Archive | December, 2011


Guest Article: La Vie Velominatus-Transformation

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The fear of crashing is there but we can’t let override our pleasure in cycling. @mblume writes of this and underplays his riding the Haute Route. That ride alone should be a long article about abiding Rule V. Yours in Cycling, Gianni As a transplanted American living in Europe for 12 years, I have had…


Guest Article: Anatomy of a Photo-1994 Paris-Roubaix

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Duck and cover! Our guest article series rolls on with @scaler911’s Anatomy of a Photo. Photo, words, enough said. Yours in Cycling, Gianni — Ah, The Queen of Classics. Hell of the North. L’enfer du Nord. Call it what you will, every spring we Velominati cherish this monument. Every April the course is set to…

Bispectacled Jan Rass    Picture courtesy of

Guest Article: Rose tinted glasses

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@wiscot’s article speaks of cyclists of our youths and Jan Raas made a big impression on the young Gianni. Do the Dutch have a harder Hardman? He went on to become a director-sportif and I pity the riders under his command, they must have suffered like dogs. I cannot find a photo to document this…

The Bike Before a Rule #9 Ride

Guest Article: Me, My Bike, and Irene

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This week Velominati is publishing a selection of guest contributions. It shouldn’t be fun but it is, until it’s not. I’m talking Rule #9 here and @King Clydesdale brings us a perfect example of why a Rule should be a Rule and why the proof is in the riding. Yours in Cycling, Gianni — Sometimes…


We Wish You a Merckxy Christmas, and a Coppi New Year

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From the bottom of our hearts, and on behalf of everyone at Velominati, we wish you a very Happy Holidays and as such issue a temporary suspension of Rule #11. I’d like to thank everyone for coming around to our little corner of the world to spend your valuable time as part of the community; without you,…

photo: Tim De Waele

Guest Article: Get it together

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It is my great pleasure to introduce this guest article, penned by my long time friend @Rob. I’ve know the lad since we were both in short pants. We both discovered cycling as something more serious than transportation at the same impressionable age. For Rob, his discipline gained from martial arts, his fearlessness on the…



by / / 91 posts

Yesterday, Seattle was dark for 15 hours 34 minutes and 37 seconds. Let us not count how much it was light– it is of no use to us. I rode to work in the black, and in the black I rode home. The darkness is good to me. It shields my filthy chain from those…


Unforgettable Rides: 1993 Paris-Roubaix

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In 1993, before the UCI put a stranglehold on the means by which riders sought to go faster, innovation flowed through the peloton. Training methods evolved rapidly (apparently in tandem with the potency of the drugs available at the time) and bicycle design was in a period of exciting change spurred on by Greg LeMond’s win in…

photo: Sherry Ott

Beer, Frites and Mayonnaise

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Riding the stones of Paris-Roubaix, in the Spring, in crap weather (it’s possible) and finishing the ride in the velodrome in Roubaix* should be enough enticement for any right thinking cyclists to jump on to this event. It gets better, watching the race in a scrum of drunken-loud-mad-fans, everyone covered in a sheen of beer,…


Reverence: Velox Fond de Jante Rim Tape

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The very first time I ever pulled a tire and tube off of a rim it made an impression on me and it still does. I’m not sure I expected to find anything other than the tube between the rim and tire but there it was, some sort of tape. The French words, “Fond de…


In Memoriam: Unsafe Headgear

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I appreciate my helmet. I treat it with respect. I never leave for a ride without it. I replace it after a crash or even after helplessly watching it bound down the stairwell like some kind of deformed styrofoam slinky-dink after allowing it to slip from my grasp. (This activity also typically involves some assertions…

Hushovd shows his Flandrian Flair, even over the actual Flandrian, Boonen. Photo: Kris Claeyé

Look Pro: Flandrian Best

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To Look Pro is to strive to Look Fantastic and to be at our ease on a bicycle. It is to walk the line between form and function and is based entirely on the premise that the professional peloton is far more experienced in this endeavour than we shall ever be. Their lessons speak through…

A Pile of Kits

Guest Article: Just give me something – something I can use

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In our continuing guest article series, @eightzero weighs in on the modern cycling jersey. It’s made of some unholy material which has a half-life of fifty years and unless you crash in it, it’s still in your kit drawer. Yours in Cycling, Gianni – As the song goes, “we need dirty laundry” so goes the…

Roger de Leginck riding in a Flemish Mirror. Photo: CorVos/Pez

Anatomy of a Photo: Looking Fantastic

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Steel Gazelles, check. Monster fork rake, check. Hairnets, check. North European monsoon, check. Flemish Mirror, check. Chain welded to the Big Ring, check. WTF Leggins affixed to Our Hero, check. Roger de Vlaeminck does his part to remind us that while Looking Pro isn’t synonymous with Looking Fantastic, being a Level V Badass can make even the most jacked…

Two golden tickets to Hell

The Seduction of Symbols

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There was a time when bicycles were lovingly handmade by artisans who themselves loved the sport more than those for whom they built the machines. Lugs were filed to become Luggs; chain and seat stays were beautifully chromed for durability despite the grams it added to the frame’s final weight; spokes were chosen for their purpose and…

Lawrence of V-rabia

On Rule #5: Not Minding That It Hurts

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In my favorite scene from Lawrence of Arabia, T.E. Lawrence, after lighting a colleague’s cigarette, allows the match to burn down to his fingertips before snuffing it out. Having witnessed the stunt, the dim-witted associate attempts it himself, only to blow out the match before it gets anywhere close to burning down. “That damn well hurts!”, he states,…

Photo: The Atlantic

Rule #5: Racing Hoogerland-Style

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Johnny Hoogerland, on receiving the Tour de France Rule #5 Award: I normally don’t drink that much beer anymore but having my first off-season beer in this glass makes it taste great. I moved to my new home and will find it a great place because it honors my way of racing. Fitting words from…


Belgian Affirmations: Kapelmuur

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There isn’t a lot about a climb several kilometers long ending in a sustained 20% cobbled gradient that communicates ‘Attack’ and/or ‘Respond’. Certainly not when it comes after 240 kilometers with only 20 left to race. Nope, I’ve double-checked the calibration and used a control-case: the only reading I’m getting on the Pain Gauge is the…

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