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Velominatus: ZachOlson

Order: Level 4 Velominatus

Location: Bemidji, MN

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I teach a little, fix some bikes, and pay back my student loans. Cycling keeps me from slitting my wrists.

@ZachOlson's activity:

I’ve taken exactly one economics course in my life. If the fog of time isn’t too thick, I recall two theories that account for value. These theories posit value as being either (A) intrinsic or (B) subjective. That is to say that commodities are valuable in and of themselves and that value can be established objectively by the market. O...

@ZachOlson's posts:

  1. @frank The problem with ping-pong: it’s hell on the balls. »

Some people are supremely good at it, reducing complex situations into matters of simple black and white. This isn’t my particular area of expertise; I enjoy wading through the pools of ambiguity a bit too much to go about bludgeoning this beautiful world into absolutes. In fact, I would venture that delighting in nuance is part of what dist...

@ZachOlson's posts:

  1. I live in a flat, flat part of the country. I once fucked over my front derailleur in a race that had a long gravel section.  Somehow in the middle of a shift I bent the cage and it refused to drop down into the small ring again, just before a steep 1km … »

Along the lines of what Bruce Dickinson famously decreed while espousing the medical benefits of cowbell in the remedy of rare types of influenza, I put my shoes on one at a time – just like you. But after I’ve got my shoes on, I ooze fluidly harmonic articulation.As Cyclists, we wield the mighty power of The V, yet lay victim to the na...

@ZachOlson's posts:

  1. Most of my group rides start at the same time work ends, so my pre-ride ritual is to frantically stuff food into my mouth while pulling on my cycling gear in precisely the wrong order, and finally sprinting out the door without remembering some critical i… »

Even as a Pre-Cambrian Velominatus, the rusty wires in my brain must have made the connection between my machine’s aesthetics and the lack of a saddle bag; I can’t remember a time when I rode with a European Posterior Man Satchel. But riding without a saddle bag means the tools go in the pocket, and that means great care must be take...

@ZachOlson's posts:

  1. @frank I bet that’s why the Park patch kit was so much lighter! It’s a damn conspiracy! »

  2. I found something out today at work.  Lezyne is a bunch of damn liars. »

Its hard to say precisely where the line lays, but I’m certain I’m well on the wrong side of it. I never notice lines as I pass over them but I can usually tell after I have because it feels suddenly liberating to leave reason, sensibility, and convention behind. I find them very restrictive – claustrophobic, almost. They force me...

@ZachOlson's posts:

  1. I once watched a cat 5 racer slam his Zipp 404′s into a curb that he failed to bunny-hop as he went to check his results (and see how many minutes he lost by).  The carbon crack pleased me. »

  2. @Buck Rogers I work at a bike shop and we’ve done tons of troubleshooting on this stuff for people.  Basically, email the manufacturer, or give him/her a call and ask about your particular wheel.  Some rims like cork pads, some don’t care, and some absol… »

  3. I’m a broke son of a bitch, so I only ride budget wheelsets, but I’ve got to say, Easton’s EA90 aluminum aero wheels give you a heck of a lot of bang for your buck.  I can’t remember the exact weight of my set but when I swap my training wheels for my Eas… »

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...

@ZachOlson's posts:

  1. God, you guys have great bikes. You wouldn’t even believe the shit-mobile I’m pedaling around. Actually it’s perfectly adequate, but these two-wheeled beauties make me feel like I’m riding something pulled from a trailer park dumpster. Bless you all … »

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...

@ZachOlson's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. CANCELLARA 2. Cavendish 3. Nibali 4. Gerrans 5. Sagan »

It’s right around this time of year when the little voice in my head that spurs me on in cold, wet, Rule #9 conditions starts getting overpowered by all my other personalities who at this stage are gathering stones and crowbars and getting ready to enforce their will on him regarding their preference for riding in nice, warm, sunny conditi...

@ZachOlson's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Valverde 2. Wiggins 3. Frank Schleck 4. Leipheimer 5. Igor Anton »

The Monte Paschi Strade Bianchi is happening this Saturday and it is such an interesting race we are putting it into the VSP.  The route is a mix of pavement and white marble sectors that roam through the hilly Tuscan country and finishes in the middle of beautiful Sienna. It seems early to me but that is because the Giro had an epic stage on the...

@ZachOlson's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Gilbert 2. Evans 3. Cancellara 4. Nibali 5. Sagan »

The 2012 Velominati Super Prestige kicks off in proper form this season with the debut of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad as part of the series. I’m tempted to stubbornly refer to this race as Het Volk, but I’ll toe the line and refer to the race by its bewildering new(ish) name.This is a tricky race to predict because the big races in April ar...

@ZachOlson's posts:

  1. Woop! VSP PICKS: 1. Tom Boonen 2. Edvald Boasson Hagen 3. Philippe Gilbert 4. Thomas Voeckler 5. Lars Boom »

Even as a Pre-Cambrian Velominatus, the rusty wires in my brain must have made the connection between my machine’s aesthetics and the lack of a saddle bag; I can’t remember a time when I rode with a European Posterior Man Satchel. But riding without a saddle bag means the tools go in the pocket, and that means great care must be take...

@ZachOlson's posts:

  1. @Marko, I didn’t do the race, but I’m planning on it for next year. Not sure if I’ll ski it or bike it, though. Depends on if I can afford a fat bike. Or I might just enter the bike division with my cross bike and run it the whole way. Some serious V. »

  2. @Marko I’ve been lurkin’. I’d love to do an MN Cogal. At the ARROWHEAD 135! Five and Dime, motherfuckers. »

  3. I just carry spare sunglasses, a comb, and hair gel so that I can look properly sleek at all times, in all conditions. Doesn’t matter if your tires are flat as long as your hair is…perfect. Dip! »

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...

@ZachOlson's posts:

  1. Best workout I ever got was hanging with a triathlete while he was down on his aero bars and I was working with a regular drop bar. »

The Tour de Suisse is the last warm-up race prior to the Tour, and the last chance to test your form. As far as Tour rivalries go, we typically see one rival choose the Dauphiné and one la Suisse; it’s unpleasant to ruffle your feathers too much with a pre-Tour head-to-head, you see.While the Dauphiné has the benefit of previewing some of t...

@ZachOlson's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Frank Schleck 2. Ryder Hesjedal 3. Levi Leipheimer 4. Sylvain Chavanel 5. Peter Sagan »

The Tour de France looms on the horizon, and those riders planning to race are putting the final touches on their form – or going into last-minute panic mode, final exam cram-style. The Critérium Dauphiné has long been a favorite preparation race serving both purposes rather well.It’s a favorite of the Tour’s GC contenders as it...

@ZachOlson's posts:

  1. I can’t seem to see anyone else’s picks, so I’ll have to abandon my previous method of waiting until the last moment to complete an in-depth statistical analysis regarding the picks of the other competitors, assigning each rider a numerical value based on… »

The fact that the Giro’s penultimate stage finishes atop the storied climb to Sestrieres is secondary to the fact that it goes over the Col de Finestre just previous to it. The Finestre is one of those fantastic climbs that seems to walk the line between “road” and “goat path” that all the best rides in the world seem...

@ZachOlson's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Contador 2. Nibali 3. Anton 4. Rodriguez 5. Rujano »

Tyler Hamilton’s win in La Doyenne in 2003 was one of the highlights in what was generally a fantastic season. A great Spring campaign, a great Giro, a great Tour, a great Fall; unpredictable races, and closely-fought battles littered the events. But, with the luxury of 20-20 hindsight and a quick cross-reference of results listings to dopin...

@ZachOlson's posts:

  1. @Pakrat The more research I do, the more I find that it is basically impossible to make any assumptions about physical capability based on a single climb with so many variables. We don’t know how much the bikes weighed, the strength of any tail or head w… »

  2. I went ahead and tried to find approximate weights for the riders listed when they did those climbs. This is what I came up with: Contador 62kg Riis 68kg Pantani57kg Leblanc 62 kg Armstrong 75 kg Ullrich 73 kg Soler 70 kg Indurain 80 kg I don’t know … »

There will be fireworks. It’s a phrase we often use, and one we rarely take literally. But this photo shows Mount Etna. Actually erupting. Recently. There is a non-zero chance that it will erupt tomorrow, when the Giro d’Italia riders over this brute twice.Tomorrow’s stage will be the first real battleground for this year’s...

@ZachOlson's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Contador 2. Scarponi 3. Nibali 4. Le Mevel 5. Sastre »

If you’ve ever sold bikes for a living, (or even just ridden them), you’ll know that the biggest fear of the newbie, or the moderately experienced cyclist is clipping in.  It can strike the Fear of Merckx into the brawniest of men and reduce them to a quivering mess, saying things like “I don’t want to fall over”, ...

@ZachOlson's posts:

  1. @Ron it’d be handy when you need to show some Cutter who the real Italian PRO is too…just slash a tire instead of jamming your frame pump in the spokes and losing it. »

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...

@ZachOlson's posts:

  1. @Collin Good luck! Have fun! Make them all suffer. »