It's currently raining, well let's say it is chucking it doon! A most unwelcome contrast to the wonderful crisp autumnal day that was enjoyed yesterday. During yesterday's ride I was contemplating tyres and what to fit for winter. It was at this point that I started to notice my thoughts wondering off to yet more reviewing of online reviews. Time would also be allocated to discussing the pros, cons and of course, price. For some reason, possibly due to a memory of Sean Kelly describing his most cherished Paris Roubaix win, the picture below was recalled from my memory banks.
|Note the cable routing, some fancy gear integration going on|
The picture above is in stark contrast to the levels of diversification and marketing hype that we are currently experiencing in so many fields of life. I don't think I'm alone in these thoughts. And it wouldn't be too ridiculous of me to state that we are living in unprecedented times of constant product launches and the associated sense of flux. Welcome to Generation Beta. The online assault of mass consumerism has well and truly taken over. The Guffers can't complain too much. Where would this outlet be if it wasn't for the tools and technologies that we now take for granted?
The image in question is from the 1984 Paris Roubaix. Judging from the rather lovely BMW moto, the notion that you must have all terrain tyres to ride on cobbles covered in mud and plough the edges of fields, had really yet to take a grip of the motorcycling world. BMW launched their Gelände/Straße range to the public in 1980. Hubert Auriol and his BMW R80G/S won that other famous and brutally challenging race that used to start from Paris in 1981.
The rider of that moto and pillion had a level of skill and balance that most of us can only dream about. Cor Vos, the Dutch Photographer responsible for the shot isn't any different. The photographers were shooting on film. No immediate opportunity to review images on a digital screen or viewfinder. The positivity of the commissioning picture editors who believed in their skill. And, understood their ability to catch images that show the raw pain, emotion and eventual glory of the riders would be proven when the negatives arrived. What was the choice of tyres, gears, rim width, frame compliance, bar drop etc for the riders in the peloton? It's very evident that it was limited.
The riders on the velos had their moment in glory. Alas, that wasn't to be found sprinting for the win in the velodrome at Roubaix. Sean Kelly won his first Paris Roubaix that year. If it was Alain Bondue or Gregor Braun, we may be listening to either of their voices and thoughts being beamed through multiple digital communication protocols.