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Velominatus: gettingthere

Order: Level 4 Velominatus

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland


This is what it says on LinkedIn: Creative. Business. Maven. Change architect. Single businesses to superclusters. Red lantern cyclist. And that pretty much covers it [apart from the filmmaking]. I've dipped in and out of riding since I was a kid. But never seriously, never la Vie. My first serious bike as a teenager had a wonderful custom built frame by the old Claud Butler company, handbuilt for someone who never came to collect it, and Lord, how I wish I had it now. I discovered cycling after a hip replacement a few years back: the same day I got back on a bike, I discovered across the Velominati, and everything changed. Then I discovered the 'Archer' in Sturmey Archer is a branch of my wife's family. She's totally unimpressed, preferring the [only partly debatable] link to the poet Wordsworth. I'm learning. I ride two Aziones - wonderful bikes from a local company in the North East of England. I'm not quick [I'm not even slow], but I tend to ride alone and I like riding in bad weather, so I'll claim I'm a double bad-ass. I follow as many of the rules as I can remember, and each month brings a new one on. As my username says, I'm getting there...

@gettingthere's activity:

July 13 2014 marked the 35th anniversary of the seminal ‘cycling film’ Breaking Away. 35 years. Nothing stays popular for that long, right? Things get dated, lose their edge (if there was edge in the first place) and eventually become irrelevant (I’m looking at you, Rolling Stones). Yes, even legends get stale if left out too lon...

@gettingthere's posts:

  1. Believe it or not I saw the film more than twenty  times – on the big screen. Back then in the UK, before the advent of multiscreens, cinemas had to have a member of staff in every screening (health and safety). I got the gig for Breaking Away. And every … »

Maybe it’s the milestone of aging that I recently reached. It could be an awareness of the unique foibles of this sport/activity/pastime that I practice. Possibly, I just woke up one day and realised that this is a weird thing for a middle-aged man to be doing. The time for reassessment hit me, involuntarily and without warning. And I’m...

@gettingthere's posts:

  1. Everything this article says echoes for me but for different reasons. I came to cycling later in life, after a hip replacement in my early fifties, and after half a life [optimism bias I think there maybe] of other sports and dipping in and out of riding…. »

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...

@gettingthere's posts:

  1. @G’rilla Being 95kg on a good day, I’m in no need of external invective. I can do it all myself. Many a walker has been surprised by Rule Five exhortations as I pass by only slightly faster than they’re going. And when I can no longer swear,  my head d… »

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...

@gettingthere's posts:

  1. @meursault Me too.  And them too, as in just not getting it. And I kinda think of it this way: people often say that real beauty lies in the little imperfections, the deviation from the standard, even if you can’t actually put your finger on them. Well … »

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...

@gettingthere's posts:

  1. I chatted with a scientist who worked in Anartica. He said that despite that, the coldest he’d ever felt was on a beach in the NE of England with the wind ripping inshore having originated on Siberian tundra, and just for laughs picking up a wealth of fre… »

Every time we get on our bikes, we are playing a game of Russian Roulette. We take care to maintain our machines, to make sure they are in perfect running order, we look after our bodies to maximise our performance, and we, hopefully, abide by the rules of the road to keep ourselves safe from the dangers of other road users. But ultimately, our liv...

@gettingthere's posts:

  1. Last summer. Road wide enough easily for a car and a bike. But I ended in the ditch. The dirver’s first response (at least she stopped) was ‘I’m sorry I didn’t see you’. Which was kind of obvious. But even this sad apology was rather tarnished by her next… »

ChrisO is back with another installment of Suffering in the Desert. Enjoy. VLVV, Gianni Continue reading...

@gettingthere's posts:

  1. I’m doubly humbled. The cycling and the eating. In no world could I even imagine achieving either. OK, maybe the food. Chapeau. »

One of the finest things about Velominati is it attracts the crazy bastards. Cyclists are slightly unhinged anyway but there are more than a few out there who have no fear. Crazy is not constrained by nationality. Crazy knows no borders. Sure the Randonneurs would do this just to make sure they were happy with their choice of headlamp strap but @ba...

@gettingthere's posts:

  1. Can you give a double Chapeau? Chapeaux? Isn’t this longer than the longest TdF stage?! »

Flies and dogs, two things that we don’t need on a climb.I had descended down this street many times, but I had never before ridden up it. I even said hello to the two excited pitbulls on the other side of the driveway gate. I like dogs. I like them until one of them squeezes under the gate and I’m going uphill slowly. Pitbulls arenR...

@gettingthere's posts:

  1. Flies, wasps, dogs – nothing! You should try pheasants. Especially baby pheasants. Do you know when they hit you, they can kind of… explode? »