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Velominatus: ChrisO

Order: Guest Contributor

Location: Abu Dhabi

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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:

What does the layman observe when he sees a cyclist in the wild? While we do our utmost to Look Fantastic, in our own eyes and minds at least, outside observers may as well be witnessing little green aliens who’ve just stepped off their spacecraft and are heading to their very first fancy dress/drag party on this weird and wonderful planet...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. You guys are just going to the wrong cafes. This one, Treff, in Dubai brings you a cold face towel when you arrive and a complimentary shot of espresso-cream, and has a menu with lots of good recovery food, plus decent coffee. And in London if we have… »

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. @PanzerPuss I agree you’ll get more bang for your buck from the groupset upgrade than the frame. Don’t go to carbon until you can get something more than entry level would be my way of thinking – good-level aluminium is better than crap-level carbon. I… »

I’m not sure where this ride falls on the graph of fitness but down towards the bottom, somewhere.There can be a point in every rider’s season where each ride ends the same. FFS, I suck. The unabridged volume of self-loathing is reviewed, cogent chapters reread, aloud, in the bathroom. I’m Too Fat To Climb is a chapter I like to q...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. @markb It WAS just you. Now the rest of us have reluctantly – and without warning – joined in. »

  2. This is one of the advantages of coming to serious cycling later in life. While I’ve always been a commuting or recreational cyclist I really only started proper road cycling in my late 30s,racing in my 40s and dedicated training in the last couple of ye… »

A great unknown awaits the young men, bound by a common entity of steel, flesh and passion rolled together. Do they contemplate the future, or are they so encapsulated in the here and now that anything beyond the finish line seems like it could only be for old people? Have they any inkling which path they will take, or be guided towards? Maybe...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. @tessar Yes and here’s a non-draft event. Spot the difference. I hear that at the World 70.3 Championships last month it was like the Tour Peleton. »

  2. @girl Oh come on… there are two valid sides to the helmet debate. »

  3. @Buck Rogers Why don’t you invite her out on a V-rated club run and watch her sorry ass being dropped on the first overpass. »

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. @the Engine I’d like to see him on it, to get a sense of the position and how he uses it. I mean presumably he’s riding on those hoods where the brakes are located – fairly necessary in a commuter bike. But then there are the bar ends – it’s not exact… »

I have an idea. If Mr Cookson and the UCI are eager to lift women’s cycling up, why not sponsor a women’s race for each of the Monuments of the sport? A Giro di Lombardia Féminin would be a much better end to the season than the Chrono Des Nations. Each Monument would have an earlier start time than the men’s, a slightly shorter...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. @Mikael Liddy Yes but they do mention it in what is essentially a puff piece that is only there to fill space on a slow day. “Solovey, 22, has had a chequered past of her own. Twice a junior world time trial winner, in 2009 and 2010, in 2011 she tested p… »

  2. @Mikael Liddy I think it was being asked. You rarely see Solovey’s name without ‘disgraced’ or ‘controversial’ somewhere nearby. »

  3. You have put your finger on the essential problem for women’s sports and cycling in particular. It doesn’t attract a different audience. Advertising and sponsorship is planned for a target audience and a certain amount of exposure. If you already get it… »

 Rule #4 is clear but how do you explain to your five year old what a twatwaffle is? I was left trying to define twatwaffle to a room full of relatives, none five years old but a few close to ninety-five years old. Someone opened The Book of Rules and loudly read out Rule #4. Some hand waving and muttering about the Dutch deflected things, thankf...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. Nice one. I was reading it thinking “I know the name and the style but where?” Of course, the Bristow cartoon strip. I’d never come across the Great Boffo though. Great find.   »

The Cogal of the Falling LeaVes is now an annual eVent. This is the carte edition.The route is unchanged from 2011-2013. The North Island offers a challenge for those looking to extend their fitness into ‘cross season. A southern section only offers a beautiful ride with a lunch stop in Coupeville and return. Eightzero will (as always) be in...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. The Cogal of the Falling LeaVes is now an annual eVent. This is the carte edition.

    The route is unchanged from 2011-2013. The North Island offers a challenge for those looking to extend their fitness into ‘cross season. A southern section only offers a beautiful ride with a lunch stop in Coupeville and return. Eightzero will (as always) be in the groupetto.

    A no drop, casually deliberate ride on October 18, 2014. Bring your directions, the road has choices, and maybe (maybe) you don’t want to get lost. There are bailout points for shorter rides. Bring supplies, as Coupeville is the only, but most logical place for refuel and rewater.

    In keeping with the ferry schedule and change in season daylight, we plan a V past VV start. Note that coin operated showers are available at the Langley marina. Bring quarters. Mo’s Pub and Eatery in Langley has post ride food and malted recovery beverages, including the kind that come from a far off land renowned for its Islay and Highland (inter alia) versions.

    Ride directions here.

    Start/end: South Whidbey Island Commons and CoffeeHouse.

    Event Details

    Loading Map....

    Date/Time
    Date - October 18, 2014
    10:05 AM - 4:15 PM

    Location
    South Whidbey Island Commons and CoffeeHouse

    Cogal Details
    Route Details

    Ride Classification

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 all this with Johan Museeuw, the last Lion of Flanders.

    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.

    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


  2. 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 all this with Johan Museeuw, the last Lion of Flanders.

    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.

    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


Cycling is a sport steeped in the tradition of style. There’s no denying it. From the days of miners and farmers escaping the hardships of a life spent toiling in harsh and filthy conditions either under or above ground, through Coppi and his Cosa Nostra-esque garb and swagger, Merckx and De Vlaeminck’s 70s sideburns, to Cipo and his...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. He did ride it with cap, as did most of the competitors in fact. I seem to have taken a picture of one of the very few wearing a helmet. British TT rules apply and don’t mandate helmet wearing, for those who are wondering, so why add 250 grams if you don… »

  2. So here is Mr Millar at his last race – getting changed from a car (Jaguar) by the side of the road, a bit of a change from the Sky bus. And a few more shots from the Bec Hill Climb. Haven’t seen all the results yet but my mate Jamie won the Catfo… »

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. Fuck yeah – exactly a year after the Apocalyptic London Cogal I had another crack at Box Hill today. Took a minute and five seconds off my PB – now 6:14. Frustratingly just outside the top 500 on Strava, which  is not bad given there are 30,000 attempts…. »

Doing things the hard way is a luxury. It says to the world that we’ve beat evolution; intelligence is no match for technology and economy is no match for indulgence. We need only step a bit outside our bubble to realize the scale of the illusion, but nevertheless it has become reality for many of us who live our lives happily and fortuna...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. @Ken Ho Power meters and computers measure the human effort you’re already making. Aero helmets, TT bars and even Tulio’s derailleur maximise the efficiency of the human effort you are already making. Electronics replace the human effort using an exte… »

  2. @Ken Ho And this is why electronics are wrong. Just to show I put my money where my mouth is – I’m in the process of buying a Giant Trinity TT bike which I can get near cost price through our team sponsor, who is the Giant and Shimano distributor. I’… »

If Rouler does not do reviews, we don’t do reviews. Think of this as a commentary on Bont’s Vaypor+ road shoe. Any discussion of points-of-contact will generate a storm of comments ending in why Sidi shoes and fi'zi:k saddles are the best. They may be the best for you but not for me. Everyone’s feet and everyone’s butt has d...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. @Rom They are so wide that many states require red flags to be attached and some even demand they be accompanied by a safety vehicle warning oncoming traffic. Which is why I prefer Mavics. »

Doing things the hard way is a luxury. It says to the world that we’ve beat evolution; intelligence is no match for technology and economy is no match for indulgence. We need only step a bit outside our bubble to realize the scale of the illusion, but nevertheless it has become reality for many of us who live our lives happily and fortuna...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. @Teocalli As he says… “of most interest to people doing triathlon and TTs. ” No further comment needed. »

This carbon wheel issue has been burning a hole in my soul for so long. The twin headed snake of thrift and indecision (not such an impressive snake as far as twin headed snakes go) held me at the impasse for years. Having @mauibike commit to all carbon for his lifetime wheelset needs got me hot. Seeing Fabs winning Paris-Roubaix and the Ronde on...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. @markb Yep that was it. ROTFL. It usually coincides with my daughter’s birthday so it’s one of the events I can pretty much count on being back from Dubai for. Last couple of years have been decent weather. I had a bit of a nightmare though. Got a flat… »

  2. @Ken Ho So right about the bikes being an easy target. I was on a sportive ride on Sunday – not a massive event, just a small club sportive. Owing to a mechanical nightmare I was much later around than I had planned and got caught in the traffic leavi… »

Doing things the hard way is a luxury. It says to the world that we’ve beat evolution; intelligence is no match for technology and economy is no match for indulgence. We need only step a bit outside our bubble to realize the scale of the illusion, but nevertheless it has become reality for many of us who live our lives happily and fortuna...

@ChrisO's posts:

  1. @frank Exactly. The battery running your lights, or a cycle computer or power meter is not powering the vehicle, and they don’t make it easier for me to control it. The battery on Di2/EPS is connected to the drive train FFS – apart from having an actu… »