Mornings have been…brisk. Well below freezing this week and if I thought it was challenging to ride at 5 above, it’s considerably more so at 7 below. I still manage to work up a sweat which is mildly concerning from a what-if-I-break-down-and-freeze-to-death perspective – clearly haven’t figured out the layers yet. So much simpler to ride in Calgary summers.
The comments (and readership if I’m honest) here are pretty slim. I know most all of my regulars in the real world (and thank you for your continued patronage). Even my international readership was quickly traced to my travelling family (thanks for reading while in Italy guys!). I do however get a whack of hits thanks to this photo. Rasmussen. I ripped it from the web and posted it up while snidely remarking that I’d rather not be a cyclist if this is what they look like. Well Mr. Rasmussen the Pro Cyclist gets lots of hits from people looking for what I assume to be real information, so they land here, curse the site for misleading them and leave pretty much immediately.
Waiting for first-time-comment moderation (a policy introduced thanks to the voluminous spam this blog attracts) was a legitimate comment from some poor schlep who landed here searching for Rasmussen. I skimmed it quickly, finger already on the mark-as-spam button when something caught my attention. It lacked the usual content “ Your blogging is best I have read. You have many expertise on this subject and I will come to here much often!” signed by triple X email address. Sure. Anyway – I opened my eyes a little further and re-read it, still mostly asleep. I caught “oh my god”, “look” and “Rasmussen” and I said to no one in particular – I know – how translucent can a guy be? I patted myself on the back for garnering a comment from some random interweber all the way from the fatherland of pretzels and giant beer steins. A smile slowly crept across my sleepy face as my finger headed for the “oh yes, definitely approved” button as I read it one more time.
A new comment on About is waiting for moderation:
Oh My God.
I’d rather look like Rasmussen.
Oh…ouch. That’s a hurricane hook kick to the ego. The comment was posted to this picture of yours truly.
Now I know it excels in its dorktastic Fredulence. I was told I looked like a mall cop before I posted it. It’s intentionally ridiculous but it’s still me.
The comment stung because the author highlighted my dig at Rasmussen. What I did was steal a picture of a real individual, post it on my blog, then mock his appearance. Seems fair to have my picture mocked as well. It wasn’t particularly nice of me and frankly I didn’t give a moment’s thought about the individual in the picture.
But then this is the internet where nobody is safe from ridicule and ripping, and worse yet, I’ma true fred banging on a legitimate, prize-winning pro cyclist. Who am I to mock his glow-in-the-dark pastiness or his Buchewaldian physique? I’m sorryish. Almost.
What’s the difference between a doping cyclist and a doping bodybuilding? One dopes to be strong with the least amount of mass possible, the other dopes in pursuit of the greatest mass, and volume, they can afford. Otherwise both compete in sports that, apart from massaging the competitive drive in its participants and the wallets of sponsors, do nothing. Both are clearly obsessed.
We think nothing of snickering at the “elite” bodybuilder who looks like a circus freak because they’re so extreme, so far outside of normal as to be cartoonish.
So is Rasmussen.
His single-minded pursuit of pro-cycling excellence leaves him looking like a caricature. I’d even been advised that “that picture of Rasmussen on your blog – it’s going to drive people away. You should warn your readers that it’s there”.
So does being outside the norm – and just what is norm anyway – mean you’re a fair target for unflattering commentary? Everyone or just some people? Celebrities? Unknown, nobody bloggers? I’m not sure I know how to draw the line. As a parent I don’t want people making my kids feel bad about their looks – there’s an entire cosmetics and fashion industry that can do that thanks – and it would be unconscionable to poke at someone else’s. What about strangers? Friends? Family? I’m thinking the last two are clear “yes” answers. If I can’t rib my own friends and family, how will they know they’re in the cool group? I don’t know.
At any rate, I can take my dorkinian helmet with its nü-rider accessory mirror off, put it on the shelf and become an average, anonymous, polite and apologetic Canadian and I’m pretty happy with that. Besides, Best Wife will take me even with the nerd-pot strapped to my head and she’s the only one I need to impress.