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Velominatus: McTyke

Order: Level 4 Velominatus

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@McTyke's activity:

Yes, I know, I have a major thing for Boonen. But come on, wouldn’t you? Look at those guns. Look at that position on the bike. He even makes that ugly Specialized helmet look good. He even makes that ugly Specialized Roubaix look good, come to think of it. And those White Ladies? Kill me now.Picking the V-Moment of the year is always a tough...

@McTyke's posts:

  1. @strathlubnaig As a Yorkshireman living in Scotland, I never bring up 1966 and don’t know any Englishmen who do either. In my experience it’s the Scots who like to perpetuate the myth that we keep going on about it, as it gives them something to complai… »

As referenced in the 2012 V-Moment of the year article and ensuing discussion, it was a most Vawesome year for cycling. It’s been hypothesized here and on cycling sites with more integrity that the fantastic racing of 2012 may be, at least in part, attributed to a cleaner peloton. Unless you watched the Tour de France you’d think the da...

@McTyke's posts:

  1. Excellent article Marko, LA deserves a good kicking on his way down. It has been said that sport’s greatest problems come when people take it too seriously. The LA story surely proves that to be correct. In contrast to LA, Mark Cavendish has been quoted… »

The task spreads out before me like molasses poured onto a tabletop, indulging in its viscous immensity. Its growing breadth makes it a kind of enigma, the sort distinguished by an elusive end and therefor an intangible beginning. It occurs to me, at this moment, that the difference between those who achieve and those who stagnate is not measu...

@McTyke's posts:

  1. Nice article Frank, but I don’t think some of the comments about clothing are sensible. On long (several hours) winter rides it’s VERY important to keep warm. Your body uses a lot of energy just to maintain core temperature in these conditions (I speak fr… »

The first Velominati Scottish Cogal is in the books. Organized and supported by Clan Engine, it looked to be a beautiful Scottish day on the bikes. V-kits and casually deliberate in Callander, this Cogal thing is catching on. VLVV, Gianni Continue reading...

@McTyke's posts:

  1.   Great idea! Cairn o’ Mount is my ‘local’ climb and is awesome from the south. The youth hostel in Aberdeen could be a good base for those travelling from afar.   »

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...

@McTyke's posts:

  1. First thing I do when I buy a new chain is to degrease it thoroughly. Solvents such as paraffin or kerosine are most effective. If you don’t do this, the heavy machine oil that’s on all those moving surfaces attracts dust and grit and forms a very good ab… »

  2. Those of you who are worried about taking a header over the bars if you ‘grab too much front brake’ need to realise that you’ve got to BRACE YOURSELF with your arms and sit well back on the saddle when braking hard. If your arms aren’t strong enough to re… »

The saddle has got to be the most important piece of equipment for the cyclist when it comes to comfort and performance. If your ass is rubbing the wrong way, causing chafing and sores, or all circulation is cut off rendering you unable to locate vital organs for nature breaks, then it’s fair to say you don’t have the right saddle. And...

@McTyke's posts:

  1. I’ve been searching for my ideal saddle for a few years now after an uncomfortable experience with a Spesh Alias (despite getting measured with the memory foam). I really liked the look of the Aliante but just couldn’t bring myself to shell out over £150 … »

There are few pleasures in life as great as to achieve a goal, to accomplish something that doesn’t come easily. Great lessons are taught through this activity; we learn that it is our determination and not our doubt that defines our limits. We learn that through studied discipline we can cultivate the skills required to work incrementally to...

@McTyke's posts:

  1. Very interesting discussion about cleat position. I like to cycle long distances, generally between 100-160 km over varied terrain, and have never found fatigue in the calf muscles to be a limiting factor, despite positioning the ball of my foot above the… »

  2. @frank I’m not so sure about this. If you move the cleat back too far, won’t you lose the ‘ankling’ effect and the extra power that can be supplied by the lower leg? Doesn’t a fluid stroke need the ankles to flex during pedalling? How can you ‘dance’ o… »

  3. @Chris Hell, even I can hit 50kpm on the flat for a few seconds without drafting anything and I’m just an enthusiastic recreational cyclist! That Cavendish video shows the Manx Missile turning about 18 full pedal revolutions in 10 seconds as he passes … »

Even as a Pre-Cambrian Velominatus, the rusty wires in my brain must have made the connection between my machine’s aesthetics and the lack of a saddle bag; I can’t remember a time when I rode with a European Posterior Man Satchel. But riding without a saddle bag means the tools go in the pocket, and that means great care must be take...

@McTyke's posts:

  1. Is it acceptable to keep one’s tool kit in one of those storage containers that fit in a bottle cage? I’m trying to do without the EPMS but I have one jersey with a single rear pocket, and it simply won’t accommodate my tools, emergency rations and rain … »

  2. @frank Good point Frank. I was obviously suffering from altitude sickness or something that day, to submit my bike to such an indignity! »

  3. @Oli I’m with Oli on this one. Carrying a powerlink is surely useless if you don’t have a chain breaker tool to remove the pins at the point of breakage to create two open ends. My multitool has a chain breaker I’ve never used, although it did come to … »

Yesterday, Seattle was dark for 15 hours 34 minutes and 37 seconds. Let us not count how much it was light– it is of no use to us. I rode to work in the black, and in the black I rode home.The darkness is good to me. It shields my filthy chain from those who would judge it. It casts anonymity over the creaking of my bottom bracket. It erases...

@McTyke's posts:

  1. Just like to add my congratulations to Mark Cavendish who won BBC’s SPOTY 2011 with almost 50% of the vote. Only the third cyclist to have done so, after Tom Simpson and Chris Hoy. Cav has matured from boy-racer into a true champion. Although his victory… »

  2. We can beat that here in Aberdeen with 17 hours and 20 minutes of darkness today. No wonder some medics are arguing in favour of dosing the entire Scottish population with vitamin D (like fluoride in the drinking water)! Don’t you just hate it when some … »

In 1993, before the UCI put a stranglehold on the means by which riders sought to go faster, innovation flowed through the peloton. Training methods evolved rapidly (apparently in tandem with the potency of the drugs available at the time) and bicycle design was in a period of exciting change spurred on by Greg LeMond’s win in the 1989 Tour...

@McTyke's posts:

  1. @wiscot I think that’s a chain tensioner, not a derailleur »

Paul Sherwen is generally seen as Phil Liggett’s counter-point, dutifully keeping the iconic duo’s race commentary on course, helping to convey to the English-speaking world the sport of Professional Cycling. Liggett, of course, has undeniably helped shape this great sport  for Anglophones across the globe, having been the English voic...

@McTyke's posts:

  1. @frank As we all know, Paul’s co-commentator is Phil Liggett. Two T’s. I spotted Mr Liggett recently at the annual sportive ride in the Peak District which bears his name (the Phil Liggett CTC Challenge). He completed the ‘short’ route (100km) in just … »

As Le Tour approaches rapidly, memories of Tours past come to the fore, and riders who may have gone unnoticed for the remainder of the racing season are once again lauded for their performances on the biggest stage there is. We know them as the Evanescent Riders.In 1993, one such rider was the Colombian climber Álvaro Mejía. ’93 was also...

@McTyke's posts:

  1. @Markp Why is there an enormous set of cricket stumps on the cover of that John Tesh album? »

The mind’s influence over the athlete is considerable; particularly in a sport as difficult as cycling. A strong mind can push its body well past its limitations and into the realm of the supernatural; forcing the legs to continue giving more despite each of the million muscle fibers screaming in unified agony. You could say the rider is pri...

@McTyke's posts:

  1. Very interesting! There is one gear combination (52×19) on my winter bike which, when selected, gives me the feeling that I have gained a slight boost in leg power. I don’t know why this should be – perhaps something to do with the chainline being perf… »

Keepers: We understand you’re fairly new to cycling. How does a physio with little background in cycling end up getting hooked up with one of the greatest teams on the Pro Tour?Toby Watson: “Little background” is being pretty generous there. I was a blank slate as far as cycling experience was concerned! It was a case of being...

@McTyke's posts:

  1. The girl in the red bikini top appears to be wearing a collection of yellow Livestrong bands on her wrist. Why did I not notice this before? What does it mean? Re. the gradient discussion. I lament the replacement of all the traditional (fractional) grad… »

Our products represent the spirit of Velominati; every product we offer is made with the utmost attention to detail – no compromises were made in their selection or design. Whenever possible, our products are made my small, locally-owned businesses who share our passion for quality and we make every effort to ensure they are made in an enviro...

@McTyke's posts:

  1. I cannot stand the suspense… V-Kit hasn’t arrived yet here in Scotland. Hope it hasn’t been intercepted by some over-zealous customs officer with a nose for unusual scents. »

Rule #31 was conceived out of necessity, aesthetics and plain good taste.  Seeing an oversized saddle bag hanging limply by velcro under a Flite, Arione or Regal just isn’t right.  Frame pumps, while they undoubtedly do the finest job of inflating a tube, add nothing but bulk and clutter to the lines of a frame (and aren’t compatibl...

@McTyke's posts:

  1. @frank I’m not sure that’s a good idea, Frank. Don’t you get a sweaty back if you have a folded jacket under there? »

Don’t be distracted by the sweatband or the lame Bolle sunglasses; this man is a stud.  He came from a different time, a time when suffering was a more visceral experience than it is these days. It permeated everything a professional rider did.  The bike were heavier, the equipment less efficient, the travel to races more grueling, accomm...

@McTyke's posts:

  1. @nvvelominati The glasses with the arms entering the frame towards the bottom may have been invented by Dennis Taylor (1985 World Snooker Champion)… »

We met by chance, or so it seems. I suppose there really is no such thing as “chance”. I was ready for it, and it was there. I wasn’t really looking but, you see, it had been a while since I’d been happy.  I’d even strayed about some, trying a bit of this and a bit of that, but nothing really filled the void I felt w...

@McTyke's posts:

  1. Good stuff, Frank. I also clean the chain, wash it well with water, dry and re-lube after every ride. Here in Northern Scotland, it’s not uncommon to find rock salt/grit on some roads even at this time of year, left over from the winter, and if the chain … »

Laurent Fignon passed away today at the age of 50, after suffering from cancer for several years. Fignon was an amazing rider, and a true all-rounder. He won year-round, in stage races, time trials, and one-day classics. His victories include wins in the Giro as well as the Tour, and classics like La Fleche and San Remo. He also recently publish...

@McTyke's posts:

  1. I also recently read Fignon’s book “We were young and carefree”, and am shocked and saddened at this news. Thanks for a great article and fantastic photos. »