Doppelgängers, rising socks and questions about UCI legality.

What is the meaning of life? How did the universe begin? Does Rigoberto Uran have a fishing fly tattooed on his hand? These are age old questions that have been asked by humanity since the beginning of time. As such, I was not surprised when I received an email from a leading cycling attire retailer by the name of Mike Spriggs asking exactly this.

Upon reading Mike's email, I have to admit that I didn't know how to respond. While it's true that I interviewed Rigoberto not long ago, I didn't get around to asking him this question (this is the kind of quality reporting you get from an amateur blogger). So, I replied to Mike the only way I knew how...with an answer derived through pure speculation, and uneducated guessing (like much of this blog). I told him that Rigoberto appeared to have an eye from the No Fear logo tattooed on his hand. Look at the image below, and tell me if I'm on to something.

Regardless of what his tattoo may be, another more important fact about this picture of Rigoberto Uran is worth discussing. Namely the fact that he was on the podium as a result of his stage win at the Vuelta a Catalunya. His victory was impressive, and speaks volumes about his form this season. Another interesting aspect of that race was the fact that Bradley Wiggins worked for and subsequently led out Rigoberto the day before...thus marking the very first time that a British citizen has helped out a Colombian since British Airways charged me almost as much as my plane ticket to check my bike, and since Colombian goalkeeper Rene Higuita was given the chance to do this at Wembley Stadium.

And speaking of fishing flies that look like eyeballs, my brother recently pointed out that Colombia-Coldeportes' Fabio Duarte looks so much like soccer/football player Amado Guevara, that they might be the same person. At first, I thought he was crazy. Then I looked at their pictures side by side, and realized that he may be up to something. I have not been this amazed by the similarity between a professional cyclist and someone else since I realized that Thor Hushovd may have starred in the video for the Yes song "Owner of lonely heart".

At this point, many of you have surely grown tired of this post (if not the entire blog). I mean, this post mentions the band Yes, 1980s football, and fly fishing...three items commonly referred to in the blogging world as the terrible trifecta. So let's get back on track, and discuss professional racing in a serious manner, so that you all don't think that I merely watch races to spot braids and Glenn Danzig look-alikes, or to see rider's tattoos. I most certainly don't. For example, did any of you watch Gent-Wevelgem? I did, and the most important part of the race was obvious to me. It wasn't the fact that Boonen won it again, but that this happened with 44kms to go:

Much like cycling, Flandrians take their flashing way, way more seriously than those in other countries. Because of this it takes a real hardwoman to put on such a soulful performance in an early spring race.

For those of you who may want to see an uncensored version of the image above (in the highly popular Animated GIF format, you can see it here here.)

Finally, let's move on to a completely different topic. Let's put aside silly concerns about people's tattoos, Belgian nudity, and the possibility of Hushovd starring in a musical video. I mean, as the 49th most influential cycling blog in the world, I should address topics of concern about the sport today, ones which threaten the very core of cycling, and may affect the future in many ways. I'm speaking of course, about the length of Juan Jose Cobo's socks (and the ongoing trend they represent).

In a move that is clearly targeted at controlling rising sock lengths, the UCI has decided to create and enforce rules about the allowed height of said garment (if only they would institute a rule about how Cobo positions his helmet).

Why bring this up? Is it because I'm concerned about the UCI overstepping its bounds? Is it because I've invested millions in the compression sock industry, and pray for the day that the peloton looks like the New York Knicks circa 1976? No.

I mention this because I know that almost all the people who bought Cycling Inquisition socks race at the very highest levels of the sport. Because of this, some readers of the blog have asked whether or not their newly purchased garments are UCI legal. Worry not my friends, they are. As a matter of fact, I knew this rule was coming, and I submitted the socks for approval (much like frame makers must now submit their wares) long ago.

I'll spare you the details, but the process of getting the socks approved was more frustrating than knowing that the tiny 1.5mm bolts in your SRAM cartridge holders will surely fail and strip, only to see them fail and strip twice as fast as you thought they would. In any case, yes...the socks are fully UCI compliant, so feel free to race in them.

As for other vestments of the Cycling Inquisition variety that I may offer in the future (hint hint), they too will be fully UCI compliant. You see, I'm in touch with the UCI very often....which is merely my way of saying that their overnight custodian or someone in their mail room appears to really like this blog. So yeah, I guess you could say we're in touch.