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Velominatus: Darren H

Order: Level 2 Velominatus

Location: Hampshire, England.

@Darren H's activity:

Watching the Jensie set a “new” record was somehow not-that-interesting and riveting at the same time. One guy going around the track for an hour; only cycling aficionados could find it so compelling. The thing I can’t get out of my mind is Eddy Merckx still did 49.43 km/hr with toe clips, spoked, box section wheels and a hairnet...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. Jens openly admits that his record won’t stand for long when Wiggins / Cancellara / Martin rev up their engines, but kudos to him – he’s 43 and he judged it to perfection getting quicker in the last 20 minutes (his fastest lap was his last). Anyone who fi… »

I don’t mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that’s how it comes out. - Bill Hicks That famous quote from the Greatest Comedian Of All Time™ has resonated with me for many years. It became my silent mantra, as I don’t suffer fools gladly and sometimes don’t make much effort to conceal the fact. Lately, I̵...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. About 2 years ago we had a chap turn up for a club ride on a hybrid bike and wanted to go out with the so called fast group. We secretly sniggered and averaged the 65km route at 35kph, did we drop him, did we hell! A few weeks later he turned up on a Caad… »

For the simple reason that the Cobbled and Ardennes Classics are behind us, I have not alternative but to get back on my soap box about the Giro being the best of the three Grand Tours. Well, usually, at least. Last year’s race sucked the big one (even if it was supremely Rule #9), but for the most part it is the race that is the most c...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Rodriquez 2. Quintana 3. Martin 4. Roche 5. Evans »

The 100th running of Liège-Bastogne-Liège takes place this Sunday. Danny-boy Martin will be marked heavily as the defending champion. Malmerde, and Phil Gil have shown they are peaking too. Froomy has thrown his hat into the ring, as he did last year but after last years 26th place, maybe it’s training. 263 kms, past winners include a long...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. I’ve got some catching up to do…..but probably won’t. »

  2. I’ve got some catching up to do…..but probably won’t. VSP PICKS: 1. Valverde 2. Rodriguez 3. Dan Martin 4. Kwiatkowski 5. Mollema »

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...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. Just noticed the Gerrans comments, so a switch. VSP PICKS: 1. Gilbert 2. Valverde 3. Kwiatowski 4. Moreno 5. Costa »

  2. Time to start getting some results, come on my beauties! VSP PICKS: 1. Gerrans 2. Gilbert 3. Valverde 4. Kwiatowski 5. Moreno »

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...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Armistead 2. Johansson 3. Vos 4. Van Dijk 5. King »

What, another guest post? Seemingly yes, but in fact we are keeping to our every-other Friday guest post schedule. We must Keep The Schedule! @Harminator’s post about pigs was the little seen “pop-up” article; a confluence of Paris-Roubaix, Orchies pigs and Jupiler beer. These things go very bad, very fast if not served quickly. @...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. Great picture of Kelly, that man could suffer with the best. I remember reading about some of his training methods and there was something along the lines of riding as far as he could with the wind behind him and then turning around and trying to ride bac… »

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...

@Darren H's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Rodriguez 2. Kwiatkowski 3. Gilbert 4. Valverde 5. Chavanel »

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!). »