Friday, September 2

Ramming Speed Friday: Warp Factor Apprenticeship

Last commute of the week...not so fast, even though I was bludgeoning the pedals.


I fought a headwind most of the way from Coors to home. I fought it hard too! I wasn't going to ease off the pedals for nothing! Nothing!

I wanted to go over to the LBS and order the new bike tonight. Unfortunately I had to work 'til 5:30 and the bike shop closes at 6pm. There was just no way... I'll head over in the morning.

Mandy has deemed this holiday weekend a "car-free weekend." Hallelujah! But of course we have no specific plans.


Duchamp sketched his iconic "to have the apprentice in the sun" in 1914. I ripped him off and created a knock off in honor of my Leadville efforts. We're gonna do shirts, stickers, tattoos, patches and billboards.

Duchamp's piece just speaks to me. The figure is hunched over the bars, the hill is steep. And there is the underlying meaning with the rising musical scale, the quickness of the lines and the cryptic title. I've always wanted to get some sort of tattoo of Duchamp's image, but I think I will have mine worked up, as its a bit more fitting for me.

When I began rendering my interpretation of the image I definitely wanted a mountain bike under the figure, and a more distinct figure on the bike. Duchamp's cyclist always bothered me because he really has no legs. I wanted to see legs and a more accurate, yet simple, figure on the bike. I didn't want to add too much detail. In one early sketch I added dots for a chain and a squiggle for a rear derailer. I decided I just didn't need that. You can call it a single speed 29er if that makes you feel good. I only cared that the bike was obviously a mountain bike, hence the knobby tires.

The final decision was to change the elegant sweeping line of the hill into a rough and rutted steep hillside. It only made sense. Why show a mountain bike rolling over a smooth surface? How does that speak to the MTBer?

My initial title was simply "dig deep." But as a play on Duchamp's odd title I decided I'd translate "to have the apprentice dig deep" to French and use that as the title of my drawing. The final drawing became "avoir l'apprenti creuse profondément." I know nothing of French, only used an online translator. So please let me know if there is a more accurate translation!

"Dig deep" is the cry of Leadville 100 founder Ken Chlouber. In a sense it's that cry that inspired me to modify Duchamp's image as a banner for me as I train and prepare for the race next summer. Duchamp's cyclist is suffering. He has a stout climb ahead. I have always envisioned him as either a Tour de France or a Giro d'italia rider beginning a big climb on a mountain stage. There will be suffering between Leadville and Columbine Mine.

I'm sure I'm not finished with this. I want it to look much cleaner and fine. To me this is a rough draft that needs some work. But for now here is "to have the apprentice dig deep":

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