Not old, just experienced

Not old, just experienced

This year’s Tour de France was certainly a great one, but while much of the focus was on the wunderkinds who seem to be getting younger and younger, there were also discussions concerning riders at the other end of the age spectrum.

It began before la grande boucle even started, with the omission of Chris Froome from his team’s tour line-up. Then the untimely departure of Mark Cavendish raised the inevitable question of whether he could beat Eddy’s record next year at 39 years (6 years older than when Merckx retired).

Three weeks later, the absence of Peter Sagan from any notable action saw some unfairly writing him off, conveniently forgetting that leaving road racing to compete in elite mountain biking is hardly a sleepy retirement in slippers.

It is perhaps ironic that while the experience of newly retired riders can be valued as they become respected soigneurs and directeurs sportif, that same experience just a year or so before when they’re still on the road can be woefully underappreciated. Just rooming an old hand with a nervous neopro can make all the difference to the junior’s performance before a pedal is even turned.

Of course, we here at Soigneur might be biased, given we’ve seen over 50 trips around the sun. But with age, we’ve learnt the core, undeniable rules of living a good life:

  1. Buy the damn bike.
  2. When life gives you lemons, go cycling.
  3. Coffee tastes best when you’re wearing bibshorts.
  4. Steel is real, wool is cool.
  5. Crashing hurts, don’t do it.
  6. A car without a bike rack is just a steel box.
  7. Buying cycling gear from Wish, Temu and AliExpress hurts kittens and dolphins.
  8. You’ll never regret buying quality.
  9. Not all lists need to have 10 items.

And of course, the most important rule is to buy ethically-made, biodegradable, super-comfortable timeless 5-star-rated merino cycling jerseys made in a remote little island at the bottom of the earth by an ex-racer called David.

It doesn’t roll off the tongue very well, but the best things in life shouldn’t come too easily.

See you at the checkout!

Posted: Wed 02 Aug 2023