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Velominatus: The Oracle

Order: Level 2 Velominatus

Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

36 years old, long-time mountain biker whose lack of proximity to any decent trails has "forced" me to take up road cycling in the past 3 years. Even before I found this site, "la vie velominatus" had called out to me , and imagine my delight at finding a place that gives expression to my as-yet-unvoiced thoughts!

@The Oracle's activity:

It’s no coincidence that Stage Five of the Tour was not only the best one to watch, or that it helped decide the race before nary a hill was crested, but that it was just, well, Stage Five. Only last minute copyright clearances prevented the organisers actually dubbing it Stage V, though they managed to get the rain delivered on time, an ess...

@The Oracle's posts:

  1. I’ve still got Stage V on my DVR, and I’m pretty sure I will never delete it.  It was easily the most dramatic stage I’ve witnessed live since I started regularly watching cycling. »

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...

@The Oracle's posts:

  1. @frank I think the remainder of the sentence is governed by the attributive properties of the introductory clause, “As Merckx says…” Yours, The Pedagogic Grammarian. »

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...

@The Oracle's posts:

  1. @VeloSix Indeed, the cycling version of the Alcubierre Drive. »

  2. @The Oracle Google translate give me “requin baleine” for the French, and “squalo balena” for Italian.  I think the French version sounds better. »

  3. How would you say “whale shark” in French?  Italian?  If it is going to be a cycling term, we should really have the translation into cycling specific languages. Plus, it will sound cooler.  (e.g., “Sur la plaque” versus “on the dinner plate.”) »

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...

@The Oracle's posts:

  1. My wife occassionally rolls her eyes and calls me a dork when she notices at all.  She commented the other day about how I probably shave more often than her. Which I took as more of a comment on her personal grooming habits than my own. »

I’m not even talking about all the pseudo-asthmatics out there, vaping their way to better breathing. My breathing is just fine. It’s my little citron sized heart that is slowing me down. Is there a street-legal injection or vacuum pump for heart enlargement, or a trip to a doctor in the Congo that would transplant a badass Mandrill heart for m...

@The Oracle's posts:

  1. @wiscot I had penned a gently satiric post about how I’m guilty of several of the infractions singled out in these rants, but the system ate my comments. So, here’s the tl/dr version: don’t be such grumpy gusses, and maybe turn down the judgement-o-met… »

Given the fact that everyone over-tightens their pedals to the crank arms, one needs a long lever to get too much torque. Rule #94 decrees using the correct tool and using it correctly. While the proper tool has always been available, it is up to us to evolve, to understand the difference between right and wrong, between vice-grip and open-ended w...

@The Oracle's posts:

  1. Other tools that fall in the same category as the pedal wrench (i.e., otherwise useless tool whose existence is owed to specifics of bicycle mechanisms) are the chain whip and lock ring tool.  You can get the lock ring off without them, but fuck if you wo… »

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...

@The Oracle's posts:

  1. @wiscot I did a quick 30km last night.  I started southbound, so I was in the wind  (and gradually uphill) for the first part of the ride before turning east and eventually north again.  I was about six minutes behind my target pace on the southbound leg,… »

  2. @wiscot X-actly.  Speaking of tough conditions, are you riding in the 23 mph wind this afternoon?  Sounds a tad brutal, until you realize that it’s also 60 degrees and sunny! »

The grade is long and I am climbing away. I’m not going to Pantani this: I am not out of the saddle, not in the drops and not leaving everyone in my wake. The climbing gear was engaged a long time ago. There is progress, but I am not dancing up this climb. A little more cadence would really help here. If I could just get this mother-lover spinnin...

@The Oracle's posts:

  1. The notion of electronic shifters giving little foul-mouthed Rule V pep-talks while grinding up a climb is fucking brilliant.  Make it so. »

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...

@The Oracle's posts:

  1. @TBONE Pfft.  A pillow and a blankie?  What a wuss. »

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 –...

@The Oracle's posts:

  1. @UnfilteredDregs Give the newb a prize! »

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...

@The Oracle's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Tommeke 2. Van Avermaet 3. Degenkolb 4. Billions and Billions 5. Sparty »

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...

@The Oracle's posts:

  1. Evolutionary transcendence is obviously the answer. »

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...

@The Oracle's posts:

  1. @ChrissyOne I’m not sure if I’m more envious of the bike or the green grass… »

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...

@The Oracle's posts:

  1. I “grew out” of my asthma as a kid, but then like an idiot I hit the cancer sticks for a few years during college, and now I’m stuck with occassional symptoms during cold weather of when I get sick.  Advair works for keeping it under control for me.  For … »

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...

@The Oracle's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Spartacus 2. Billions and Billions 3. Kwiatkowski 4. Stannard 5. Van Avermaet »

  2. And by the way, holy SHIT is that some nice swag! »

  3. Gawd, this is a tough one, given the start list and the parcours.  I’m going all-in with the notion that the sprinters get left behind somewhere. Boonen said that if the Pompeiana climb was cut from the race that he would be going for the win.  That, alon… »

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...

@The Oracle's posts:

  1. @Ron +1 for truth.  I couldn’t help but marvel at enormous heap of clothing I had to strip off after my ride this weekend.  All I can think about is how much faster I am without all of that crap (and how much better I feel in the summer, when 75% of my … »

We recently lost our beloved Great Dane, Kirki, who we nicknamed Beene for reasons that elude logic. She was a good dog, more sweet than clever. A sad side effect of big dog breeds and their short lives is that it wasn’t until nearly the end of her life that she made certain key discoveries about the world. Such as that weighing nearly 65 kil...

@The Oracle's posts:

  1. @Harminator That picture is oddly disturbing in a way that I can’t fully explain. Anyway, @Keepers, I’m looking forward to purchasing the sacred tome for the benefit of our household.  I knew I laid off procuring the UK version for a reason (it certain… »

I wasn’t anywhere near old enough to hold a driver’s license but my dad had already bought me a motorcycle. It was a late seventies BMW R100 RS, dark blue. I loved that bike; I polished it fortnightly even though it never left the garage. I spent hours sitting on it, twisting the throttle and squeezing the clutch, diving in and out of t...

@The Oracle's posts:

  1. Speed, in terms of “how fast I’m going,” is a fickle thing, and not necessarily related to how I feel on the bike.  Sometimes I’ll get home after a ride that felt “fast,” and see that it’s one of my more pedestrian efforts on a given route.  Other times I… »

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...

@The Oracle's posts:

  1. @RedRanger Great.  Now you’ve surely doomed us to freezing temps through the end of May.  I did a ride on June 2 last year where the high temperature was 45 degrees with rain and wind. »

  2. @RedRanger One would think that another WI cogal should be in the offing.  @wiscot, I’m looking in your general direction … »