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Velominatus: Optimiste

Order: Guest Contributor

Location: Typically the canyon roads of Utah

Social: Website

Dreaming of Rule #9 rides.

@Optimiste's activity:

Rule #33- Legs are to be carefully shaved at all times.This is one of the Rules that really defines the term Cyclist to the Velominati. Discussions about Rule #33 flare up on the site occasionally, burn brightly then smolder out. Between faces and legs, it is a lot of man-scraping. Rule #33 is a task master. Compliance is one thing, defending it t...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @Shaun Kelly I’ll fire a salvo: That pitfall is why we have Rule #16 and Rule #17. I don’t pretend to be a Pro, because I’m not.  I don’t pretend to Look Fantastic, because I do. »

I like definition, to place things in a box and tightly seal the lid. It makes me feel comfortable, like another of life’s little mysteries has been stored away for safe keeping. I also love ambiguity; it is the space wherein all interesting questions are asked; the unknown is life’s greatest beauty. You might say that makes me a hypo...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @Puffy For my tastes I agree, and nearly always stick with white socks.  However, in this instance, I think it works. The socks are Rule #28 compliant, but are pushing the limits of Rule #27. »

Rule #33- Legs are to be carefully shaved at all times.This is one of the Rules that really defines the term Cyclist to the Velominati. Discussions about Rule #33 flare up on the site occasionally, burn brightly then smolder out. Between faces and legs, it is a lot of man-scraping. Rule #33 is a task master. Compliance is one thing, defending it t...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. Nice video on the aerodynamics of clean guns.  It’s always a plus when science coincides with faith.  But whether tradition, tribe, or aero benefit, it’s the right thing to do.  And knowing I’m right is all the proof I need. »

When it comes to Rule Compliance, we have at our disposal three viable options. The first is to Obey the Rules. That one is pretty straight-forward because we wrote them down for you and also went to the great length of writing a book on the subject, partly as a public service to those suffering from insomnia. But The Rules are full of apparent...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @therealpeel I think he’s one who transcends The Rules.  As in: “The second option is to be an ultra stud/studette who is so comprehensively badass that no one gives two shits about The Rules or anything else. . .” In fact, that’s a kid’s bike he borro… »

Attention all Velominati. The Tour VSP is going on line and it should be a good one. Sure, between Froomy and Bertie a person could hedge their bets but Moviestar is all in for Valverde, BMC for TeeJay, Astana for the Shark and Garmin is finally committing to a team leader in Talansky. Some other teams (ahem…Trek Factory Racing for one) have...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. Crazy and fantastic.  I also loved how, in a post-race interview, Cancellara essentially stated the description for Rule #9 when asked how important confidence is for riding the cobbles, especially in the rain.  To paraphrase, he said it starts in the mor… »

Cyclocross could be the most perplexing of all the cycling disciplines. To me it’s  at once the most beautiful and the most unappealing. The beauty comes from the great European races, and of course by ‘European’ I mean ‘Belgian’. The lack of appeal stems from the fact that I just don’t want to do it. It looks...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. It seems I’ll be dipping my toe into the pool this season, likely followed by diving headlong into the deep end. »

Chamois leather used in cycling shorts looked like this only once, before the first washing. After that one had to slather cream onto it to attempt to restore it to its former soft smoothness, which was impossible. I have written a reverence article on chamois cream and I vowed then to never google “saddle sore images” again, hence a b...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @wiscot A-Merckx to that! »

  2. @Vince Great input, and welcome aboard. »

  3. @Bespoke Yes.  I’m often asked if I also do dry cleaning. »

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...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @unversio I was about to suggest to Feisty Crabcakes his narrative would sound better in first-person. Then you reference this recent article, and my notion is affirmed.  Well done. »

Chamois leather used in cycling shorts looked like this only once, before the first washing. After that one had to slather cream onto it to attempt to restore it to its former soft smoothness, which was impossible. I have written a reverence article on chamois cream and I vowed then to never google “saddle sore images” again, hence a b...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @Rom No doubt. Modern chamois also make it infinitely easier to minimize the introduction of bacteria.  If at all possible, I wash my kit after each use – knowing it will be dry by morning.  When I can’t (as when riding to and from work in full kit), I … »

  2. @pistard Waxing? In the crackle region?!  I’m sure the emotional scarring lasts longer too.  All that comes to mind is the chest waxing scene in “The 40 Year old Virgin”, but an order of magnitude worse. Although I’m sure if there are any Velominatas o… »

  3. @unversio That is both disturbing and brilliant. @ChrisO Ingrown hairs was my concern as well.  I’ll have to try the trim, since I am part Wookiee. »

  4. @Mike_P Sage advice. I don’t recall who posted it here first, but I found this video helpful. »

Climbing is something I enjoy more than I am good at it; any time I see a new road pointing up to the heavens, I find myself irresistibly drawn to explore where it leads. Every season I come to the conclusion that my training routes are all very hilly and I arrive at the brilliant idea that I should plot out a new course which seeks out the flatt...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. Well said, Frank. The first paragraph (even the first sentence) encapsulates my climbing – virtues and vice. I love to climb, but as hills are a staple of my teammates’ diets, I am always the tag-along kid: “come on guys…wait for meee!”  And it is painf… »

Before Tomac and Ned, before LeMond and Big Mig, there was Bob Hannah. For a young lad obsessed with motorcycles as well as bicycles, the ‘Hurricane’ was the epitome of style on a bike. His bright yellow Yamaha YZs and matching head-to-toe kit set the bar and inspired me to emulate not only his style on the bike, but off it too. If onl...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @Ccos No motos of any sort for me.  My grandfather sold life insurance, so I had the fear of actuarial tables drilled into me.  Now, I bomb down descents on my road bike at 80+ km/h.  Way safer indeed. »

There are two ways in life to be good at something. The first way is the most obvious, which is to actually be good at something. This is harder than it sounds because you need things like skills, talent, fortitude, and light sabers. The other way doesn’t require those things but it has its own challenges; basically, you have to be holistical...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. However we got here, I’m just glad I have reasonable cause to finally post this: »

That any cyclist can enter the same arena with the same equipment as the professional helps to make cycling an awesome sport. True, the same thing could be said for golf or tennis but as a fan you can’t stand a meter away from any of those pros and scream encouragement. “Come on Tiger, RIP THAT FUCKER!” And if you attempt entry into Wimbledon...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @Nate And he does that, even while multitasking.  Note the tripper’s left hand.  Well played. »

  2. @Ccos It looks as if Muffin Top and Flag Suite are about to have a smackdown over who’s more outrageous.  I think it’s a draw. »

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...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @unversio Seconded.  That is a priceless treasure.  To this day, I regret selling my first real road bike over 20 years ago.  Thanks for sharing.  Any plans for restoring it to its former glory? »

Maybe it’s the milestone of aging that I recently reached. It could be an awareness of the unique foibles of this sport/activity/pastime that I practice. Possibly, I just woke up one day and realised that this is a weird thing for a middle-aged man to be doing. The time for reassessment hit me, involuntarily and without warning. And I’m...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. Nicely done. Although it can be distressing, removing the armor to reflect and reassess is necessary to avoid becoming dogmatic and stale. And cheers to support groups! »

This note arrived to the Velominati Bunker back in April. It was a confession. It was a cautionary one. Everyone knows someone who has done this. I nearly did it myself*. I replied to Alex, not sympathetically enough yet his message has stayed with me. Is this worthy of a New Rule? Yours in Cycling, Gianni Continue reading...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. This seems more suited to The Lexicon, rather than The Rules, since “twatting your bike” is a term and not a guiding principle. »

“You ruined a heap of photos!” Not the words you want to hear when the photos in question are ones you didn’t shoot, but were in. “How?” “You’re too low, too compressed.” At least he didn’t say I was ugly. “And you’re ugly.”When you work with professional photographers, you pic...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. Although I was a bit too young in the ’70s (and a bit too old now) to exude that kind of cool, I’m pretty sure I attempted that kind turn on my BMX bike.  Although, the subsequent 3-5 seconds involved embedding gravel into my knees, elbows, and possibly a… »

The divisive nature of Rule #29 is not to be underestimated. It is but a humble satchel, but our rejection of its use sends people completely out of their minds. One fine gentleman even threatened my editor at Cyclist Magazine with cancellation of his subscription on the basis that they published an article wherein I espoused the virtues of goin...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. I’m a little late to party, but BEST POST EVER! (This may not be the first time I’ve said that) And timely too.  The one concern I had about Looking Fantastic during last Saturday’s race was the bulky spare sticking out of my jersey pocket.  Oh, and gett… »

Anecdotal research suggests that people are being let off-leash without adequate training to perform basic activities such as walking on sidewalks or through airports and busy city centers. I’m assuming this expands to shopping malls, but I never go there so I can’t be sure. It’s easy to blame the mobile phones which apparentl...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @andrew,  @Nate That is exactly what it felt like. »