Author Archive | brett

Textbook Bob 'Hurricane' Hannah circa 1977


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…


In Memoriam: The LBS

by / / 71 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


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…


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…


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

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…


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…

merckx pave 2

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?…


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…

tomes tinker

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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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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