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Velominatus: mblume

Order: Level 4 Velominatus

Original American MTBer converted roadie in last 10 years from living in Switzerland. Vow to uphold the Rules. Love the witty banter in the comments sections.

@mblume's activity:

Evelyn Stevens was working on Wall Street four years ago and is now the best American women cyclist. How is that possible? Her parents must be enjoying dinner with pulses of 40 bpm and sky high VO2 maxes. Are they both professional marathon runners? Is that how they met? Maybe they have never attempted aerobic sports. If Evelyn has siblings and the...

@mblume's posts:

  1. Nature vs Nurture is an interesting question when analyzing cycling performance. One would look at Taylor Phinney and one is apt to quickly conclude the scales are dramatically tilted towards Mother Nature. From personal experience, for the first few ye… »

The recent headlines being made in the cycling world have honestly not garnered a whole lot of attention at V-HQ, at least where a certain COTHO is concerned. Yes, The Keepers have added to the usual discussions on the topic here, read the news, and given it some thought. But we really don’t feel the need to take any sort of official position...

@mblume's posts:

  1. The picture at the top of this article is so casually deliberate- it looks like he could quickly dispatch anybody who did try challenge the Z Vetements equipe. I feel like I owe Greg a personal apology, as he was the guy who originally sparked my interes… »

Those things in life that are worth having are those things which are difficult to come by; perseverance is made more rewarding by the volume of messages ignored by the mind as we work towards a goal.Fatigue comes in many forms and is normally framed in negative connotations; weariness, exhaustion – both things to avoid. For a Cyclist, it can...

@mblume's posts:

  1. “That sensation of power combined with the heavy fatigue I carried with me distinguishes itself as one that comes only during my longest rides on those days when my form is good enough that the effort hasn’t cracked me entirely.” I find this to be dead o… »

There are few pleasures in life as great as to achieve a goal, to accomplish something that doesn’t come easily. Great lessons are taught through this activity; we learn that it is our determination and not our doubt that defines our limits. We learn that through studied discipline we can cultivate the skills required to work incrementally to...

@mblume's posts:

  1. For me, I like it when you have been suffering with the dudes next to you for three hours and then someone drops the hammer on a climb and there is still another hour to go and you know that you have to kill yourself NOW or you might as well go home. To m… »

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...

@mblume's posts:

  1. Gianni was 100% accurate with appropriate use of epic for that stage. I remember watching live and feeling giddy that this was one of the best stages in any Grand Tour, I had ever witnessed. Cuddles was a monster that day, but so was Vino. »

FDJ guy: Is that the new fizik Kurve in Bull?Fast Phil: Oui. Continue reading...

@mblume's posts:

  1. I think FDJ guy is UCI spy, trying to see if some obtuse angle seat stay angle is off by 1 billionth of a degree and whether Phil should be disqualified and BMC has to quit manufacturing bicycles for eternity (Good to be back on this site after a long pe… »

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who own a properly-fitting, lightweight gilet and those who don’t. Those who own one know this is an indispensable piece of kit.The gilet is typically one of the last items that enters into a Cyclist’s wardrobe, long after arm warmers, knee warmers, and long sleeve jerseys have found...

@mblume's posts:

  1. This thread is what I love about this “fuckwits” site. Article starts simple enough on a piece of gear but evolves into climate conditions around the globe/ proper heating of the body during exercise / Pro peloton faschion shots / faceless modelling of V-… »

I’m often told I romanticize Cycling’s past, that the days gone by weren’t quite as rosy as I make them out to be. There is some truth to this, certainly, but the assertion isn’t entirely accurate in the sense that I romanticize everything about Cycling.Because events are seasoned by our thoughts and individual experience...

@mblume's posts:

  1. When I watch a race with Gilbert in it, and know there are hills into the finish, I really anticipate the time when he will go with a group early or wait like a snake in the grass ready to strike. I think he is a tactical marvel. I thoroughly enjoyed wat… »

  2. In a mountain race (Alpenbrevet) a few years back I recall getting rained on for the last 40 minutes of a 25km climb over Grimsel Pass. At the summit and for the first 3-5 minutes of the descent we were buffeted by sheets of rain and 1-3 degree Celsius te… »

The fear of crashing is there but we can’t let override our pleasure in cycling. @mblume writes of this and underplays his riding the Haute Route. That ride alone should be a long article about abiding Rule V.Yours in Cycling, Gianni Continue reading...

@mblume's posts:

  1. @all: Thank for the kind words. Many asked about more information on the Haute Route. All I can say is that it is a very tough mental slog, that for 2012 is expected to be substantially more difficult. If you do not like to climb this is not a race for yo… »

Duck and cover! Our guest article series rolls on with @scaler911′s Anatomy of a Photo. Photo, words, enough said.Yours in Cycling, Continue reading...

@mblume's posts:

  1. The image of those gold colored rock shox makes me feel real old. My buddies and I had various versions of their and competitors suspension systems on our mtn bikes. It is amazing how far suspension technology has come in 20 years. @Oli: Totally Agree… »

The very first time I ever pulled a tire and tube off of a rim it made an impression on me and it still does. I’m not sure I expected to find anything other than the tube between the rim and tire but there it was, some sort of tape. The French words, “Fond de Jante” and latin “Velox”, written in blue, lightly stamped u...

@mblume's posts:

  1. I always wondered about this white and blue tape…and even at low levels of wheel technology on my early mountain bikes 20 years ago, my LBS used this Velox tape. Now I know from this post that this is apparently the gold standard- I think the founders n… »

I appreciate my helmet. I treat it with respect. I never leave for a ride without it. I replace it after a crash or even after helplessly watching it bound down the stairwell like some kind of deformed styrofoam slinky-dink after allowing it to slip from my grasp. (This activity also typically involves some assertions questioning what it does in it...

@mblume's posts:

  1. I would err on the sign of caution on helmets. 4 score and 20 years ago, I was last in a 3 man pace line ascending a very minor lump on an otherwise flat road when the guy in front of me inexplicably went down in a heap at about 35kmh. We got the guy up … »

  2. I really admired Indurain…he was someone for me to admire as a young American suffering from the departure of LeMond from the front of the TdF. His ability to climb extremly well for a giant man, and then blow the field away in the TTs was impressive. H… »

To Look Pro is to strive to Look Fantastic and to be at our ease on a bicycle. It is to walk the line between form and function and is based entirely on the premise that the professional peloton is far more experienced in this endeavour than we shall ever be. Their lessons speak through their actions on the bike, serving as a beacon to provide us t...

@mblume's posts:

  1. @Frank: Contrary to popular belief Dr. Seuss is still cycling the planet and not taking an extended dirt nap, and appears to have weighed in on “Tightgate”: You do not wear Lycra tights on your hams? I do not wear them, Merckx-I-am. Would you, could y… »

  2. The preference for knee warmers over tights distills down to one elemental fact: no matter how one might try to disguise them, tights are simply not an attractive garment. Not on fit women at the Yoga studio. I have in the last few years shunned tights… »

In our continuing guest article series, @eightzero weighs in on the modern cycling jersey. It’s made of some unholy material which has a half-life of fifty years and unless you crash in it, it’s still in your kit drawer. Yours in Cycling, Gianni Continue reading...

@mblume's posts:

  1. @Frank: My favorite biathlete has been Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway, and heck the whole Viking team…always have been my one of my 2 favorite non home country nations is winter sports along with Switerland. This was only strengthened by a trip to the… »

  2. Speaking of Nordic skiing, I am completely fascinated by Biathlon. To me it is a lot like cycling- especially mountain bike racing in that you need to be super fit to win- but if you cannot shoot well (descend technically) you will lose. It appears to be … »

  3. @paolo Your rant is basically an interpretation of Rule 1, chapeau »

  4. I view compliance with Rule 17 to be similar to the words Frank used last week in his post “To walk the difficult path of becoming a better cyclist requires, in a word, willpower.” Over time I have come very close to purchasing certain pro kits that I th… »

Steel Gazelles, check. Monster fork rake, check. Hairnets, check. North European monsoon, check. Flemish Mirror, check. Chain welded to the Big Ring, check. WTF Leggins affixed to Our Hero, check.Roger de Vlaeminck does his part to remind us that while Looking Pro isn’t synonymous with Looking Fantastic, being a Level V Badass can make ev...

@mblume's posts:

  1. That looks like the picture they placed next to the definition of Rule 9..unless they decided to use this one… »

There was a time when bicycles were lovingly handmade by artisans who themselves loved the sport more than those for whom they built the machines. Lugs were filed to become Luggs; chain and seat stays were beautifully chromed for durability despite the grams it added to the frame’s final weight; spokes were chosen for their purpose and lace...

@mblume's posts:

  1. While I am fully aware of Ambrosio’s History in that part of the world, what are the views on the Zipp 303s that have tried to break with tradition and modernize and aerodynamicize these Classic races? Cancellara and others have had success on these- al… »

In my favorite scene from Lawrence of Arabia, T.E. Lawrence, after lighting a colleague’s cigarette, allows the match to burn down to his fingertips before snuffing it out. Having witnessed the stunt, the dim-witted associate attempts it himself, only to blow out the match before it gets anywhere close to burning down. “That damn wel...

@mblume's posts:

  1. As I get on in the years, I am increasingly amazed how still seemingly insignificant events/thoughts can be motivating. The following are a few things that make me look much more forward to a regular training ride: 1) Any thing new on the bike even if i… »

  2. @kiwicyclist: Frank, your article has given me an excuse to post this link to a recent article on consumate hardman Juric Robic which some of you may have seen. Suffering is all in the mind apparently: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/05/sports/playmagazine… »

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@mblume's posts:

  1. I was getting to ready to go out for a run on Sunday morning when I went to put my key in mailbox, when I noticed a package inside. A quick glance at the package and the neurons quickly fired my brain to the conclusion that the V-Kit had arrived. I then q… »