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Velominatus: ChrisO

Order: Guest Contributor

Location: Abu Dhabi

Social: /

An Aussie, transplanted to Britain and living in Abu Dhabi and now Dubai. One wife, two cats, three kids and four bikes. The wife and kids live in London, the bikes live with me, mostly. I'm a TV person - originally journalism, then consultancy and project management and now in audience research and ratings. On average I ride 10,000+km each year. I love club and group riding and have got more into racing, especially stage races and events. In the past I've done a bit of audax too. I have a Ridley Noah, a custom-built steel Roberts, a Colnago Master and a Pearson fixie.

@ChrisO's activity:

The Ride. It is the cathedral of our sport, where we worship at the altar of the Man with the Hammer. It is the end to our means. Indeed, The Bike may be the central tool to our sport, but to turn the pedals is to experience the sensation of freedom, of flight. It is all for The Ride.The world is overflowing with small, twisty roads that capture ou...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. OK so Day 1 over. I was really shitting myself going into it, so I’m really relieved I got through OK. A really big group – at least 120 riders, maybe more. And some bloody good teams. Sky Dive Dubai, a Continental team with a big budget and several gran… »

We are the Keepers of the Cog. In so being, we also maintain the sacred text wherein lie the simple truths of cycling etiquette known as The Rules. It is in our trust to maintain and endorse this list.The Rules lie at the beginning of The Path to La Vie Velominatus, not at the end; learning to balance them against one another and to welcome them...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. Rule #11 or what… race tomorrow, and will be in the hotel with no wifi, so a last-night Skype call to my wife. Now I love her dearly and lord knows I am grateful for her indulgence of my cycling but she’s no sports psychologist, that’s for sure. Not onl… »

One of the things that strikes me most about the English is they don’t appear to have developed any sort of “inner dialog”. It seems anything that passes through the brain is parlayed directly to the tongue; if the thought being expressed is an insult to you, it will generally include a query for confirmation: “You’r...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. @tessar @TommyTubolare So what do you guys think of helmets? … and nipple lube. Seriously, it’s good to see some informed debate, thanks. And perhaps an appropriate place to mark the passing of Steve Hed. RIP. Someone who can genuinely and productiv… »

Going fast and looking good while doing it is our Velominati creed. Riding on the tops is the domaine of going uphill, where braking and aerodynamics are unimportant. In most other situations that position is too slow. The pros are usually flattened down in the drops or flattened down on the brake hoods. When us non-pros are not climbing, riding on...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. And yes, good plug for Herne Hill. Olympic Velodrome in 1948 and for a long time the only track in the capital, where Brad Wiggins and others made their breakthroughs. The Good Friday races at Herne Hill are a great annual event. They had to be cancelle… »

  2. @markb Where exactly are you that HH is local? My London home is Tooting, and I ride with Dulwich when I’m there. I’ve been to those track nights for road bikes. was OK the few times I did it. My daughter is doing track cycling now at HH with her schoo… »

ChrisO is back with another installment of Suffering in the Desert. Enjoy. VLVV, Gianni Continue reading...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. @Buck Rogers Indeed – four days a year to simultaneously act like a pro and be reminded of the many ways I am not ! We’re on the list as Ride-GMS, although that was last year – now we’re Giant-GMS. Same bike-shop sponsor but they wanted to promote the … »

  2. @Chris This 7-Eleven is from the Philippines I believe so no idea what their kit will be, but I did a double-take when I saw the name on the list. All the Filipinos who ride here are tiny and fast so they could be a handful. Although surprisingly they se… »

  3. It’s that time of year again for me… Sharjah. Still UCI 2.2 but looking even scarier this year. The team that brought in a ringer to win last year, now has a whole team of ringers to try to retain the title. Dubai has its own Continental Team, Sky Div… »

We just finished a thorough examination of the Cyclist’s marquee accoutrement, the Cycling Cap. Today’s lesson is about the Cycling Cap’s red-headed step brother, the Winter Cycling Cap.This is a toque born of necessity; the thin cotton cap is nowhere near warm enough for the demands of the Flemish winter training season. Form s...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. @frank That’s definitely Rule #9. And if he’s hard as well, then double chapeau. On the skull caps, Gianni has it right. On the same principle that caps under helmets are wrong, winter caps under helmets are even wronger. A skull cap at least does the s… »

  2. This is a favourite photo of my Rapha winter cap, which introduced me to the concept. Not modelled by me, but my daughter Lillian. She must have been about 5 years old. I think it was a Christmas present not long after I started working in Abu Dhabi… »

We want to look like Pros, sure, but what we’re really after is feeling Pro. All the aesthetics are just a tool we use to fuel the fickle internal combustion engine of Morale. In the end, there is little that will make you feel Pro more than clattering along a stretch of cobbles in a small group; instant “select breakaway”. One...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. For reasons of both time and money I can’t even consider doing it, but is one (or both) of the Saturday rides going to be a Cogal? I’d like to come over for the 4th to Roubaix, and I think a few other Euro-Velominati would do the same. »

It doesn’t take a genius to see what’s going on here. Rule #5, Rule #9, Rule #10; every rider in this frame Looks Fantastic (most other Rules). The riders are in short sleeves and shorts while the public apparently has scavenged materials from rubbish bins and the local grain elevator in a very visually unpleasant effort to keep war...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. @wiscot You misunderstand – I know better than to start a helmet debate. I was saying that as one who wears the casquette in its natural state I claim the moral high ground on matters of cap-wearing. Consequently I  don’t give a flying fuck for what … »

  2. Some of us carry on l’esprit de casquette. For example, riding our bikes wearing just a cycling cap. Try it someday, you might not die. Until then I refuse to listen to the opinions of anyone who either: a) doesn’t wear a cycling cap when cycling or; … »

One of the things that strikes me most about the English is they don’t appear to have developed any sort of “inner dialog”. It seems anything that passes through the brain is parlayed directly to the tongue; if the thought being expressed is an insult to you, it will generally include a query for confirmation: “You’r...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. By strange coincidence I have just bought my first set of tubs, although possibly not what Frank had in mind. They are Mavic CRX80s to go on the TT bike. This Trinity is quite a milestone – as well as being my first proper TT bike it will also be my firs… »

The Bike. It is the central tool in pursuit of our craft. A Velominatus meticulously maintains their bicycles and adorns them with the essential, yet minimal, accoutrement. The Rules specify the principles of good taste in configuration and setup of our machines, but within those principles lies almost infinite room for personal taste.It seems in s...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. @markb I thought Rule #48 was saddles, but anyway that was what I meant. On the pedals I agree entirely. Until very recently I had SPDs on my London/Audax bike. Makes a lot of sense on a commuter – you never know when you’ll need a firm footing to throw… »

  2. @markb Well they say attack is the best form of defence (also note correct spelling, septics) but I’m not sure it applies to self. Anyway I’m with you on most of the arguments – the washer nut I agree can help keep water and gunk out of the rim, less so … »

  3. Well this was a nice picture-message to get from the shop. Will stop by this afternoon to make adjustments and take it home. Further pics to follow. »

Whenever you see one of those yellow cars or motorcycles laden with spare wheels and manned by efficiently deliberate young professionals with no allegiance or favour to any one rider, take a moment to reflect on the oft-overlooked pioneer of the neutral service as we know it today, M. Jacques Mavic.Usually only sighted once a year in July, Jacq...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. Love that photo and very funny write-up. Tres jolie. »

April 2015 // Lille, France The Hardmen. They inspire us; we aspire to be one among them. They are the solitary voice among the thousands in our heads that tell us to keep pushing when all the others tell us to stop. Their long shadows look on in approval as we pull on our cold and wet weather gear and head out into the elements to ride. Continue...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. April 2015 // Lille, France 

    The Hardmen. They inspire us; we aspire to be one among them. They are the solitary voice among the thousands in our heads that tell us to keep pushing when all the others tell us to stop. Their long shadows look on in approval as we pull on our cold and wet weather gear and head out into the elements to ride.

    Every serious Cyclist is a hard man or woman; it comes with the territory. But to be given the title of Hardman, one must be more than just tough. The Hardmen stand out among the rest as the ones who ride over the savage, jagged cobblestones of Northern Europe with a souplesse that is possessed only by those riders who thrive in the most torturous of road cycling’s domains: The Cobbled Classics of Northern Europe.

    Velominati has partnered up with Pavé Cycling Classics, based in Northern France, to offer the chance to walk where Giants tread and pedal through the trench of Arenberg and up the devastating cobbled steeps of the Koppenberg and Kapelmuur. To pedal with the Pros during their reconnaissance of the Paris-Roubaix route.

    As if that isn’t good enough, we offer the opportunity to do this with a local Cyling star; in past years this has been the last Lion of Flanders, Johan Museeuw. The rider for 2015 will be unveiled later in the year.

    Velominati’s Keepers Tour: Cobbled Classics will be back in 2015 and guided by the Velominati Keepers in partnership with Pavé Cycling Classics over nine days in April during the most sacred time of the season, the week when de Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris Roubaix are held. Details and booking information will be announced in the coming days.

    Our trip is an all-expenses included trip. By this we mean that once you’ve managed to get yourself to Lille, you could put your wallet in a locker and leave it until you return back in Lille nine days later. We cover all transport, food, energy drink and bars, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all the beer and wine you can drink. The beer supplied is the full line of Malteni beers, which is owned and managed by the Pavé Cycling Classics owners, William and Alex.

    • Friday April 3rd: Pick up at Gare Lille Europe train station
    • Saturday April 4th: Paris Roubaix 100km discovery ride
    • Sunday April 5th: Ronde Van Vlaanderen Pro race at De Oude Kwaremont
    • Mon April 6th: 3h Flanders discover ride + visit Jaegher Bicycles Workshop (and Malteni brewery-time permitting).
    • Tue April 7th: Morning visit National bicycle museum at Roeselare + 3h Gent Wevelgem ride
    • April 8th: Morning at Gent Velodrome + Scheldeprij Pro Race
    • April 9th: Paris roubaix ride with the pros 150km from Troisvilles to Roubaix
    • April 10th: Recovery ride around the gîte + AG2R pro team meeting
    • April 11th: Tour of Flanders ride + RVV museum visit
    • April 12th: Paris Roubaix Pro race at Troisvilles, Arenberg and L’Arbre. Drop off at Lille Rail station or hotel in the evening

    Bookings

    All expenses including transport to and from the train station in Lille at the start and end of the Tour are covered, including all meals, transport to rides and events and unlimited supply of all selections of Malteni beer and fantastic French wines.

    €3,250.00

    If you have trouble with the booking system, please email us to book.


    Event Details

    Loading Map....

    Date/Time
    Date - April 03, 2015 - April 13, 2015
    12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

    Location
    Gare de Lille Flandres

    Cogal Details
    Route Details


The Bike. It is the central tool in pursuit of our craft. A Velominatus meticulously maintains their bicycles and adorns them with the essential, yet minimal, accoutrement. The Rules specify the principles of good taste in configuration and setup of our machines, but within those principles lies almost infinite room for personal taste.It seems in s...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. @Giles Is it just me or does something look odd about the angle of the forks? Is that a Trek thing? »

  2. OK here we go… spinning loveliness Bearings from Christopher OHearn on Vimeo. »

  3. Ah, OK now it says there was a processing error. First time I’ve used Vimeo rather than You Tube – probably the last as well. Will have to re-upload from home this evening. »

  4. Just a bit of a bike, and I can’t believe how much I spent on it. Had to take a video before it gets hidden away in the BB. http://vimeo.com/110710222 (Link only – embed from Vimeo tells me the video doesn’t exist for some reason. It does though). Cer… »

Sharing the road with cars is mostly a losing proposition. It’s hard to share when your vehicle weighs 8 kgs and the other guy’s is 800 kgs. If we have to share we have to let go and that is not easy, as @Kevin Wilkins explains. Yours in Cycling, Gianni Continue reading...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. Here in Dubai/UAE driving can be very reckless but is not deliberately targeted or aggressive for several reasons. First, road rage is virtually unheard of here for legal and cultural reasons. It is a criminal offence to insult someone and it’s not just … »

The Bike. It is the central tool in pursuit of our craft. A Velominatus meticulously maintains their bicycles and adorns them with the essential, yet minimal, accoutrement. The Rules specify the principles of good taste in configuration and setup of our machines, but within those principles lies almost infinite room for personal taste.It seems in s...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. @tessar I have to admit I’m fairly new to this level of aero-consideration so all comments are helpful. Jamie is an aero-freak who can tell you his cd on different bikes, wheels and even kit. I thought the Giro Attack was supposed to be pretty good? Alth… »