Writer. Warning: opinions. My lawyer advised a disclaimer, but didn't include any jokes to go with. Damned if I can think of any either.

Cipollini and the Art of Tuscan Saddle Massage

How does one know when something momentous is about to happen? Can we rely on our spines to generate a tingling sensation, or the hairs on the back of our necks to stand up? Are those just things we’ll say later to make our lives seem more interesting? Life is uncertain in the real world, of that there can be no doubt. Thankfully, in the world of product release DVD at least, we can still rely on the howling wind of cliche to portend.

Witness this scene, which we are told by some white-over-black smallcaps lettering is “Tuscany-Italy A.D. MMX“:

An ominous wind blows, even though the underbrush in the video is stock still. There are some low bass tones from the soundtrack, taking the ominousness to heights previously only attained by Kubrick and Strauss. Sweet heavens, I can bear it no longer!

Suddenly, a lone figure appears, after neatly folding his paper and ignoring a nearby platter of fruit. He hears the breaking Tuscan wind, and he heeds its call!

Holy sweet Mary mother of God, it’s Mario Cipollini himself! Il re Leone has returned! From Tuscany! Which is… uh, where he lives I think.

Well anyway he’s back, and he’s suiting up. We now see him putting on a jersey and zipping it straight up to his craggy Tuscan chin, which is dotted with low underbrush just like the austere, windy landscape outside. Now he straps on a pair of three-velcro-strap Shimano shoes. It seems like Cipo could afford some S-Works shoes, or perhaps some SIDIs, but let’s not get distracted.

We now see Cipo’s hands sensually massage his saddle, then twiddle with the barrel adjuster on his front brake, which is set up on the right hand side motorcycle style. The barrel adjuster makes a ratcheting noise for reasons known only to the sound designer.

ASIDE: Does it bother anyone besides me when sound designers get all crazy with sounds for no real reason other than they can? Here’s a tip sound designers: barrel adjusters do not make a clickety clickety sound even when they’re twiddled by the meaty paws of Cipo himself, and guns do not make a pronounced CHK-CHK sound every single time an actor moves them. Stop distracting me, damn it!

Where was I? Oh yes: saddle massage. Here it is in action, complete with leathery squeaky noises that the sound designer has had laying around for ages.

If you’re wondering suddenly whether Cipo is going to fondle his oddly noisy bike all day or get on the thing and ride, let your questions and underpants be blown away by the following wink:

Cipo then rides past the camera in a warehouse somewhere, and we fade to black again. This time we’re treated to a bank gothic font of some sort, then another shot of a Tuscany valley, and then… paydirt! A shot of a slowly-revolving bicycle frame. Now those of us who were unable to read the title of the movie know what’s going on. Cipo is making bikes!

I’m not a great reader of the Italian language, but I assume from the next series of white over black bank gothic font words that the bikes are being made in Firenze, wherever that is. I looked at a map of Tuscany, but I didn’t see it. Maybe its suburb of Florence. Anyway, the important thing is that all of us who have been waiting for another carbon fiber bicycle frame that costs a large fraction of a trip to Mars have another one to lust after. Hooray!

That should put Firenze on the map at last!

Here’s the whole video in its awesome entirety:


Any video that dips to black that often has definitely got some important ideas to get across.

Some googling also turned up an analysis of the new range of bikes which casts brave Cipo and one of his riders in a rather unflattering egotistical light. Perhaps I’m able to overlook Cipo’s egotism because I also suffer from high self esteem, but whatever the case, he’s a hero to me.

Now if you will excuse me, I have some saddles to massage.

2 thoughts on “Cipollini and the Art of Tuscan Saddle Massage”

  1. bob d

    “…the Snuglife, a bike designed for longer rides and extra comfort.”

    I only which that S looked more like a T and you could change the label on the bike to Thuglife. Riding bikes, poppin caps, shootin dice, fixing flats, slammin gu… its how they roll in Italy.