Tricky Dickie: Shopping in the Five and Dime

Tricky Dickie: Shopping in the Five and Dime

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We recently trod into territory we simultaneously avoid and willingly dive headlong into: doping and the intrinsic hypocrisy therein. While on the subject I figured the timing could never be worse to talk about one of my favorite riders: Tricky Dickie, the ponciest lad in the peloton.

On the bike, he was a simple man; there was never anything sophisticated or elegant about his style.  During his thirteen years as a professional, he looked comfortable on a bike for about 17 minutes, and 14 of those minutes occurred off-camera. Like his contemporary and fellow King of the Mountains Claudio Chiappucci, he was a rider who stomped on the pedals like they were his mortal enemy, as if executing even a single Magnificent Stroke would somehow rid him of his powers and render him ineffective in his craft.

Despite a lifelong commitment to pedaling squares, he traded in a single currency, the Five and Dime: Laying down loads of Rule #5 with a wholesale commitment to Rule #10. Seven-times winner of the Dotty Jumper, he had this to say of riding in the mountains:

You have to be able to move sur la plaque [use the big ring] as soon as you’re at the top. I generally change gear 300m from the top. On a gentle climb, I sprint with my hands on the bottom of the bars, or I accelerate with my hands on the brake levers. I climb cols by feel and I don’t look at my heart meter.

I was in Holland in 1992 during the Tour, and was sitting in a bungalow in Hoenderloo watching the Tour on television.  It was classic; a stage in the mountains held in a torrential downpour, with a breakaway.  In the group was a rookie who, without looking good on the bike, somehow looked incredibly cool.  His RMO jersey was soaked through and his cap was perched atop his head in precisely the right way. He rode in a pair of yellow Carnac shoes, and pushed the pedals in LeMond’s heels-down style, expressing with each stroke how hard he was working. I liked him immediately. Then he crossed the line – in tears – howling at the camera that he had Maillot Jaune.

Any rider who can lay down the Five and Dime like that and be man enough to cry like a schoolboy who misses his mama is all aces in my book.

// Nostalgia

  1. I think in this one, he’s indicating how much higher her crotch is than his.

  2. @frank
    I don’t think that’s a chick dude.

  3. Chick or dude, it sure looks like Dickie’s sporting some carbone.

    Chapeau, Frank. That’s exactly what I was talkin’ about!

  4. beauty of an article frank!

    Its very true that Virenque off the bike was much less impressive than his in saddle personna. I was just a young novice at the time in the early 90’s, but outside of Lemond and Fignon, Virenque was the man that made a huge impression on me as he climbed like a billy goat on speed. I simply didn’t understand how anyone could go like that, out of the saddle over entire Hors categorie climbs wrapping a high cadence for such a long time, it was like holding an engine wide open at redline and expecting it to blow any moment…but it doesn’t. I love the quote that he has, which was exactly what they did, riding by feel not by numbers. That is a lesson I did learn then and employ today w/a hardy serving of Rule #5. Screw the numbers, our bodies can defy them if we but try, and Virenque embodied that as he flew up climbs.

  5. Speaking of climbing, 2011 TDF stages have just been announced.

  6. @pakrat
    Methinks the Grimplets and J-Rods of the world will be well-pleased with this parcours. And the Green Jersey race could be interesting with a premium put on the interim sprints; perhaps this will favor King Thor over Corn-fed over at Garmin-Cervelo.

  7. Interesting contrast between Reeeshard’s clunky, painful looking style on the bike and his smooooooth style off of it.

  8. @Rusty Tool Shed
    That’s right! All class off the bike!

  9. @michael

    I call him Retard Verinque

    Right on Michael. I hates him and have ranted about him before on this site. I hate him like Brett hates Lance. OK, that’s an overstatement, but I still find him highly unsavory. He practically invented the lame victory salute and others had to counter with their own stupid personal salutes. Doper, liar and a wee egotistical, dotty jumper grabbin’ climber, what’s not to hate?…serenity now…serenity now…

  10. What I’m far more disturbed by is Frank’s collection of off-the-bike photos of Virenque.

    @Marko
    Definitely a chick. Just a bad angle. Look in the second of Frank’s stalker photos, she’s much hotter there. It looks like she only rides Virenque and not the bike though, judging by the lack of Rule #7.

  11. Well I can’t take credit for the moniker, my friend John coined the phrase afaik and I really don’t like bashing the pros much.

    I don’t like Retard, nor Ferrar nor a bunch of them, but I’ll just as soon let them be as I don’t see the point in trying to change someone’s mind or opinion of someone they watch on tv or read about in a magazine. I think it drags the discussion down and turns things into a pissing match instead of a high-brow discussion on the aesthetics of cycling. I’m not criticizing any of you or this site, I’m just saying that I’m not going to do it much myself. Although I did add that moniker ;)

  12. @michael

    I am not criticizing anyone either however I have an extremely strong objection to the use of “retard” as a pejorative term. Whilst swearing and many forms of vilification are right down my alley, using “retard” demeans (albeit usually unintenionally) anyone with special needs. I reckon Velominati should be better than that.

    Will step off the soapbox now.

  13. @Marcus

    I am not criticizing anyone either however I have an extremely strong objection to the use of “retard” as a pejorative term. Whilst swearing and many forms of vilification are right down my alley, using “retard” demeans (albeit usually unintenionally) anyone with special needs. I reckon Velominati should be better than that.

    I think that’s about the only line we’ll draw – well said. Although I won’t put myself above laughin like a schoolgirl when I read it.

    Can I ask you this:
    How can anyone not laugh themselves to tears reading the following exchange:\

    What I’m far more disturbed by is Frank’s collection of off-the-bike photos of Virenque.

    Definitely a chick. Just a bad angle. Look in the second of Frank’s stalker photos, she’s much hotter there. It looks like she only rides Virenque and not the bike though, judging by the lack of Rule #7.

    The funniest thing is, if you do a Googligooglie search of “Virenque”, these littel gems just fall in your lap. I actually had to scan this picture out of a book to get a reasonable picture of him riding a bike.

    Lexicon entry changed to Reeessshhhhaaaarddd Virenque, to imply the booze-indoozed slur that I’m sure was intended.

  14. I agree, the word retard is offensive. However between friends and beers I may still choose to use this name to describe him. My wife worked with special needs kids in school and one of the more common terms they use is “MR” meaning mentally retarded. Maybe I’ll just call him Mr. Virenque.

  15. A quick Google search returned these results for me.

  16. @michael
    There’s a good fucking reason I found that shit in the spam queue.

  17. @michael

    My wife worked with special needs kids in school and one of the more common terms they use is “MR” meaning mentally retarded. Maybe I’ll just call him Mr. Virenque.

    Well, that’s what the rest of the world calls him. It will be our secret.

  18. That first photo doesn’t seem to want to work, I’ll see if I can’t post it later, it was kind of cool.

  19. @frank Surely he’s violating any number of rules there, maybe just unspoken rules of good taste…that sure ain’t a vintage wool Molteni trainer he’s wearing and he’s probably drinking white zin…the babe, though…uuummm…I’d take some of that…

  20. Was always suspicious of his moniker “French housewives’ favourite”? What does that mean exactly?

    Personally I’m with Michael (without the retard slur, doesn’t help anyone that term) and Gianni, he was a French COTHO, and his tears in crossing the line in 1992 were similar to those he cried when busted in the Festina scandal that nearly ruined the sport.

    Chiapucci was a giant compared to this little flog.

  21. I can only assume she’s a podium chick he picked up. There should be some sort of statistic on podium chick bike-pro rider hook ups. I reckon it’d be particularly high.

    I liked Virenque on the bike too, but thought his ricockulous excuse-makery and blame-shiftery and general wasn’t-me-itude around the Festina affair was an affront to everything that Rudyard Kipling, Cool Hand Luke, RP MacMurphy and my dad said or showed that it is to be a man.

    In an argument that the French are nothing but a bunch effete whoopsies (to paraphrase Blackadder), one need only document Virenque behaving like the catboy that he was around that whole saga, and then rest their case. I hope that made sense.

    No matter how much V you show on the bike, if you don’t behave like a Man off it, what’s the point?

  22. Funny thing is he’s not French. He’s Moroccan.

  23. @frank

    @Marcus

    I am not criticizing anyone either however I have an extremely strong objection to the use of “retard” as a pejorative term. Whilst swearing and many forms of vilification are right down my alley, using “retard” demeans (albeit usually unintenionally) anyone with special needs. I reckon Velominati should be better than that.

    I think that’s about the only line we’ll draw – well said. Although I won’t put myself above laughin like a schoolgirl when I read it.
    Can I ask you this:
    How can anyone not laugh themselves to tears reading the following exchange:\

    What I’m far more disturbed by is Frank’s collection of off-the-bike photos of Virenque.

    Definitely a chick. Just a bad angle. Look in the second of Frank’s stalker photos, she’s much hotter there. It looks like she only rides Virenque and not the bike though, judging by the lack of Rule #7.

    The funniest thing is, if you do a Googligooglie search of “Virenque”, these littel gems just fall in your lap. I actually had to scan this picture out of a book to get a reasonable picture of him riding a bike.
    Lexicon entry changed to Reeessshhhhaaaarddd Virenque, to imply the booze-indoozed slur that I’m sure was intended.

    That is a chick. (LIke anyone trusts my option on such matters).

  24. @frank
    I believe the three folks actually riding the bike were called Eric, Patricia and Oscar.

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