Cycling Inc. Or really Cycling Ink: Tattoos

  It’s been raining a lot recently, so I’ve been cycling less—aside from one day, when I managed to get a flat tire next to a field full of several non-plussed cows, who were as soaked as I was. More often than not I’ve been at home, channel hopping when I should be blogging, catching up on replays of TLC’s L.A. Ink. Dutch television programs don’t interest me much as the majority follow the same format: get 5 relatively well-known celebrities around a table to discuss hot topics for an hour, but reach no fast conclusions.

Mind you, American reality television is also formulaic: get a bunch of dudes/dudettes together to film the ego wars that ensue while simultaneously convincing the rest of the world that America’s educational system sucks because no one has a vocabulary beyond 500 words.

Back to L.A. Ink…the show follows tattoo artist Kat Von D, a walking canvas herself with a deep, masculine voice, as she runs her tattoo parlor in Los Angeles. Kat’s customers, a hodgepodge of wacky, tres L.A. heavy metal types, only seem to opt for huge tattoos, the kind that span their entire back. One such example: a professional chef, who wanted a life-sized meat cleaver to commemorate his years in the business, tattooed across the entire length of his arm. Maybe the L.A. smog, which blankets the city in a brown haze and obscures the natural sky, has gone to their heads and they literally feel the need to smother their own skin in layers on ink.

So rain + L.A. Ink triggered me to look up bicycle tattoos for this blog entry. I couldn’t find any Dutch tattoos, per se, so allow me to go global for this entry. Of course beauty is ultimately in the eye of the beholder—though some beholders are blind-drunk when they finally decide to marry action to inspiration and get themselves inked.

Here’s a selection of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly (emphasis all mine) with one disclaimer: kudos to all those bike aficionados who decided to immortalize this incredible machine on their flesh. I’m not sure I could do it. For me, a T-shirt suffices.

The Good:

and (depending on if you want to be her boyfriend of not):

The Bad (mostly because he looks like he’ll hit you if you don’t let him blow up your tires):

The Ugly:

And finally, this gets my vote (and preference):


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