Photo of the day: Style.

A great shot of time trial perfection: A neo-pro named Stephen Roche, 1981.    Exploding onto the scene with victories in Tour of Sardinia and Paris-Nice.  Stylistic perfection contre-le-montre.

This was a Miroir du Cyclisme poster that an old teammate and friend Embo mounted and gave me for Christmas later that year.  Kept it all these years. In fact, it's hanging in my workshop/basement.  

It's a study in cycling style.  Upper body still and relaxed all the power coming from silky-smooth, fluid pedalling, legs clicking over like a metronome.  Roche's form is an icon of purity from a time when timetrials were about stripped-down minimalism:  Lighter wheels.  Skinsuit.  No gloves, no helmet, no glasses.   Aerodynamics then meant holding your 'oeuf' position in the drops.

It's a photo that evokes that feeling we all have from time to time, when you're really flying down a smooth road.   Often it's that first warmish spring day, after a winter of slugging through the wind and cold.  It feels like you've got a tailwind, put it in the big ring, and magically a you're spinning a big gear with fluidity that feels almost effortless.  The sun's out, and you're flying.   You know that feeling, right?


  1. I like how even the top of the bars aren't taped - some mechanics even went as far as routing the brake cables backwards (coming down from the brake levers)- and of course taking the front derailleur off and making the chain only fit the big ring and several of the small cogs in back for low resistance.

  2. Yeah, Larry knows that feeling...but it's usually because there IS a tailwind! Interestingly in today's TT to finish Paris-Nice, Wiggins had plenty of aero stuff including the crash hat, but beat the next guy who looked to have only a skinsuit and aero bars mounted on the bike he rode all week, by just 2 seconds.

  3. That last paragraph is the perfect expression of the the cycling moment.
    Well done.

    As winter looms in NZ, and the knowledge that many hours will be spent fighting the Unbeatable Wellington Wind, it's reassuring to know that the months of upcoming effort and test of determination will make one stronger.


  4. Thanks Mike. Enjoy the off season down there, and know that wind always makes you Kiwis stronger and tougher...(I remember Graham Miller killing all of us up here over 20 years ago)


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