Skinny bicycle arms and Los Campesinos!

We are a judgmental bunch. I’m not talking about cyclists specifically (though that “we” can be particularly judgy); I’m talking about all of us. When you notice someone walking into the office, sitting down at a restaurant, or parking their car, it’s not unheard of to think something along the lines of “he/she could stand to dress up a little,” “maybe a meal isn’t what you need right now, fatass,” or “instead of driving your Prius the one and a quarter miles to Trader Joe’s, you could’ve crashed on a new fixie on the way home.”

DC has its own fun judgment games–especially on the Hill. I’ve started taking to a wonderful new game we call “stripper or intern.” You’d be surprised at how often the answer is, in fact, red-badge-toting intern.

Now for the important things–the judgy moments that we bisicklers, especially those who turn their pedals in competition, experience from time to time. When I see a thin, gaunt-faced stranger, the first thing I look at is their arms. Runners have to hold up their fists for hours, and thus are prone at least a wee little bit of muscle mass in their upper arms.

However gaunt, these gentlemen would likely have little trouble lifting a gallon of milk.

However gaunt, these gentlemen would likely have little trouble lifting a gallon of milk.


The Tour of the Gila’s medical director, Dr. Michael Seargeant, says cyclists have “arms the size of beauty queens” (and “thighs the size of gorillas,” but that’s a story for another day, fatass). I prefer to call them what they really are–skinny bicycle arms.
Frank Schleck on a riding mower because a push mower would break every bone in his skinny bicycle arms.

Frank Schleck on a riding mower because a push mower would break every bone in his skinny bicycle arms.


See the picture of Frank Schleck above, taken by Brother Andy, as Phil & Paul call him. So this is what I look for, these skinny bicycle arms, when determining whether or not the emaciated gentleman sitting across from me on the metro should be my new riding buddy or if I should be prepared to kindly turn down his request for change (the clinky kind, not the kind that this gentleman is apparently bringing to our fair capital).

So when I went to the Los Campesinos! show Wednesday night, I found myself in the classic dilemma of the judgmental cyclist.They've changed all their last names to "Campesinos!" Really.
The show itself was excellent, and I highly recommend you check them out, but let’s get to the important things first.

Skinny bicycle(?) arms

Skinny bicycle(?) arms


Check out the arms on the beautiful and golden-voiced keyboardist. My question is this: did these arms come from a) long hours in the saddle, b) the poverty inherent to touring, or c) long hours doing blowcaine while touring? In my heart of hearts, I imagine the answer is ‘a’, though my show-going compatriots tended towards ‘c’. I’m not here to pass judgment (just kidding; I am).

As I mentioned, the show was excellent, and I think Los Campesinos!’ career in the fickle music industry has legs. The music was poppy, but thoroughly enjoyable, Gareth Campesinos!’ vox were reminiscent of Luke Pritchard the Kooks and Kele Okereke of Bloc Party on Intimacy, and the crowd was young enough to still think buying CDs is cool (I think. It’s been a while since I’ve known what was cool with the young people).

If you’re looking for a real review of the Los Campesinos! show and a real picture of the seven non Welsh members of the Welsh rock outfit, check out the CityPaper.

Have a good weekend, friends. I’ll see you at Jazz in the Garden, and if you want to be real life friends and not just internet friends, I recommend you not pick up or carry anything over 4 pounds, lest you lose your skinny bicycle arms.

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