Velominati Community Profile Archive

Velominatus: Al__S

Order: Level 2 Velominatus

@Al__S's activity:

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...

@Al__S's posts:

  1. If Spartacus doesn’t win, he won’t be in the top 5. I reckon. So here we go. VSP PICKS: 1. Phinney 2. Vanmarcke 3. Boonen 4. Thomas 5. Degenkolb »

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...

@Al__S's posts:

  1. I hear tale Rule #12 got referenced on BBC Radio 4′s “Today” programme (Breakfast news for politics geeks) this morning, presumably something to do with Brailsford. »

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...

@Al__S's posts:

  1. After years of flat riding here in the fens, I finally climbed a mountain last week. Teide caldera rim (Tenerife), 2200m of nothing but up from sea level, averaging over 6%. I think I may have caught a bug. Despite being far Too Fat To Climb. Dear merckx… »

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...

@Al__S's posts:

  1. OPQS are looking hilariously strong. I’ve decided to curse them with my controversial all-OPQS selection. VSP PICKS: 1. Cavendish 2. Steegmans 3. Boonen 4. Stybar 5. Vandenburgh »

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...

@Al__S's posts:

  1. The idea of “dead spots” is why Obree built a weird push-pull pedal system for Beastie, his flawed but wonderful land speed machine. It does strike me that the “scientific” teams such as Sky, Garmin etc can’t seem to come to any conclusion about their me… »

“Are you havin’ a dig at me?” It’s a good old phrase that one. I hear it occasionally, usually in response to some jest, part of the banter that me and my friends enjoy on a regular basis. It can be used as an off-the-cuff remark, clearly meant in a jocular way, or can carry with it a more sinister edge, a way to make a poin...

@Al__S's posts:

  1. @Richard in reference to the video? Yes, Riss was on the magic potion. But look at who he was digging- they were hardly on bread and water either. »

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...

@Al__S's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Cavendish 2. Degenkolb 3. Goss 4. Sagan 5. Stannard »

The Velominati Super Prestige is a season-long competition wherein readers will be submitting their predictions for the top five finishers of each qualifying race.  In order to qualify, your picks via the VSP Picks form above the posts section of the VSP Event article pertaining to the race in question by the time the countdown clock goes to zero...

@Al__S's posts:

  1. Bertie’s cassette from today, via @GCNTweet. I think that’s a 32 there? »

@wiscot is at it again. He is the Velominati historian and I’m always pleased when more of his writing arrives at the bunker. Luckily for all of us, cycling has a long history, most of which we are unaware of. This was not taught at school. Any article that includes the words Spartacus and Hour Record in the first paragraph already has my att...

@Al__S's posts:

  1. Cavendish wanted to spend the winter racing track, with an eye to Rio (he’s still itching for Olympic gold and used to do team pursuit). He was told very publicly that he couldn’t, that he’s paid to ride road. Specialisation. It’s a curse that means we re… »

Omloop het Nieuwsblad is fast approaching on March 1st, Strade Bianche goes off the next weekend; finally, ladies and gentlemen, we have a season. For me the racing season really has to start in cold, wet Europe. I like the Tour Down Under just fine, I watch it, but it’s too early, too sunny and too hot to signify the start of the racing season...

@Al__S's posts:

  1. I see there’s been a bit of a fuss (storm level: in a teacup) from Lotto riders regarding OPQS and Belkin making the break up a tarmac bike path rather than a cobbled road, with respect to the new UCI rule that says “stick to the road”. »

  2. Picture of the year? Big guys, gurning, covered in shit, straining for the line. It’s what Belgium’s all about. »

Not one to subscribe to the slew of text speak or acronyms that permeate the modern vernacular (well, not too much, I guess YJA is one used fairly regularly), I am harbouring a severe case of FOMO right now. And the catalyst for this? The lack of a KT14. Shit, I did it again. WTF?As Gianni wound up the excitement and anticipation for the real start...

@Al__S's posts:

  1. Looking at the picture of Eddy, I’m going to take a punt and say it was a relatively mild day. Look at the specators. Open necks, relatively light jackets, no hats apart form the policeman(?), no scarfs etc. »

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...

@Al__S's posts:

  1. surely, assuming the weather is cold enough to warrant it, unpadded tights over padded shorts is fine? »

I’m a non-climber who enjoys climbing. I’d enjoy it more if I was good at it. And “enjoy” might be too strong a word, “tolerate” might be better. But dragging 89 kilos up a volcano gives one time to contemplate the cycling life .Let us define non-climber. It’s someone either too fat, too big (gravitationally challenged) or a fast- twi...

@Al__S's posts:

  1. @Gianni It won’t beat me. I won’t let it. There’s another 1500m to the actual summit of Teide, but that appears to be mountain bike country. @chris it isn’t quite as bad as resorting to car parks. There’s, um, Madingley rise. And Chapel Hill. And head… »

  2. Great advice, though the “lose weight” is maybe a little late for the trip I’ve just booked with a mate to Tenerife in April. Having only taken up cycling after moving to Cambridgeshire, a 2200m 6% climb is somewhat daunting. But enticing, nonetheless, wh… »

Welcome to the Kermis. It’s not a recycling, it’s a reintroduction. The idea is to repost an old article that still resonates today and see where it goes. We will endeavor not to abuse this feature.I’ve referred to Frank’s fantastic Perfect Amount of Dumb article at least five times in my own posts. My reference is usually that I’m dumb b...

@Al__S's posts:

  1. Watching post race interviews, Phinney is definitely “the perfect amount of dumb”- at least, whilst he’s currently sporting a riduculous hairdo he wears a cycling cap, not a baseball cap, for interviews. In contrast to Kittel, who’s also got an idiotic ha… »

I recently overheard someone say that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. This is the kind of statement that makes me want to hate people as a species a little bit. Of course there such a thing as bad weather. There are also bad people (loads of them), bad ideas (even bigger loads of them), bad advice (especially on the inter...

@Al__S's posts:

  1. Problem with mist bib tights is that they’re just so garish. Even “black” ones tend to have lots of reflective bits in weird patterns. I’ve got these, with barely a label or logo present. They still don’t look “good”, just “not shite” The shorts (pa… »

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

@Al__S's posts:

  1. Superb. Well written, and a fascinating insight to a world most of the rest of us can only watch. What’s the story with the Afghan/Iranian team? Politics? »

We’re an odd bunch, us Cyclists. Shaved legs, scars, tan lines, muscular legs paired to scrawny upper bodies. These things that make us stand out are some of the things I take great pride in. I marvel at my freshly shaved guns and how smooth they feel under my dress clothes when I’m stuck at the office. I’ll stand in front of the...

@Al__S's posts:

  1. I’ll leave shoving sockless wet feet into single velcro strap shoes to those silly boys and girls thankyou (I take it we’ve all seen the video doing the rounds of a trihard crashing into an SUV?) »

I’ve never been able to decide if choices are a gift or a curse; a lack of choices introduces simplicity but also with it the risk that the simple choices do not meet the demands of a complex world. An abundance of similar choices, on the other hand, often reduces the impact of getting things a little bit wrong, but also decreases the thought...

@Al__S's posts:

  1. 53-39 and 13-29. Small ring sees precious little use in these parts. Might shift to a 12-25 cassette. »

Ok all you roadies, listen up. You’re not gonna like what I’m about to tell you, but it’s the truth. And sometimes, the truth hurts. You ready?Road cycling owes a lot to mountain biking. Continue reading...

@Al__S's posts:

  1. Disc brake units will become more aero, that’s a given. They’ll also become lighter- as might the discs, given what I’ve heard of late via people who really do know (so not on the internet…). they’re on my commuter. It’s a pretty heavy beast, often lad… »

Although he was already an active community member, I began my friendship with Dan Richter in early 2012 after he reached out to me regarding some wheels he wanted us to take along on Keepers Tour: Cobbled Classics 2012. At the time, he was an amateur wheel builder making some money on the side selling his wheels on eBay. Like many of us in this co...

@Al__S's posts:

  1. It’s been superb to watch the cycling community- across all social networks, across many communities- really unite behind Dan. It’s been cringeworthy and painful to watch Specialized completely, totally fail to understand how to deal with this sort of sto… »

Water is an asshole, at least when it comes to bicycles. So is wind, now that I think of it; I don’t love it, unless its at my back, but that rarely seems to happen even on out-and-back routes. Fire’s not winning any prizes either, unless you’re talking about the hunk-a-hunka burnin’ V. Even le soleil isn’t scoring po...

@Al__S's posts:

  1. I have dirty love for rain. But proper, pishing it down rain. Drizzle? Just unpleasant without the satisfaction of a good honest soaking. Howling wind can bugger off though. Did a ride in the fens in June. Start and finish at the same place. Over 2/3 o… »

Having asthma is kind of like winning the lottery, except it happens to more people and instead of money you win a chronic difficulty in breathing. I wouldn’t say I’m proud to be an asthmatic, but it’s not information I’m ashamed to share. In doing so, I often discover others who are similarly afflicted, and upon doing so w...

@Al__S's posts:

  1. Another one here. On Symbicort twice a day, Ventolin if I get even a hint of getting wheezy. The real fucker is if you get a chest infection on the top. Last one I had left me barely able to stand up without getting dangerously out of breath. England, so … »

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...

@Al__S's posts:

  1. The British champion jersey may be a bit plain- and frankly, bafflingly Dutch- but at least no-one fucks about with it. »