It’s Tour time! This means we have been watching hours of beautiful landscape, hills, crashes and insane spectators in a land where cheese and wine are a sport almost as serious as cycling. The twenty-one stages of the three week-long race can get a little dry at times, so join us in absorbing the hidden messages. Here are the best kept secrets every man can learn from the world’s greatest bike race. (Many of these also apply to women, but let’s be honest, most of us have these covered.)
6. Invest in Quality Equipment
You could buy a car or pay full tuition for the price of some of the bikes in the Tour de France. Cycling is a luxury sport, even at the entry level. Quality and craftsmanship does make a difference though, with everything from bikes to suits to watches to espresso machines. These are investments that go a long way, and we notice. We’d so much rather cosy up with a few quality pieces than a hoarder of trendy disposables.
5. Making a Quick Decision is Hot
The difference between the yellow jersey and twelfth place can come down to a split-second decision. Get your game face on and make it happen. That also goes for when you are making plans, buying a shirt and book a trip. Don’t drag out the decision process, because it’s exhausting. A keen ability to make quick-yet-smart decisions keeps you at the front of the pack.
4. It’s OK to Shave Your Legs
Tour de France cyclists are known for their naked “cycling” legs with zero body hair. That goes for arms and usually faces as well. As reported by the Wall St Journal, bike makers at Specialized have tested hairy legs vs shaved legs (invoking an actual Chewbacca scale to measure hairiness). The study showed that after shaving, hairless riders can increase their speed by over 1-minute over 40 km. So guys, go the extra grooming mile this summer by ridding yourself of an any over abundance of back/neck/arm hair and for the love of God chop off the man bun.
3. Make a Quick Getaway
The average Tour de France mechanic can change a bike wheel in less than 30 seconds. Let’s make that the gold standard for leaving the house on-time and with all your sh*t together. That means knowing the precise location of your wallet, keys, hat ahead of the moment when you plan to actually walk out the door. In other situations (ahem), we love that you take your time, but this isn’t one of them.
2. Man Up
If you need a refresher on how to “man up” just take look at the grisly crash in Stage 3 of this year’s Tour. Twenty riders went down at high speeds of approximately 40mi per hour. A few skidded across the road and were literally run over by other cyclists. The amazing part of this terrifying accident, was that sixteen of those in the crash got back on their bikes to finish the stage, ripped jerseys, bleeding, ice tucked inside their shorts and all. Oh and did we mention that they had to ride up an insane hill with their injuries? Honor these heroes from this day forward, by pledging that your allergies, rain and traffic are no longer acceptable reasons to cancel plans.
1. Get a Move On
Cyclists really deserve more glory for being some of the most talented athletes on the planet. Sorry football, but running for ten seconds before you fall down, fully padded basically makes you an incredibly well-paid toddler. Sorry ballers that is you. So to all the regular Joes now in big boy undies, get yourself moving. Hit the gym, the yoga mat, the pool, whatever. Not only is it a healthy choice, you know True Detective is going to put you to sleep anyway.