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Velominatus: Bespoke

Order: Level 1 Velominatus

Location: Toronto, Canada

Social: Website

Member of the "Cycling is the New Golf" club. The only pursuit from my embrace of middle age that works up a sweat, as clearly golf, curling nor the consumption of single malt (even vigorous consumption) don't. Except perhaps in the middle of the night.

@Bespoke's activity:

The modern day Pro cyclist has many disadvantages stacked against them by comparison to their forefathers. They have to ride plastic bikes with little or no distinguishing character or discernible caché; they must willingly or perhaps unwittingly subject their body to an array of questionable “training techniques”; and they have to sp...

@Bespoke's posts:

  1. @Optimiste Great response. Thanks! »

  2. How does all this talk about wearing team kit, retro or not, square with Rule #17?! »

Jens Voigt is set to retire as we speak, having one final crack at a long break in some race in the Cycling backwater of the USA. Is it fair or fitting that he should go out like this, slipping out the back door with little fanfare, while others have been doing a farewell tour of all the big races, replete with fancy commemorative shoes and a son...

@Bespoke's posts:

  1. @Rob I believe he did: »

Cycling is a mighty sport with a rich and complex history. Every company, racer, piece of kit, and component has a legend, a story behind it; in many cases it also has a personal and nostalgic connection to our lives.  While this particular sport is steeped in tradition, it is also fiercely modern, a fact that serves only to deepen its complexity...

@Bespoke's posts:

  1. Excellent! That seems to have been a quick fix. »

  2. I am hoping that the current formatting of including photos in the Recent Posts column is a temporary glitch. FYI, it is happening across iPad and Mac. Thanks. »

I hesitate to file this in the Guest Article category. It would be better filed under fellow un-rewarded pirate cycling-site writer, if we had such a file. @winnipegcyclechick does all of her site’s writing, her graphics are usually hers and much too funny. Frankly, she makes me sick. And, AND, she can make the jokes we can’t make lest...

@Bespoke's posts:

  1. @Deakus There’s lots more pleasurable reading on her blog but, be warned: I think she’s already married! »

Most great ideas in life are accompanied by an unforeseen consequence of equal or greater magnitude. For instance, no one predicted that the Industrial Revolution would pollute our air and set off climate change on a global scale. Similarly, no one realized that when placing unfathomable computing power in the palm of our hands in the form of smart...

@Bespoke's posts:

  1. @Ccos Don’t be so sure. Everything, and every article, that’s recorded on this site is available for resuscitation. As can be evidenced by the posts made in the wee hours. »

When someone uses the phrase “bucket list” within my hearing, I want to give them a snot-laden cycling glove across the chops. Because when you use a dead metaphor like that one in connection with the topic of mortality, it means that you don’t adequately appreciate the finality of mortality. “Dead metaphor,” get it? D...

@Bespoke's posts:

  1. When someone uses the phrase “bucket list” within my hearing, I want to give them a snot-laden cycling glove across the chops. Because when you use a dead metaphor like that one in connection with the topic of mortality, it means that you don’t adequately appreciate the finality of mortality. “Dead metaphor,” get it? Death deserves his due, as they say, whatever the hell they think they mean by that. I’m saying that dead metaphors do not serve the vital function of warding off death.

    The only reason I bring that up is because if 1) you live in the Pacific Northwest and 2) you are a Cyclist and 3) you have not ridden Hurricane Ridge, well, you should, while you can. Here’s why: it’s an HC climb that begins at the salt water of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and climbs, without relent, to 1600 meters. ‘Muricans, do the math. (Hint: it’s 5242 feet.) It’s not a steep climb, but it’s a damned long one that doesn’t give you a break, and it’s entirely up to you how you let it treat you. That’s freedom. That’s life, which we all understand to be the opposite of death.

    This ride also offers the strange and exotic opportunity to stay at El Rancho del Stumpo del Norte, free of charge. El Rancho–the beginning and end of the route–is a demi-funky log home with an outbuilding and lots of covered porch area on five secluded acres about ten miles east of Sequim. (That’s right; it’s nowhere.) There is effectively unlimited camping space, whether that means pitching a tent or throwing a sleeping bag on the porch or passing out “dead” drunk on the rocked-in fire pit in the back yard. There will be unlimited supplies of ale; there will be music indoors and out; there will be fire and food cooked over fire. There will be The Most Interesting Dog in the World.

    More importantly, there will be Velominati. And their bikes. And a big fucking climb. And, as should follow, one of the funnest descents ever: smooth pavement, light traffic, and views that tempt you to divert your gaze from your line at high rates of speed.

    The details of the route are to be determined; ongoing work on Hwy 101 will determine some details. But this is the general idea: Basically, we’re talking 150km, roughly, with a 1600-meter climb in the middle of it, with maybe 2400 meters of total elevation gain. Have a look at the route, and you’ll see a very symmetrical pattern: a flat, a climb, a flat. You could, I suppose, use an internal combustion device to avoid the flat bits. I don’t know why you would, but you could. There are ample opportunities to water up or refuel in Sequim and in Port Angeles, which is at the beginning of the business. At the top of Hurricane Ridge, there’s a lodge with basic services (water, bathrooms, and crap food). For detailed info, email me at davidbrande(aht)gmail(dawt)com.

    Event Details

    Loading Map....

    Date - August 23, 2014
    9:05 AM - 8:00 PM

    Peakintwoyears HQ

    Cogal Details
    Route Details

    Ride Classification

After a night of sinning, the body must be cleansed. -The Prophet, Eddy Merckx After a week away in Atlanta for business, I feel thick and heavy. These trips away are killers; the shift in time zones means the already-too long work day is extended by a further three hours. I try my best to watch my diet, but in a town like Atlanta where even sush...

@Bespoke's posts:

  1. @frank Nice. To answer your question, I believe yes, in a perverse way. You’ll probably like this too: “I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron’s point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times in… »

  2. Notwithstanding Rule #5, is it so necessary to construe masochism with joy, as a means to atonement? »

I have met @chris on the original Keepers Tour. He seemed like a reasonable person at the time. Then again, @rob passes himself off  as a rational person yet he signed up for the Too Much on 100 ride and completed it. People sign up for these crazy rides because it forces them to get in the best shape possible. It makes these long rides more enjoy...

@Bespoke's posts:

  1. @harminator Yet another great contribution! Always enjoy reading your posts. »

  2. Good luck Chris. And, stay away from the contents of that wine rack for now. »

If @steampunk can’t take much credit here I guess we can’t take any. We can take pleasure is seeing someone’s kid hauling ass on a bike, a Velominatus spawn, even better. We all came to cycling by different paths, seemingly few by our parents. It is impossible to outguess one’s children; they are clever little bastards. Hop...

@Bespoke's posts:

  1. Sorry, the article, like its author … »

  2. At the risk of sounding sycophantic: the article, like his progeny, is charming and genuine. Some of the comments that it has inspired bring chills to my spine (@tessar)  and, as @wiscot notes, evidence of the underlying ethos of this community. Thank yo… »

The Whale Shark is the biggest nonmammalian vertebrate* on the planet, rivaling the dinosaurs for size. How do you feed yourself when you’re that huge without loading up on carbs all the time? Easy, you swim around with your mouth wide open for 22 hours a day and hope enough food swims in there to take the edge off the hunger pangs. Cycl...

@Bespoke's posts:

  1. @wiscot Are  you complimenting his magnitude? »

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...

@Bespoke's posts:

  1. @Teocalli The two bidon cages? »

  2. @Steampunk Seriously? You can tell a difference from the previous wheelset (before the crack)? »

  3. @Steampunk Glad to know you took care of that issue properly. Let us know how smoothly they roll. »

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...

@Bespoke's posts:

  1. @Harminator Another great piece of writing. Thanks! »

  2. @Harminator Eloquent and enticing. Thanks for this. And, more please. »

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...

@Bespoke's posts:

  1. @chew Hope you have a speedy recovery and hope you aren’t in too much discomfort. Sounds like quite a crash. »

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...

@Bespoke's posts:

  1. @Rom Very happy to be a pedalwan sometimes. This would be one of them. @Optimiste Must make for pretty interesting office decor! »

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...

@Bespoke's posts:

  1. @unversio Just riding you! Nice illustration. »

  2. @unversio Those ear pieces look a bit uncomfortable and not very aero. »

  3. @unversio @anthony Interesting influence from automotive design, to my eyes: »