Velominati Community Profile Archive

Velominatus: Simon

Order: Level 2 Velominatus

Location: Taranaki, New Zealand

@Simon's activity:

Wednesday sees the return of the women to the VSP. More notably, we see the return of Marianne Vos to the road. She’s won this race five of the last seven years. It makes me wonder if the rest of the field have already resigned themselves to racing for second. On the other hand, Vos hasn’t been racing of late and may not be as sharp as...

@Simon's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Vos 2. Armitstead 3. Johannson 4. De Vries 5. Pooley »

Midweek in Belgium in Spring is a wonderful thing. Hordes of people come from seemingly nowhere to fill the bars and line the roadsides when presumably they’d usually be working, or at school, or some such. That the only ones who appear to be working are the bartenders and frites dispensers reinforces my belief that Belgium is the greatest co...

@Simon's posts:

  1. If my current VSP form’s anything to go by I’ve just torpedoed the hopes of most of the big favourites – should be an interesting race then… VSP PICKS: 1. Gilbert 2. Gerrans 3. Kwiatkowski 4. Nibali 5. Slagter »

The Amstel Gold Race, 251 km from Maastricht to Valkenburg, the hard way. There appears to be no flat sections longer than ten meters. There are thirty-four mean little climbs to ruin the legs. We have moved on from the real Spring Classics. There is no rest in this VSP; The Ronde and Roubaix were amazing but we must continue. Legs that are smoked...

@Simon's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Betancur 2. Iglinsky 3. Cunego 4. Slagter 5. Chavanel »

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...

@Simon's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Vanmarcke 2. Phinney 3. Cancellara 4. Boonen 5. Wiggins »

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...

@Simon's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Armitstead 2. Johansson 3. Bronzini 4. Cromwell 5. Stevens »

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...

@Simon's posts:

  1. Right, shit or bust…good luck everyone… »

  2. Right, shit or bust…good luck everyone… VSP PICKS: 1. Stybar 2. Haussler 3. Demare 4. Boonen 5. Devolder »

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...

@Simon's posts:

  1. If it was anyone else, I’d ask for extra points for predicting Farrar was going to stuff it into the tarmac.  As it is… »

  2. Farrar seems to be going well.  Reckon by picking him he’ll be certain to have at least one crash tomorrow – maybe two.  Past form, and all that… VSP PICKS: 1. Vanmarcke 2. Boonen 3. Degenkolb 4. EBH 5. Farrar »

  3. VSP PICKS: 1. Edvald Boasson Hagen 2. Boonen 3. Degenkolb 4. Cavendish 5. modolo »

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&#...

@Simon's posts:

  1. Beautiful. Even the mudguards, »

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...

@Simon's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Degenkolb 2. Sagan 3. Gilbert 4. Cav 5. Haussler »

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...

@Simon's posts:

  1. @Mark1 Beauty, thanks Mark.  Guessing the Welsh roads are pretty similar to NZ ones – full of potholes, wet, covered in shit and sheep…if they’re OK there… »

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...

@Simon's posts:

  1. Ten weeks away from my year’s objective, this week and the next two calling for a big step-up in training volume. Already glassy-eyed and zombified, and it’s only Tuesday… »

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...

@Simon's posts:

  1. @Mark1 Are those the yeoleo rims?  I’m in the market for that type of rim – be good to hear what they’re like with a few rides under your belt. »

  2. They kind of do, because the Excellight and the Excellence have both got the little brass valve counterweight, which is what I’ve always thought of as the golden ticket. But yes, seconds on the tubs not being too awful to deal with – preglued spare or old… »

Omloop het Nieuwsblad is fast approaching on March 1st, Strade Bianche goes off the next weekend; finally, ladies and gentlemen, we have a season. For me the racing season really has to start in cold, wet Europe. I like the Tour Down Under just fine, I watch it, but it’s too early, too sunny and too hot to signify the start of the racing season...

@Simon's posts:

  1. Merckx let this be the year that Tommeke and Faboo fight it out to a punch-drunk standstill.  Was never a huge fan of Frandy, but still less a fan of watching someone’s life disappear down the gurgler of depression and pain, so I really hope Schleck the y… »

Last year we read that Philippe Gilbert is riding a 50cm (top tube of 535mm) BMC frame and he is 1.79m (5’10”) tall. Now it’s reported in Cyclingnews that Ritchie Porte’s Pinarello is a 46.5cm frame (top tube of 515mm) and Porte is 1.72m (5’8”) tall. He is no Nairo Quintana but somehow he is on Quintana’s old bike. Porte is just one i...

@Simon's posts:

  1. @frank Thanks Frank – I’ve been pondering it anew because I’ve lost a bit of weight since them days.   And I’m now on a 10cm stem, so I’m not exactly a gorilla…might be time to hit up the purchasing committee. »

  2. Hmm, interesting.  I’m 6’0 and I ride a Giant TCR with a 57 top tube.  I used to have the size down – a 55, from memory, and I hated it.  I tried all sorts of dangly stem lengths, constantly felt cramped up, had back pain, and felt like I was always three… »

Brittany is the kind of area that produces strong-minded and strong-bodied people; I’m looking at you, Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault. It produces this type of person because that’s what windy farming land does to people. Brittany is also lumped full of short, steep hills, and we all know what that means: its a perfect place for...

@Simon's posts:

  1. Fuck it, I’ll roll the dice. VSP PICKS: 1. Borghini 2. Vos 3. Van Dijk 4. Johansson 5. De Vries »

Saddle bags have no place on a road bike, and are only acceptable on mountain bikes in extreme cases.Saddle bags: how do we define them? Is it a saddle bag if it attaches to the seat post and the saddle, if it has a zipper, if it is leather, has two natty straps with buckles, if it swings below the saddle like bumper bollocks? Continue reading...

@Simon's posts:

  1. via the forgotten highway, I should say.  Gianni, that bag is as ugly as sin, although I’m not really convinced of the whole anti-epms thing in places where jackets and warmers go on and off all day.  Not to underestimate the importance of looking great a… »

  2. @piwakawaka I’m up for something like that. Stratford road club’s Taumaranui to Stratford for the forgotten highway is on Sunday 13th October, if you like that sort of thing.  Just about the best road in the world, so you should… »

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...

@Simon's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. valverde 2. rodrigues 3. nibali 4. martin 5. uran »

This is possibly the most offensive piece of gear I have encountered on a bike. Do you really need a little orange wand to tell you what gear you’re in? There is only one gear to be in: the hardest one at which you can still make the pedals go around in something resembling a circle.These goofy little things were found on the bike I rented la...

@Simon's posts:

  1. @V-olcano I’ve always thought I somehow wound up with a set made on a Friday afternoon… »

  2. @V-olcano I’ve just gone from Ultegra 6700 and its “lovely” hidden cables back to DA 7800.  I also have 6500 9 speed on my #2.  Whatever else Shimano did when they hid the gear cables they also made a royal balls of it at the same time.  Got sick and tir… »