Last night I switched on the ol’ YouTube and watched A Sunday in Hell.
It’s good to remind myself sometimes about why I fell in love with bike racing.
If you’ve never watched this movie, please do. It contains everything you need to know about bike racing, the real kind.
I watch this movie every four or five years and each time I note how radically bike racing has changed since 1976. It would be a 10,000-word essay to chronicle all the changes. And as I age the movie’s hard reality is even more awesome, brutal, unforgiving, unrepentant, immobile as the giant paving stones along the cobbled sectors to Roubaix.
But the biggest changes? Muttonchop sideburns. In 1976 everyone had ’em. They were the coolest of the cool.
The other big change? Huge, floppy collars. Ordinary people who wanted to be fashionable had big, floppy collars.
Maybe the last, and the biggest change of all, is this:
Back then bike racers were tough.
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