Posts Tagged ‘Sean Kelly’

The rules of The Rules

November 16, 2012

Against The Rules

1. To follow The Rules, you must resolutely ignore the obvious truth: it is not your duty to follow anyone’s arbitrary rules. If it were, you would never ride a bicycle in the first place. You would be a gym slave, or a couch potato, or a golf nut.

2. But if you want to be treated like a golfer, then you’ll fully embrace the second rule of The Rules: cycling is one big clubhouse and, as such, there must be a dress code, or chaos shall reign. Sock length, correct usage of caps and the positioning of eyewear – these things are the equivalent of designating which ties are acceptable in the bar area. And by obsessing over sartorial details, you’re attempting to obviate the most marvelous aspect of cyclists’ appearance: their inherent, proud, glorious daftness. What other pastime would allow you to routinely adopt the aesthetic of a superhero (Zabriskie), a mod (Wiggins), a human-sized sex toy (Cipo) or a tweedy fop, all without violent repercussions? Ridicule, to paraphrase a wiser man than myself, truly is nothing to be scared of in the realm of the bicycle.

3. Another man who is also much wiser than me recently opined: “Lists move in when love moves out.” And so it is with The Rules. For its adherents, the pure joy of riding has dissolved to such an extent that you need a rule to remind yourself of that long-forgotten pleasure (it’s entry number six, if you’re looking to somehow reclaim that feeling). You have become a librarian of the soul, observing an empty superstition that cultivating the correct tan lines or avoiding frame-mounted pumps will somehow make things better. It won’t. The magic is over. The romance has gone. But hey – there’s always golf, fellas!

4. If you need to go on the internet to learn the guidelines for courteous, safe cycling, then you don’t ride with a club. You are alone. Of all the rules of The Rules, this one is the most tragic.

5. Alpha males do not need to read a list telling them it is vitally important to own bicycles more expensive than their car, or that they’re a “badass” for riding in inclement weather. They do these sorts of things instinctively, because alpha males are creatures of action, biologically programmed to thump their chests. Of all the rules of The Rules, this is the most comedic: you will never be an alpha male, but you must try your absolute hardest to be a facsimile of one. Even though the real silverbacks are genetically predisposed to not give a toss about you.

6. Similarly, you may not be a sexist berk, but the rules of The Rules demand that you snigger at a story about Sean Kelly valuing his wife less than his car or his bike, even though he may not have said the words attributed to him in rule 11. Oh, and there’s beer. Apparently beer is a key component of your identity as a man. True, there is also an admirable rule advising men not to get all antsy if they are overtaken by a woman. But only two mentions of female cyclists among 91 entries? We’re back in the metaphorical clubhouse again!

7. “Hey,” the Ruleistas might say, “lighten up, dude! The Rules are funny!” A sensible response is to direct them to the photograph at the top of this post. Seriously, is anything in The Rules as funny as that guy breaking them? And if you can’t be funnier than the thing you’re mocking then, surely, you have failed.

The DYNAMITE! Five: The week in cycling, remixed. Issue #3

April 22, 2011

5 DOWN Assos
Despite it’s unhealthy fascination with Fabian Cancellara, The DYNAMITE! Files has never met anyone from Switzerland, so it cannot wholeheartedly vouch for the intelligence of the country’s male inhabitants. Yet this blog is surely not alone in reasoning that Swiss chaps who ride bicycles do not habitually slop dollops of beauty cream on their private areas in the mistaken belief that a cosmetic product sold by a women’s fashion retailer is the same as chamois cream made by a high-end cycle clothing giant, even though the two have near-identical names. So how, then, has Assos managed to ban Asos from using the name in its home country? And to prevent any further confusion, will they drop the terms “knickers” and “tights” from the Assos website? Because those things really aren’t what ladies are looking for when they Google them, fellas. Especially when they’re modelled by a homoerotic mandroid.

4 UP Alberto Contador
The pressures of infamy appeared to have finally got to Alberto Contador on Tuesday when the Clenbuterol swallower was spotted shielding his mouth in a manner not wholly dissimilar to the late Michael Jackson. But let’s not label the poor chap Wacko ‘Berto just yet or concur with the banal explanation that the band of material covering his gob was to help him cope with his hay fever during training, because there is a possibility that El Pistolero was wearing a face mask to take his gun-slinging nickname to the next level. Wardrobe updates to watch out for at his next race: spurs on the heels of his Specialized BGs and a ten-gallon hat glued to his Giro Ionos. Ride ‘em, cow-eating boy!

3 UP Sean Kelly
Speaking of bovines, Eurosport’s one-man humour vacuum Sean Kelly broke out of character on Sunday by deploying the wonderful phrase “done for the deep freeze” as a euphemism for the slaughter and dismemberment of a heifer. He was relating the story of how he won a cow in a Belgian crit and plumped for the latter option when the organisers asked if he would like to take it home alive or dead. That unexpectedly humorous anecdote delivered during a lull in the Amstel Gold would be enough for the Irishman to make The DYNAMITE! Five any week of the season, but he also gets an extra tip-o-the-hat for his steadfast refusal to pronounce the word “leopard” in the embarrassingly feigned manner laid out in Team Leopard-Trek’s infamous dictum to the cycling industry. For that one small act of defiance, he can mangle “classement général” and anglicise “Paris-Roubaix” any time he likes.

2 UP Kebabs
Fabian Cancellara’s choice of recovery food on Sunday produced another fascinating entry in the ever-expanding Dictionary of Fablish: a “Vino kebab”. Rumours that rickety carts bearing the legend “Honest Alexander’s Meaty Treats” were seen near the finish line of the Amstel Gold are wholly unfounded. Nevertheless, if you ever ingest a post-pub meal so toxic that you feel it has done something peculiar to your bloodstream, yet the sense of shame forbids you from ever admitting to ingesting it, then at least you now have a wholly appropriate term for the unfortunate foodstuff. Thank you, Fabian!

1 UP Douglas
You may have missed it, but Mark Cavendish won something last week: the Freedom of Douglas. Perusing the brief list of Manxmen who have previously garnered the same award, one can’t help noticing that Sir Winston Churchill and Norman Wisdom are no longer with us, and one of the three Bee Gees has not been Stayin’ Alive since 2003 – so it is a credit to the borough’s council members for bestowing the same honour on a 25-year-old who can raise the area’s profile among the under-50 age bracket. The Manx missile was supposed to have picked up the gong three years ago but his hectic schedule got in the way, so expect him to start exercising his freedom of his hometown sometime after the 2014 Tour de France.

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