pro cycling real life cycling

Cycling needs to ban these things!

The sport of pro cycling has always maintained a close relationship with banning stuff. Rules have been created, occasionally enforced, and broken, since records began.

We’re talking technology, substances, riders, substances found in riders. A simple google search tells you all you need to know: cyclist banned…for life, for drugs, for hitting a horse.

All the main ones come up.

Back in November 2018 the calls for the latest ban came loud, clear, and in French. Tour de France boss Christian Prudhomme and UCI President David Lappartient called for an end to power meters during races; the suggestion being that riders race to the numbers on their gadget, which leads them to ride in a conservative, formulaic fashion.

They might have a point.

But I would take it one step further. If we’re in a banning mood, then lets ban everything that needs banning. In one fell swoop.

For example:


Firstly, they are a blot on the beauty of our favourite sport. Swedish brand POC rekindled the fashion for massive shades a few years back and they were, and still are, cool.

Minimal stylings, massive yet understated, the perfect fusion of 80’s facial infrastructure and noughties knowing cool.

But it’s gone too far.

The Speedcraft from American brand 100%, for example, or the latest iteration of Oakley Jawbreakers. To wear them here in the UK requires planning permission. You are a cyclist; you are not Boba Fett from Star Wars.

They’re. Too. Big.

Secondly the eyes, as we know, are the window to the soul. Which makes sunglasses the shutters, on the windows, to the soul. And I’m sure we can all agree that sport is better when the participants bare their soul.

Think of a rider with an absolute, stone-cold poker face. Nairo Quintana springs to mind. He appears on our TV screen deep into some high Alpine effort resembling an Easter Island monolith. We have no idea of the physical and mental torment.

Is he crying like a baby? Laughing like a maniac? Is he cross-eyed with exertion?
If we could see his eyes he’d have a personality. But we can’t, so he doesn’t.

Ban them.

Peter Sagan

The prefix “super-“

Invented by Mark Cavendish back in his HTC heyday, this is now common currency. A bike race is super-hard, some of the riders are super-well-prepared, and the winner is super-happy.

If you ask a rider how they’re doing and they answer “I’m super, thanks,” this is fine. A little goofy, perhaps, but feeling super, thanks, is an acceptable state of affairs,

But if you’re super-happy then surely you’re delighted, or jubilant, or enchanted?

Imagine you’re interviewing Peter Sagan after yet another easy win and he says: “Oh, I’m delighted with my race today, simply enchanted with the way things panned out in the sprint. My teammates will be jubilant”

So much better than: “Awww, y’know…was good…am super-happy with this win.”

Ban it.

MAAP cycling socks

Fancy socks

Fancy socks, it’s fair to say, are the go-to item of the style conscious but skint cyclist. This is fair enough. Being stylish is a noble aim, and being skint is nothing to be ashamed of.

Fancy socks offer the illusion of style without the price tag. But we need to keep things in perspective.

Socks are essentially sartorial Salbutamol; we don’t need to ban them, perhaps, but they should be a specified substance. Subject to monitoring and control.

Garish, outlandish, creative socks can add a dash of colour and character to an otherwise tedious look. They can also draw attention away from other areas.

Perhaps you’ve worn your bib-shorts through to the bum crack and can’t afford a new pair. Maybe you haven’t shaved your legs since last November and now you’re heading out in the spring sunshine with the fast group.

You need fancy socks to throw them off the scent.

All other times you need white socks. Crisp, clean, and with minimal detail. These are your A-game. Stylish and understated. Nowhere to hide. Like Coppi and Merckx.

Fancy socks?

Ban them.

Monitor them.


All of which brings me to one final thought: If we ban all this stuff, extra space will be created for us to introduce some new stuff. Stuff that would make our favourite sport better.

Early contenders include: An entirely cobbled Grand Tour; interviews, mid-race, live from the peloton; and see-through helmets.

Have I missed anything?

8 comments on “Cycling needs to ban these things!

  1. BAN – White shorts! I mean – Really?! INTRODUCE- stick on dog tails for the peloton riders. This is purely for my entertainment as, every time I see the group filmed from the back / above, they look like a pack of dogs, body’s swaying as they wag their non existent tails. Large, upward curled tails wagging away as the group progress along the route would crack me up and make my day. Next time you’re watching, you’ll see what I mean and that’s all you’ll see from now on. Finally, unrelated but …for non-cycling related reasons, ( I went to see Tour de Ned) I have now developed an inappropriate (I’m way too old) crush on Sagan so please don’t make fun of him in your posts,. The rest are fair game but not my Greace loving, ‘You’re the one that I want’ singing Peter (you need to have seen tour de Ned to understand that one. 😂. Another great post from you 👍🏼

    Liked by 3 people

    • A lot to go at here, so i’ll take them one by one:

      White shorts – agree!

      Dog tails – never occurred to me, not once, but I hear Castelli have an aero dog tail in development as we speak.

      Sagan – I will continue to tease him, if only for the ‘tache, but you are in the majority. Recent studies suggest that 92% of all* cycling fans have a crush on Mr S.

      *regardless of gender

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m with Jo, white shorts should be banned and, to be honest, I’m not overly fond of white socks – much prefer black. Of course, this might be because I know how difficult it is to get road grease out of both.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Cav speaking Murican…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m with you on the Jawbreakers – they’re ridiculously large. I agree with Jo about the white shorts as well. Nobody should be wearing white shorts. Ever. Socks are an individual expression, unless they’re sponsored. Another thing… Team EF’s porn star mustaches.

    Liked by 1 person

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