Thursday, March 25, 2010
Take a look at Micheal Rogers at San Remo last weekend. Now go back and really, really look at Mick Rogers. Look at the dirt on his face, the lines and crags and suffering on his face. Look at his legs. Look at his posture. But mostly, go back and look at his face again (If you click on the picture, you can see a larger version).
If you have ever raced your bicycle you can probably empathize with that look. If you are reading this blog post you probably haven't ever been paid to ride your bike and you probably haven't raced up the Cipressa or Poggio, but that doesn't mean you can't understand the look on Mick Rogers face and at least get a glimpse of what it feels like.
Keep in mind that if Mick Rogers stopped by any of the local races, say anywhere in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, British Columbia or Alberta, he would toy with every single racer who showed up and then sprint away whenever he felt like it. It is not unfair to say that he is other-worldly when it comes to the gap between us mere mortals and the professionals. And yet, here in his work place he is attempting to ride away from the entire professional peleton to snatch glory in San Remo. Unfortunately, you can tell from the look on his face that it was not going to happen (and it didn't happen).
He may be suffering under team orders, or to "test his legs" or just to take his chances, but no matter the reason or the result, that dude is suffering.
One last thing that jumps out at me about that picture. When the pro's are fully kitted out, they look "cool" sort-of, but they are primarily traveling billboards. The contrast of the yellow advertisement covering his body and bike is a stark contrast to the look on his face and his suffering. It's like putting a clown costume on someone right before you torture them.
What a strange and horrible way to make a living.
Don't you wish you could?