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Velominatus: Jay

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I am a 55 year old hospital pharmacist living in Mohrsville, PA. I have been a cycling enthusiast since 1973 with some periods of relative inactivity that coincided with a career and raising a family. I have increased my cycling activities over the last year or so, and have really taken off this year becoming more fit than I have been in the last 20 years. It was time for me to harden up. I also have a fascination with all things related to cycling, especially pro road racing. Fabian Cancellara is the rider I find most intriguing, but all of those guys are good. I am no where near as fast as I was when I was in my 20's, but I am happy with where I am right now. I plan on getting faster...

@Jay'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...

@Jay's posts:

  1. I think that the biggest surprise was Wiggin’s placing.  Hats off to him! Totally messed up my picks: 2 out of 5 and in the wrong order…  Oh well, the race was interesting, nevertheless. »

  2. I may regret some of these picks later… VSP PICKS: 1. Cancellara 2. Boonen 3. Vanmarcke 4. Van Avermaet 5. Phinney »

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...

@Jay's posts:

  1. Maximum points for sure… »

  2. VSP PICKS: 1. Stevens 2. Johansson 3. Armitstead 4. Van Vleuten 5. Hall »

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...

@Jay's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Cancellara 2. Boonen 3. Sep Vanmarcke 4. Terpstra 5. Van Avermaet »

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...

@Jay's posts:

  1. This is even more of a crap shoot… VSP PICKS: 1. Longo Borghini 2. Vos 3. Stevens 4. Johansson 5. Armitstead »

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...

@Jay's posts:

  1. With any luck I will earn some points… »

  2. With any luck I will earn some points… VSP PICKS: 1. Cancellara 2. Boonen 3. Kristoff 4. Sagan 5. Farrar »

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...

@Jay's posts:

  1. Time to take another stab at herding cats… VSP PICKS: 1. Cancellara 2. Sagan 3. Cavendish 4. Boonen 5. Greipel »

Lucky is the cyclist who has a parent cyclist. Early mentoring about the pain cave, guidance gluing on tires, these are worthwhile lessons a parent could lecture a child on. If one has to listen to a parental lecture, better it be about Eddy Merckx and how you are no Eddy Merckx than balancing your checking account. For the rest of us, our parents...

@Jay's posts:

  1. Wedge packs, not saddle bags – no violation there… »

I read recently that a number of Pros like to ride the turbo for an hour or so before having breakfast in the morning to jump start the old metabolic system. Which means that now I ride the trainer for an hour in the morning before breakfast. I think the Pros probably do it to lose weight, and I do it partly for that reason but also to burn off th...

@Jay's posts:

  1. @frank Touché… »

  2. Where does “It is dark and unsafe to ride outside when I do have free time at this time of year” fit in to your lists? »

I walk away from social gatherings with an acute sense of accomplishment whenever I haven’t offended anyone and when my friends all stayed awake. I view myself as a bottle of wine that keeps getting better with age, but I’m slowly coming to grips with the notion that I am actually a bottle that may be corked. The great irony of life is...

@Jay's posts:

  1. I ride alone 90% of the time.  The rest of the time I ride with other people on bicycles, some of whom are true cyclists.  I prefer the 90% time.  I am alone with my thoughts.  I determine how hard or how easily I will push myself.  I like to test my limi… »

Oh brothers and sisters, we find ourselves here again. It was but a few moments ago when the Milan-Sanremo VSP went up. Racers fought the sleet, producing an unforgettable start to the Velominati VSP season. Cancellara, Nibali, Froome and, and Horner were all big points winners for our astute and well informed audience. But now it has come to Paris...

@Jay's posts:

  1. I probably could have asked a random stranger to make five picks and have as good a chance as I will with these.  Oh well, here goes nothing… VSP PICKS: 1. Degenkolb 2. Haussler 3. Farrrar 4. Van Avermaet 5. Feillu »

My trouble isn’t with being a good descender; it is with cornering and stopping – and sometimes both. Or, as G’rilla puts it, “Descending is like sex; how good I am at it has nothing to do with how much I enjoy it.”Descending is demanding and requires great skill. It is not a time for resting or taking it easy; getting...

@Jay's posts:

  1. On long descents I always find my arms tiring.  It’s hard work keeping things upright once you have spun out you largest gear.  The end result is that at least my legs get some recovery time. »

Il Lombardia, this is the race of the fallen leaves. This fall classic is a beautiful race in a beautiful region of Italy. The arduous route may change year to year but what does not change is the Italian need to win this thing. There is some national pride at stake here after the Italian men finished off the podium in Firenze. Bergamo to Lecco, 24...

@Jay's posts:

  1. No rhyme or reason, just more herding cats… VSP PICKS: 1. Nibali 2. Gilbert 3. Valverde 4. Quintana 5. Costa »

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...

@Jay's posts:

  1. “Herding cats” yet again… VSP PICKS: 1. Cancellara 2. Nibali 3. Horner 4. Van Garderen 5. Sagan »

Where: Montecatini Terme to Firenze, ItalyWhen: September 28 Continue reading...

@Jay's posts:

  1. This is no more difficult than herding cats… VSP PICKS: 1. Abbott 2. Vos 3. Bronzini 4. Longo Borghini 5. Stevens »

Seriously. Is it almost September? This was not the agreement, this was supposed to be an endless summer. And all you A-Holes down there in the Antipodes are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, enjoying longer days and shorter nights. I don’t need to tell you where you can take that, but it’s dark and it smells. I have no patien...

@Jay's posts:

  1. After careful consideration and analysis of each contender’s season to date… I threw a bunch of names in a hat and picked out five.  Scientific analysis at its best. VSP PICKS: 1. Valverde 2. Rodriguez 3. Nibali 4. Dan Martin 5. Kreuzinger »

I am a road cyclist, at heart. Even when I’m in a car, I’ll daydream about riding the same road I’m driving. I’ll imagine how the tarmac might feel as my wheels carry me across it, the wind, the smells in the air. I’ll imagine how my lungs are expanding and contracting, cleansing me a little with every exhale. In my mi...

@Jay's posts:

  1. The road in the photo looks to be worthy of “road reverence”.  One can only imagin where it leads.  I can appreciate less traveled roads, but I still have many paved roads with little or no traffic to explore in my area.  Perhaps exploring the unpaved roa… »

Once again the metal grate is rolling up in front of the VSP lotto window. It’s bettin’ time. The Route de France is an eight day women’s stage race consisting of a prologue and seven road stages. The route stays away from any serious mountains so daily victories could go to sprinters or those willing to drive a breakaway. To make...

@Jay's posts:

  1. WTF… This race isn’t even on Cyclingnews.com’s radar. VSP PICKS: 1. Evelyn Stevens 2. Emma Johansson 3. Giorgia Bronzini 4. Elizabeth Armistead 5. Emily Collins »

There is a sense of weightlessness that accompanies speed; a strange feeling for any Earthbound creature who temporarily breaks Gravity’s relentless grip – an intoxicating blend of liberty and a sense impeding doom. The day I learned to ride a bike, I felt this sensation spread through me like a virus; immediately my eyes cast to the di...

@Jay's posts:

  1. In the words of H.G. Wells: “Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I have hope for the human race.” If the Vuelta follows form, 2013 could be one of the best years in many for all three grand tours. »

There are many paths to learning lessons, many of which have their merits. Reading a book, for instance, is a popular way of learning something. Or having a teacher or mentor describe to you why things are the way they are or aren’t the way they aren’t. Then there is my favorite method, that of kicking your own head in and discovering t...

@Jay's posts:

  1. I would like to see both Jens and Spatacus have a crack at it.  How about this?  Get both of them to do it on a tandem… »

The early eighties saw the tide change in the European Peloton. Components were taking on a new, curvy shape as they left their boxy forms behind. The glint of toe clips in the sun would become a rarer sight as the move towards clipless pedals would take hold in 1985. English speakers were winning the big races classically won by continental Pros.T...

@Jay's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Alberto Contador 2. Alejandro Valverde 3. Chris Froome 4. TJ Van Garderen 5. Bauke Mollema »

The mighty VSP generator has been switched on once again. The mil-spec hydraulic fluid has been changed since the Giro. A new power take-off belt has also been installed. And the punch card reader has been refurbished.Broome and Berti are already riding the Critérium du Dauphiné. The top contenders prefer the Dauphiné for the decent recovery all...

@Jay's posts:

  1. Hopefully my good luck from last year’s TDS will be repeated.  Its really a crapshoot though… VSP PICKS: 1. Van Garderen 2. Hesjedal 3. Dan Martin 4. Mollema 5. Peter Velits »