Velominati Community Profile Archive

Velominatus: Darren H

Order: Level 3 Velominatus

Location: Hampshire, England.

@Darren H'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...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. Playing my ‘joker’ card with Wiggins – would love to see him do well (if he doesn’t climb off!). VSP PICKS: 1. Kristoff 2. Cancellara 3. Vanmarcke 4. Van Avermaet 5. Wiggins »

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...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Armistead 2. Borghini 3. Van Der Breggan 4. Pieters 5. Johansson »

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...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. Diary is cleared for the next two Sundays, can’t wait…. VSP PICKS: 1. Cancellara 2. Sep Vanmarcke 3. Sagan 4. Stybar 5. Thomas »

Everyone knows you need at least three road bikes – two if you’re absolutely determined to make a point about minimalism. Bike Number One is reserved for good weather and events, and the Rain Bike for inclement weather. Just like our guns need to be pampered and rubbed down whenever we’re off the bike, any time Bike Number One isn...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. Wise words Frank, I always assume drivers can’t see me, but have never used 3M tape before – definitely something to consider for next Winter.  »

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...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Lizzie Armistead 2. Anna van der Breggen 3. Elisa Longo Borghini 4. Ashleigh Moolman 5. Emma Johansson »

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...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. Cav out? Re-jig for me…. VSP PICKS: 1. Cancellara 2. Ciolek 3. Sagan 4. Boasson Hagen 5. G Thomas »

  2. If this double posts, there’s a problem with my computer! »

  3. My that frame looks pretty…. VSP PICKS: 1. Cavendish 2. Ciolek 3. Sagan 4. Cancellara 5. Boasson Hagen »

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...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. @simonsaunders  agreed, what the hell is going on with helmet design at the moment?! Must admit that those POC shades are slowly growing on me though. Cracking race in tough conditions, although as has already been mentioned, wish Cancellara had gone with… »

  2. Slight change due to Stannard not lining up. VSP PICKS: 1. Cavendish 2. Greipel 3. Sagan 4. Cancellara 5. Kwiatkowski »

  3. Seems like Ciolek has slipped under the radar again this year – I may regret not picking him (even the press don’t seem that interested in last years winner – strange?). »

  4. VSP PICKS: 1. Cavendish 2. Greipel 3. Sagan 4. Cancellara 5. Stannard »

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...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. I purchased the UK version on the first day of issue – after reading and digesting the biblical text, I passed the book onto our club headquarters, the LBS. Although I feel bad that I may have cost some sales, I know for a fact that at least 30 members ha… »

The proclamation is heard in the office, on social media, at the bar with friends; “It’s leg day.” When someone utters “it’s leg day” the accompanying tone of resentment and even dread is usually followed by an audible “ugh”. This exasperation belies one fact, the person making the utterance is not a...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. Just been given the go ahead from the better half to shave my legs (I showed her this thread) and I’m racing for the first time at the end of the month. I may however have to race cyclocross during the winter to be allowed to keep shaving all year around … »

My favorite feeling is perhaps the empty hollowness of hunger. That statement, in itself, is a declaration of the privileged life I’ve led; it is borderline obscene to boast of such a thing in a world where 842 million people don’t have enough to eat. Nevertheless, being lucky enough to have been raised in America and just competent eno...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. Why is it that the last kg is the hardest to lose? Christ I’m fed up with bananas and tuna! It had better make a massive difference to my climbing, or I will be sorely disappointed (although I doubt I’ll be bothering any UCI sanctioned events!). »

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...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. @Mike_P  Love that photo. Great result for the beast that is Stannard, although he looks nearer 40 years of age than 26 years he is – I suppose that’s what lashings of The V do to a man! »

The illusion of transparency is perhaps the most important tool the Velominatus has in their toolbox, apart from having some measure of competence, being Casually Deliberate at all times, Looking Fantastic, and being able to dish out and endure heaping helpings of The V.Cycling is suffering, and one of the most crucial lessons we have to learn is t...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. Excellent read – next time someone tries to talk to me on a climb I shall ignore them, the cunning foxes! »

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...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. @Mike_P Boss Hog has definitely stalled hasn’t he – needs a big 2014. G Thomas is definitely due some luck after going down in just about every race he entered last year and I hope Stannard does okay (6th in MSR last year was a great result for him). P… »

  2. Will be interesting to see how Sky get on after abandoning their ill fated ‘classics’ build up of last year – but can’t see past Boonen, Fabio, Stybar and Sagan for the big ones (can’t wait). If Wiggins is genuinely on it and as motivated as he would have… »

I don’t know if its because I see something of myself in them or if it awakens some kind of nurturing instinct, but I always seem to find myself drawn to tragically flawed figures.Layne Staley and Marco Pantani strike me as two halves of the same whole; incredibly talented yet tortured with mortally addictive personalities, both set loose in...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. Doped, not doped, pressured, or not pressured, fragile soul, or not – regardless what anyone thinks, that man could ride up and descent a mountain like I could only do in my dreams and is the main reason I started cycling. He will forever have my admirati… »

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...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. I remember something Wiggo said a while back about climbing – just look 10 metres ahead and keep spinning, if you look to the top of the climb, your will instantly feel worse! »

To look good is already to go fast. -Paul Fournel, VéloMy approach to research is pretty straight forward. First, I develop an opinion – usually in a cognitively compromised state. This is the first step in the process for the simple reason that it avoids the bulk of the hard work involving things like reading and thinking. Next, I cherry-pi...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. @RedRanger  Agreed, looking forward to Stybar winning one of the classics this year – I’ve taken ages to write this as I can’t stop looking at the picture of Liz Hatch! »

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

@Darren H's posts:

  1. @ChrisO – Fantastic – ‘half the stage at 51km/h’ –  Christ that sounds fast and incredibly painful! Interesting your comments on calorie loading/re-fueling after a stage, I’ve always found it incredible that GT riders have the ability to take on enough ca… »

Even though in today’s mountain bike world the bikes are better, the clothing more appropriate, and there are more trails to ride, there’s no denying the early 90s were the Golden Age of Mountain Biking. Just look at these fellas, and tell me I’m wrong.Tomac knew what was up. You don’t get such a badass Rainbow Jersey by ac...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. @ChrissyOne     Amen! »

Last year we read that Philippe Gilbert is riding a 50cm (top tube of 535mm) BMC frame and he is 1.79m (5’10”) tall. Now it’s reported in Cyclingnews that Ritchie Porte’s Pinarello is a 46.5cm frame (top tube of 515mm) and Porte is 1.72m (5’8”) tall. He is no Nairo Quintana but somehow he is on Quintana’s old bike. Porte is just one i...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. When I had a bike fitting, it was suggested that as long as the contact points were correct, you should go for as small a frame as possible. Technically according to the Cervelo measurement charts I should be on a 56 cm frame (and had one), but after the … »