Oily Renderings: Inspiring Portraits and Suggestive Hand Gestures

On Friday, I speculated that Tour de France winner Alberto Contador might respond to George Hincapie's powerful portrait by commissioning one of his own. Well, not only was I right, but the masterpiece is already complete, for a reader has forwarded me the following:

With this painting Contador has done singlehandedly what it took like four Domo riders to do to Hincapie in the 2001 Paris-Roubaix: demoralize and trounce him. This portrait is nothing less than a visual repast, and wherever the eye alights one finds a delightful amuse-bouche. Consider, for example, his midsection:

Each of Contador's wrists is festooned with what are clearly FingerbangStrong bracelets, and on his right bicep he wears a scarlet Armband of Insouciance. Also, while one might think the dowel he's carrying represents the beatings he administers to the rest of the peloton, it is actually a symbol of modesty and humility; as you can see, the air is thick with flying Fingerbangs, and when the flock of his greatness becomes too thick he uses it to swat them away. Further evidence of his modesty are his giant pants, for while some have accused Contador of being too big for his britches, the truth is his britches are too big for him. However, he did indulge himself in one area, which is the size of his codpiece. Made from high modulous crabon fiber, the implication is that it both accomodates and protects his significant crotchal wingspan.

Meanwhile, another reader has forwarded me this photo of Contador fingerbanging in Cancun on Saturday:
While Contador did win the Grand Premio Cancun, the reason for this particular fingerbang is that he's just spotted a friend on the beach:

This is disturbing evidence that Contador may adopt Sammy Hagar's "Mas Tequila" as his victory anthem for 2010. By using that song in conjunction with the fingerbang hand gesture, he will now be able to emit the douche-wattage of a thousand Michael Balls and unleash superova of smarm with each podium appearance. Incidentally, if you don't speak Spanish "Mas Tequila" apparently means "But Tequila:"

Of course, these online translators are often wrong, and that's obviously the case here as well. "Mas Tequila" actually means "Butt Tequila," which should serve as a sort of Rosetta Stone to understanding both this song in particular as well as Sammy Hagar's oeuvre in general.

Speaking of "Butt Tequila," smarm, Michael Ball, and, well, fingerbanging, the blog Cycling Inquisition has recently obtained evidence that Rock Racing may be changing its slogan:
While I'm not sure if this is true, it is clear from the photo that somebody's digits are squarely in somebody else's "viscous comfort zone," and it also puts Rock Racing's trademark devil horns in an entirely new context.

Fortunately, though, the road racing season is mostly over, which means cycling fans can take a break from the filth of fingerbanging and surreptitious digital insertion disguised as victory celebration and instead revel in the literal filth of people riding around in the mud which is cyclocross. Here's "mixtape" enthusiast and cyclocross racer Barry Wicks negotiating a tricky turn this past weekend:

Now, I don't believe in coincidences. If a wheel explodes for no good reason, then it's probably because the wheel was poorly designed. If a Rock Racing rider's hand is planted squarely between a teammate's legs, then it's probably because the rider was searching for his teammate's "viscous comfort zone." So when someone who calls himself "Wicknasty" and curates "indie" music CDs comes to the East Coast and a graffito like this appears on the Williamsburg Bridge, then it's probably because he spraypainted it:

One might argue the fact that this says "Micknasty" absolves him, but the "M" is probably an upside-down "W" and a stylistic flourish, just like the backwards "N." Also, the FYM obviously stands for "Fuck Your Mud." Really, the only thing worse than freakishly tall cyclocross racers coming to our town and vandalizing it is cows in our bike lanes:

the fat cows in the SUVs in the bike lane nr manhattan bridge - m4w - 29 (navy yardz, brooklyn)
Date: 2009-10-18, 6:45PM EDT

you are the big, grazing bitches that hang out in your SUVs, idling, in the newly constructed, elevated bike lanes on Sands st, in brooklyn on the way to the manhattan bridge. i am one of the many cyclists who has to deal with your bullshit on a daily basis, as you sit chewing your cud, thoughtfully contemplating whatever it is your long nails let you contemplate. thank you so much for making every little, measly gesture the DOT makes to bikers just as meaningless as whatever was before.

As frustrating as this is, it's also not surprising, given that New York City probably lacks the "level of maturity" of, say, Denver--though even they have their problems according to this article, forwarded to me by a reader:

Apparently, despite Denver's "level of maturity" in terms of cycling infrastructure, more and more cyclists are getting seriously injured. And if things are this bad in Denver, then this means the rest of us are totally screwed:

"Denver is very much a bicycle community. If we are seeing an increase in injuries in a metropolitan area that has fairly mature bike infrastructure from the standpoint of bike pathways, there's reason for concern about what's happening in metropolitan areas that don't have that level of maturity," Kashuk said.

I wonder if Dr. Kashuk would consider Portland a "mature" cycling city. On one hand, it's the most bike-friendly city in North America, as you can see from the leg hair of this person riding an Urban Outfitters bike in road shoes. On the other hand, this bike-friendliness is generally manifest in things like theme rides, bike temples, and freak bike alleycats. I guess bike maturity has an inverse relationship to actual maturity. In any case, Kashuk feels we may be "on the cusp of an injury epidemic," and that we need to invest in "bike paths and community infrastructure." However, he says nothing about riding naked, which some people feel is the real solution to our problems, and if you agree you can support this by purchasing a t-shirt:

In fact, a reader tells me he recently saw someone wearing a naked bike ride t-shirt, and the existence of such a garment struck him as being rather ironic since surely one cannot cycle naked and wear a t-shirt at the same time. This is like riding a bike with brakes while sporting a "NOBR AKES" knuckle tattoo, or like smoking against cancer. Then again, maybe it's OK to wear a naked bike ride t-shirt as long as you take it off before getting on your bike, just as another reader informs me it's acceptable in Canada to lock up your bike with your belt:

I don't know if that's mature, but it's certainly ingenious. And speaking of combining immaturity with ingenuity, a little mechanical know-how can allow you to indulge your inner child well into adulthood by modifying your BMX:

Or, you can simply turn your bike into a rolling cartoon, as with this bike which was spotted by a reader in Tokyo:

Tokyo must be even more mature than Portland.

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