goldilocks calf perched above a slender ankle. A photographic study suggests that Pre-EPO but post-Steroid muscle development yielded in the perfect storm for musculature; most riders from the mid-nineties onwards lacked the definition that most of the stars of the 70’s and 80’s had.
I will spin a wild theory on this and report back triumphantly with details. In the meantime, I will busy myself staring at these photos.