Does this make it right?

Does this make it right?

The Justifier

by / / 85 posts

I kind of like the fact that I still have to look up what number certain Rules are. Some stick in my mind, usually due to their relevance to my everyday riding and living situation. That’s how I could justify hairy legs over a ride-barren winter, loose-fitting (I refuse to call them baggy) shorts for gravé rides, and a frame pump on my road bike. I can hear the howls of derision now. And even after Gianni’s public flogging for using a saddle bag, I’m still gonna go there, girl.

It occurred to me while watching the Tour that the main reason we eschew the EPMS, like most things, is that they don’t look good. Fair enough. Yes, they are functional, and while that usually doesn’t sit high on our list of priorities, it has been making a bigger blip on my personal radar of late. I guess that’s what happens once the floodgates are opened by the likes of a frame pump; “shit, this works really well, and you know what, no-one else is running it, so I’m kinda unique. Maybe even a trendsetter.” OK, maybe not, but justification comes in many forms. Anyway, from watching the Tour and not being able to avoid the fact that every bike was running the electronic timing GPS device under the saddle, I had to ask the question: do they make the EPMS acceptable?

Probably not, and those howls of derision are hitting peak decibels now, I’m sure. But there is a new crop of bags out there which are swaying me to the dark side. Stop howling! Maybe not on my road bikes, but with a new gravé machine imminent, I’ve been looking at all manner of add-on carrying devices. Frame bags, TT bags, handlebar bags, and even the EPMS. My good friend the Bike Bag Dude has been commissioned to customise a camera bag for the bars that can handle an SLR, and a slim frame bag that can also accomodate my Silca Impero. And those purveyors of the pump that has its own Rule caveat may have just released another Rule-breaker with their new Seat Roll Premio. See, it even sounds cool. It uses the BOA system to secure it to the rails and looks more like a wallet than a small piece of carry-on luggage dangling under your arse.

Now that Frank has turned 40 and Gianni and I are well north of that, could there be a softening of the Rules going on? Shit no, we’re not completely senile just yet. But there are increasing ways to gently skirt some of them, while others are sacrosanct. And when our colostomy bags turn up, you know they are going to be Rule compliant. Otherwise, it’s just a shit time, and no-one wants that.

 

// Accessories and Gear // Kit // The Rules

  1. So many random thoughts… I’ve never used an EPMS, but they don’t offend me much… The GPS units look like they’re jammed up the riders’ arses, they are awful.

    @Brett… Your link to the Imperio article reminds me that 1) Your Jaegher is still stunning to look at. 2) I haven’t run a frame pump in a couple of decades, but they do actually work well. 3) The valve stem can be prevented from pushing into the tire by using the valve stem nut – see, now you can justify that, too.

  2. @Ron

    Wait, the Impero pump is $165? Get the fuck out. I just bought a new frameset for less. That’s insane.

    And I just ordered the Super Pista floor pump for a lot more coin than this. Not the Ultimate, that would be insane.

  3. @ErikdR

    @Ron

    Wait, how did I miss Frank turning 40??

    Also, while I like the utility of a frame pump under the TT on my commuter bike…at some point I know I’ll need to pick it up by the TT and be buggered. I guess you can just mount it in the rear triangle, but TT mounting just seems like it’ll come back to haunt me.

    Seat tube, then?

    I have this exact bike in the shed (just with a higher frame; 63 cm instead of the 60 shown here). The matching frame pump works like a dream, doesn’t rattle, never falls off, etc… 15 or so blasts with this puppy and I’m on my way again. Old school cool.

    pump or no pump, this fucking Miyata is giving me a stiffy.

  4. @Teocalli

    Now’t wrong with the top tube…….though if the pump actually worked…….

    fucking christ. another one. the late ’60s-mid ’80s was the absolute pinnacle of bike aesthetic.

  5. @Teocalli

    Now’t wrong with the top tube…….though if the pump actually worked…….

    Interesting bicycle, that – and very pretty!

    Quite a long wheel base, from the looks of it? I’m guessing it’s not the most scintillating ride when cornering, but it probably tracks like an Australian road train.

    Any idea why the derailleur cage is so long, by the way? The gear block looks pretty compact, and as far as I can tell, that’s not a triple up front. Or is it? (Not that I would have anything to say against that: in blatant defiance of Rule #47, my very first decent road bike (1976 Peugeot UO8) sported a triple and I loved it to bits).

    And I have to ask: which purpose do those truncated fenders serve? Keeping the brake calipers clean-ish?

  6. @ErikdR

    And I have to ask: which purpose do those truncated fenders serve? Keeping the brake calipers clean-ish?

    You’ve got me wondering the same thing, although they are correct for the bike’s age. The short mudguards/ fenders were de-rigeur back in those days, don’t think we ever questioned what purpose they served.

  7. @ErikdR

    Yeah it is a pretty long wheelbase and as you say is rock solid on the road. Actually it corners pretty well but that might be because it has a very short stem so the two counteract each other on the handling.

    When I rebuilt it it did have a triple and I managed to find a Campy Rally cage to fit to a Nuovo Record body to pull enough chain. I’ve since fitted a compact equivalent using a vintage Stronglight crank that has 96 BCD but not yet put the old cage back to see if I can pull enough chain with a 36 inner on a Nuovo Record – as I suspect not. With the weight of that thing and a small block combined with the age (and state) of my knees I needed a triple till I did the pseudo-compact.

    The mini fenders were a tribute to my Dad from when I had the bike originally “You have to have mudguards” so these were the compromise and as @steveTrice says – they were the biz back then. I’ve ended up removing them though as they rattle something awful.

    The full story is here.

  8. I’m going to discuss my own rule breaking – for my commute this morning and dressed in my usual kit (club kit) but put some nice new plain black ‘baggies’ over the top. Reason? I drop my son off at school on the way in and don’t think walking through an infant school playground in bibshorts is the way to go.

    Still wouldn’t dream of putting a saddlebag on though.

  9. @Teocalli

    @ErikdR

    The full story is here.

    Thanks! I now remember having read the Butler story earlier, but no matter: it was certainly worth reading again.

    I’ve had a soft spot for Stronglight gear ever since I purchased my first Peugeot: that particular bike came with a cottered crank set with a three-point ‘star’ and steel chain-wheels that torqued and twisted terribly when force was applied to the pedals (with the chain noisily rubbing the insides of the ‘Simplex’ front mech). A ‘five-point-star’ (and alloy) Stronglight crank set was the stuff of dreams for me back then.

    The Koga Miyata Road Speed I posted above was also the stuff of dreams – so the day I finally got my hands on one was a memorable one. Mine is a 1980 model, and the color that year was referred to as ‘Champagne’. Very nice, but to be honest, I’m still lusting for a similar model, but from 1981 or 1982, when the color for Road Speeds was “Indian Red”, like the bike @KogaLover was riding at the Limburg Eroica…

    Heck with it: it’s only a 148 kB JPEG image, so it won’t break the Interwebs, I reckon. Here goes:

  10. @ErikdR

    Always a pleasure to see my #2 = #9 on this site. Thanks for posting!

  11. @KogaLover

    You’re welcome, sir.

  12. @Teocalli

    The full story is here.

    Good read, and 30 quid for a NEW bike made an excellent investment! Before or after Brexit.

  13. FFS, didn’t I write this article a year or two back and was publicly crucified?

  14. @Gianni

    FFS, didn’t I write this article a year or two back and was publicly crucified?

    Kinda a case of plagiarism is the worst kind of flattery?

  15. I gotta say, the juxtaposition of colostomy bags with EPMS’s in this article certainly put some… unusual imagery in my head.

  16. @Gianni

    FFS, didn’t I write this article a year or two back and was publicly crucified?

    I’d say it was more on the order of “flogged” rather than “crucified,” Gianni. I see your flair for the dramatic has not left you.

  17. @Steve Trice

    @ErikdR

    And I have to ask: which purpose do those truncated fenders serve? Keeping the brake calipers clean-ish?

    You’ve got me wondering the same thing, although they are correct for the bike’s age. The short mudguards/ fenders were de-rigeur back in those days, don’t think we ever questioned what purpose they served.

    Yeah, in the 70s they were called “Racer” mudguards. Completely friggin useless. The only purpose they served was to allow the marketing department to insert the word “racer” into their ad copy.

  18. @ErikdR

    @Teocalli

    @ErikdR

    The full story is here.

    Thanks! I now remember having read the Butler story earlier, but no matter: it was certainly worth reading again.

    I’ve had a soft spot for Stronglight gear ever since I purchased my first Peugeot: that particular bike came with a cottered crank set with a three-point ‘star’ and steel chain-wheels that torqued and twisted terribly when force was applied to the pedals (with the chain noisily rubbing the insides of the ‘Simplex’ front mech). A ‘five-point-star’ (and alloy) Stronglight crank set was the stuff of dreams for me back then.

    The Koga Miyata Road Speed I posted above was also the stuff of dreams – so the day I finally got my hands on one was a memorable one. Mine is a 1980 model, and the color that year was referred to as ‘Champagne’. Very nice, but to be honest, I’m still lusting for a similar model, but from 1981 or 1982, when the color for Road Speeds was “Indian Red”, like the bike @KogaLover was riding at the Limburg Eroica…

    Heck with it: it’s only a 148 kB JPEG image, so it won’t break the Interwebs, I reckon. Here goes:

    I may have had a similar Peugeot to you. Cottered cranks, Simplex gears, full alloy guards and a rack on the back. Steel rims, butterfly wheel nuts, and Mafac centerpull brakes. Weighed a ton!

    There’s another thing the kids of today have never done: filed down a cotter pin to make it fit.

  19. @KogaLover

    @Teocalli

    The full story is here.

    Good read, and 30 quid for a NEW bike made an excellent investment! Before or after Brexit.

    Even before Brentry!

  20. @wiscot

    @ErikdR

    I may have had a similar Peugeot to you. Cottered cranks, Simplex gears, full alloy guards and a rack on the back. Steel rims, butterfly wheel nuts, and Mafac centerpull brakes. Weighed a ton!

    There’s another thing the kids of today have never done: filed down a cotter pin to make it fit.

    Yes, filing them down… That triggered a memory for sure: clamp the cotter pin in a vice, and get to work… and fit… and file some more… and fit…

    Including the shiny dork disc and chain ring guard, My UO8 weighed in at 13,8 kilograms (or, more likely, 14, as I had a higher frame than the one used as reference, probably). The Mafac rims were chromed steel with cheese grater pattern on the side for a semblance of break pad grip. And it had quick release hubs! Yay! In fact, I’ve found the (Dutch) brochure page with the exact bike. This was she:

    In 1976, rode all 14 kilo’s of that thing plus, approximately, 10 kilograms of luggage (in panniers) from the Netherlands to Rome and back, across the Brenner pass on the way down and over the Lautaret and (for good measure) the Galibier on the way back. Good times. God, how I loved that bike. Must have done more than 40,000 km on it, but crashed it beyond repair in the early eighties, alas.

  21. @ErikdR

    @wiscot

    @ErikdR

    I may have had a similar Peugeot to you. Cottered cranks, Simplex gears, full alloy guards and a rack on the back. Steel rims, butterfly wheel nuts, and Mafac centerpull brakes. Weighed a ton!

    There’s another thing the kids of today have never done: filed down a cotter pin to make it fit.

    Yes, filing them down… That triggered a memory for sure: clamp the cotter pin in a vice, and get to work… and fit… and file some more… and fit…

    Including the shiny dork disc and chain ring guard, My UO8 weighed in at 13,8 kilograms (or, more likely, 14, as I had a higher frame than the one used as reference, probably). The Mafac rims were chromed steel with cheese grater pattern on the side for a semblance of break pad grip. And it had quick release hubs! Yay! In fact, I’ve found the (Dutch) brochure page with the exact bike. This was she:

    In 1976, rode all 14 kilo’s of that thing plus, approximately, 10 kilograms of luggage (in panniers) from the Netherlands to Rome and back, across the Brenner pass on the way down and over the Lautaret and (for good measure) the Galibier on the way back. Good times. God, how I loved that bike. Must have done more than 40,000 km on it, but crashed it beyond repair in the early eighties, alas.

    Quick releases? I’d lie awake at night dreaming of quick releases (said in a Python-esque voice). The wheels were awful. In the wet, chromed steel just didn’t work causing many a squeaky-bum moment. The butterfly nuts sucked as it was hard to get the rear one tight enough to prevent the wheel pulling over. My Peugeot was blue and a 25″ (63.5cm)frame (I was 14 and they said I’d grow into it.) Nearly 40 years later I ride a 56cm. Lying bastards, they likely just wanted to get rid of a big ass bike on a dumb kid. Mine had full chromed mudguards, a rack but no bell.

    Can’t believe you rode those climbs/descents on that bike.

  22. PS: Note that, on the right side of the brochure page, the gearing of the bike is peddled to the (utterly mountain-less) Dutch market as “… enabling the rider to make progress in gale force headwinds. Amazing!”, or words to that effect. I still find that hilarious.

  23. @wiscot

    I climbed well for my weight then (And at the time, at 1,92 meters, I weighed considerably less than 80 kilo’s). Sigh… Anyway; climbing went very well, but fast descents were scary as hell: the high frame was very noodly and the front and rear wheel didn’t necessary follow the same line through fast curves…

    By the way: the bike also had a bell that I had left on. There’s a story to tell about that bell, which I’ll save for later this weekend.

    My brother had an even older Peugeot – and yes, it had butterfly nuts. And yes, they sucked. Big time.

    Right; about to sign off here – have a good weekend, all.

  24. @wiscot

    @ErikdR

    @Teocalli

    @ErikdR

    The full story is here.

    Thanks! I now remember having read the Butler story earlier, but no matter: it was certainly worth reading again.

    I’ve had a soft spot for Stronglight gear ever since I purchased my first Peugeot: that particular bike came with a cottered crank set with a three-point ‘star’ and steel chain-wheels that torqued and twisted terribly when force was applied to the pedals (with the chain noisily rubbing the insides of the ‘Simplex’ front mech). A ‘five-point-star’ (and alloy) Stronglight crank set was the stuff of dreams for me back then.

    The Koga Miyata Road Speed I posted above was also the stuff of dreams – so the day I finally got my hands on one was a memorable one. Mine is a 1980 model, and the color that year was referred to as ‘Champagne’. Very nice, but to be honest, I’m still lusting for a similar model, but from 1981 or 1982, when the color for Road Speeds was “Indian Red”, like the bike @KogaLover was riding at the Limburg Eroica…

    Heck with it: it’s only a 148 kB JPEG image, so it won’t break the Interwebs, I reckon. Here goes:

    I may have had a similar Peugeot to you. Cottered cranks, Simplex gears, full alloy guards and a rack on the back. Steel rims, butterfly wheel nuts, and Mafac centerpull brakes. Weighed a ton!

    There’s another thing the kids of today have never done: filed down a cotter pin to make it fit.

    The Mafac Centerpulls on my own Peugeot UO8 were the visual aid by means of which my Cycling Sensei bestowed his first lesson on this 17-year-old, budding Velominipper. I had been mucking about for 10 minutes trying to tighten the cable while simultaneously squeezing the brake caliper (thus getting my first inkling of why somebody might be inspired to invent a ‘third hand’ tool), when he simply clamped the brake shoes firmly together and unhooked the little stretch of ‘yoke cable’ that arched on top of the caliper. I remember that moment (fondly) to this day.

  25. @ErikdR

    the bell?

  26. @KogaLover

    @ErikdR

    the bell?

    Ah yes – sorry; busy evening yesterday.

    It’s weird, really, how I was quite reckless in my youth (while I still had a lot of life to lose, so to speak, if things should go wrong), while I am getting more and more careful and chickensh** as I approach the big Six-Oh. Paradox there.

    Anyway: on that same holiday to Rome, my two companions and I were slogging up a steep climb in the Alps (and approaching the top), when a guy in an orange Opel Ascona showed up behind us. We were probably weaving a bit from side to side, so this guy (in his car decked out with ‘sporty’ checkered stripes, extra fog lights and a pair if dice dangling from the mirror, as I recall) honked his horn long and loud at us and then gunned his engine and roared past… But 2-3 minutes later, we reached the top of the climb and started our descent.

    Another 5 minutes later, we had ‘caught’ the guy in the Ascona, of course (in spite of the not-so-superior way our bikes handled), so while we were screaming downhill at something between 70 and 80 km/h, we pulled up to a couple of meters behind this guy’s rear fender… and oh-so-cool, 18-year old yours truly took one hand off the handlebars and started dinging the stupid little bell on the stem repeatedly, and gesturing for the guy to clear the road. He took it well, in fact: pulled a little to the right on a long straight and gestured with an arm out of his side window that we could pass safely. It was only much later that I started thinking that this guy – had he been in a bad mood – could have slammed his brakes (which were most certainly vastly superior to our Mafac centerpulls) and we would have gone straight through his rear window, We would then actually have been to blame for the damage – on top of being killed by death, to quote the late, great Lemmy Kilmister… Did we wear helmets? Of course we didn’t.)

    I’m not saying I’m that much smarter today, but I was really abysmally stupid back then – and utterly convinced of my own immortality. The folly of youth..

  27. @ErikdR

    I’ll try to find the reference but apparently it’s a scientific fact in the way a teenager’s brain is wired.

  28. @ErikdR

    Sort of like this

  29. @Teocalli

    Yup. Spot on, as far as I can tell. Very nice take on the matter – and interesting that the article should mention “the presence of peers” and “situations where emotions run high” as factors, by the way. As I recall, we were certainly showing off ‘towards each other’, so to speak – and we were showing off to the guy in the Ascona. Not in anger, though. More like a game of dare, or something along those lines. Young animals swaggering.

    Whatever was going on in my mind (such as it was) at the time, I’m pretty sure it forced my Guardian Angel(s) to work overtime on a regular basis. I’m grateful that he/she/they did such an impressive job. (Not that I deserved it, or anything – but still).

  30. @ErikdR

    I was gassing with an old mate a few years back and we were reminiscing various things when part way though the evening he turned to me and said “I’ve just realized that you’ve spend most of your life trying to kill yourself”………..Mrs T does not reckon my teenager switch ever got switched off……….

  31. @wiscot

    Speaking of “older” guys – of which Frank isn’t one, no matter how much he howls about turning 40 – I hit 53 on Tuesday. That makes me old enough to remember when wool jerseys weren’t hip things to wear on Eroica rides, but the only friggin’ option out there. And shorts had real chamois in them FFS! For you young fellas, try and imagine wearing a jersey that’s cut 6-10″ longer than most modern jerseys. Then fill your jersey pockets with all kinds of food, tubes, levers etc. Then ride in the rain a few times. That jersey is hiding the back of your saddle it’s so saggy. This is what scarred me for life in the early 80s. The jersey-dress. Early acrylic jerseys weren’t much better. And don’t get me started on the ease of washing and caring for real chamois in wool shorts.

    An EPMS, the smallest possible, gets used. It’s so small you can barely get two tubes, two CO2 cannisters and two levers in there. My wallet and cell phone go in my center pocket, food in the other two as required. There’s a reason they’re called the formative years.

    I have a number of older jerseys I picked up used, because I liked the looks of them when I first started really riding. Sadly, my OCD comes out due to the fit of clothing, in particular if it isn’t perfect. After wearing modern, snug fitting jerseys with full zippers…I simply can’t bring myself to wear long ones with a 1/4 zip. And these are from the 90s, not even that old!

  32. @Teocalli

    @ErikdR

    Gents, Teenage Brain Syndrome… it is for real for sure. The whole frontal lobe development thing and their brains firing differently. Have to learn to embrace it when coaching ’em. Serves ’em well of course when it comes to embracing new tech, traveling to new places, meeting new friends, trying new things… all the stuff we grow up to eventually learn is an annoyance when everything is just fine as it is… is just some of what characterizes a good case of Teenage Brain Syndrome. The tragic incidents that can occur and that result from Teenage Brain Syndrome? Sometime in my late 20’s my old man turned over to me a whole life insurance policy he picked up on me in my teens. I’m pretty sure I well characterized Teenage Brain Syndrome. Cheers

  33. @Teocalli

    @ErikdR

    I was gassing with an old mate a few years back and we were reminiscing various things when part way though the evening he turned to me and said “I’ve just realized that you’ve spend most of your life trying to kill yourself”………..Mrs T does not reckon my teenager switch ever got switched off……….

    Wow… Do you, like, climb mountains and free-dive and stuff like that, on top of the cycling? “Trying to kill yourself” sounds a bit… extreme, maybe? On the other hand: do you also sometimes feel that life ‘tastes sweeter’, for lack of a more apt expression, whenever you find yourself in a situation that makes you realize that it (i.e. life, or one’s physical health) might actually be at stake, to a degree? (That’s how it sometimes feels shortly after the ‘danger’ has passed, in my case).

    I’d certainly not describe myself as an adrenaline junkie, but I like occasionally to put myself in situations where I’m at least reminded that there IS an edge. without necessarily having to come ridiculously close to it.

  34. @ErikdR

    @Teocalli

    @ErikdR

    I was gassing with an old mate a few years back and we were reminiscing various things when part way though the evening he turned to me and said “I’ve just realized that you’ve spend most of your life trying to kill yourself”………..Mrs T does not reckon my teenager switch ever got switched off……….

    Wow… Do you, like, climb mountains and free-dive and stuff like that, on top of the cycling? “Trying to kill yourself” sounds a bit… extreme, maybe? On the other hand: do you also sometimes feel that life ‘tastes sweeter’, for lack of a more apt expression, whenever you find yourself in a situation that makes you realize that it (i.e. life, or one’s physical health) might actually be at stake, to a degree? (That’s how it sometimes feels shortly after the ‘danger’ has passed, in my case).

    I’d certainly not describe myself as an adrenaline junkie, but I like occasionally to put myself in situations where I’m at least reminded that there IS an edge. without necessarily having to come ridiculously close to it.

    I think without adrenaline I’d be really flipping bored. But this is also why I’ve deliberately never got into downhill mtn biking (despite it being amazing fun) because the natural end point of doing downhill runs is A&E.

    If I didn’t have to work I think I’d cycle all day, and spend my rest days from cycling rock climbing. I just don’t have time climb as much as I’d like to, and I do miss it. Cycling just fits into my life much better at the moment.

  35. @RobSandy

    I had to look up “A&E”, admittedly. “Ambulance- and Emergency (Services)”, right? *Smile…*

    I’ve observed a couple of youngsters during a downhill event in Wales once, and I nearly sh** my trousers just watching. Not for me, I’m sure.

    Thought just crossed my mind: could it be that (apart from the – apparently very real – Teenage Brain Syndrome), people subconsciously steer more clear of danger as they get older, because they realize that they become less break-proof, as it were (as in: brittle) with age? At the risk of REALLY sounding like an old fart: I hate to think of what would happen to my limbs if I were to re-enact some of the crashes I walked away from, more or less unscathed, at twenty-something.

    I (still) love me a nice rush of adrenaline every now and then – but it does not necessarily have to be a stronger dose than what I enjoyed thirty years ago – rather the opposite. * …Shuffles back to padded armchair…*

  36. @Randy C

    @Teocalli

    @ErikdR

    Gents, Teenage Brain Syndrome… it is for real for sure. The whole frontal lobe development thing and their brains firing differently. Have to learn to embrace it when coaching ’em. Serves ’em well of course when it comes to embracing new tech, traveling to new places, meeting new friends, trying new things… all the stuff we grow up to eventually learn is an annoyance when everything is just fine as it is… is just some of what characterizes a good case of Teenage Brain Syndrome. The tragic incidents that can occur and that result from Teenage Brain Syndrome? Sometime in my late 20’s my old man turned over to me a whole life insurance policy he picked up on me in my teens. I’m pretty sure I well characterized Teenage Brain Syndrome. Cheers

    We’ve had incidents here in Denmark last summer of teenagers indulging in something they refer to as ‘”train surfing”: climbing onto the roof of a train and keeping one’s balance as the thing starts moving. As I recall, at least one of those youngsters got killed by electrocution when he hit the overhead power line. Seriously stupid, of course – but what a tragic waste.

  37. @Ron

    @wiscot

    Speaking of “older” guys – of which Frank isn’t one, no matter how much he howls about turning 40 – I hit 53 on Tuesday. That makes me old enough to remember when wool jerseys weren’t hip things to wear on Eroica rides, but the only friggin’ option out there. And shorts had real chamois in them FFS! For you young fellas, try and imagine wearing a jersey that’s cut 6-10″ longer than most modern jerseys. Then fill your jersey pockets with all kinds of food, tubes, levers etc. Then ride in the rain a few times. That jersey is hiding the back of your saddle it’s so saggy. This is what scarred me for life in the early 80s. The jersey-dress. Early acrylic jerseys weren’t much better. And don’t get me started on the ease of washing and caring for real chamois in wool shorts.

    An EPMS, the smallest possible, gets used. It’s so small you can barely get two tubes, two CO2 cannisters and two levers in there. My wallet and cell phone go in my center pocket, food in the other two as required. There’s a reason they’re called the formative years.

    I have a number of older jerseys I picked up used, because I liked the looks of them when I first started really riding. Sadly, my OCD comes out due to the fit of clothing, in particular if it isn’t perfect. After wearing modern, snug fitting jerseys with full zippers…I simply can’t bring myself to wear long ones with a 1/4 zip. And these are from the 90s, not even that old!

    I still have (and occasionally use) my 40 year old Peugeot-Michelin-BP jersey. All wool, and has to be washed with great care and then (preferably) laid to dry horizontally on a stack of towels, because the fabric will ‘sag’ when the wet jersey is hung on a line, apparently. A royal pain – but I’ll say this for the thing: it’s surprisingly non-itchy (Merino?) and very well-suited for those chill, early morning spring and autumn rides.

  38. @ErikdR, @RobSandy

    DH is a huge giggle and great for your bike handling. A & E is only usually the natural end point if one or more of of a group decide to call it quits for the day but are persuaded to do Just One More Run. You’ll walk away from most crashes but not on the last run.

    Part of the reason for that might just have something to to do with the fact that despite being slightly unhinged, downhillers tend to wear kit that’s actually designed to take on the risk faced. A spine protector would have been very welcome the last time I fell off my road bike.

    @ErikdR

    I remember that being a thing in Brazil years ago. I’d rank it up there with Russian Roulette or heroine. It might not get you the first time or even the second but at some point it will.

  39. @ErikdR

    @Ron

    @wiscot

    Speaking of “older” guys – of which Frank isn’t one, no matter how much he howls about turning 40 – I hit 53 on Tuesday. That makes me old enough to remember when wool jerseys weren’t hip things to wear on Eroica rides, but the only friggin’ option out there. And shorts had real chamois in them FFS! For you young fellas, try and imagine wearing a jersey that’s cut 6-10″ longer than most modern jerseys. Then fill your jersey pockets with all kinds of food, tubes, levers etc. Then ride in the rain a few times. That jersey is hiding the back of your saddle it’s so saggy. This is what scarred me for life in the early 80s. The jersey-dress. Early acrylic jerseys weren’t much better. And don’t get me started on the ease of washing and caring for real chamois in wool shorts.

    An EPMS, the smallest possible, gets used. It’s so small you can barely get two tubes, two CO2 cannisters and two levers in there. My wallet and cell phone go in my center pocket, food in the other two as required. There’s a reason they’re called the formative years.

    I have a number of older jerseys I picked up used, because I liked the looks of them when I first started really riding. Sadly, my OCD comes out due to the fit of clothing, in particular if it isn’t perfect. After wearing modern, snug fitting jerseys with full zippers…I simply can’t bring myself to wear long ones with a 1/4 zip. And these are from the 90s, not even that old!

    I still have (and occasionally use) my 40 year old Peugeot-Michelin-BP jersey. All wool, and has to be washed with great care and then (preferably) laid to dry horizontally on a stack of towels, because the fabric will ‘sag’ when the wet jersey is hung on a line, apparently. A royal pain – but I’ll say this for the thing: it’s surprisingly non-itchy (Merino?) and very well-suited for those chill, early morning spring and autumn rides.

    Arggh! You’re killing me. It would be about 40 years ago I saw a gorgeous Peugeot jersey in the window of Dooley’s Cycles in Paisley. I lusted after that thing but couldn’t afford it at the time. I’m sure it was pure wool and had all the right patches etc on it. (not like the bastardized version Prends sell . . .

  40. @wiscot

    I’ve just tried to upload a piccie of said jersey (twisting the knife, as it were), but failed miserably for some reason. Anyway: it (the jersey) used to have green ‘chevron’ patches on the shoulders (with yellow ‘BP’ lettering) but they have disintegrated completely. Sniff…

    What really amazed me about it at the time was that the lettering (i.e. the “Peugeot – Michelin”) has not been printed, glued or ironed onto the material, but sewn/embroidered INTO the material. That part still looks as crisp as the day I bought it.

    There are a few scuffs and scratches, but I almost consider those badges of honor.

    I’m pretty sure similar jerseys can still be sourced through eBay and the likes, though? (It would be nicest to come across a NOS specimen, I suppose.) Anyway, as soon as I finish building the bike shed of my dreams (in about 10 years or so), that jersey gets its own special place in there.

  41. @Randy C

    @Teocalli

    @ErikdR

    Gents, Teenage Brain Syndrome… it is for real for sure. The whole frontal lobe development thing and their brains firing differently. Have to learn to embrace it when coaching ’em. Serves ’em well of course when it comes to embracing new tech, traveling to new places, meeting new friends, trying new things… all the stuff we grow up to eventually learn is an annoyance when everything is just fine as it is… is just some of what characterizes a good case of Teenage Brain Syndrome. The tragic incidents that can occur and that result from Teenage Brain Syndrome? Sometime in my late 20’s my old man turned over to me a whole life insurance policy he picked up on me in my teens. I’m pretty sure I well characterized Teenage Brain Syndrome. Cheers

    My wife has been talking of New Mother Brain…spending 24 hours a day thinking about/caring for an infant weakens the mind for other thinking. I’m not complaining. She’s doing a great job and my solo care of the Lil’ Guy has thankfully only been for a few hours at a time. Not easy to deal with a screaming baby, seriously frays the nerves.

  42. @ErikdR

    @Teocalli

    @ErikdR

    I was gassing with an old mate a few years back and we were reminiscing various things when part way though the evening he turned to me and said “I’ve just realized that you’ve spend most of your life trying to kill yourself”………..Mrs T does not reckon my teenager switch ever got switched off……….

    Wow… Do you, like, climb mountains and free-dive and stuff like that, on top of the cycling? “Trying to kill yourself” sounds a bit… extreme, maybe? On the other hand: do you also sometimes feel that life ‘tastes sweeter’, for lack of a more apt expression, whenever you find yourself in a situation that makes you realize that it (i.e. life, or one’s physical health) might actually be at stake, to a degree? (That’s how it sometimes feels shortly after the ‘danger’ has passed, in my case).

    I’d certainly not describe myself as an adrenaline junkie, but I like occasionally to put myself in situations where I’m at least reminded that there IS an edge. without necessarily having to come ridiculously close to it.

    The night the tale came from did involve copious beer so I dare say a fair bit of “I caught one THIS big” was going on.

    I did fly Gliders for a while way back. I’m more of a “why anyone would willingly get out of a perfectly serviceable aeroplane is beyond me” type of aeronaut. Spent many years offshore yacht racing, always surprised me that more people don’t get seriously injured in that game. Back in the day IOR rated yachts were fundamentally unstable, especially downwind in a good blow. To quote my brother in one race when one of the crew asked – should we get the kite off, it’s getting a bit breezy (i.e. near gale force). Brother – nah, we haven’t broached yet. 5 mins later we are flat in the water shoal fishing with the kite.

    Latterly it’s more a case of “you should know better at your age” when skiing the steeps or hooning downhill on a mtb. A couple of years back I was 10 secs off a KOM on a descent in the Surrey Hills (in the dark). My mate wondered whether I’d try to make the 10 secs……..I looked at the next best in my age group and it was 5 mins slower. I decided against it.

  43. @Gianni

    Sorry to suggest this, but I stopped visiting regularly after tattoo gate. Too many regulars couldn’t accept the ruling on tats, and took some serious umbrage. It got personal and I realised that day that despite the assertion that form trumps function, the roadies on here can’t follow their own rules and have bent them to suit themselves. It kind of degraded the whole Velominati thing. Don’t get me wrong, I know that generally it’s all tongue in cheek stuff, but there’s plenty of others sites that have watered themselves down to be popular.

    Hence the bollocking two years ago, which now goes unnoticed.

  44. @Mark

    @Gianni

    Sorry to suggest this, but I stopped visiting regularly after tattoo gate. Too many regulars couldn’t accept the ruling on tats, and took some serious umbrage. It got personal and I realised that day that despite the assertion that form trumps function, the roadies on here can’t follow their own rules and have bent them to suit themselves. It kind of degraded the whole Velominati thing. Don’t get me wrong, I know that generally it’s all tongue in cheek stuff, but there’s plenty of others sites that have watered themselves down to be popular.

    Hence the bollocking two years ago, which now goes unnoticed.

    Fucking Tatoogate.

    Anyway, this Keeper is officially inked.

  45. @Mark

    Only one that should care about your tattoo is yourself. As far as it relates to cycling, I thought tattoos were aerodynamic.

  46. @universo

    @Mark

    Only one that should care about your tattoo is yourself. As far as it relates to cycling, I thought tattoos were aerodynamic.

    That’s why mine are oriented so I can read them myself!

  47. @frank

    That’s why mine are oriented so I can read them myself!

    What kind of Obree-type of bike do you have that allows you to read them when you ride?

  48. Nice article. It prompted me to invest in a Silca Impero, which is a lovely bit of kit and has freed some pocket space.

    A word of caution though, having ridden about 100k with it fitted, when I came to need it I found that the chuck and gasket had disappeared – obviously shaken loose and fallen out along the ride, as they were there when I set off. Luckily the missus was nearby and able to rescue me, otherwise I’d have been stranded.

    I’d recommend a drop of loctite on the chuck thread before use, although YMMV.

  49. @Gianni

    The times are ‘a changing :)

  50. @Cary

    Under the top tube is the perfect place for the frame pump to be mounted now we all have two bottle cages on the frame. I’ve lost count of how many people take the piss out of the pump the first time they ride with me and then plead to use it when they puncture!

    https://scontent-sea1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/1238173_700150639999743_291025190_n.jpg?oh=d1464b0d1095ea3dd7e681194a75cf70&oe=58A0EBF5

    Julian

    http://www.musettetours.com

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