As compared to some sports (notably, surfing) cycling is a sun-soaked desert woefully shy of art depicting its heroes in action. It would be easy to attribute the shortage up to the fantastic drama of the reality of racing itself. John Pierce, Cor Vos, Graham Watson, James Startt and Chris Milliman have all shot incredible images that capture epic moments of human suffering and triumph that seem more reliable and trustworthy due to the actuality of the circumstance.
It may be that cycling's lack of art is related to the amount of fiction being peddled as memoir. The thinking with the acquisition editors is that if it's true, it just seems, well, truer. As a society, our appetite for reality in television, books and the rest of our lives lacks imagination.
From the protagonists themselves to the landscapes and of course, even the machines, cycling is deserving of a truly heroic treatment by artists who appreciate those efforts, those sacrifices and, of course, those wins that come at the end of monumental days.
So when we were alerted to artist and graphic designer Cynthia Lou's poster treatment of her beau Sergio Hernandez (a rising star on Rock Racing), we were both excited and relieved. Excited because we found her take on the heroic to be fun and fresh and relieved because, for once, it was nice to see someone give cycling some attention.
We'd love to see her take on Johann Museeuw, Tomeke, Fabian Cancellara, Eddy Merckx, Paolo Bettini, Rik Van Looy, Roger De Vlaeminck and Eric Zabel ... for a start. A series perhaps?
Here's what we like best: Cynthia is taking commissions. Commemorate your achievement or the high-flying coolness of your sweetie with some of her work.