Coppi, Old Men & Gladiator Sandals


Fausto Coppi and the snarky man in gladiator sandals

In the past year or so I have become enamoured with old cycling racers, races and photos. It started over at, then once I ran that into the ground, it continued on to The Soiled Chamois v.3. Beyond seeing the old cycling badasses of yesteryear throwing down, I love looking at the bikes, equipment, styles and designs.

Some of the things I love about the photo above:

  1. I always love seeing races go down on dirt and gravel roads, it’s the best. Fact.
  2. The more photos I see of Coppi the more I think he looked downright gangly on his bike. It sure as hell seemed to work for him though (legend). It just always reminds me of the college students I see riding around town on their ill-fitting early 80’s Schwinn 10 speeds. Yeah, that’s’ right, I just compared Fausto Coppi’s riding style to that of a Ramen noodle eating college freshman and his thrift store rig. Fuck it, the Cycling Gods hate me anyway.
  3. The racer* behind Coppi looks like he’s 65 years old, would hang out at your local “old man bar” and smash you in the face with a half glass of Stoney’s** if you fucked with him.
  4. My favorite! The photographer on the motorbike to Coppi’s right sporting the unbuttoned shirt, wife beater t-shirt and a pair of fucking gladiator sandals. At first, it was just the sandals that cracked me up, then I moved up to his face. The look on his face looks like he is saying  “Pffft! Who the fuck does this guy think he is? I’m not wasting my film on this dude.” I also imagine that he reeked of sweat, wine and cigarettes… I may have an overactive imagination.

*Tried to track down who the racer in back was. Couldn’t confirm. For now I will just call him the Old Ass Bike Racer Dude.
**While I have yet to be glassed in the face by an old man wielding a pint of Stoney’s, I did grow up just a few miles from the brewery and have rode passed it more than a few times over the years. 

Photo: Not sure where I downloaded this from. I’ve seen it on a few different websites and blogs. Apologies.

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