secrets are the stuff of which cycling is made, or at least a part of it. the olympic road race in london 2012 is perhaps the prime example. having transported mark cavendish to rainbow stripes in 2011, the british selection for the olympic event pretty much figured they'd simply repeat the procedure in london. the fact that they pretty much telegraphed this intention, probably played a significant factor in the plot being spectacularly lost long before the finish line welcomed vinokourov, even if nobody else did. the previous year's race probably offered them little in the way of an alternate strategy; to be honest, there's every likelihood that any would have been scarcely believed in any case. the only way a gold medal could have been achieved would have been by way of a very clever secret.
pity they hadn't thought of that.
happily, our own needs are considerably less demanding and almost certainly less public. but still, a rider has to have his/her secrets, if only to maintain a seemly degree of credibility. who amongst us hasn't been joined by a visiting cyclist or peloton and felt it necessary to 'put one over on them' whether by way of a less than obvious deviation from the stated route, or a quicker way through some winding corners? sadly this more often than not leads to murmured condemnation from the ranks rather than the round of applause we'd really prefer, but i believe it comes under the heading of seemed like a good idea at the time. you can't blame a guy for trying, though.
we've been all through the regular motions of surreptitiously making public our clandestine tan lines, casually displaying the oval tan patches on the back of the hands and even down to the current habit of wearing a belgian winter cap back to front. but i fear those are for the more demonstrative amongst us, for despite such faux secrecy, there comes a point in time where all the above have to be elevated to a state of visibility in order for them to be of any use at all. where, might i ask, is the point in being able to speak velocipede if you don't practice it from time to time?
but real secrets are to be treasured, harboured or even savoured without any thought of making public mention ever. unfortunately, in the interests of reviewing, i am compelled to tell at least the portion of the world that reads these black and yellow pixels about the colour of my boxer shorts; probably not the sort of information you chose thewashingmachinepost for in the first place. the lovely people at look mum no hands! are now in the business of purveying tour de france podium boxer shorts: yellow, green and polka dots, each guaranteed to confer upon the wearer the very attributes endemic in the jerseys of the same name. having chosen the polka dot pair to instigate this review, i had no trouble whatsoever in climbing the odd set of stairs with barely a red flush brought to my cheeks. similarly, when clad in the green pair, it was simplicity itself to be first to the front of the checkout queue, having been led out by mrs washingmachinepost.
ok, i might have lied about that last bit.
the podium boxers are available in a pack of three for £25, made from cotton with a smattering of spandex and to be had in small, medium or large with look mum no hands! emblazoned on the waistband. naturally, if you buy yourself a set for christmas, you'll be keeping it quiet, but i should advise anyone buying a pack for the cyclist in their life that it's necessary to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
some secrets are too important to be told.
monday 25 november 2013