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Velominatus: Fins

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@Fins's activity:

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...

@Fins's posts:

  1. As if this stage wasn’t awesome enough already…rain. Only disappointing part is only one stage of cobbles. »

  2. I was already excited for the cobbled stage and after reading that I can barely wait for Tuesday. Thanks for the report. »

  3. VSP PICKS: 1. Contador 2. Valverde 3. Nibali 4. Froome 5. Talansky »

Why are women’s races run concurrently with men’s races? I would get it if it was the women’s Tour de France, but I don’t get it when it is the women’s Giro in July. Since the Tour de Swiss there has been a lack of stage racing (in my TV watching schedule) and seemingly a perfect time to present a women’s stage r...

@Fins's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Abbott 2. Longo Borghini 3. Vos 4. Guarnier 5. Ferrand-Prevot »

The Tour de Suisse can be everyone’s warm-up for the Tour de France, including all you VSP dreamers. The big show seems to be the Critérium de Dauphanié this year, as far as Tour de France contenders go but the Tour de Suisse still has some big guns showing up. Twiggo is here, not for a Tour warm up, unless people are worried about Richie P...

@Fins's posts:

  1. Tough one to call, who is riding for real, who is here to make up the numbers, who is tired from the Giro? I will say I’m not at all sold on Wiggins after ToC. Who exactly did he beat again? Rohan Dennis took 20 seconds out of him on the queen stage and… »

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...

@Fins's posts:

  1. The beards I can sort of deal with, but they look weird. The aero helmets upset, but I have to look at them if I want to watch any bike races, so I am learning to cope. The stupid sunglasses anger me. The baggy clothes are completely fucking unacceptab… »

There was a time when I held down ‘real jobs’. Jobs with (a little) stress, with (some) responsibility, but without soul. And while dealing with the great unwashed public never held much appeal, I always envied the guys who worked at my preferred LBS. They seemingly had it all––an endless supply of cheap bikes and parts, hanging out and s...

@Fins's posts:

  1. Another good article. There are certainly good and bad LBS, but when you have a good relationship with a good one it is awesome. When I was just starting to cycle in Dallas I did a lot of group rides with an LBS there, got to know people, repairs and part… »

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...

@Fins's posts:

  1. @ChrisO So question for you, and this is not meant to be argumentative at all. A few years ago I was on a group ride, went down fairly hard, road work that was not pointed out + somewhat on the rivet. Didn’t have time to react so landed squarely on my lef… »

Maybe it’s the milestone of aging that I recently reached. It could be an awareness of the unique foibles of this sport/activity/pastime that I practice. Possibly, I just woke up one day and realised that this is a weird thing for a middle-aged man to be doing. The time for reassessment hit me, involuntarily and without warning. And I’m...

@Fins's posts:

  1. Damn…I’m ready to go for a ride now, thanks for the article. »

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...

@Fins's posts:

  1. Would love to see Rodriguez finally win a grand tour. I think he’s been a great animator of races over the last few years while others have been more content to wait. That Zoncolan climb on Stage 20 could be really interesting. It should suit the ‘diesel’… »

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...

@Fins's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Armistead 2. Johanson 3. Van der Breggen 4. Van Dijk 5. Stevens »

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...

@Fins's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Cancellara 2. Terpstra 3. Sagan 4. Vanmarcke 5. Chavanel »

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...

@Fins's posts:

  1. Just a moment to give a shoutout to the keepers. I never paid any attention to women’s racing until women’s VSP last season. After realizing I had no clue about women’s racing I watched the women’s worlds and thought it was entertaining as hell. Have been… »

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...

@Fins's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Sagan 2. Degenkolb 3. Farrara 4. Cancellara 5. GVA »

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...

@Fins's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. A. Greipel (HTC-Columbia) 2. P. Sagan (Liquigas) 3. J. Degenkolb (HTC-Columbia) 4. M. Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) 5. J. Rojas (Caisse d’ Epargne) »

“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...

@Fins's posts:

  1. I think if I could effectively explain the art of the dig to non-cyclists they would all suddenly understand how a multi-hour ride is not the least bit boring. »

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...

@Fins's posts:

  1. So the course for the 2015 worlds has just been released: http://media.rvanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/2015RoadCircuit.jpg A couple notes based on looking at it for 10 minutes on this crappy little map: 1. I have to walk like 6 blocks to get to … »

The most important moment in a man’s life is the first time they have a beer. I place it on the list above sex and having a child because sex usually only happens as a direct result of drinking beer. As for having children, I’m given to understand they are poop factories at first, then promptly become loud, and then obnoxious before the...

@Fins's posts:

  1. I really enjoyed the first two paragraphs of this article. The rest of it and all of your comments have mostly just made me feel bad about myself. I thought my policy of generally stopping after 2-3 MRBs was prudent, but it seems perhaps I need to reconsi… »

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...

@Fins's posts:

  1. @Wondering Have you ever watched cycling? Armstrong rode with perhaps 1/10 the panache of Pantani. Also, Pantani was a tortured soul who you feel like wanted to do nothing more than race his bike. Retrospectively, Armstrong was a psychopath. »

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...

@Fins's posts:

  1. @Robert I’ve had some fairly terrible experiences where I was kitted out with a base layer on top and knee warmers, but just my bibs covering the area in between. Having the area from mid-thigh to your waist be the only part of your anatomy that is free… »

Growing up, I imagine my dad did his fair share of worrying about me getting into trouble with chemicals and girls. Like with most problems in life, the solution lay in Cycling; training encouraged healthy behavior and once my dad convinced me to shave my legs, no one needed to worry about the girls anymore.Cycling caused its fair share of problems...

@Fins's posts:

  1. @Beers I’m not sure why, but I find watching P-R on the trainer to be about 7 times more motivating than a Tour stage. And yes, that BRR post is amazing. »

  2. Enjoyed this. Definitely my favorite type of rider and the kind I want to be/think I am even if my body type is probably better suited for something else. 2011 P-R is probably my favorite race to watch over and over again. »

The world championship road race stands out among all other one-day races as the one where the winner is awarded both a curse and a jersey to carry for the next 12 months. It also inspires way too many riders to wear white bibs, which is an alarming trend in itself and one which I hope Brian Cookston, the new UCI President, prioritizes over the dop...

@Fins's posts:

  1. Every rider who clipped in yesterday had a job to do. Some were there with a chance to win, some to work for others, some to try to get in the break. Anybody who pulled out before they did their job for any reason other than injury sucks. I can’t say for … »

Everyone knows that the quality of one’s character is measured by the size gear they can push, particularly when going uphill. It is also a well-established fact that no self-respecting Flemish Pro would ever ride a Compact, no matter what condition their knees are in or how ferocious the gradient. Which, by extension, means that Compacts are...

@Fins's posts:

  1. One of my favorite riding activities is denigrating my compact-using friends, then attacking on downhills in my 53×11 (not that this every actually works, but it makes me feel better). It seems like like there are more compacts than standards in my area, … »

A friend recently asked my advice for how to prepare for the longest ride he’d ever done. My approach is somewhat unorthodox when it comes to this sort of thing; I like to train to ride a lot farther than the event itself, and whenever possible, throw in a handful of sessions with my old friend, The Man with the Hammer. I suggested he do the...

@Fins's posts:

  1. This past Sunday I was sitting at a gas station drinking a coke at 9:30 in the morning after 85 km of fairly hard riding. I could go East, and be home in about 40 km. Or I could go West to the next river crossing and do battle with the hills on the other … »