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Velominatus: zalamanda

Order: Level 4 Velominatus

tall londoner with a dodgy back

@zalamanda's activity:

Twiggo is dreaming of a Giro-Tour double. He has sent out mixed messages about his Tour ambitions. Will he use the Giro as the ultimate Tour preparation or will be burn all his matches in May and hope he can find another pack for July? He has abandoned his successful 2012 Tour run-up strategy of winning every stage race he entered the previous spri...

@zalamanda's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. wiggo 2. nibbles 3. phinney 4. heysedal 5. uran »

During last year’s Keepers Tour, the motor was fine for about two or three days until it suddenly sputtered and shut down completely on Wednesday. My basic problem, it appears, lies with my ongoing struggle with body dysmorphia; based on the quantity of calories rolling into the station on the Malteni train, I was loathe to lay into the vast...

@zalamanda's posts:

  1. the food reminds me of my time in Pau. I had wild boar instead of lamb. frahnk l’m so jealous »

The Velominati site has drawn out many interesting, talented people these last few years, from frame builders to custom V-bar plug makers. We all know @pedale.forchetta as a Moots riding, bidon cage disdaining Italian cyclist. What’s not to love already… and generous too? From the beginning he has been sharing his photos with us all:...

@zalamanda's posts:

  1. Il Delore is a cool blog. One of my favourite photos is Coppi and his Alfa, @pedale captures the same ‘decisive moment’. He definitely knows his zucchini. »

Gent (Deinze)-Wevelgem, it starts with 130 km of cruising around Belgium and Northern France followed by a flurry of bergs and then a final 38 km of  flatter riding to the inevitable sprint finish. How hard can the climbing be if Super Mario got over them? Ask the riders from KT 2012, (the ones not in the following car) and they will tell you...

@zalamanda's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. tornado tom 2. eddy bos 3. phil gil 4. spartacus 5. peter sagan »

My first article on Velominati was to introduce one of my favorite cyclists, Eros Poli. I refered to him as a domestique on the Mercatone-Uno team. This faux pas was properly pointed out much later by @KaffeineKeiser, a commenter who suddenly surfaced and unfortunately submerged just as quickly, like Das Boot in the Straits of Gibraltar.*I do tak...

@zalamanda's posts:

  1. what do you call a rider like De Vlaemininck? He could lead from the front like a passista and was the definition of a flahute, after all, he was the first to win PR four times. He was a proper hardman. »

I don’t have to tell anyone around here that @Cyclops is weird guy; most of you have already figured that out, and if you haven’t figured it out, you will soon enough. But weird doesn’t have any negative meaning, if you ask me. In fact, I’d say we’re all weird which makes normal more suspect. Several years ago, long be...

@zalamanda's posts:

  1. That’s a five star ride. What I like about it are the details; the chainstay bridge, the Ritchey caps on the seatstays and the simple colour scheme. I bet it’s floats like a magic carpet. Steel is real! »

If you ever doubted for a minute that the hardmen of yore drafted the blueprint for The Rules, you need only look at these fine examples to be reminded that no matter how limited the resources they had to work with, they still managed to do a better job of Looking Fantastic than we ever could.It matters not to them that having pockets in the front...

@zalamanda's posts:

  1. @heinous my chemistry teacher, a bulbous fat Northerner, used to stick his tie down pants, maybe to distract us from his massive beer gut. In fact he looked like Schmoi without the hat. BTW the first issue of Spincycle had a tasty piece on wheelbuilding… »

Sometimes, getting the job done means doing it by any means necessary. Football coaches, who have just seen their team scrape out a win by a dour defensive effort and a lucky goal, refer to it as “winning ugly”. But any true Velominatus would rather lose photogenically than win ugly. In fact, our credo could well be “it’s no...

@zalamanda's posts:

  1. @ralph it’s funny you should say that; I was thinking how he looks and rides like Coppi, whom, allegedly, the rider in Belleville is based on. »

Ah, February 14 is here again. A very special day for all of us. A day you don’t want to forget. A day when you make that extra effort to show the one you love just how much they mean to you. V Day.On this day, I will rise early, tiptoeing out of bed so as not to make any noise and stir the sleeping. I will dress quickly and quietly, leaving...

@zalamanda's posts:

  1. another great piece, I was thinking the same thing. it’s winter over here tho and about 3 degrees, wet and windy. I love the smell of glue in the morning »

Somehow Movember and Vajanuary have slipped out of our grasp without too much fanfare. It’s never too late to pay homage to a ‘stash and a rider such as Urs Freuler. Our trusty cycling historian @wiscot has once again stepped up and delivered, many thanks. Yours in Cycling, Gianni Continue reading...

@zalamanda's posts:

  1. this is what I call a proper tache while laying down plenty of V. he’s so hard his hair is still in place »

That is the question. Are carbon wheels a viable option for everyday riding? Should carbon wheels be your go-to wheels rather than your just-for-racing wheels? I don’t really race and I don’t own any carbon wheels and I wonder. Granted, every professional is and has been on carbon wheels for many years so it’s easy to think we sho...

@zalamanda's posts:

  1. @unversio I agree. I run my gp4’s/campy SR hubs as my winter/all rounder wheels because they perfect for the rough London roads. They float like a magic carpet and in the wet the Conti’s are stickier than shit on a blanket.  It’s got nothing to do with… »

The severity of a crash exists on two planes, the physical and psychological. The physical is the most obvious and one we busy ourselves with in the immediate vicinity of coming down. Our bodies need time to heal, our kits may need replacing or mending, and our bicycles may need repair work. For weeks and sometimes months, we may carry with us t...

@zalamanda's posts:

  1. @unversio  that’s made my morning. I wonder how long the blame game lasted »

  2. We’ve all been there. As cyclists it’s a matter of when not if we’ll prang, crash, shunt. It’s when you lose your mojo is the biggest problem is recovery. It took me ages to corner hard in the wet after Id’ broken my elbow, and skinned my face, arms and l… »

I didn’t want to climb the Eiger, I wanted to have climbed the Eiger. – Jon Krakauer, Eiger DreamsGianni’s Take Continue reading...

@zalamanda's posts:

  1. As always a great, inspiring post. I like the  ‘The beer and pizza made us whole again.’ It always does; even tastier after a heavy session on the bikes. @frahnk, mebbe new tubes? »

Is this still the off season for the people of the North? I hope so. I know it’s -34 fahrenheit where Marko lives so he is only riding three times a week to prepare for the Keepers Tour. It seems @souleur has a little holiday guilt and now that those damn holidays are behind us it’s time to think about the cycling season ahead.Yours in...

@zalamanda's posts:

  1. @motor city You must live in GB. I know those symptoms well. I caned a bottle of mulled wine last night to make me feel better. »

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...

@zalamanda's posts:

  1. With the Italians it’s not just about functionality it has to be aesthetically pleasing. It’s the Italian way. All the classic Campy gruppos were things of beauty, the NR/SR gruppo was the aesthetic standard of the 70s/80s copied by every man and his dog…. »

In order to win one must first make it into the selection. The selection, as it were, can take many forms; a lone break away, a small group, or half the peloton. It can happen within the last 500 meters of a race as it does in a sprint finish or, more rarely, from the start line. Selections are a part of virtually all types of road bike racing exce...

@zalamanda's posts:

  1. I like the piece. I’ve turned plenty of squares in my time while inhaling wasps. However, no roads for me for the next few days as London is covered in 10cms of snow, ice and shit!. The last time I rode in weather like this it ended badly. »

The first Velominati Scottish Cogal is in the books. Organized and supported by Clan Engine, it looked to be a beautiful Scottish day on the bikes. V-kits and casually deliberate in Callander, this Cogal thing is catching on. VLVV, Gianni Continue reading...

@zalamanda's posts:

  1. @snoov I totally agree. The whole process: stretching, glueing, mounting, reglueing, remounting, cursing is nothing when compared to the ride. London roads needs something heavy duty, my GP4’s/Conti Giro is five star awesomeness. »

Let’s talk about bikes. Yeah, bikes are good. After all, they are “the central tool to our craft.” They are the reason we became Velominati, the portal through which we travelled to this life. When we were kids, we saw a bike for the first time; we liked the look of it, and when we rode it our lives were changed forever. We didn&#...

@zalamanda's posts:

  1. @ErikdR I run something similar, though London has the odd bump in the road. Passing a Cycleway Hero in a granny gear on a hill when riding 42×15 really PISSES them off,  it shows plenty of V. »

Doubt. It speaks in whispered tones but echoes in our actions and lingers heavy on the mind. It is a thing that weaves itself into the seeds of our dreams and erodes vision into whim. Doubt leads to uncertainty; uncertainty to fear; fear prevents us from reaching as high as we might.Doubt is a clingy thing. Like a snowball dropped down a mountainsi...

@zalamanda's posts:

  1. @frahnk, can you give me the skinny on your superleggere w/set. I’ve checked the CR site which doesn’t say much apart from their weight; 900g. Do they use their Richter hubs or a custom version? Are your Veloflex the Extreme or Carbon’s and what are they … »

  2. @frahnk, you’re a poet… Mao had the Little Red Book,  Morrison had the Lords and New Creatures: you should print the Book of Strack; Voices In My Head »

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...

@zalamanda's posts:

  1. @frahnk as you yanks say: good jarb. it would inneresting to find out how your superfly wheelset compared to a factory set »

@steampunk dropped this beauty of a photo on us. Volumes being spoken here, none of which makes being a pro look so great. Thanks Steamy.VLVV, Gianni Continue reading...

@zalamanda's posts:

  1. @allezfignon or service his bike, especially the saddle, in his hotel room circa ‘A Sunday In Hell’ »

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...

@zalamanda's posts:

  1. @fronk your wheels are bitchin’. according to the CR site you’ve gotta be light to ride them. what treads are they; veloflex extreme? »

  2. @fronk I’m confused… how can 82Kg + a Kg or two for the seasons overindulgence be fat? I thought you were on it. Anyhow I’ll have a stab and say 3:39:10 »

  • Wilkins is right about his role in his bike/car incidents. There’s 2 sides to the equation, always. As cyclists,...

  • One word, old mate … abridge!

    Fuck me that’s a long article. I really should read one someday around here.

  • @DeKerr

    Indeed, great story. What year was it published? I could not find the date. Mentions Pharmstrong’s...

  • @Ron

    YES! Ron, we have a date with DESTINY!!! Or a ride, not sure which? Either way, some of us are going to do...

  • @kixsand best of luck. Have fun and ask lots of questions!

  • Holy fuck! Anyone have any hot deals on GoPros and helmet mounts?

    Or maybe small firearms and bibshort holsters?

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