Velominati Community Profile Archive

Velominatus: roadslave

Order: Level 4 Velominatus

Location: London

roadslave believes that we don't choose cycling... it chooses us. He tried for 35 years to hide from his destiny, playing front-row rugby, and being too stubborn to admit he was too small to row, until he was dragged, kicking and screaming to the prologue of the 2007 Tour de France in London. From that moment on, he was hooked. He lives in London, has two children and a long-suffering wife, and believes that somewhere, deep inside of him is a perfectly competent cyclist waiting to get out. It's a work in progress... XXL in 2009, XL in 2010 and L in 2011... eventually he'll be wearing a jersey that doesn't cover his (by that stage, bony) arse. However, at that point he'll probably have to stop drinking bottles and bottles of red wine, his other great passion. His favourite rules are Rule 9 and Rule 12... Rule V is, obviously, compulsory. He never rides alone, because inside his head he hears voices: Jorgen Leth's voiceover man, Paul Sherwen, Phil Liggett. He secretly believes that 'Breaking Away' is a documentary, and that 'The Rider' is only a work of fiction.

@roadslave's activity:

It has been a brutal week for us Keepers, having decided not to hold a Keepers Tour this year. Watching the action from half a world away has been almost too much for us to bear, and I know most of the participants from last year must be feeling similarly. On Sunday, we would be escorted by our friends and guides, William and Alex of Pavé Cycling...

@roadslave's posts:

  1. I tried, I really did.  But I can’t bet against Fabs when he has developed the ability to win, even when he isn’t the strongest (see RvV 14, P-R 13).  His positioning in the finale at Flanders last week (leeward side, on Vanmarke’s shoulder as Van Avamaet… »

Vlaanderen. Its no accident the Flemish word for Flanders starts with a V; there is nothing simple or easy about riding a bike here. If it isn’t wind, its steep bergs. If it isn’t tarmac, its cobbles. Most of the time, its all three. Oh, and the weather there sucks. In fact, Flanders doesn’t have weather – it has VVeather.De...

@roadslave's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Armitstead 2. Stevens 3. Van Dijk 4. Johanssen 5. Borghini »

This needs no introduction. The Spring Classics are truly upon us. The course has been modified yet again, it is tougher? The riders make the race and the 2014 Ronde van Vlaanderen is loaded with racers who could win or make the Velominati VSP placings. Just to pick the winner will not be nearly as easy as it has been recently. There are small clo...

@roadslave's posts:

  1. If Sep Van Marke does a top V again, I’ll kick myself VSP PICKS: 1. Cancellara 2. Boonen 3. Sagan 4. Devolder 5. Stybar »

The Kemmelberg is a brute. In my opinion, its the hardest of the cobbled climbs in the Spring Classics; it has a high speed tarmac approach that saps the guns of their snap. The transition from tarmac to cobbles is awful, the stones are very badly laid throughout and if you don’t hit it just right, you’ll come to a standstill. The cobbl...

@roadslave's posts:

  1. Should probably have put in more ‘Vans’, this being Belgium an all.  Vanmark is probably going to crush it now. VSP PICKS: 1. Sagan 2. Degenkolb 3. Van Avamaert 4. Stybar 5. Stannard »

Het Volk (it will always be Het Volk to me) and now the Strade Bianche may well mark the sentimental beginning to the season, but those are specialized, pre-season races that appeal mostly to riders who are preparing for bigger objectives later in the year, such as the Cobbled or Ardennes Classics. Same goes for Tirreno Adriatico and Paris-Nice; t...

@roadslave's posts:

  1. Feck.  Gerrans.  Sorry Chava. VSP PICKS: 1. Cavendish 2. Degenkolb 3. Gerrans 4. Sagan 5. Stannard »

  2. The start of the season.  Both the sun and the cherry blossoms are out, and – even though it is still cold enough for Flandrien best – there are people in shorts and flip flops in London’s parks.  All in all, it’s a time for dreaming… A time for optimis… »

I don’t know if its because I see something of myself in them or if it awakens some kind of nurturing instinct, but I always seem to find myself drawn to tragically flawed figures.Layne Staley and Marco Pantani strike me as two halves of the same whole; incredibly talented yet tortured with mortally addictive personalities, both set loose in...

@roadslave's posts:

  1. RIP Marco »

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

@roadslave's posts:

  1. @ChrisO Fucken spot on, mate.  Spot on.  Great job, great write-up.  Nails.  ”The cracks in the pack ice. There may only be a few metres between each slab but it’s a hard swim from one to the other, and I’m feeling more panda than polar this morning.”  Po… »

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...

@roadslave's posts:

  1. @frank Guilty.  Although to be fair, I’m always talking about Looking Fantastic – just wish I could look it occasionally.  At least I’m not the one publishing articles on the inter webs about turbo trainers #nerd #yesiknow »

  2. OK, it didn’t work.  I’ll try pasting it as a picture, or @Frank, I’ll email you the spreadsheet.  Sorry for cluttering up feed… you might want to delete the above post. »

  3. I hope pasting in from Excel works, but @Frank you might find this table helpful – it is my own-derived power matrix for the Revolution trainer with gear down the left hand side, cadence across the top, and roughly what power that should translate to.  I … »

2013 was The Year of The Anti-V. In every other year, the Velominati Cogclave to decide The V and The Anit-V awards is full of curses and thrown pint glasses, usually in defense of each of our chosen V-Moments. 2013 saw the same scene, except this time it was for us having too many competing Anti-V Moments and when it came time to discuss the V-Mom...

@roadslave's posts:

  1. @deakus I hear ya.  It’s like the stage to Saint Amand Montrond.  as David Walsh tweeted… “173km flat stage.  Cav wins in a sprint.”  If I’d taken that at face value (I.e. Been unable to read irony), would’ve missed one of the most exciting, strategic s… »

  2. Agree with all of the above, but do think Froome, winning solo atop the Ventoux, in the yellow jersey and the number 1, and then needing oxygen at the top, deserves at least a mention.  Last, and only time that has happened:  1970, a certain E Merckx.  Ju… »

There are many revered places in Cycling, places that are instantly recognisable, places that command their own special page in history and in our memories for the great battles held upon them. Most likely the names you’ll think of first would be the great mountain climbs of the Grand Tours, l’Alpe d’Huez, Ventoux, Zoncolan, Stelv...

@roadslave's posts:

  1. @brett Errr… Except Chris Hoy:   Www.hoybikes.com great article as ever, and I agree… Super design of those Ravito guys »

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...

@roadslave's posts:

  1. I’m breaking my self-imposed Internet embargo to say good job.  Really good job. Am SO stoked »

Before the New Year, it was my ride up Haleakala. At present, it’s Keepers Tour: Cobbled Classics 2013. Before Haleakala, it was one of the various Cyclocross races and before that the Zoo Hill Time Trial. The targets change, but throughout my life as a Velominatus, there always seems to be a goal looming over the horizon which spurs me on. T...

@roadslave's posts:

  1. AMerckx to that.   Le métier.  It’s a noble calling… Even if you lack the genes , fitness and physiology of the pros.  Training for the sake of training.  I’ll paint that bridge.  Whatever colour you want. »

Exposure to religion in my youth was by way of a brief dose of sunday school at the local Unitarian church. The point there, evidently, was to learn about other religions and turtles. If a point was being made, I missed it. When Catholic friends of mine came over for the weekend I would accompany them to the closest Catholic church and we would end...

@roadslave's posts:

  1. Love this piece.  A lot.  You’ve put into words much of how felled.  I’m too invested – emotionally,financially, and physically – in Campag to ever change…. Their stuff is just so beautiful.  I haven’t seen a complete Campy toolset, but boy, I’d love to… »

At some point, I reckon the idea may dawn on me that I’m not a climber. Eighty kilos and standing something just shy of two meters, I’m not clear on why climbing is what speaks to me most about Cycling; I’m certainly not built like a grimpeur. But there is no question about it; I love riding in the mountains. I only have to catch...

@roadslave's posts:

  1. @frank  Chapeau.  Strong riding – impressive sustained effort comes across on video.  Lose the hat.  That’s got to be worth some weight off… and may give you the kick up the backside you need to add a Velominati cap to the kit list.  Nice wheels, strong… »

I can’t really call it an obsession. If it was an obsession, I would have commissioned a bloke I’ve never met to build me a set of ultra-light wheels and I would have spent an outrageous amount of money to upgrade my handlebars in an identical shape from aluminum to carbon in an effort to shave a few grams off the top end of my machine...

@roadslave's posts:

  1. Make that mountain your bitch. 3:45.6 (if only for the ease of typing) btw… If it was Christian VdV you saw… See if he’ll give you a lead out on Haleakela like he gave Hesjedal on Stelvio… That could shave off a few minutes. »

Yes, I know, I have a major thing for Boonen. But come on, wouldn’t you? Look at those guns. Look at that position on the bike. He even makes that ugly Specialized helmet look good. He even makes that ugly Specialized Roubaix look good, come to think of it. And those White Ladies? Kill me now.Picking the V-Moment of the year is always a tough...

@roadslave's posts:

  1. Not wanting to be a) starstruck, or b) nervous about making anti-Boonen comments, bout take it y’all saw him retweet the link to this article last night at 7pm CET? »

It has been a crazy year, this, with our first annual Keepers Tour sorted, partnerships with the industry’s leading icons including Johan Museeuw, Pavé Cycling Classics, DeFeet, fi'zi:k, and Lezyne – and a book deal to boot (deadline looming large on January 1st). We couldn’t have asked for a better year, and would like to remind...

@roadslave's posts:

  1. @scaler911 too many rules violations to count. Happy Crimble Keepers, and thank you »

Truth be told, how many of us can resist a photo of ourselves Looking Fantastic on the bike? How many of us can resist the temptation of taking our eyes off the road and stealing a glimpse of ourselves in a shop window as we pass by? Not me, but then again a strong case could be made for my being a narcissist and I freely admit that I love looking...

@roadslave's posts:

  1. Hasn’t worked, sadly… Happy Crimble everyone.  All the best for 2013.  Ride strong, ride safe. VLVV »

  2. Jesus, Frank… Asking me to choose my best photo of 2012 is like asking which of my children do I love the most… Impossible.  Unlike you, I loathe any photos with me in them (apart from Jessie’s one, which you’ve already posted) as how cameras generall… »

December 6th is possibly the biggest holiday of the year for the Dutch. We put out our shoe, we write gedichten, we play pranks on each other, and we exchange gifts. As luck would have it, the good old Sint made a stop by the Velominati Headquarters in Seattle and left me an absurdly large bottle of dry lube; the the point where I felt like I need...

@roadslave's posts:

  1. @the Engine 8 words, and I need a new keyboard – have just spat diet coke all over it was laughing so hard.  Please stop. »

  2. Yeah, yeah, happy christmas, seasons greetings and all that stuff.  Whatever.  I like December for another reason:  it’s review of the year time.  Come on Frank, Brett, Marco, Gianni… it’s been a cracking year.  When is the ‘ride of the year’ coming out… »