Anatomy of a Photo: Looking Fantastic

Anatomy of a Photo: Looking Fantastic

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Steel Gazelles, check. Monster fork rake, check. Hairnets, check. North European monsoon, check. Flemish Mirror, check. Chain welded to the Big Ring, check. WTF Leggins affixed to Our Hero, check.

Roger de Vlaeminck does his part to remind us that while Looking Pro isn’t synonymous with Looking Fantastic, being a Level V Badass can make even the most jacked gear look the business.

// Anatomy of a Photo // Look Pro // The Hardmen

  1. and it’s a great example of Casual Deliberate.

  2. @oli
    perhaps your right. my constant optimisim in looking back at our legends keeps begging me to give them tons of credit. Rdv is the only one i have ever seen wear that kinds shin guard.

    Was it a moment of weakness? did he ever go to the vatican and confess this? if so, it had to be momentary and a venial cause, cause he simply rocks it every other time.

  3. @DerHoggz
    10 points off Eddy Merckx!

  4. @frank
    Gazelle is the Dutch version of Raleigh or Bianchi – bikes from the very bottom of the range to the very top. The good Gazelles are very, very cool bicycles.

  5. @Oli

    @Souleur
    Clearly RdV does give a damn that it’s cold, wet and nasty or he wouldn’t be wearing those stupid leg protectors. That’s 10 points off his style file he’ll never get back.

    That’s like telling Warren Buffet he lost a c-note. Its not like those ten point make any difference to his VVorth. That aside, SERIOUSLY. What. The. Fuck. Are. Those. Things? And they had knee warmers and tights then. What did these offer that those couldn’t?

  6. @Oli
    This being an example of the bottom of the bin.

  7. @Souleur, @Oli
    And the moral of this story, kids, is that just being a Pro or dressing like the Pros is not enough. They are a good guide, but just because the Pros do it doesn’t mean it (a) Looks Fantastic or (b) is sensible. Always seek to find the V as it flows through your decision making.

  8. @frank

    The Prophet says: “I could still drop you anytime, you lanky Dutchman.”

    As to RdV is rocking, I’m guessing something that is water proof, but not breathable, hence the open backs? He didn’t need your fancy polyester and carbon fiber.

  9. @gaswepass


    never had heard of these prior to this post, yet here is one in the wilds of SE portland…of course it wasn’t defying gravity like this…

    Been into the “Holiday Ales” again?

  10. @RedRanger

    One of my favorite photos:

    The Prophet explaining exactly when he’s going to crush Roger. Excellent photo! Nipple lube!

  11. @frank
    They actually look like football shinguards, and I wonder if they aren’t some kind of reinforced knee/shin protection for training on the cobbles?

  12. @Steampunk
    Is this a photo of a training ride? Why do they have race numbers on the bikes?

  13. @RedRanger
    You’re right. I retract the training part. It looks too fitted to the shin to simply be a rain/warmth thing. But maybe it’s just a hard shell, which won’t absorb any water. I dunno.

  14. I’m currently riding the 50k round trip to work on an early 80s Gazelle Champion Mondiale, bought to protect bike number 1 from the winter commute. Still a fast and stiff ride aged almost 30, with 53/42 Campy Gran Sport up front, matching down tube shifters (more trouble than it’s worth to change down!) and classic drop Cinelli bars.

    Here it is at the top of Highgate Hill basking in its ability to hurt my knees!

  15. @RedRanger

    One of my favorite photos:

    This is the photo that is also on Bigringriding, right, with the awesome caption about how Merckx is Telling RDV exactly how he is going to f#$k him in the upcoming race? Love it.

  16. @acciaio
    Chapeau! Beautiful ride. Even has the toe-clips.

  17. @frank

    @Buck Rogers

    @cutters79

    Lest we forget Roger’s smallest gear is probably 42-19!

    My ’92 Merckx with all ’92 circa gear has a straight block 11-18. I wonder what his actual gearing is? Looks larger than a 19 to me.

    It looks like a 23, meaning if they are on a six-speed block, that’s what, a 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23? Ouch. Dudes had to know how to mash a gear on one end and spin like a bastard on the other.

    Agree, looks bigger than 21 but definitely not a 25. One of the things I love about “The Rider” is the scene where he is selecting cogs for the upcoming race. I never did that. I had a few casettes that I would switch out, but never actual built up individual cogs for a race. Too cool.

  18. @Oli

    @Souleur
    Clearly RdV does give a damn that it’s cold, wet and nasty or he wouldn’t be wearing those stupid leg protectors. That’s 10 points off his style file he’ll never get back.

    Somewhere, I have another pic of RdV wearing those leg protectors. (I’m going nuts looking for it). They we’re a kind of semi-hard shell neoprene type thing with velcro straps around the legs. Given RdV’s exemplary hardness, I suspect it may have been a case of him getting serious bucks to wear them. (Kinda like Kelly wearing those really shitty Brancale helmets in the late 80s). I’ve never seen anyone else wear them, so I think it was a one-off with Roger. Maybe he got so much shit for wearing them he stopped doing it.

    These guys could get such great positions because the differential between saddle height and bar height was much less than commonly found today.

    I think Roger is thinking “whatever” to Eddy’s comment that as the road gets steep that his ass will be dropped.

  19. Eddy: hey rog, my dick goes this way, when you wear those ugly bastards, yours goes the other way, now ditch them things…you make us all look bad

  20. @wiscot

    In reference to bar height, these days the hoods are pretty close to where they had their drops.

  21. @wiscot

    @Oli

    I’ve never seen anyone else wear them, so I think it was a one-off with Roger. Maybe he got so much shit for wearing them he stopped doing it.

    I’m having serious trouble trying to picture what someone would end up looking like after they gave RDV shit about anything!

  22. @DerHoggz

    RdV is not a Dutchman.The Prophet probably dropped him though!

  23. @DerHoggz
    Hey DerHoggz, check out the Ontario Cogal and see if you’d be up for meeting us there for a Memorial Day Sufferfest

  24. @Buck Rogers
    Monsieur De Vlaeminck, I wish to assure you that I said none of these things I’ve been unfairly credited with. Mercy, merci.

  25. @Oli

    @Buck RogersMonsieur De Vlaeminck, I wish to assure you that I said none of these things I’ve been unfairly credited with. Mercy, merci.

    De Vlaeminck is probably on a flight right now to your house to personally KICK YOUR ASS! :)

  26. Those leg protectors aren’t much more dorker that guys taping on that bright Green and Blue SpiderTech nonsense on their legs these days.

  27. @Chipomarc

    Those leg protectors aren’t much more dorker that guys taping on that bright Green and Blue SpiderTech nonsense on their legs these days.

    I was waiting for someone to comment on that one way or the other. I’m still on the fence, especially if they provide some muscular support, which improves performance. I mean, Frank has been known to rock the nose plaster, for chrissakes! Also just got a couple of the Spidertech thingies from their launch swag bag. Don’t see myself ever wearing them, mind…

  28. @TommyTubolare

    I know, that was Merckx talking to Frank for trying to take 10 points away.

    @Tartan1749

    That sounds like fun, with a few problems. Main one being finances, as I still haven’t found a job, but I have talked to the LBS a few times and they said maybe in the spring. I would have to get a passport as well, or smuggle myself across the border. What i the drinking age in the Great White North? I will be 19, could I participate in the post-ride recovery? It would be cool to do a little “mini-tour” up and back as well. I will definitely keep it in mind. Is there a specific thread for this, or just the Cogals thread?

  29. Oh sweet, Wikipedia says 19 for Ontario drinking age, now to work this out.

  30. Yet another great photo:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCtaOSsM_3Y

  31. (referring to the article by Sir Frank)

  32. @Steampunk

    @Chipomarc

    Those leg protectors aren’t much more dorker that guys taping on that bright Green and Blue SpiderTech nonsense on their legs these days.

    I was waiting for someone to comment on that one way or the other. I’m still on the fence, especially if they provide some muscular support, which improves performance. I mean, Frank has been known to rock the nose plaster, for chrissakes! Also just got a couple of the Spidertech thingies from their launch swag bag. Don’t see myself ever wearing them, mind…

    To be fair, I only do that because Der Ullrich did it. Not for any performance-enhancing effect.

    @cutters79

    Lest we forget Roger’s smallest gear is probably 42-19!

    Best.Handle.Ever. Just watched that move the other day. When Dave pulls out 96kmph on the freeway on his little ring, that’s some class riding.

  33. @frank
    Right. But I get the impression you likely wouldn’t wear RdV’s garters, even though RdV evidently did. And lots of guys have been rocking the SpiderTech tape over the past year or two. I wasn’t criticizing, just observing.

  34. @Steampunk

    @frank
    Right. But I get the impression you likely wouldn’t wear RdV’s garters, even though RdV evidently did. And lots of guys have been rocking the SpiderTech tape over the past year or two. I wasn’t criticizing, just observing.

    Sure, sure. No worries. Is there a problem with the SpiderTech tape when you have an injury? Is it ineffective? Not a physio. No clue.

    I’m assuming that because of a lack of photographic evidence of him having worn them more often, this was an experiment and he abandoned ship. If he hadn’t, I bet I’d have a set in my kit somewhere.

  35. @DerHoggz

    Got ya mate.Sorry.

  36. @frank
    I’ve only heard good things about the SpiderTech stuff, but I’m not a physio either. I was responding to Chipomarc and suggesting that form and function sometimes overlap. Or style and performance.

  37. I’ve just bought the rocktape, I’ll tell you in few weeks…

  38. Great photo – but got to admit that my first thought at reading the title was WTF’s a Flesh mirror?! Bike porn being taken too far!

  39. @Martin@lejogle
    And then you looked closer and saw that it read Flemish, right?

    BTW, if a Flemish mirror is catching one’s reflection in the rain soaked road, what is catching one’s reflection in a plate-glass window or own shadow on the road? Admit, you do it when you can.

  40. @Marko

    @Martin@lejogle
    And then you looked closer and saw that it read Flemish, right?

    once I stopped squinting yeah!

  41. @Marko

    @Martin@lejogle
    BTW, if a Flemish mirror is catching one’s reflection in the rain soaked road, what is catching one’s reflection in a plate-glass window or own shadow on the road? Admit, you do it when you can.

    good old fashioned narcissism!

  42. @Steampunk @frank

    I haven’t used the SpiderTech stuff but my physio has been taping my knee using regular tape to achieve a similar effect. As well as the gout and arthritis I seem to have lost some strength and stability through years of relative inactivity. The tape helps provide stability without losing too much mobility. She uses different types/grades of tape depending on which bit of the the knee it’s going on. The kevlar fibred stuff looked pretty cool. Between that and acupuncture with electric shocks my knee is much improved.

  43. Re the tape on the knees malarkey – my physio is recommending I use it to keep stuff going on in the right place – the word is its pretty good these days (going back 15 years it was nasty!) and if it helps me ride for an extra day or 2 then thats good enough for me!

  44. @Martin@lejogle

    My left knee cap sits slightly too far left as a result of other bits not doing their job properly. The tape has been doing that while we’ve been working on getting the knee cap back in place with lots of exercises that leave the whole thing aching deeply.

  45. @Chris
    are you finding it any better? I think when we change anything with our ingrained riding style it takes a while to readjust to it whilst the newly activated muscles get used to the new stresses!

  46. @Chris

    It hasn’t really affected the riding too much unless I ride when the tape is new on and hasn’t had a chance to get any stretch. usually it’s been on for a day before I ride. Being relatively new to road cycling, my stroke isn’t that embedded so adjustments aren’t that big a deal. I think also the muscles are naturally making the adjustments as they get stronger so it’s a fairly slow incremental process.

  47. @Marko

    I love seeing my shadow when I’m in the drops, feel like a freaking superhero.

  48. @All @Liege @Cobbles

    Just wanted to send my best wishes to all those in Leige who have been effected by that fking mentalist. Although we are all used to seeing the blood of competitors on the cobbles it should never have had to meet the blood of innocents. They are hard bastards though, their racing is a testament to that so I have not doubt they will recover from the shocking event. The guy was a drug dealer, convicted sex offender, all round scumbag and wimp as was shown by his suicide at the end.

    Leige

  49. @huffalotpuffalot
    bad shit indeed – there seems to be a never ending supply of these tossers

    I think I’ll do a quick review of the one’s I’m meant to be looking after – sadly hard to tell what people do when they close their doors

  50. @mblume

    That looks like the picture they placed next to the definition of Rule #9..unless they decided to use this one…

    Good interview describing that day located here.

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