Author Archive | brett

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Anatomy Of A Photo: Where Do We Go From Here?

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A great unknown awaits the young men, bound by a common entity of steel, flesh and passion rolled together. Do they contemplate the future, or are they so encapsulated in the here and now that anything beyond the finish line seems like it could only be for old people? Have they any inkling which path they will take,…

Yes, indeed

Where Have You Been All My Life?

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Life is full of surprises. Some you don’t want, like a funnel web in a shoe, while others are completely unexpected but more than welcome, even if you are then left with figuring out the hows, whys and HOW?s of the serendipitous conundrum now presented to you. This is how I now feel, after fate…

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Reverence: Waterboys and Podiums

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This article started off as a Reverence for the Camelbak Podium, and might still be, who knows, it’s late and my mind is scrambled. As often happens when searching for a suitable image for an article, tangents often appear from nowhere and derail the original train of thought. Soon one finds oneself careening out of control…

Photo courtesy Ray Smith Photography

David Millar: Stylemeister

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Cycling is a sport steeped in the tradition of style. There’s no denying it. From the days of miners and farmers escaping the hardships of a life spent toiling in harsh and filthy conditions either under or above ground, through Coppi and his Cosa Nostra-esque garb and swagger, Merckx and De Vlaeminck’s 70s sideburns, to Cipo and…

How the fuck do you deal with this guy?

Vetting The Fred

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I don’t mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that’s how it comes out. – Bill Hicks That famous quote from the Greatest Comedian Of All Timeâ„¢ has resonated with me for many years. It became my silent mantra, as I don’t suffer fools gladly and sometimes don’t make much effort…

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When Kits Were Cool

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The modern day Pro cyclist has many disadvantages stacked against them by comparison to their forefathers. They have to ride plastic bikes with little or no distinguishing character or discernible caché; they must willingly or perhaps unwittingly subject their body to an array of questionable “training techniques”; and they have to spend every waking hour…

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Reverence: DeFeet Wooleators

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Cyclists love socks. I know I do. I’d make a point of collecting as many pairs as I could from every race, event, shop or rep that I ever happened upon. Some were so good that I still have them, others, well, let’s just say they were “re-homed” long before they got the chance to…

Jens, always up against it. Photo: Wil Matthews

End of an Error

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Jens Voigt is set to retire as we speak, having one final crack at a long break in some race in the Cycling backwater of the USA. Is it fair or fitting that he should go out like this, slipping out the back door with little fanfare, while others have been doing a farewell tour of…

My Yamaha Moto-Bike, circa 74?

Joe Kid on a Moto-Bike

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Never forget your roots, they say… OK, I’m a child of the 70’s, and back then bicycles were as big a part of my life as they are today. We’d always be out riding, building tracks and jumps, and tinkering with our Dragsters, stripping them down to emulate our motocross heroes, with varying results. All these memories came…

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Kermis: Breaking Away

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July 13 2014 marked the 35th anniversary of the seminal ‘cycling film’ Breaking Away. 35 years. Nothing stays popular for that long, right? Things get dated, lose their edge (if there was edge in the first place) and eventually become irrelevant (I’m looking at you, Rolling Stones). Yes, even legends get stale if left out too…

Laurens VV Dam, Stage V. Photo Cor Vos

The V Stages Of V

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It’s no coincidence that Stage Five of the Tour was not only the best one to watch, or that it helped decide the race before nary a hill was crested, but that it was just, well, Stage Five. Only last minute copyright clearances prevented the organisers actually dubbing it Stage V, though they managed to get…

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The Mercy Seat

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It began when they come took me from my home And put me in Dead Row, Of which I am nearly wholly innocent, you know. And I’ll say it again I.. am.. not.. afraid.. to.. die. Cold, still, heavy, damp air encourages one to remain ensconsed, the familiar nagging doubt weedling away in the back, make that the…

'De Snor' on the Kopppenberg

Don’t Make Me ‘Cross

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Cyclocross could be the most perplexing of all the cycling disciplines. To me it’s  at once the most beautiful and the most unappealing. The beauty comes from the great European races, and of course by ‘European’ I mean ‘Belgian’. The lack of appeal stems from the fact that I just don’t want to do it. It…

Textbook Bob 'Hurricane' Hannah circa 1977

Motoman

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Before Tomac and Ned, before LeMond and Big Mig, there was Bob Hannah. For a young lad obsessed with motorcycles as well as bicycles, the ‘Hurricane’ was the epitome of style on a bike. His bright yellow Yamaha YZs and matching head-to-toe kit set the bar and inspired me to emulate not only his style on…

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In Memoriam: The LBS

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There was a time when I held down ‘real jobs’. Jobs with (a little) stress, with (some) responsibility, but without soul. And while dealing with the great unwashed public never held much appeal, I always envied the guys who worked at my preferred LBS. They seemingly had it all–an endless supply of cheap bikes and parts, hanging…

This. photo: Stefan Haworth

Reassessment

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Maybe it’s the milestone of aging that I recently reached. It could be an awareness of the unique foibles of this sport/activity/pastime that I practice. Possibly, I just woke up one day and realised that this is a weird thing for a middle-aged man to be doing. The time for reassessment hit me, involuntarily and…

Joe-Breeze-Repack

Anatomy Of A Photo: Point And Shoot

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“You ruined a heap of photos!” Not the words you want to hear when the photos in question are ones you didn’t shoot, but were in. “How?” “You’re too low, too compressed.” At least he didn’t say I was ugly. “And you’re ugly.” When you work with professional photographers, you pick up a few tricks…

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The Swanny

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Behind every great rider, there’s a great soigneur. The right hand man, the go-to guy, who tends every whim of his rider, feeding, watering, mending and massaging. Behind the humble Velominatus Regularus, however, there’s a string of injuries, tight muscles, bad posture and aching guns. We are our own soigneurs, and if you’re like me,…

Photo: sjaradona via http://www.panoramio.com/user/3562592

Velominati Super Prestige: La Fleche Wallone 2014

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Midweek in Belgium in Spring is a wonderful thing. Hordes of people come from seemingly nowhere to fill the bars and line the roadsides when presumably they’d usually be working, or at school, or some such. That the only ones who appear to be working are the bartenders and frites dispensers reinforces my belief that…

Winner on the road, loser in the mirror. Photo: Gian Mattia D'Alberto

The Mirror

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Have you ever been told to take a good look at yourself? Usually it infers that you need to smarten up your ideas, get your shit together, shape up or ship out. If Viagra eyedrops had an advertising campaign, (or indeed existed), their tagline would be: “Take a long, hard look at yourself.” Most Cyclists…

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