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For the umpteenth time this past weekend I had some bogan driver in a ute yell at me “Fag!“. Over my years of cycling I’ve gotten used to this and I don’t think much of it anymore. I’ve played my fair share of “tough guy” sports in my life and I can tell you that cycling has to be one of the toughest sports of them all. The fact that we all wear lycra, shave our legs, wear rainbow colors, etc doesn’t exactly line-up with a hardman image. Therefore I can cut a little slack on the ignorance when I’m mocked early in the morning by a bunch of drunks driving home from a big night on the piss. I can even see the humor in it.
Last night I was reading on cyclingnews about a suggestion that the winner of the Giro d’Italia prologue in Amsterdam this year should be greeted by podium GUYS.
The thought of this might scare us at first, but I think it’s going to take a lot more than three guys in lycra kissing each other to detract from the public image we’ve created for ourselves.
For example, to us Tom Boonen is considered to be one of the hardman representatives of cycling. Three time winner of Paris Roubaix, Tour of Flanders, World Champion, TdF Green Jersey…the list goes on. They don’t come any tougher. To us, he can pretty much get away with anything and still uphold his brawny image. I’m sure if Tornado Tom somehow won the prologue in the Giro this year and had a couple bearded men kissing him on the podium it would only add to his masculinity. Anyone can kiss two beautiful women – but you gotta be tough as nails to kiss a bloke. Boonen could surely pull this off.
However, I can see how people who outside the cycling fraternity would be, say…confused with our sport, which might lead to various obscenities shouted out at us. Boonan and friends, you are certainly not helping our image. The only thing missing here are the podium blokes!