Saturday, November 9, 2013

The 'look' of cycling.

I love the 'look' of cycling. For me it's the whole package. It's the freedom to ride anywhere and everywhere, It's the flash of the spandex, the wiz of the gears, the wind in the face rawness and the connections past and present. The fact that the sports stars are right there in front of the fans. So close they sometimes collide. The raw emotion can be seen on anyone climbing a monsterous climb. The look of elation after the climb ends. The determination of a rider in awful weather who needs to get from point a to point b, and was obviously caught out... or as the crazies like myself, maybe not. Sometimes we leave the house in the rain.

Antiseptic brands in cycling try and dazzle us with the high tech wizardry of innovation in our sport. We love this of course, and pat ourselves on our backs for our power meters and bladded spokes. But if you truly look at cycling, not much has really changed. It's true we have far lighter bicycles, but nobody has invented a rounder wheel, or a better handlebar or a better frame, drivetrain, etc. in a hundred years. It's still fundementally the same as the greats of the past rode up all those horrendous dirt and mud alpine climbs so many years ago. And that's what makes this such a kick ass sport. That raw connection to the past takes place every time we struggle up our local hill.  I don't know anyone who has struck this home better than Rapha at connecting and representing these connections.

For the past few years, they have refined the art of the bicycle, but not in the sense of the cool electronic   detachment of Di2 or the social amphetamine of Strava, but with connecting to what we aspire to do. Ride our bikes in epic-ly. We want to be awesome at this, and it's hard. They show images of hardmen riding in remotely beautiful terrain in weather that is perfect. In fact it's this nastyness of elements that makes it even more epic. Their imagery is of guys sweating, with shit on their faces from livestock, not standing in a studio. It shows us how we want to be. I get stoked to just look at these images because while I don't know a single person in the photos, I know the sole of each and everyone of them like my own. Let's ride!