Anatomy Of A Photo: Ferdi Brings The Truth

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Photo via Il Dolore

They don’t call it the race of truth for nothing, and Ferdi ain’t no liar. There’s no hiding when your specialist chrono machine is also your specialist road racing machine, and aero headwear is achieved through flipping your leather cap around to face the Jeep loaded with drunk French truffle hunters that’s been tailing you for the last 27km. You want electrolytes? Lick your lips and get on with it. This guy was Swiss TT badassness long before Faboo was even a twinkle in his old man’s eye.

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38 Replies to “Anatomy Of A Photo: Ferdi Brings The Truth”

  1. Brett, you must be reading my mind. Swiss TT riders? I’m working on a piece about TT ace Daniel Gisiger for the site right now. Should be finished soon then I’ll send it in.

  2. Ferdi is still alive – at the age of 94 I wonder if his skin is still leather?

    Won the Tour by nine fucking minutes based on determination and Coppi not being there.

  3. This is from Wikipedia: Kubler was a high-spirited and impulsive rider sometimes given to strategically unwise attacks, out of exuberance and competitive drive. He was known as “the cowboy” because of his penchant for Stetson hats. He retired from racing in 1957 at 38. He is the oldest living Tour de France winner.

    Damn, sounds like a fine fellow and of the sort  we could do with more today. In fact, sounds a bit like Jens, although whether or not Jensy likes stetsons is unknown.

  4. Brett – ha, lick your lips, NICE!

    I do wonder how these badasses did it when now you go out for a group ride and nearly every fucker has $15 of b.s. wonder foods in their pockets.

    Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the photos that dude puts up but it would be really nice if he included some info. or captions. I’d like to learn more, I’m a historian, I’m curious what, when, where, who. Just a photo is such a tease!

  5. @Ron

    Brett – ha, lick your lips, NICE!

    I do wonder how these badasses did it when now you go out for a group ride and nearly every fucker has $15 of b.s. wonder foods in their pockets.

    Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the photos that dude puts up but it would be really nice if he included some info. or captions. I’d like to learn more, I’m a historian, I’m curious what, when, where, who. Just a photo is such a tease!

    I suspect it’s the Tour. He won in 1950 and was 2nd in 1954. If it’s the 1950 tour, it’s stage 6 on July 19th from Dinard to St Brieuc. 78 kms. Kubler didn’t take the yellow jersey until stage 12 holding it through to the end. If it’s 1954, it would be stage 21B from Epinal to Nancy. 72kms and the TT stage was won by Bobet.

  6. Thank ye, wiscot! Good to know.

    PS – TGIF, lads. Plan those weekend stomps in the hills and valleys around your home stomping grounds! Or, just get out and work on your remounts.

  7. Awesome fucking image! 

    I’ve been reading the Merckx book and really enjoying the walk through history that it is providing.  I’m reading it on an iPad via the Kobo application.  It’s so cool to be able to click on names as they arise and then have the Kobo reader display the wikipedia articles for that person.  I find myself doing equal amounts of reading on the web about the towns and the races and the great racers of the day as I do in the book itself.  Makes for a slow journey but very rewarding!

  8. Either he’s in the shade, or this is back in the days before sunscreen and he’s lookin’ a little bit like Tanning Mom. Either way, this photo shows massive applications of The V, and I really can’t judge because I will never amount to this much awesome.

  9. @Xyverz

    Either he’s in the shade, or this is back in the days before sunscreen and he’s lookin’ a little bit like Tanning Mom. Either way, this photo shows massive applications of The V, and I really can’t judge because I will never amount to this much awesome.

    He looks darker because the film stock wasn’t truly panchromatic – older B&W film was sensitive to some colours in ways that made them look lighter or darker than they actually were – skin tones seem to be particularly affected by this.

  10. Do we need a International Toe-Clip Day? Where everyone has to set up with old pedals and some old shoes with slot cleats and fall over at stop signs? Maybe someone already makes 3 hole retro-fit cleats so new shoes can be used. I’m going to bring this up at the International Velominati Useless Day Designation Committee, and bang my shoe in the podium.

  11. @Gianni

    Brett, outrageously cool photo pick. His whole form on the bike is aero: narrow, curved not flat back, socks-perfect. These guys were tough as nails. Their legs always look more awesome than today’s racers.

    The were way more awesome than todays racers, look at the bikes, the roads, the drugs, way, way more Badass!

  12. @Gianni

    Do we need a International Toe-Clip Day? Where everyone has to set up with old pedals and some old shoes with slot cleats and fall over at stop signs? Maybe someone already makes 3 hole retro-fit cleats so new shoes can be used. I’m going to bring this up at the International Velominati Useless Day Designation Committee, and bang my shoe in the podium.

    No, I put toe clips on the TSX and then promptly took them off. I am the prime candidate for “Aimeless Nostalgia Day” but my investigative research proved that there are limits even to what I’m willing to fuck with to get old school. Tubulars around the shoulders are right up there with those candidates, along with flipflop hubs and wing nuts.

    All that said, I miss the sight of the peloton coming over the hill with a myriad glinting toe clips. Possibly the most beautiful sight in the world.

  13. What I love most about Ferdi was his penchant for speaking about himself in the third person. That’s the way you really dig yourself into the pain cave – you pretend like you’re a different person who lives outside yourself.

    Some more old school awesome.

    Fausto

    Koblet

    Lucien Petit-Breton

  14. Great quote, “Jeep loaded with drunk French truffle hunters that’s been tailing you for the last 27km”. So that’s how you make TT’s entertaining, drinking and truffle hunting….I’ve only tried drinking and it hasn’t worked, maybe that’s where I went wrong.

    Gianni, “Do we need a International Toe-Clip Day?” Yes, I have the old bike with the old pedals but not old shoes for them, just wear indoor footy shoes when ride this stead. Would like getting a killer old set of cycling shoes. Just wish there were more races/rides with the focus of riding vintage bikes with vintage gear, l’eroica style.

  15. This photo and the pain cave gospel according to Frank where the inspiration for today’s sufferfest. Four hours in and I wanted to turn the bike towards the flats and home – No said the tiny Ferdi on my shoulder, you shall ride the 2k up Mt Albert and so I did. Everything does indeed narrow to a tiny point on the road ahead..

  16. @wiscot

    Damn, sounds like a fine fellow and of the sort we could do with more today. In fact, sounds a bit like Jens, although whether or not Jensy likes stetsons is unknown.

    Please, do not mention Ferdi and that goon in the same breath again.

  17. @Gianni

    Do we need a International Toe-Clip Day? Where everyone has to set up with old pedals and some old shoes with slot cleats and fall over at stop signs? Maybe someone already makes 3 hole retro-fit cleats so new shoes can be used. I’m going to bring this up at the International Velominati Useless Day Designation Committee, and bang my shoe in the podium.

    I found these for precisely this purpose.

  18. @frank

    @Gianni

    Do we need a International Toe-Clip Day? Where everyone has to set up with old pedals and some old shoes with slot cleats and fall over at stop signs? Maybe someone already makes 3 hole retro-fit cleats so new shoes can be used. I’m going to bring this up at the International Velominati Useless Day Designation Committee, and bang my shoe in the podium.

    No, I put toe clips on the TSX and then promptly took them off. I am the prime candidate for “Aimeless Nostalgia Day” but my investigative research proved that there are limits even to what I’m willing to fuck with to get old school. Tubulars around the shoulders are right up there with those candidates, along with flipflop hubs and wing nuts.

    All that said, I miss the sight of the peloton coming over the hill with a myriad glinting toe clips. Possibly the most beautiful sight in the world.

    I thought L’Eroica would be right up your alley, and toe clips are one of the requirements.  Speaking of which, is anybody going to ride it this year? Combines retro with gravel and Tuscan countryside. Definitely on my bucket list.

  19. @Skip

    If that’s true, I might have to reconsider. But then I’m not riding those shitbag adapters, then I’m rockin’ a pair of Eddy Merckx Addidas Slippers:

  20. @brett

    @seemunkee

    Popeye arms. His forearms are bigger than his biceps.

    And he used them to wield a mean frame pump…

    The perfect amount of suffering is demonstrated par excellence in that photo. God, I’m glad I’m mediocre. It’s so much easier to be right fucked up.

  21. OMF’n Merckx, that photo and paragraph brought me to tears.  How deep can one go?  We really don’t understand how deep, but he did.

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