Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The vanity in cycling

Cyclists are an incredibly vain group of people. The PROs lead the way and are excessively proud of their achievements and concerned about their appearance. The minute someone leads the GC at le tour, you can bet your overshoes that the next day that rider will be dressed in yellow from top to toe, including gloves and socks. And don't forget the yellow handlebar tape, matching shades, wheels, pedals, chain, cables and the list goes on. Manufactures and brands take advantage of this of course, anyone who don't remember Contador's yellow pedals Look flew in the night before the last stage in le tour 2009?

Rules to live by  

This also applies for amateurs. Many bike forums on the internet tells that story, both in a humorous tone but also in a very serious matter. Tan lines are heavily discussed whether they should be razor-sharp or squidgy around the edges. How long should the socks be and what colour? Well, according to the experts that depends on colour and length of your bib shorts. Could be quite difficult for the beginners of this sport, although there is reason to believe they know what they are doing getting into the sport. Get into a sportive or training ride with unshaved legs and someone will look at you with a strange look. At least that's what I've been told.
Pozzato working on the tan

Some races are naturally more vain than others. During le tour, the riders seems to enjoy getting all dressed up with the fancy jerseys and the much needed accessories. Thor Hushovd said in an interview after winning the WC that he was looking forward to "jazz my bike up in white with rainbow colours everywhere, same with my helmet. I'm going to be a complete dandy" was his words.    

So I guess that what we all should do then, follow the unwritten rules of how to dress in the cycling sport. There are, however, other options. Be reasonable and wear what you like. But there are certain things only a handful riders can get away with...

Cipollini in one of his famous suits

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