What's up with the word PRO? A noun, an adjective? Well, both actually. PRO is used to describe equipment, an attitude, a practice. It is a word that has many meanings and can be used interchangably. When I write the word, I use all caps to make it more pronounced, to give it more punch. But, in many ways, the use of caps helps to convey my love for things PRO and the use of caps gives the word some heart and soul. When I'm watching cycling, cruising a bike site, or reading a magazine and I come across something that is indicative of PRO racing, or the PRO culture, I say "that's so PRO. Or when it's really insanely PRO, I may say something like that's so f#@*ing PRO.
Well, I came across a site the other day that contained some images from Paris Roubaix that were simply too much, even for a seasoned PRO like myself. Paris Roubaix is always a great place to spy equipment and practices that are head and shoulders above the more routine races on the season's calendar. I think CSC is a team that's not afraid to bump it up a notch, evidenced by some of these shots. Check out how insane the 303s look when shod in the black and green Pave EVO CG tubular tires. I mean, come on that is about as PRO as it gets. And when you have a team car rooftop filled with these machines, my little brain begins to swirl and smoke under the stress of computing the total PRO-ness.
Check out this action, too: 180mm cranks? When I labored in the trenches and some 5'4" goof ball on a $300 road bike would drop in asking for a 58t chainring and 180mm cranks in order to tackle the local highway overpass we would laugh him outta the shop. But when I see a 180mm crank in the PRO ranks... well then, that my friend, is PRO, F'ing PRO to be exact.
PRO can be an attitude. Like when Jens Voight grits his teeth while pulling the entire break away or choosing to train in 38 degree rain. Racing anything for 24 hours is PRO, skipping desert for 6 months is PRO and so is a massage after a wicked hard weekend of racing. Drinking black coffee as opposed to a carmel, mocha, equalized, double tall frappa-whippeo is also PRO. So use the term freely as you will; make it your own, take PRO to the races, the group rides and airwaves.