Velominati Community Profile Archive

Velominatus: the Engine

Order: Keepers Tour: Cobbled Classics 2012 Attendee

Location: Scotland

Social: Website

Mamil returning to the saddle after 20 years of doing other stuff like long distance running - what was I thinking

@the Engine's activity:

Wednesday sees the return of the women to the VSP. More notably, we see the return of Marianne Vos to the road. She’s won this race five of the last seven years. It makes me wonder if the rest of the field have already resigned themselves to racing for second. On the other hand, Vos hasn’t been racing of late and may not be as sharp as...

@the Engine's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Vos Boss 2. Lizzie Armistead 3. Borghini 4. Dick van Dijk 5. Dr Pooley »

Midweek in Belgium in Spring is a wonderful thing. Hordes of people come from seemingly nowhere to fill the bars and line the roadsides when presumably they’d usually be working, or at school, or some such. That the only ones who appear to be working are the bartenders and frites dispensers reinforces my belief that Belgium is the greatest co...

@the Engine's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Giblets 2. Gerans 3. Malmerde 4. Costa 5. Nibbles »

The Amstel Gold Race, 251 km from Maastricht to Valkenburg, the hard way. There appears to be no flat sections longer than ten meters. There are thirty-four mean little climbs to ruin the legs. We have moved on from the real Spring Classics. There is no rest in this VSP; The Ronde and Roubaix were amazing but we must continue. Legs that are smoked...

@the Engine's posts:

  1. I used to be indecisive but now – well I just don’t know »

  2. VSP PICKS: 1. Kreuzinger 2. Kwiatkowski 3. Giblets 4. NIbbles 5. Mollema »

  3. VSP PICKS: 1. Malmerde 2. Kwiatkowski 3. Giblets 4. Slagter 5. ben Swift »

The grade is long and I am climbing away. I’m not going to Pantani this: I am not out of the saddle, not in the drops and not leaving everyone in my wake. The climbing gear was engaged a long time ago. There is progress, but I am not dancing up this climb. A little more cadence would really help here. If I could just get this mother-lover spinnin...

@the Engine's posts:

  1. @Rom I’d forgotten that exquisite torture with the DT shifter – my how we all laughed »

It has been a brutal week for us Keepers, having decided not to hold a Keepers Tour this year. Watching the action from half a world away has been almost too much for us to bear, and I know most of the participants from last year must be feeling similarly. On Sunday, we would be escorted by our friends and guides, William and Alex of Pavé Cycling...

@the Engine's posts:

  1. Agonised over Sagandouche but I just don’t think he’s got it this year (he’ll win won’t he?). VSP PICKS: 1. Fabs 2. Vanmarcke 3. Tommeke 4. Van Avermaet 5. Kristoff »

The grade is long and I am climbing away. I’m not going to Pantani this: I am not out of the saddle, not in the drops and not leaving everyone in my wake. The climbing gear was engaged a long time ago. There is progress, but I am not dancing up this climb. A little more cadence would really help here. If I could just get this mother-lover spinnin...

@the Engine's posts:

  1. @frank Okay – I’ll grant you that you can always do a running remount (well you can if you’re not a wheezy overweight guy in his 50′s and/or your bike isn’t under a race official’s car) and that therefore point a) is dead in the water. However point b… »

  2. @Gianni It is only permissible to walk up a hill that has beaten you in your socks – we wouldn’t want you to enjoy the experience or indeed feel any relief as you will become weak and therefore useless as a Velominatus. »

  3. @Gianni I should have said “fall off” not “climb off” – clearly to climb off requires some residual strength and traction. »

  4. @Steve-o Only time I ever got my picture in a magazine was falling to the side of the road after stalling completely on Hardknott – the gradient touches 35% here and there – it’s ludicrously steep. I confess that one might be able to freewheel back to… »

  5. You may only climb off your steed through lack of suitable ratios when a) your back wheel loses traction on the wet pave and you fall under the race commissar’s car or b) when your freehub explodes and brings your wedding tackle forcefully in to contact w… »

I had always imagined that de Ronde van Vlaanderen must be hardest race in the world. The way I worked it out – having never ridden the course of either event at the time – was that de Ronde had the same cobbles as Roubaix, but with 20% grades thrown in. It makes enough sense so long as you don’t know what you’re talking abo...

@the Engine's posts:

  1. @The Oracle There’s gravel in the pillow and wire wool on the skin side of the duvet. »

Vlaanderen. Its no accident the Flemish word for Flanders starts with a V; there is nothing simple or easy about riding a bike here. If it isn’t wind, its steep bergs. If it isn’t tarmac, its cobbles. Most of the time, its all three. Oh, and the weather there sucks. In fact, Flanders doesn’t have weather – it has VVeather.De...

@the Engine's posts:

  1. And once again – err… VSP PICKS: 1. Emma Johansson 2. Lizzie Armistead 3. Giorgia Bronzini 4. Anna van der Breggen 5. Elisa Longo Borghin »

This needs no introduction. The Spring Classics are truly upon us. The course has been modified yet again, it is tougher? The riders make the race and the 2014 Ronde van Vlaanderen is loaded with racers who could win or make the Velominati VSP placings. Just to pick the winner will not be nearly as easy as it has been recently. There are small clo...

@the Engine's posts:

  1. Here goes… VSP PICKS: 1. Faboo 2. Sagandouche 3. Tommeke 4. Boss Hogg 5. Kristoff »

This is the kick off of the VSP for women’s racing, though the women have already kicked it off with the Ronde van Drenthe in the Netherlands. Now it’s down to Northern Italy, Varese, by Lago Maggiore, but this is a climbers course, more in the mountains than by the lake. And yes, Sunday is also Gent-Wevelgem for women but Trofeo is par...

@the Engine's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Elisa Longo Borghini 2. Marianne Vos Boss 3. Emma Johansson 4. Lizzie Armistead 5. Emma Pooley »

Evolution doesn’t really seem to be part of the picture anymore, at least not where humans and our direct reports are concerned. We control an astounding number of genetic defects in ourselves, our pets, and agriculture while Science and Technology give Natural Selection swirlies in the locker room.Take exercise-induced asthma, which is a con...

@the Engine's posts:

  1. @frank She’s using discs on her CX rig… »

The Kemmelberg is a brute. In my opinion, its the hardest of the cobbled climbs in the Spring Classics; it has a high speed tarmac approach that saps the guns of their snap. The transition from tarmac to cobbles is awful, the stones are very badly laid throughout and if you don’t hit it just right, you’ll come to a standstill. The cobbl...

@the Engine's posts:

  1. Top five out of a hat – they’re all in seriously good condition. I think Sagan will remain the Housewives Choice by coming second as usual. VSP PICKS: 1. Degenkolb 2. Sagan 3. Tommeke 4. Van Avermat 5. Kristoff »

This winter Shimano showed up on Maui with a flotilla of Colnago C-59s set up with disc brakes. The lucky Shimano people tested the bikes on some of the nicest routes on the island, including some descending down the Haleakala volcano. Unbelievably they didn’t invite me along (!?). If they had I would have suggested a different place to ride, one...

@the Engine's posts:

  1. Does that 10km down also go up if you do it in the other direction? »

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...

@the Engine's posts:

  1. Have stumbled upon a major disagreement between Yurup and North ‘Murica between discs and canti’s on CX bikes. Europeans say discs are the tits whilst ‘Muricans say they’re a liability for a variety of reasons especially maintenance in the field and whee… »

Het Volk (it will always be Het Volk to me) and now the Strade Bianche may well mark the sentimental beginning to the season, but those are specialized, pre-season races that appeal mostly to riders who are preparing for bigger objectives later in the year, such as the Cobbled or Ardennes Classics. Same goes for Tirreno Adriatico and Paris-Nice; t...

@the Engine's posts:

  1. Although that said the chances of all five crossing the line in the first five are zero – I’m just saying these are the guys likely to feature and I think Sagan’s had enough of coming second (I technique I’ve never personally mastered). VSP PICKS: 1. Pe… »

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...

@the Engine's posts:

  1. We seem to have an outbreak of Rule #50 violations in the pro-peloton this year. Is facial fungus becoming acceptable among our heroes? What are we to think? »

We recently lost our beloved Great Dane, Kirki, who we nicknamed Beene for reasons that elude logic. She was a good dog, more sweet than clever. A sad side effect of big dog breeds and their short lives is that it wasn’t until nearly the end of her life that she made certain key discoveries about the world. Such as that weighing nearly 65 kil...

@the Engine's posts:

  1. Chapeau »

Wind is an asshole. I have no patience left for it. It has all of it been used up, gone, finished. It is the only force that I’m aware of (with the possible exception of gravity) that is more stubborn and less willing to listen to reason than I myself am. It blows me around on my bike, it embezzles speed from my Magnificent Stroke. No matter...

@the Engine's posts:

  1. @Teocalli Which is why I’m not allowed to touch any part of my bike with any sort of tool unless there is no choice whatsoever. The pads are circular on my MTB and if you rotate them through a quarter turn by turning the knurled thing on the other site… »

  2. @frank And in breaking news an @theEngine simple question preceding a gentle telephone call to the LBS now gives me more choices than a sushi bar run by chefs with ADHD. The discs on the Crockett are cable operated so no hydraulics to bleed. System lo… »