Author Archive | brett

How the fuck do you deal with this guy?

Vetting The Fred

by / / 102 posts

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

by / / 111 posts

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

by / / 124 posts

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

by / / 27 posts

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

by / / 31 posts

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

by / / 38 posts

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

by / / 21 posts

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

by / / 46 posts

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

by / / 81 posts

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

by / / 69 posts

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

by / / 76 posts

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

by / / 36 posts

“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

by / / 87 posts

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

by / / 239 posts

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

by / / 140 posts

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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The Dig

by / / 77 posts

“Are you havin’ a dig at me?” It’s a good old phrase that one. I hear it occasionally, usually in response to some jest, part of the banter that me and my friends enjoy on a regular basis. It can be used as an off-the-cuff remark, clearly meant in a jocular way, or can carry…

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Raining in My Heart

by / / 37 posts

Not one to subscribe to the slew of text speak or acronyms that permeate the modern vernacular (well, not too much, I guess YJA is one used fairly regularly), I am harbouring a severe case of FOMO right now. And the catalyst for this? The lack of a KT14. Shit, I did it again. WTF?…

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The Thin Black Line

by / / 105 posts

Every time we get on our bikes, we are playing a game of Russian Roulette. We take care to maintain our machines, to make sure they are in perfect running order, we look after our bodies to maximise our performance, and we, hopefully, abide by the rules of the road to keep ourselves safe from…

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Anatomy Of A Photo: Screen-grab From A Golden Age

by / / 125 posts

Even though in today’s mountain bike world the bikes are better, the clothing more appropriate, and there are more trails to ride, there’s no denying the early 90s were the Golden Age of Mountain Biking. Just look at these fellas, and tell me I’m wrong. Tomac knew what was up. You don’t get such a badass…