Anatomy of a Photo: Casually Deliberate Masterclass

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I’d need a thousand just to describe the carefully disheveled cap placement. I’d need another grand just to describe the positioning of the cranks or front skewer or downtube shifters. I’d be another mille mot in the hole to discuss the fit of the jersey or the white socks and black shoes.

All those words and still I wouldn’t have touched the way he’s holding his bike with his forearm. This is the Casually Deliberate masterclass. Full stop.

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64 Replies to “Anatomy of a Photo: Casually Deliberate Masterclass”

  1. Rule #52 in it’s original form. And why have a second cage when riding a Tour stage? No need. And look, his socks aren’t black. This photo is more than a study in casually deliberate, it’s a Rules master class. It would have to be. He is the Rules.

  2. This is my favourite photo of ‘The Prophet, at repose, with bike’ ever.  I’d like to think that heard the photographer spent hours on the set up, making sure everything was just so, and perfect, before shooting two or three rolls of film (for you kids out there, about a 4GB memory card of RAW shots… 72 or so photos)… But I know that everything he did was always perfect, and this was an opportunistic snap.

    This photo was the inspiration for my Ti bike, I literally thrust it in front of the guy at my LBS and went “like this!”

    After a tough day at the office, or a particularly hard ride, the perfect position of the down tube shifters in this photo actually make me weep

  3. The only thing this photo doesn’t have are the valve stems in the same position, but since its a CASUALLY deliberate photo rather than a deliberate photo of the bike, this can easily be forgiven.  And just look at those sideburns – proof it can be pulled off, but certainly not by Wiggins.

  4. absolute word: race number, the bike named ‘for you’, the whole repose’, is as Gianni said ‘masterful’

    I have long gazed at this photo and thought, considered and reconsidered

    what was the prophet thinking about, how many hours did he prep his ride, did he change anything the day of the race…and it just goes on and on

    most likely, he’s not thinking of a thing, like most us guys, just casually looking and being the Prophet

  5. I am suffering from an extended bout of veloennui. This pic helps me. The dark, the rain, the change of season has me down about my cycling. Cleaned bike 4 times. Replaced chainrings on #1 just because I didn’t want her to feel neglected. Had to cancel the usual annual bike vacation for velominatus bugetatus reasons.

    But thanks to the pic, I am now feeling better. I think this weekend I will collect up all my COTHO jerseys, swag, books, cockrings, clippings pic etc and put them up on eBay, promising to donate all the proceeds to LAF. Then when I get the money, I’ll just do what COTHO would do and lie and keep the money. Choads.

    Thanks for the pic. Much more effective than Cymbalta.

     

  6. @eightzero I was worried about the notion that you were going to donate to LAF, but about 1/4 second before reading on I realized it was a Casually Deliberate head-fake.

    And that truly is an awesome picture of The Prophet. I work as a professional photographer and would have retired completely satisfied with my career had I taken that one.

  7. Such an amazing spot in time.  Check out his drilled out chainring and brake levers.  He was a weight fanatic!

  8. @Oli

    @Buck Rogers Joop Zoetemelk on the left (Eddy’s right) and Gosta Pettersson.

    Knew I could count on you, Oli.  I know of Joop but Gosta is a new one to me.  Need to read up on him a bit now.

  9. I never get tired of seeing this photo. Never. So much good shit going on. In addition to what’s been said, I love the drilled out chainring and the leader tape. Best cycling photo EVER, and he’s not even riding.

  10. @Oli

    @Buck Rogers Joop Zoetemelk on the left (Eddy’s right) and Gosta Pettersson.

    FUCK.  Nicely done.  I just spent a good 20 minutes trying to figure it out, when of course you already had the answer, as I knew he would sooner or later.  Off to the garage to turn a few wrenches.

  11. What’s going on with those pedals? Have the toeclips run off in fear or something?

  12. Gosta Peterson was one of four brothers who rode the Team Time Trial for Sweden (winning Olympic medals) and then went to find their fortunes in Italy. Gosta, Erik, Tomas and Sture if I recall correctly. Gosta won a Giro and was third in the 1970 tour.

  13. Anyone notice the Betty’s in the background on the right!

    Also, his brake levers aren’t drilled on the TDF photo.

    Looks like I’ll be needing some white bar tape soon…

  14. The DT shifters in the picture of The Prophet – were they adjusted by the mechanic to line up “just so” in a particular favourite ratio for the terrain? As per the dials in your Ferrari F1 car pointing at 12 o’clock when everything’s as it should be..

  15. @farzani

    Can’t get this photo off my mind.  So awesome!  Is he even riding wide tires here?  Any extra tread?  Difficult to tell.  I think they must be at least 28 mm, maybe larger but I cannot appreciate any real tread.  Probably just camera perspective and I am missing it.

  16. @Buck Rogers  i just happen to find this pic on the internet and had to save it! Cross racing is in full swing and in my neighborhood we have a few difficult wk races! I have 2 women friends who race pro so I try to go support when I can. It s such a great spectator sport.. In addition there is a lot of fun singletrack and farm roads to ride on and this time of year it is a nice break of routine for the legs.

  17. For some reason, the past week has gotten me down. It’s partly the weather in the UK, partly a horrendous sore throat which made it difficult to swallow and which only disappeared today, partly some minor failings and stupidities of my fellow human beings coming to light all at once, both amongst my great friends and occasional acquaintances. I haven’t been on the bike for a whole 10 days. My illness has gone, but I’m feeling low. Out of sync. Troubled. Listless.

    But tomorrow morning, when others go to church, I’m going for my ride. In the soft cold light and hushed chill of a November morning, I’m going to work all the knots out of myself. I will set a goal and achieve it. I will return to breakfast, as the city rises from sleep, a victor, and all will be well again.

    Vincit qui se vincit.

  18. @Winelli

    For some reason, the past week has gotten me down. It’s partly the weather in the UK, partly a horrendous sore throat which made it difficult to swallow and which only disappeared today, partly some minor failings and stupidities of my fellow human beings coming to light all at once, both amongst my great friends and occasional acquaintances. I haven’t been on the bike for a whole 10 days. My illness has gone, but I’m feeling low. Out of sync. Troubled. Listless.

    But tomorrow morning, when others go to church, I’m going for my ride. In the soft cold light and hushed chill of a November morning, I’m going to work all the knots out of myself. I will set a goal and achieve it. I will return to breakfast, as the city rises from sleep, a victor, and all will be well again.

    Vincit qui se vincit.

    Illegitimi non carborundum

  19. @Nate

    Taking the piss out of Casually Deliberate

    I hate to tug on Superman’s cape but a wrist watch?  I would have thought with the competition receding in his wake that time would be of little importance.

  20. Ahaa!  When he set The Record the watch is gone (but a sharp tan line remained!)

  21. @The Pressure

    He often wore a wristwatch while racing.  It was probably actually useful in the days before cyclocomputers.  And remember, Wim van Est was wearing his Pontiac wristwatch when he fell in the ravine.

  22. @Nate

    @The Pressure

    He often wore a wristwatch while racing. It was probably actually useful in the days before cyclocomputers. And remember, Wim van Est was wearing his Pontiac wristwatch when he fell in the ravine.

    Thanks. van Est put the “V” in “V”!  70 m fall,chain of tyres.  I thought it was Timex that “Took a Licking and keeps on ticking”!

  23. @Nate

    Taking the piss out of Casually Deliberate

    The gloves! The jerseys! The bikes!

    Is that bar tape just plain cloth? Or was some thin cork stuff around in the mid-70s? Looks a bit thicker than just cloth.

    And jeez, Merckx sure as hell does know how to sport the cap. It always looks perfect!

  24. No matter how many times I see it I’m still floored by how damn cool Roger dV and Merckx are when they arrive for Paris-Roubaix at the start of “A Sunday in Hell.” It’s awesome that both show up in sedans and help unload their own bikes. Who needs a big ol’ team bus? Give me a goddamn Volvo and a denim suit!

  25. @Winelli

    For some reason, the past week has gotten me down. It’s partly the weather in the UK, partly a horrendous sore throat which made it difficult to swallow and which only disappeared today, partly some minor failings and stupidities of my fellow human beings coming to light all at once, both amongst my great friends and occasional acquaintances. I haven’t been on the bike for a whole 10 days. My illness has gone, but I’m feeling low. Out of sync. Troubled. Listless.

    But tomorrow morning, when others go to church, I’m going for my ride. In the soft cold light and hushed chill of a November morning, I’m going to work all the knots out of myself. I will set a goal and achieve it. I will return to breakfast, as the city rises from sleep, a victor, and all will be well again.

    Vincit qui se vincit.

    I’m feelin’ ya. Can’t remember my last long road ride. Been forcing myself to do work & focus on other things, which I’ve needed to do for awhile. Have managed to fit in one hour cross rides most weekdays, but they’re just not the same as long road rides. Also went down last week and skinned and bashed my knee, elbow and hip. Plus, moved into a new house and NONE of my “friends” could be bothered to help. Left me and the VMH to move dressers, beds, etc. Definitely has me wondering how such “friends” could be so clueless and useless, especially when I do fuckloads of favors all the time. Bastards.

    Yesterday took out the #1 in sun, blue skies, and around 26*. Splendid. Got in around 80 kms and was totally dragging for the last 15 or so. “What is going on?” I thought, since I normally can just crank ’em out. Well, I have been riding much, I’ve been moving, I haven’t been sleeping enough, I have a stiff and swollen left knee and a slowly healing sprained right ankle. Homestretch was not easy but I tried to remember that time on the bike is always better than time off the bike.

    Ten days is a long darn time but, I’m always amazed at how quickly the passion and love return when you can fit in just one good ride. Hope you did so this weekend! And, I too LOVE that I go to my own special “church” on Sunday mornings as the rest of the folks go to theirs.

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