Tour Clichés #3
I don’t know if this is an official Tour De France cliché or not but it should be if it isn’t. Also, I don’t know how you find out if something is or is not an official TDF cliché. Are TDF clichés a product of concensus, does the ASO have a part in the decision process, are all the cliches written down and recorded somewhere like in a book or “living bible,” is there a wiki page and if there isn’t a wiki page who do you ask? Soigneur asked us to compile our four favourites so that’s what we’re doing. Some, like Free Hats and Sunflowers are obvious, but others, like Nearly Naked Dudes, are a bit more conceptual. That said you can trust us, NNDs are currently a lite-to-medium sized phenomenon and we suspect, have been for quite some time now.
#3 NEARLY NAKED DUDES
Some, like Free Hats and Sunflowers, are obvious, but others, like Nearly Naked Dudes, are a bit more conceptual. That said, you can trust us. NNDs are currently a lite-to-medium sized phenomenon and, we suspect, have been for quite some time now.
Before we crack into the subject of NNDs and all the many reasons we’re suggesting they’re a legit TDF cliché, can we talk about a different even more popular cliché that has nothing to do with cycling? That’s right, the age old tired-ass cliché in question goes like this; “what do you want to be when you grow up? Until our coverage of the 2018 TDF I’m not sure how I would have answered that. And I think whatever my answers may have been—TV Host, DJ, professional skateboarder, etc—my responses likely varied quite a bit. That’s because until now I didn’t know. And now I big-time know what I want to be. I want to be French. I want to be an old shirtless French dude with short shorts and boots and maybe a bike when I grow up.
Not all NNDs are the typical French Fan archetype; shirtless, short socks, rolled up shorts, golden or beet red, shaved chest, siq jewelry, bucket hat, etc. But they’re my favourite specimen — or subspecies — of the NND cliché taxonomy for sure. That dude is LIFE AFFIRMING. Yeah so okay sure, that dude may have actual tits and a pot belly but who cares, he looks SO GOOD. He rides an oversized bike with oldschool cable routing up all the hills. He picnics. He’s got a transistor radio. And sometimes he comes with a wife and an adorable vintage Citroen. Maybe it’s an act, and/or of course you can’t judge a book by its cover, but from where I’m sitting those dudes are the best, most precious part of the fan spectacle fuckshow.
Again, they’re not the only subspecies of NND’s they’re just my favourite. I’ll trade you five or six Borats for one old French dude in baggie black lycra shorts and a cell phone stuffed into his waistline any day of the week. No questions asked. At any rate, they’re everywhere. In the Alpes, on the coast, in Paris, in the north, lining various hilltops et cetera et cetera. So, if they weren’t officially a TDF cliche from before I started writing this little op-ed, they are now.