Velominati Community Profile Archive

Velominatus: Optimiste

Order: Level 1 Velominatus

Location: Typically the canyon roads of Utah

Social: Website

Dreaming of Rule #9 rides.

@Optimiste's activity:

I had always imagined that de Ronde van Vlaanderen must be hardest race in the world. The way I worked it out – having never ridden the course of either event at the time – was that de Ronde had the same cobbles as Roubaix, but with 20% grades thrown in. It makes enough sense so long as you don’t know what you’re talking abo...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. “To ride the cobbles is to dance with paradox. . .” This is the sirens call. Even though I live for #9 days. Even though I revel in long climbs and fast descents. Even though everyone who has experienced cobbles say nothing can truly prepare you for them… »

One of greatest cycling pleasures is riding with a mate. Riding ten centimeters off each other’s rear wheel for hours; trust is a beautiful thing. You swing over, ease your effort slightly so your mate rides through, you then tuck behind, in the draft, close and fast. It is the best. @Kah touches on this and other transcendent benefits from...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. Great insights.  This trust you speak of is what gets me out the door at 5am to commute the 58kms with my teammate, in the dark, along winding bike paths and construction filled roads.  Just this morning, in a moment of awareness, it occurred to me just h… »

Gravity is the most unavoidable force on Earth, with the possible exception of Stupidity. And like with Stupidity, you can take measures to reduce its influence on you, but you won’t get rid of it completely, assuming you’re staying on this planet. From the very moment we’re born, Gravity takes its unrelenting hold on us –...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @wilburrox This is why Rule #55 seemed self-evident the first time I read it.  Challenge  – Reward. »

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...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @Teocalli That is an awesome story.  And while yours does have the added advantage of being true, it does remind me of one my grandma used to tell about two hobos on top of a train. As they approach a tunnel, one yells “duck!” The other replies “duck no… »

  2. @unversio Or you could go all-in and see if this gets you points with the locals: »

Evolution doesn’t really seem to be part of the picture anymore, at least not where humans and our direct reports are concerned. We control an astounding number of genetic defects in ourselves, our pets, and agriculture while Science and Technology give Natural Selection swirlies in the locker room.Take exercise-induced asthma, which is a con...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @frank @DerHoggz If I could interject, it was my understanding there wasn’t going to be any math involved. “. . . all this is based on feel. . . . In other words, I’m not distracted by the facts.” »

  2. @DerHoggz The Wankel …a great engine design indeed.  I was going to add the animated gif here, but it made me nauseous. »

  3. @ChrissyOne A motor?  On a bike?  A “motorbike” if you will?  Now you’re just talking nonsense.  It’ll never catch on.  But this…this has potential, and would definitely eliminate the dead spots in your pedal stroke. »

  4. @ChrissyOne ++1 Enter Powercam cranks: I remember seeing these things advertised in cycling mags in the early 80s.  When one crankarm was at 6 o’clock, the other was advanced to 1 o’clock.   Basically, an over-engineered way to avoid developing a s… »

This winter Shimano showed up on Maui with a flotilla of Colnago C-59s set up with disc brakes. The lucky Shimano people tested the bikes on some of the nicest routes on the island, including some descending down the Haleakala volcano. Unbelievably they didn’t invite me along (!?). If they had I would have suggested a different place to ride, one...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @Ccos Yes. The Principle of Silence is an absolute must to even begin to consider adopting discs.  So to with no drag and being compact. »

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...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @simonsaunders It looks like a toddler helmet to me.  He might as well be wearing this: »

  2. VSP PICKS: 1. Cancellara 2. Sagan 3. Degenkolb 4. Greipel 5. Gilbert »

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...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @minion Except the gent in the pic is not the lord of the manner, rather the inimitable Sherlock Holmes.  I can’t really account for the cane, other than Holmes does whatever he damn well pleases, because he’s awesome, and he looks fantastic while doin… »

  2. @blackpooltower I believe this falls under the purview of Rule #18: “Know what to wear. Don’t suffer kit confusion.”  Therefore, I’d say a scarf (paisley or otherwise) is only in order when accompanied by tweed. »

For many Americans, their first ten speed bike was a Schwinn. It was heavy. Everything about it was heavy. It was the bike that was going to survive outside the bomb shelter. No one put a better crankset on a Schwinn. When we moved on that old bike languished in the garage and it was not coming back out. Not so for @Teocalli, for starters he didn&#...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. Teocalli, Fantasic story and great restoration.  Clearly the gravitational pull of the Velominati are tremendous.  There are so many parallels to my own experience with hand-me-downs and and my first “real” road bike, I’m still smiling.  Well done. »

I came strongly into the Fall, stronger than in other years thanks to a late-season objective to do well at my first Heck of the North gravel classic in Minnesota. I was light and I had built good power and endurance by riding the steep gravel roads that pepper the North Cascades and suffering through brutal interval sessions on the windswept stre...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @Fozzy Osbourne No.  Still crazy.  Yet somehow I think you can do more with 1 gear than many of us can do with the inordinate range of gears at our disposal.  (But keep the eardbay on the ownlowday.  There are somethings we don’t speak of, but if we mus… »

  2. @Rob +1!  Rules #5, #9, and #10 are the Trifecta of Awesomeness.  @Fozzy Osbourne You sound a little crazy.  Welcome to the asylum. »

  3. Frank, Yet again your writing has prompted considerable reflection.  As cyclists, we are differential creatures. Always comparing. And always preparing. If we did not suffer enough in the past, we suffer now.  “I should have ridden more during the winte… »

Wind is an asshole. I have no patience left for it. It has all of it been used up, gone, finished. It is the only force that I’m aware of (with the possible exception of gravity) that is more stubborn and less willing to listen to reason than I myself am. It blows me around on my bike, it embezzles speed from my Magnificent Stroke. No matter...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @Optimiste Note to self: Reconsider commuting with teammate nicknamed “Soul Crusher”. AM ride into the wind: Max heart rate for my age – 175.  Actual max heart rate – 179. PM ride with tailwind: Had to use top gear (53×12) to keep up while drafting.  … »

  2. Quite timely for sure.  50km commute this morning into a fierce headwind.  But it was blowing from the South, so temps were mild.  This was the first day of the new year I felt overdressed.  With a tailwind home, I don’t even mind the prediction of rain. … »

@wiscot is at it again. He is the Velominati historian and I’m always pleased when more of his writing arrives at the bunker. Luckily for all of us, cycling has a long history, most of which we are unaware of. This was not taught at school. Any article that includes the words Spartacus and Hour Record in the first paragraph already has my att...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @wiscot The lead picture is most appropriate.  As you said, “it is purely man against course and clock.” In the Puma photo, it also looks like he’s using aero shifters and bidon, tucked neatly behind the downtube.  I think it’s fascinating to see the t… »

  2. Fantastic.  These history lessons from @Wiscot are always enlightening.  Keep ‘em coming.  Just a cursory search on Gisiger revealed some great images, including this one from »

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...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @VeloSix You’re right in that it’s not about being social with your opponent. But consider the nuance. The idea is to feign interest and control the conversation, not monopolize it. That way, as Frank suggested, with a few well paced questions they are lu… »

  2. This is my kind of riding and racing. As Fausto Coppi was reported to have said: “Age and treachery will overcome youth and skill.” »

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...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @Roger Barr They’re about as stylish as an American sedan. »