Author Archive | brett

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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

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…

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The First Ride Back

by / / 79 posts

It’s the ride you’ll do the most. The hardest ride you’ll ever do, too. You’ll do it so often that it should be easy, but it never is. Its frequency is such that it really should morph into all the other rides of its ilk, therefore negating the actual nexus of this necessary, evil ride.…

Ahead of his time: Stephen Hodge shows off some new/old tech, Roubaix 95. Photo: Sirotti

Dirty Innovators

by / / 138 posts

Ok all you roadies, listen up. You’re not gonna like what I’m about to tell you, but it’s the truth. And sometimes, the truth hurts. You ready? Road cycling owes a lot to mountain biking. “You what?!” I hear you screaming at the monitor in disgust. “Road cycling has been around for more than a…

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Anatomy Of A Photo: Life Is Beautiful

by / / 49 posts

Guido went to extraordinary lengths to shield young Joshua from the horrors of the war. On the way to the camp, a bicycle race passed their truck. As the riders, themselves escaping a life of grim toil, dirty and sweaty from the effort of heaving their heavy steel bikes up the col, rode by, Guido…

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Evanescent Riders of the 90s: Laurent Dufaux

by / / 34 posts

The Skype conversation went like this: Brett: “Remember Laurent Dufaux?” Frank: “How can I forget? Twat.” Brett: “What was that fucker on?  Always hanging on in the Alps, suffering like a dog but never once did he attack. Ever. Just always hanging on.” And that was all that was said on the matter. Our little…

Eddie gets his gear off.

Look Pro: Get Your Gear Off

by / / 96 posts

When you’re a kid, riding with your hands off the bars is something done for thrills, for style, and to impress chicks. As an older, wiser Velominatus, it can be a handy maneuvre to aid removing or donning extra clothing, taking a feed from your pockets, and to impress women (because that’s how adults refer to…

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Plight of the VMW

by / / 82 posts

He didn’t really want to be awake at this hour, but it was the only way. Or one of them, at least. Because he wanted to spend more time with her, he would rise before the sun, making use of the small window between their entwined slumber and the dirge of another day at the…

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Made By Hand

by / / 170 posts

It wasn’t so long ago that the majority of bicycles were made by hand, from raw materials, in places that aren’t China or Taiwan. While some of these artisans are still around, their wares are increasingly harder to come by, and to procure an example of their work means an outlay of time and money…

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Blueprint for The Rules

by / / 40 posts

Every other Tuesday night, I put on my tweed jacket with the leather elbow patches, fill a Thermos with Earl Grey and drive the Rover 3500 to the designated home of one of my fellow members of our esteemed Book Group. As a big fan of the brilliant British television show of the same name, I was hoping that…

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Full Circle: The ‘Evolution’ of Mountain Biking

by / / 84 posts

Think back to the early days of mountain biking. A bunch of friends, getting to the top of the hill any way they could, not needing to ride up at any great pace, saving themselves for the real buzz, the ride back down. It didn’t matter who got tot the top first, as long as…

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Theatres Of Dreams

by / / 30 posts

The home ground of Manchester United Football Club, Old Trafford, is colloquially known around the world as the Theatre of Dreams. It holds a revered place in the hearts of the club’s supporters, and even those of other teams; it’s an icon of football, and sport in general. Millions have gone there to watch their…

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Anatomy Of A Photo: Ferdi Brings The Truth

by / / 38 posts

They don’t call it the race of truth for nothing, and Ferdi ain’t no liar. There’s no hiding when your specialist chrono machine is also your specialist road racing machine, and aero headwear is achieved through flipping your leather cap around to face the Jeep loaded with drunk French truffle hunters that’s been tailing you for…

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Jan VS Lars

by / / 93 posts

It’s funny what goes through your head at 3am when you’re woken by a cat. Especially if that cat’s name is Lars, and he was named after the Metallica drummer (not by me, he’s my VMH’s cat). I prefer to call him Jan though, as Jan has always been my favourite Ullrich. So last night Lars…

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Reverent: Ravito

by / / 31 posts

There are many revered places in Cycling, places that are instantly recognisable, places that command their own special page in history and in our memories for the great battles held upon them. Most likely the names you’ll think of first would be the great mountain climbs of the Grand Tours, l’Alpe d’Huez, Ventoux, Zoncolan, Stelvio.…

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Anatomy of a Photo: Rules Pioneer

by / / 119 posts

As surely as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, if you ride a bicycle you can bet your ass against an apple that you are going to get a flat. Not if, but when. Death and taxes, and all that. This could be Pierre or Antonio or Jean-Michel, most likely…

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