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Velominatus: Pistolfromwarragul

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@Pistolfromwarragul's activity:

Truth be told, how many of us can resist a photo of ourselves Looking Fantastic on the bike? How many of us can resist the temptation of taking our eyes off the road and stealing a glimpse of ourselves in a shop window as we pass by? Not me, but then again a strong case could be made for my being a narcissist and I freely admit that I love looking...

@Pistolfromwarragul's posts:

  1. This is my favourite of the year. A friend of mine, Kane Walker at the Tour of Borneo. It was just a blood nose caused by the heat, but he drove on the front for his team with blood streaming everywhere. That’s laying down the V! »

Does a bike have a soul? I can’t make that argument, I don’t think I do either, actually. But we do invest a lot of emotion, pride and dare I say love in our bikes. We form emotional bonds to inanimate objects all the time. My favorite old dead car had to sit in the driveway for another year falling further into rusty disrepair before...

@Pistolfromwarragul's posts:

  1. Does a bike have soul? Of course it does. It is a lot easier to identify it in a steel bike but it also exists in carbon bikes, so long as it is lugged and has straight tubes. A bike’s soul resides within its top tube. How else can you explain why bikes w… »

The Olympic track racing fires off tomorrow and it’s time to remember an event discarded to the bin of noble sports.The Olympic roster of events is constantly evolving and devolving which is why we are now watching synchronized diving as an Olympic sport. What a world, what a world. Maybe it’s a sign of me getting too old but it makes m...

@Pistolfromwarragul's posts:

  1. Can anyone explain why cycling had to drop the pursuit and the Kilo to get BMX and Mtn Bike in while there are 34 versions of swimming. What is the point of backstroke, breast-stroke, butterfly other than to give the people who aren’t very good at freesty… »

I thought I’d take this opportunity to move en danseuse on Rule #89 and to refer to Liege-Bastogne-Liege by its less-common Flemish name. It also draws into sharp relief that fact that while Dutch may be every bit as expressive and subtle as French, it certainly sounds less sexy.Some races seem to foster a romanticism that other races of e...

@Pistolfromwarragul's posts:

  1. Comment »

  2. VSP PICKS: 1. Gilbert 2. Vanendert (J) 3. Rodriguez 4. Gasparotto 5. Gerrans »

I just had to use this pic of Tom Simpson in 1965 wearing the Peugeot kit as the title pic for this year’s VSP for La Fleche Wallonne. Rigid hooked himself up on the Keepers Tour with the same kit he purchased at the Flanders Cycling Museum and it’s Grade A nipple lube. Although victory eluded Simpson in this Classic he still looked dam...

@Pistolfromwarragul's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Vanendert 2. Schleck (F) 3. Gilbert 4. Rodriguez 5. Valverde »

We rode the Pavé of Roubaix in the dry, and any comforting feelings we might have been carrying about with us that suggested we had somehow prepared for them were summarily vaporized as we hit the first secteur. Riding together in a group, unable to reach for the brakes or the shifters, we all were hit with the same realization: these aren’...

@Pistolfromwarragul's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Steegmans 2. Boonen 3. Hushovd 4. Boasson Hagen 5. Cooke »

The Keepers and Rigid rolled into a region in France called Flandres which, without doing any further research into the matter, we assume is the coloquial French term for this region of the world. If its anything like the other regions in Europe, these places have roots that extend way past any modern country’s border and situate themselves i...

@Pistolfromwarragul's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Cancellara 2. Sagan 3. Boonen 4. Freire 5. Gilbert »

Gent conjures up images of the quintessential Flemish city. Age-old medieval architecture rising from the river’s edge is classically Belgian. Gent is also firmly tied to Belgium’s greatest gift to the world, cycling tradition. Many a pro-expat cyclist has relocated to Gent with the hope of testing their mettle in the seat of cycling...

@Pistolfromwarragul's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Hushovd 2. Boom 3. Boasson Hagen 4. Cooke 5. Vansommeren »

The Poggio. It’s probably one of the most famous easy climbs in the world; going through old cycling photographs, I rarely come across one where the leaders haven’t moved Sur La Plaque. It has a reputation, however, for being a real leg breaker, mostly because any climb is a big climb once you cross its summit after a paltry 291 kilomet...

@Pistolfromwarragul's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Renshaw 2. Cancellara 3. Sagan 4. Haussler 5. Goss »

It is with an especially acute understanding of pushing oneself to ones limits, having just completed my second assault on Haleakala, with which I select this Guest Article, a first contribution from community member Scaler911. Especially acute in this case meaning that reading this account reminds me that I have no idea how to suffer on a climb...

@Pistolfromwarragul's posts:

  1. That time trial, where Roche effectively won the Tour, was the first stage of the Tour that I ever saw and, to this day remains in my mind as the most outstanding individual effort I have seen. If Landis hadn’t have lied about cheating and had have been p… »

The very first time I ever pulled a tire and tube off of a rim it made an impression on me and it still does. I’m not sure I expected to find anything other than the tube between the rim and tire but there it was, some sort of tape. The French words, “Fond de Jante” and latin “Velox”, written in blue, lightly stamped u...

@Pistolfromwarragul's posts:

  1. There are some products that you don’t even think about when it comes to a purchase. Velox rim tape heads the list, closely followed by Michellin tyre levers. »

I appreciate my helmet. I treat it with respect. I never leave for a ride without it. I replace it after a crash or even after helplessly watching it bound down the stairwell like some kind of deformed styrofoam slinky-dink after allowing it to slip from my grasp. (This activity also typically involves some assertions questioning what it does in it...

@Pistolfromwarragul's posts:

  1. I had a hairnet helmet back in the day when I wanted to look like Danny Clark. I crashed wearing it once and my head split open, staining the inside with blood. It was a white one with coloured “sausages” and the staining was graphic. I used to show it to… »

Every mechanic has encountered a tyre/rim combination that has just been a real pain in the ass to work with. Remembering back to my early days in the shop, struggling to wrangle a particularly stubborn wire bead tyre off a wheel, my lack of experience and no doubt ham-fisted approach saw me snapping the ends off all of the plastic levers in the...

@Pistolfromwarragul's posts:

  1. Yeah, you pretty much cant go wrong with anything that has “Mavic” printed on it (except that crazy electronic shifter arrangement from a few years ago). My choice of tyre levers though, those yellow Michellens. Don’t waste time with anything else. Same g… »

There are those who are challenged to find the value of aesthetics in a sport which requires eating 11T cogs buttered with chain oil for breakfast and drinking kegs of Rule #5 at dinner. Ye of the Congoscenti, I present you with the following photos of some of the quintessential hardmen of our sport who rode during an era when merely climbing aboa...

@Pistolfromwarragul's posts:

  1. And I’ll guarantee that none of these hardman aesthetes ever rode a bike with a sloping top tube or upward sloping head stem. Nor would they wear one of those stupid bandanas that try-hard wannabes have as standard kit these days. »

In honor of the first Australian to win KBK it seems appropriate to give a Chapeau to our mates down under.  Congrats to perhaps the greatest up and coming cycling nation on earth and to Chris Sutton for a show of strength in what was a free-for-all to the finish in Kuurne today.Lest our mates get too cocky though, have a look at the egregious att...

@Pistolfromwarragul's posts:

  1. Phil Anderson, my all time sporting hero who stands head and shoulders above the others, Cadel, Stuie and Neil Stephens included! A Hardman! At the time I had to own a pair of these Factory Pilots just because Phil did. They were terrible! The foam pad wo… »

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m too fat to climb and therefore admire those who aren’t, or if it has something to do with the masochistic nature of sprinting to the top of every hill during a three-week race, but the competition for the best climber in the Tour de France has long captured my imagination.The ugliest of all...

@Pistolfromwarragul's posts:

  1. Whilst I respect the traditions of the sport, the polka dot jersey is one tradition that I would not miss. The only things uglier are the dresses that the podium chicks have to wear when presenting the jersey! »

I miss downtube shifters.  I miss them in the same way I miss the days before the widespread use of race radios, when races were less choreographed and more unpredictable.  Racing on downtube shifters, a rider had to be seated and take one hand off the bars to shift.  Shifting had to be planned into race tactics.  These days, we can enter a hai...

@Pistolfromwarragul's posts:

  1. Totally agree on the C Record Groupset. I recently restored a Reynolds 853 and ran it with the Delta brakes for a while. They look superb and work OK, only thing is the lack of adjustment. Have to disagree on Shimano of the era even being mentioned in the… »

A new decade is here. Not the one that started Jan 1st, but the one marked by my new bike. By habit, this bike will occupy the #1 spot for 10 years, give or take, until another bike happens. That’s the way of bikes– the best ones simply happen. I don’t go shopping, or even buying. I just suddenly have a new bike. (Except that they...

@Pistolfromwarragul's posts:

  1. Yes, agree about the stem. The only thing uglier than a sloping top tube is a flat top tube with a sloping stem! »