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Velominatus: dgran

Order: Level 4 Velominatus

Location: Charlottesville, VA


Been riding for 20 years and have experienced the range from friction shifters and toe clips to Di2 on my current rig. I've done this enough to know how to break the rules.

@dgran's activity:

I can can feel his cold breath on my back, like a shadow drifting through an alleyway. He’s not yet upon me, but the Man with the Hammer is lurking nearby. I’m not even sure he has the intention to strike; he’s just staying close, cruelly reminding me that my fate is in his hands.I feel the heaviness in my legs from the first turn...

@dgran's posts:

  1. That was exquisite and I think my heart rate went up 10 beats reading it.  If the inspiration comes, write another from the lead perspective.  On days when I’m in command of the hammer it is great.  Hearing the increased staccato of breath from behind, th… »

I read recently that a number of Pros like to ride the turbo for an hour or so before having breakfast in the morning to jump start the old metabolic system. Which means that now I ride the trainer for an hour in the morning before breakfast. I think the Pros probably do it to lose weight, and I do it partly for that reason but also to burn off th...

@dgran's posts:

  1. On the matter of pre-breakfast trainer rides, I recall reading that Der Kaiser (Jan Ullrich) would ride 30 minutes on the trainer before every outdoor ride.  Has anyone also heard this rumor?  It motivated me to try to do this, but I found in the summer i… »

  2. The revolution is definitely a good trainer, but I have too much reverence for my ear drums and others in my family (who often sleep while I use the trainer) to use this option.  It is by far the loudest trainer made, but I understand it has remarkable ro… »

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...

@dgran's posts:

  1. I train with power when I ride in the basement during the winter, but outdoors I use no computer on the bars and just use an iPhone app.  I find that I’m more present minded for not having a visible bike computer.  Also, I used to have a Shimano flight de… »

Everyone knows that the quality of one’s character is measured by the size gear they can push, particularly when going uphill. It is also a well-established fact that no self-respecting Flemish Pro would ever ride a Compact, no matter what condition their knees are in or how ferocious the gradient. Which, by extension, means that Compacts are...

@dgran's posts:

  1. I’m something of an evangelist for the compact crank, so I’ll take the opposing view here.  If you live in a hilly area, such as in the foothills of the blue ridge mountains in the United States, most people are better served by compact gearing — looks b… »

A friend recently asked my advice for how to prepare for the longest ride he’d ever done. My approach is somewhat unorthodox when it comes to this sort of thing; I like to train to ride a lot farther than the event itself, and whenever possible, throw in a handful of sessions with my old friend, The Man with the Hammer. I suggested he do the...

@dgran's posts:

  1. The description of the extra, yet unseen, companion is a great way of describing it.  I’ve done some death marches home — some planned, others not so much — and there is an eerie feeling about it.  Maybe it is the thought that some asshat ate your last … »

How can we not talk about the Tour? After Sunday’s stage it’s hard not to be a little excited. Until yesterday the most thrilling thing I had seen was Mark Cavendish’s mad man chase back to the peloton after a late-in-the-race crash. He needed to get back quickly as the race was hurtling toward a sprint finish he was supposed to w...

@dgran's posts:

  1. They are all converging on a common appearance and decals have become larger and louder over the years.  I often wonder, given the UCI weight restriction, if Titanium will make a resurgence in the pro teams.  A round tube Ti bike would really stand out am… »

With the writing of our first book supposedly well underway (but in reality being discussed ad-nauseum in the Boardroom rather than actually committed to text), The Rules have at least been getting some form of attention from The Keepers. When deciding which Rules each of us were to curate, no-one really had much idea what exactly was in there; ask...

@dgran's posts:

  1. The rule needs an exception for hot-as-hell climates and long rides, but the rule could be further tightened by stating that under no circumstances should bottle sizes be mixed.  Go for large/large or small/small, but a pox on you for doing large/small ev… »

It is October, the last VSP of the season is up, there is still some race in China no one cares about. The road racing season is over. It is time for a little Velominati reflection. We tried to put in as many women’s races into the VSP as we could. They get little press, finding a start list is tough, picking the top five even tougher. But th...

@dgran's posts:

  1. I think men and women set up different mental expectations for group riding.  My wife and are both bike nuts (we met on a bike ride over a decade ago) and she holds her own on the A ride and all around is an experienced and sharp rider.  Even with all her… »

Joop Zoetemelk was a hard man, a tough nut to crack. He specialized in getting second place, a talent he developed under the doctrine of Eddy Merckx and mastered via the harsh tutelage of Bernard Hinault. It’s very seductive to lean back in our armchairs and draw the conclusion that our sport’s Eternal Seconds, as they’re called,...

@dgran's posts:

  1. @ChrisO I could re-read this all day long, it is so spot-on insightful.  You made my day. »

What is the best pro team kit ever? I’m talking team kit only, not a leader’s jersey, national team jersey or the national champion jersey. Not the worst either, for those are legion and worthy of a much longer article than this. @wiscot and I exchanged emails about Urs Freuler and the fantastic Atala kit which led to quick discussion o...

@dgran's posts:

  1. Great kits in my opinion: — Credit Agricole for its clean colors.  It stood out without being garish. — 7-eleven for similar reasons, but for the life of me and I can’t understand why they sponsored a team when they didn’t have international stores. … »

As children, none of us were given an allowance. Instead, we were taught from a young age that if we wanted to buy something, we had to earn the money in order to do so. To facilitate the model, and possibly to avoid child-labor law infringement, we were paid to do chores around the house in exchange for a cash payment directly proportional but not...

@dgran's posts:

  1. Reminds me of when I saved enough to order a yellow cycling jersey (it *had* to be yellow) from Bike Nashbar.  Back then you had to mail a letter with a check and wait for what felt like half the summer for the item to ship.  I had already ridden on the d… »