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Velominatus: blackpooltower

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Location: London UK

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Very keen newbie London cyclist. Bit over-obsessed with Richmond Park lap times.

@blackpooltower's activity:

You can only spend so much time with the Schlecks before you start talking like them, and the fabulous Fabs seems to have crossed the threshold. I’ve heard more complaining from him this season than I have talk about pushing harder on the pedals or going steady up with more speed or going full gas like everyone else, but just doing it for ...

@blackpooltower's posts:

  1. @Geraint agreed on all counts. »

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...

@blackpooltower's posts:

  1. Remarkable moment when he gave himself a wedgie around the 120-lap mark. »

Stupidity is a powerful force never to be underestimated. Geese are a good example; a more stupid vertebrate one would be most challenged to come across yet should you wander into a flock of them pecking about peacefully in a field, one is likely to erupt from its grazing to grab a billful of your ass and commence beating you savagely with it...

@blackpooltower's posts:

  1. @sthilzy Blimey. Terrifying! »

  2. “Don’t escalate” makes total sense. I’ve tried the sweary, aggressive method and it has done no good. If, instead, you catch up with a bad driver at the next lights and say something like “Can you give a bit more room please, mate? That was scary back … »

Brett’s recent post about Jensie brings up the dilemma of professional cycling for me. I admire many of cycling’s famous riders yet I don’t admire cheaters. Luckily for me I can fervently embrace opposable ideas within my consciousness and sleep well at night. Which also means I would have been one of those cheaters. I also see the tangle...

@blackpooltower's posts:

  1. A Clean Break by Christophe Bassons is well worth a read if heroic non-doping is your thing. It’s not exactly an exhilarating read, because he wins absolutely *nothing*, but his stubbornness is rather inspiring. »

The modern day Pro cyclist has many disadvantages stacked against them by comparison to their forefathers. They have to ride plastic bikes with little or no distinguishing character or discernible caché; they must willingly or perhaps unwittingly subject their body to an array of questionable “training techniques”; and they have to sp...

@blackpooltower's posts:

  1. The sheer *perch* on Bugno’s cap there … astonishing. »

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...

@blackpooltower's posts:

  1. Geeky, I know, but to alleviate the boredom of a long steady ride and to keep myself within the bounds of Rule #71 (rather than get all over-excited, acquire Top Gun style lock-on on a fellow rider and race to my feeble max hr) … I sometimes listen to B… »

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...

@blackpooltower's posts:

  1. Just realised I spoiled my first ever TT by wearing my number 13 right side up. Oops. Also contributing to my feeble performance: no warm-up due to extended session wrangling some new Race Dots. A warning: these are not, repeat NOT handy new accessories w… »

  2. Yesterday on the Dragon Ride in Wales, I came across a bloke with “Velominati Rule #5″ printed on his charity team Etape du Tour jersey. Anyone like to take a wild guess what was dangling from his saddle rails? In the spirit of Rule #3 I pointed out his … »

I thought I was the only one.  It was a truth I admitted to myself only in the darkest hours of the night, when you lie awake and are faced by those haunting thoughts that are otherwise whisked away before they float to the surface.But now, I can say it: I am afraid of crashing. Especially of equipment failure.  I never climb aboard my bike wit...

@blackpooltower's posts:

  1. Great post on crashing from Paul Kimmage here: http://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/cycling/stakes-are-high-with-skin-in-the-game-and-your-skin-on-the-road-30282663.html Particularly where he claims all pros have a fear of touching wheels and goi… »

Anecdotal research suggests that people are being let off-leash without adequate training to perform basic activities such as walking on sidewalks or through airports and busy city centers. I’m assuming this expands to shopping malls, but I never go there so I can’t be sure. It’s easy to blame the mobile phones which apparentl...

@blackpooltower's posts:

  1. @ChrisO @Mike_P Ah, that’s my lot in fact (London Dynamo). I like to think we’re generally fairly charming and thoughtful, as it goes. Not your experience, I take it? I’d disagree about our kit, however. I think it looks like the Thomson Local phone direc… »

La Vie Velominatus. It is the life we, as Velominati, lead. It is life as a disciple of cycling, of the greater meaning the bike holds and the lessons it teaches us. Along the path, one of our great duties is the wholesale consumption of the great Works related to our sport. From periodicals to books to films, herin lies the list of works conside...

@blackpooltower's posts:

  1. @ChrisO (belatedly) you are absolutely right on these, Chris. Both books would justify inclusion either on grounds of wit or insight. Pleasingly, both feature both. »

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...

@blackpooltower's posts:

  1. Do we, or should we, have a rule about stupid neck scarves or *shudder* snoods? Quite a few people in my club spoil their smart kit with patterned … patterned I tells ye … scarves in the winter. Anybody think paisley print is appropriate in a cyclist… »

Jump to: Scoring Guidelines • Prizes • Schedule • ResultsThe Velominati Super Prestige is a season-long competition wherein readers will be submitting their predictions for the top five finishers of each qualifying race.  In order to qualify, your picks via the VSP Picks form above the posts section of the VSP Event article pertaining to the...

@blackpooltower's posts:

  1. @Ron Agreed, ‘not black’ is a plus these days. Also, is it me or are a few to many teams ‘mixing things up a bit with asymmetric sleeves’? I no like. »

  2. Is this the right place to observe that Carlos Betancur looks awful on a bike? Not just the brown shorts, neither. Bouncing, nodding … winning, yes, but Looking Un-Fantastic. »

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...

@blackpooltower's posts:

  1. @ChrissyOne Genius put-down. I am going to remember that one and use it in meetings. »

I’m compliant with Rule #74: no Garmin, no cyclometer, just an uncluttered cockpit. I’m not anti-data, if I could generate some awesome data I’d like to know about it. If I was racing I would train with data. I just got bored with looking at the numbers and not doing anything about them. When my Cateye cyclometer/heart rate monit...

@blackpooltower's posts:

  1. “Okay, guys! Can you just put your heels together for me? You’re not looking camp enough yet… That’s perfect”. »

Yvon Chounard may not be Homer but he is a worthy modern day wise man, he admonished, don’t be a sports nazi. His meaning was, don’t do one sport to the exclusion of all others. It’s tempting not to pursue other sports when cycling demands so much time and leaves one with a body that is barely useful for anything else, but that w...

@blackpooltower's posts:

  1. Well said. Plenty in common between these sports, as I think has been noted before. I’m sure I posted a pic of Hillary and Tenzing Looking Fantastic not so long ago but I can’t find the bugger now. When I was a teenager, my climbing friends and I used to… »

There is nothing going on right now, oh right, except the Tour of Poland. Can we talk?I don’t think it’s just Frank and myself who are obsessed with the Hour Record. It is Hard Man cycling distilled into its purest form, the ultimate race of truth. During the first week of Tour de France madness Fabian Cancellara made it official he wa...

@blackpooltower's posts:

  1. Please tell me you’ve all read The Hour by Michael Hutchinson? Fascinating and very funny history of the event, with his own – hardly-a-spoiler alert – failed attempt thrown in for good measure. Superb book. »

June 20th, 2013, to paraphrase FDR; a date that shall live in infamy. The Queen is in deep seclusion. Today is Scepter’s official release date for The Rules. Yes, despite people already sneaking it out of England’s bookstores, today really is the day. And as part of the EU, hopefully the book is available across the Commoneweatlth. Edd...

@blackpooltower's posts:

  1. @strathlubnaig … or compound, perhaps? Probably grips v.well. »

This week’s Guest Article comes from our friend, @blacktoolpower (l) and our editor Drummond Moir (r). In anticipation of our book’s imminent release, these two donned their lab coats and headed out to the streets of London to assess the state of Rule Compliance in the city’s commuter crowd. Always remember: leave this kind of ins...

@blackpooltower's posts:

  1. @frank Bit of both … »

  2. @strathlubnaig Haha! Love it. I’ll ask Mrs Blackpooltower about that (a Weegie). Drummond did most of the talking, I did most of the sock measuring. Best bit of all was the security guard at Liverpool St station who we thought was going to give us a hard … »

  3. @strathlubnaig Drummond is pure jock by the way. He just works in London. And I’m still laughing from Frank’s innuendous mis-spelling of my handle. Laughing like this: “grrrrrrrrr” »

Every once in a while, you stumble across a quote that changes your outlook on how you approach life. Of course, this requires that one does a good deal of “reading”, which is a problem for me, as reading anything that isn’t Cycling-related feels the same as doing “work”. I do the odd bit of it nevertheless, and in a r...

@blackpooltower's posts:

  1. @mikebikes Love it. Or perhaps mounted behind saddle? Oh, hang on … »

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...

@blackpooltower's posts:

  1. @scaler911 Agreed. And “because it’s there” could easily have been said about the motivation to conquer Ventoux etc. »