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Velominatus: velocodger

Order: Level 4 Velominatus

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I did some road racing in the days of wool, and some mountain bike racing as well. When the after-race beer trucks stopped coming to MB races, I did too. I once had a gig as a bike messenger. At Western Union in '69 in SF, there were no fixed gears or tight pants, just cheap bikes and low pay!

@velocodger's activity:

@prowrench is throwing down the greasy gauntlet. There is truth in his words. We already understand the gap between the professional cyclist and us civilians extends somewhere over the horizon. We can ride the bikes, wear nice kit and ride the race routes but that’s about as close as we can get. No one is paying us to ride. We are not Pros. B...

@velocodger's posts:

  1. Those of us who are LBS know to tithe 10% of our income, and we get to go to the temple. »

Addiction is typically defined as a bad thing. Addiction to drugs, to alcohol, sex or even work is usually portrayed as a condition to be battled, to overcome. The same sources may recommend a strict regime of regular exercise and healthy living as the perfect antidote to the bad addictions that befall an overwhelming majority of the general popul...

@velocodger's posts:

  1. Reject the addiction/obsession label! I choose to be passionate. Negative labeling of those who embody passion is a refuge for the mediocre. »

The days of the proper head badge, I’m afraid, are numbered. It seems it used to be that any road bike with a pedigree that was really worth riding was festooned with an artful adornment on the head tube. By that I mean something made with a bit of heft, stamped or cast of alloy and riveted front and center. More and more though we’re s...

@velocodger's posts:

  1. Here is a head badge from my Blue Collar, made here in Sacramento by Robert Ives. »

We meticulously care for our bicycle, stopping only just short of pampering it. Through ages spend coveting, building, and riding it, we become attached to it and its beautiful finishing details – the luster of the frame’s finish, the angle and sweep of the bars, the gleaming white tape, the tires, the wheels – all perfectly curat...

@velocodger's posts:

  1. Thanks for the reminder…I forgot to clean and put a little lube on the fork dropouts…it is a source of creaks….a tip I gleaned from a young but very competent mechanic. A noisy bike drives me crazy. »

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...

@velocodger's posts:

  1. I’m wondering how this whole forward-backward cleat dichotomy applies to faire la danseuse? As a single speeder off-road, I use an enormous range of RPMs in my riding. I enjoy long climbs out of the saddle on my road bike at low RPM.. I would assume there… »

Souplesse. Only the French would have such a word; one you can sink your teeth into, chew on. It begs to be spoken over a plate of assorted cheeses and a bottle of vin rouge. Its exact definition is unimportant; such things conjure up an image in our minds that is cheapened by words. Souplesse is the ideal, sought by all and obtained only by The F...

@velocodger's posts:

  1. Stephen Roche is souplesse personified. I hope I didn’t make any grammatical errors in that sentence. God forbid a bike blog comment wouldn’t be grammatically correct. »

It requires a combination of factors to intersect. You need to have already spent loads of time on a bicycle. Enough so that you have an inherent sense of this odd thing with two wheels; you can make it go quickly or slowly, you can steer it around a corner with ease, you know how the introduction of a layer of moisture between the tires and the t...

@velocodger's posts:

  1. Great post!  Sometimes I ride for a long time, and suddenly come back to earth…the last miles are a complete blank, I have no memory of riding them.I was so into breathing and riding I became unaware of my surroundings. I guess I must have been deep in … »

The saddle has got to be the most important piece of equipment for the cyclist when it comes to comfort and performance. If your ass is rubbing the wrong way, causing chafing and sores, or all circulation is cut off rendering you unable to locate vital organs for nature breaks, then it’s fair to say you don’t have the right saddle. And...

@velocodger's posts:

  1. Turbomatic4. This was the gold standard. And, no, the new one with carbon rails is not the same. I’ll have to give the Fi’zi:k a try one of these days. In the meantime I’ll see if my new “son of” Turbo4 will eventually break in……… »

I have a friend who is borderline OCD. He’ll sometimes wash his hands dozens of times a day, doesn’t like sticky stuff, cats drive him to antihistamine hell and there is a place for everything, with everything in its place. This can be annoying, not only for those around him, but especially for himself. It’s not a great place to b...

@velocodger's posts:

  1. I have a ruler with the distance marked from the center of the crank bolt to where the ruler intersects the top of the saddle. It is 27 5/8 inches. I subtract any crank length longer than 170, to keep my leg extension the same. Works like a charm. I’m cur… »

Even as a Pre-Cambrian Velominatus, the rusty wires in my brain must have made the connection between my machine’s aesthetics and the lack of a saddle bag; I can’t remember a time when I rode with a European Posterior Man Satchel. But riding without a saddle bag means the tools go in the pocket, and that means great care must be take...

@velocodger's posts:

  1. @King Clydesdale No, KC, you’re not the only one who carries a medical card with. My ins carrier has my emergency contact info. In Europe I carry a business card with my emergency numbers on the back. And it didn’t cost me a cent. In addition, I believe t… »

Self-awareness is a non-optional ingredient of leading a fulfilling life; while we should always push ourselves to explore new things, we should also be aware of our limitations and weigh expectations against them. This is why I avoid any activities involving intelligence or a blow torch, and take particular care to avoid those involving an inter...

@velocodger's posts:

  1. “Building Bicycle Wheels” by Robert Wright. Old school. Simple instructions, with pen and ink illustrations in my 1977 edition. You won’t find a better guide than that, except perhaps a living wheel Sensi. »

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...

@velocodger's posts:

  1. In ’76 my buddy Mike had a series of mysterious flatz, about every few meters toward the end of our ride. We exhausted all of our patches and patience after about the 10th flat. Later in the bike shop I read something about “fond de jante” on the rim and … »

Whenever The Keepers disappear a bit and our postings become sporadic and pointed, you can bet we’re either out riding our bikes or we’ve been busy working away at new features for the site. We have a number of features in various states of completion, and we’ll be rolling them out over the course of the next few weeks and month...

@velocodger's posts:

  1. French translation of reasonable= “normalement”…. so much is contained within a simple word. If you’ve read Peter Mayle you know what I mean. »

Before arriving in Paris I kept hearing, “Oh the best way to see Paris is on foot, walk the whole city, it’s really the only way to experience it.” I’d rather be shot and thrown into a dumpster by the Seine. Walking is not for cyclists – it sours the guns, it’s slow as hell. We are not walkers, we are rouleurs.En...

@velocodger's posts:

  1. Thanks for the belly laugh. I hate walking. As Woody Allen once said about “mellow”, “I can’t do mellow-I ripen and then rot”. I call hikers “trail snails”, so walkers in the city must be “sidewalk snails”…….especially in France. »

The French call it la fringale. It’s one of the worst conditions that can befall a cyclist, this, when our reserves are tapped dry and yet we still have some distance to ride and some obstacle to cover. It’s happened to me twice in my life, and one of them was when I rode Haleakala in January. Of course, I haven’t looked up the e...

@velocodger's posts:

  1. Frangin is slang for brother, frangine is slang for sister. La frangale is to be starving. Bonking among cyclists. »

Reading articles and viewing accompanying images here you’ll notice a common piece of equipment on a large number of the classic riders’ bikes.  The Cinelli forged quill stem.  Cinelli must have had one hell of a business model going in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s because it seems their stems and bars were the must have...

@velocodger's posts:

  1. Binda Extra! That nylon reinforcement layer made these the best ever. »

If we liked breathing stale, recycled air, we’d all take up a sport like wrestling or indoor fly-fishing. But we love the feel of a gale on our faces. We cherish the smell of cow manure filling our nostrils with its almost tangible grittiness. We hold scared the privilege to breathe in diesel fuel while doing hill repeats up l’Alpe d...

@velocodger's posts:

  1. Wow, I must really be old school, a fossil fer sure. Led Zepplin II, the second side…and yes that’s vinyl. 20 mins or so of pure bliss, and don’t ferget to wipe up the floor afterwards. On rollers of course, trainers are for Freds. »