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Velominatus: Optimiste

Order: Guest Contributor

Location: Typically the canyon roads of Utah

Social: Website

Dreaming of Rule #9 rides.

@Optimiste's activity:

Jens Voigt is set to retire as we speak, having one final crack at a long break in some race in the Cycling backwater of the USA. Is it fair or fitting that he should go out like this, slipping out the back door with little fanfare, while others have been doing a farewell tour of all the big races, replete with fancy commemorative shoes and a son...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. All well said.  It seems I rely heavily on the delusion of my own abilities and those of my heroes.  When the reality of either sets in, I sigh heavily in resignation – as now.  Then I plan my next big ride and watch a race filled with impossible feats fo… »

The future is dark, which is the best thing the future can be, I think.- Virginia WoolfOur actions lie on the horizon of the present, in that swirling cloud where fantasy turns into reality. To plan is to cast a shadow into the future, to attempt to lay shape to the unknown. As the present merges with the future, reality will try our plans on for s...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @Nate Wait…which one is the Dark Lord?  I’m guessing Frank is the one in the black helmet. Either way, this article is just the kind of Jedi mind trick which keeps me riding farther and further than any reasonable person would ever go. »

I have met @chris on the original Keepers Tour. He seemed like a reasonable person at the time. Then again, @rob passes himself off  as a rational person yet he signed up for the Too Much on 100 ride and completed it. People sign up for these crazy rides because it forces them to get in the best shape possible. It makes these long rides more enjoy...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. Gianni, What’s the source of the artwork?  That is gloriously horrific. »

  2. “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”  Story of my life.  Chris, that looks like a great ride and certainly a great cause.  I look forward to your post-ride report. »

July 13 2014 marked the 35th anniversary of the seminal ‘cycling film’ Breaking Away. 35 years. Nothing stays popular for that long, right? Things get dated, lose their edge (if there was edge in the first place) and eventually become irrelevant (I’m looking at you, Rolling Stones). Yes, even legends get stale if left out too lon...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @DavidI Spot on about the movie themes.  It was jr. high for me, when my last failed attempt at organized sports and the influence of “Breaking Away” and LeMan coincided. »

  2. That movie and this community encapsulate everything I love about cycling. @brett, the accompanying drawings are great.  I hadn’t seen those before. »

Brett’s fine Nick Cave article got me thinking about music and cycling. We spend lots of time alone on our bikes. The bike is on autopilot, it stays upright from second to second, freeing up our brains to consider anything or nothing. Music might be the only riding companion we have but it has to be the right music. Being as Pro as possible is...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @unversio Oh yes. »

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...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. Live webcast of Tour of Utah: tourtracker.tourofutah.com. Don’t know if there are any geo restrictions.  Stage 2 of 7 right now.  And of course, Jens is in the break! »

Brett’s fine Nick Cave article got me thinking about music and cycling. We spend lots of time alone on our bikes. The bike is on autopilot, it stays upright from second to second, freeing up our brains to consider anything or nothing. Music might be the only riding companion we have but it has to be the right music. Being as Pro as possible is...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @Mikael Liddy That was incredible. Just the nudge I needed today. »

  2. A-Merckx! I don’t feel connected to the bike/road/environs/myself if I have buds in the ears, so strategically loading the brain buffers to replay the right music during the ride is very useful.  For most rides I’m able to roll out from my doorstep, so I … »

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...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @plynie Liking the V decals. »

The Whale Shark is the biggest nonmammalian vertebrate* on the planet, rivaling the dinosaurs for size. How do you feed yourself when you’re that huge without loading up on carbs all the time? Easy, you swim around with your mouth wide open for 22 hours a day and hope enough food swims in there to take the edge off the hunger pangs. Cycl...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. Today was my First Ride Back since this article was posted.  I tried the Whale Shark technique, and while I think it helped, it seems today I was more akin to the Remora – the suckerfish which latches on to the shark for a free ride and protection.  »

No technology can increase the energy of the willpower of the rider, nor can it lessen the doubts which sometimes overwhelm him. - Bernard HinaultAs I swung off the main road, I was momentarily consumed by the simple thrill of my tires leaving the hard tarmac and hitting the rough gravel of the unpaved forest road. It was a brief distraction of the...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @Teocalli Exactly.  And we were happier in those days, because we had down tube shifters. »

Who learns of their cycling potential while in the military, serving in Africa? @wiscot is once again serving up some great cycling history in his post about  Joaquim “The Bull” Agostinho. As dangerous as cycling seems, surprisingly few professionals get killed racing or training. Agostinho was one of the unlucky few. He was a man for...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @gilly, thanks for bumping this back into view.  Not sure how I missed it the first time. @wiscot, history addict that I am, I always look forward to your contributions.  Well done – again. »

Rule #33- Legs are to be carefully shaved at all times.This is one of the Rules that really defines the term Cyclist to the Velominati. Discussions about Rule #33 flare up on the site occasionally, burn brightly then smolder out. Between faces and legs, it is a lot of man-scraping. Rule #33 is a task master. Compliance is one thing, defending i...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @Shaun Kelly I’ll fire a salvo: That pitfall is why we have Rule #16 and Rule #17. I don’t pretend to be a Pro, because I’m not.  I don’t pretend to Look Fantastic, because I do. »

I like definition, to place things in a box and tightly seal the lid. It makes me feel comfortable, like another of life’s little mysteries has been stored away for safe keeping. I also love ambiguity; it is the space wherein all interesting questions are asked; the unknown is life’s greatest beauty. You might say that makes me a hypo...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @Puffy For my tastes I agree, and nearly always stick with white socks.  However, in this instance, I think it works. The socks are Rule #28 compliant, but are pushing the limits of Rule #27. »

Rule #33- Legs are to be carefully shaved at all times.This is one of the Rules that really defines the term Cyclist to the Velominati. Discussions about Rule #33 flare up on the site occasionally, burn brightly then smolder out. Between faces and legs, it is a lot of man-scraping. Rule #33 is a task master. Compliance is one thing, defending i...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. Nice video on the aerodynamics of clean guns.  It’s always a plus when science coincides with faith.  But whether tradition, tribe, or aero benefit, it’s the right thing to do.  And knowing I’m right is all the proof I need. »

When it comes to Rule Compliance, we have at our disposal three viable options. The first is to Obey the Rules. That one is pretty straight-forward because we wrote them down for you and also went to the great length of writing a book on the subject, partly as a public service to those suffering from insomnia. But The Rules are full of apparent...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @therealpeel I think he’s one who transcends The Rules.  As in: “The second option is to be an ultra stud/studette who is so comprehensively badass that no one gives two shits about The Rules or anything else. . .” In fact, that’s a kid’s bike he borro… »

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...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. Crazy and fantastic.  I also loved how, in a post-race interview, Cancellara essentially stated the description for Rule #9 when asked how important confidence is for riding the cobbles, especially in the rain.  To paraphrase, he said it starts in the mor… »

Cyclocross could be the most perplexing of all the cycling disciplines. To me it’s  at once the most beautiful and the most unappealing. The beauty comes from the great European races, and of course by ‘European’ I mean ‘Belgian’. The lack of appeal stems from the fact that I just don’t want to do it. It looks...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. It seems I’ll be dipping my toe into the pool this season, likely followed by diving headlong into the deep end. »

Chamois leather used in cycling shorts looked like this only once, before the first washing. After that one had to slather cream onto it to attempt to restore it to its former soft smoothness, which was impossible. I have written a reverence article on chamois cream and I vowed then to never google “saddle sore images” again, hence a b...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @wiscot A-Merckx to that! »

  2. @Vince Great input, and welcome aboard. »

  3. @Bespoke Yes.  I’m often asked if I also do dry cleaning. »

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. @unversio I was about to suggest to Feisty Crabcakes his narrative would sound better in first-person. Then you reference this recent article, and my notion is affirmed.  Well done. »

Chamois leather used in cycling shorts looked like this only once, before the first washing. After that one had to slather cream onto it to attempt to restore it to its former soft smoothness, which was impossible. I have written a reverence article on chamois cream and I vowed then to never google “saddle sore images” again, hence a b...

@Optimiste's posts:

  1. @Rom No doubt. Modern chamois also make it infinitely easier to minimize the introduction of bacteria.  If at all possible, I wash my kit after each use – knowing it will be dry by morning.  When I can’t (as when riding to and from work in full kit), I … »