You might have noticed that around here, we like words. Big words, little words, interesting words, funny words… like a painter and their colors; we enjoy words for both their practical use and their vibrancy (or lack thereof).
The words are one thing we love about these newest Tenspeed Hero shirts. Here are words that have been uttered by more famous people than we; words that speak to an ethos we admire, and words that begin to quantify some of the most important aspects of sport.
But enough words! Because around here, we also love images. Without further ado we are very excited to show you, our friends and fellow Heroes, a few garments which you could add to a wardrobe that probably already has a few references to this sport of two wheels (but could always use more.)
THE CANNIBAL QUOTE T-SHIRT: Many men have won the Tour de France. Yet only Eddy has won with three leader’s jerseys, six stages and seventeen minutes and fifty-four seconds of pure Belgian panache. Such panache, such a desire for not just victory but beautiful victory, is one of the reasons we love this rider, and this sport.
It’s not a very American idea, this quantifying not just the result but how you got to the result. It’s not enough to simply win with this perspective; you must also show who you are throughthe manner of that winning. This notion conjures up feelings of good old European chivalry, of honor and gallantry in a time of knaves and lesser persons. And why do we follow these riders, if not for something to look up to?
THE SPARTACUS QUOTE T-SHIRT: Everyone wants to be the best; but then again, everyone wants to beat the best. Being the best therefore, is a time of personal triumph and professional challenges. It is a strength that immediately begins to look for any weakness, a strength that works against your strength at every turn.
In this, our ode to one particular Swiss leader, we remember some of the things that the Swiss do best: quality and consistency. (We also remember chocolate and neutrality, but those have little to no bearing on this conversation.) Quality and consistency do not always get you the win, but they will make you the best in the long run. Signore Cancellara summed up that same race with yet another pithy statement: “Today, I lost, but the others lost a bit more than me.” Setting up a win within a loss! One of the reasons this man will always be a Hero to us.
THE MAY 1968 T-SHIRT: Il est interdit d’interdire. It is forbidden to forbid. In the spring of 1968 in the streets of Paris, this phrase meant much to students who were struggling to scale the mountains of social injustice. In a world that tells us to Just Do It and that Impossible is Nothing, we believe a more nuanced motto would behoove Heroes and their heroes alike.
Every cyclist and every athlete, every man who strives for glory, must first and foremost conquer himself. Il est interdit d’interdire. To forbid: to hinder, to prevent, to command against. This struggle is at least in part about learning how to stop from forbidding ourselves, how not to forbid our own future. And in that struggle is perhaps exactly where Heroes are made.