It has been said, ‘to look good is to go fast’
However, some clarification is called for. To wear $300 sunglasses whilst breaking the speed limit in your Acura is a different thing altogether. Looking good cannot be bought. Rather, it is a heady mix of form and strength that results in this particular presentation of looking-good-ness of which we speak. Fat guys in expensive cars know nothing of speed.
For the cyclist, expensive kit and the aforementioned sun glasses do not make us fast. Speed is more than skin deep. Wearing a pro team jersey doesn’t make you a cyclist anymore than sitting in the Minneapolis airport this morning makes me a pilot. It’s all about what lies beneath.
The way of the cycling disciple leads through the fire of adversity. Adversity separates the casual posers from those who seek refinement in the crucible of intentional effort. This is why 60 km of speed work into a roaring headwind or endless climb repeats sort us out like few other experiences can. We travel on the path of truth when we can say,
I’m faster than I was, but not as fast as I’m going to be
Beneath our sharp kit lies the secret to speed. We look good because we’ve become fast. To understand this is to know why a cyclist in a sun-faded but otherwise clean kit in good repair has become fast. (To plumb the depths of this mystery further, a raunchy smelling, ratty jersey guarantees you will ride alone in a state of slow-paced, low minded suffering.)
Like my young friend in the stroller sporting the upside-down sun glasses, it’s all about what’s on the inside.