Image is everything

Sometimes you encounter an image that just nails it. From the epaulet vest with Ezekiel wheels to the mid-thigh stocking pantaloons, this is biking with attitude. Feather, hip and cigarette all poised at the right angle.

Sure, we pretend that the colour of your bar tape doesn’t really matter. But who are we really kidding? It can be THE most important thing in the world. And while we are somewhat immune with the Epic style bar set low, it’s time for some bike chic guidance.

Lady be Kool:

…back in the day when Chesterfield Kings were considered mild.

Cycling and smoking incompatible? Not at all:
“..the medical specialist reports that he observed: No adverse effects on the nose, throat and sinuses on the group smoking Chesterfield.”


Camel cigarettes were also considered “milder and cooler” back in the day.
Cecil Yates: back when Madison Square Garden had a bike track.
“When Cecil sprints, the track fairly smokes. But when Cecil smokes, speed is the last thing he wants in a cigarette. Since cigarettes that burn fast can’t help but burn hot. And this fiery excess heat burns away the tobacco’s subtle elements of flavor and fragrance. The result is a hot, flat, unsatisfactory smoke. Slow-burning cigarettes are cooler, milder, tastier and more fragrant – science and common sense both say so.”

It also gets you a rub-down with a guy in a stripy woolen shirt.

Cecil explains it to the kiddies:
As soon as he lights up, some guy runs up and starts working on that left leg again.

Modern day marketing has to be a lot subtler:

Just leave giant cigarettes lying around. It’s almost subliminal.

(This one is more seminal):

The odd product placement:


Pretty impressive, but they missed out on the handlebar bottle carriers:

Role models? There’s always Cipo:

And, of course, the big man himself:

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3 Responses to Image is everything

  1. Scott says:

    I knew there were excellent reasons for the smoking of Camel, Gudam Garang, Sobranie and Gitane! No doubting splintered Cecil, Cipo and Chesterfield clinicians.

  2. Canis Lupus says:

    At long last someone has told the truth about the health benefits of smoking while cycling.

  3. 888riley says:

    You should have put a trigger warning on this post Mark. Now all I can think about is smoking that woman’s head.

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