Author Archive | frank

The Pro Mechanic. Is that a cigarette and is that diesel in there? Photo: HBStache

Dream Job

by / / 62 posts

I love working on my bikes. I feel closer to them, like a samurai sharpening their blade or a soldier cleaning their pistol; this simple act of preparation prepares us for the suffering that is to come, with the notable distinction that a Cyclist chooses this suffering with no tangible consequence while the warrior faces probably…

As a matter of fact, no, I hadn't forgotten how awesome I am.

Body Language

by / / 83 posts

A true leader rarely asks someone to do something for them; the best leaders inspire through their own example those around them to follow suit and join them in their cause. The leader is fueled by something that is not externally driven, it is born from within and appears in this world as passion and conviction. These…

Motors are acceptable for this.

Motorhead

by / / 161 posts

Motherfucker. I honestly don’t like swearing in an Article, much less using such a word to open an article, but seriously. Motherfucker. A motor discovered in an U23 rider’s bike at the Cyclocross World Championships has to be the lowest of the low that anyone can go. I’m so pissed off, I’m rhyming. Which itself makes me…

Keep the guns under cover until it's time to fight.

Gunslinger

by / / 62 posts

It is well known that knee warmers look better than leg warmers. Which isn’t to say leg warmers can’t look the business as well, but they will never look as good as knee warmers. The science is very clear on this. Nevertheless, I’ve been enjoying wearing full leg warmers even when the weather doesn’t necessarily require them. Something about…

This is a gordon, not a bidon.

To Bidon Or Not To Bidon

by / / 144 posts

This is serious, people. I hope you’re sitting down. Really. Sit down. Not a half sit. A real sit. Both cheeks. If you’re reading this on your phone, put the phone away and wait until you are sitting behind a computer like a civilized person. Ready? Deep breath. I have it on the excellent authority…

There are a few subtle indications of this not being  the right way to do it.

Doing It Wrong

by / / 69 posts

Cycling is a complex sport, one whose fabric is densely woven from the fibers of a Hundred Years War between evolution and tradition. The Rules were laid out in part to provide a path through the chaos, helping lead the disciple towards transcendence. In the words of Pablo Picasso, “Learn the rules like a pro, so…

These aren't the men you're looking for. Photo: Tim De Waele

Body Dysmorphia

by / / 127 posts

I am thrilled to announce that for the first time in my life, my chest measurement is smaller than my hip measurement, an accomplishment I’m not sure many men around the world would be proud to admit. A Cyclist has no use for an upper body, we’re not going about lifting things with our arms; we are…

Always store your bike in the mechanic's position: small-small to ease tension on the derailleur springs. Photo: Pedale.Forchetta

On Rules #26 and #65: Spring Theory

by / / 80 posts

To hold opposing truths in one’s heart is a beautiful thing; to find resonance within contradiction is a liberating force that opens one’s mind to a wide world of possibilities. Life lived in black and white is a bland, simple world, after all: everything interesting in life happens in the gray space in between. There is…

...and now let me tell you about the time I made Roger cry.

Anatomy of a Photo: Top Dog

by / / 36 posts

I have it on excellent authority that life is good when you’re at the top. I myself am, of course, nowhere near the top but I felt a glimmer of it today, briefly savoring the unique palate of having some semblance of form in January. Which feels a lot like a victory over Christmas. And kicking Christmas’ ass feels pretty…

Erik Breukink crushes fools on the Gavia

Unsung Heroes: Erik “Gavia” Breukink

by / / 21 posts

I do love my Dutchmen. That much I admit. I also admit my love for the Americans with whom I share a passport. These affections are expressed erratically and sporadically, often at high volumes, and sometimes with some unreasonably held or possibly non factual evidence to support my passion. At this point, my love for…

Lean casually.

Lean In, Lean Out

by / / 71 posts

I profess to understand every mannerism and habit of the Cyclist. I’m Dutch, and I’m a writer, so it all comes pretty naturally. The problem is that thinking you understand something and actually understanding it are two completely different things; the first is confidence, the second is wisdom; there is no Venn diagram that has an…

Meeeeerckxy Chriiiisstmas!

Merckxy Christmas and a Coppi New Year

by / / 57 posts

As 20VVV comes to a close, we’d like to once again thank each and every one of you for your readership and participation in this amazing community. Each of you are what makes Velominati the most exciting (if divisive) community in the Cycling world, and none of it would mean a thing if not for…

That is some serious gunnage my boy Jan is showing off there.

Zee Germans

by / / 48 posts

The Germans are onto something. They call a bike a “rad”. From a linguistic standpoint, that is the most accurate name for a bike in any language. They call Cycling “riding rad”. I’m not even making that up. Radfahren. When they put it in a sentence, it translates roughly to “I’m practicing being rad.” I accept the…

If rider A rides 30kph toward rider B who is riding 22kmp, at what time with they lay down The V?

On Rule #74: Going Unplugged

by / / 156 posts

I think the most exciting Christmas present I ever received as a child was an Avocet 30 in what must have been 1989. Being in Minnesota and it being December, it meant my bike was going nowhere near the road any time soon, so I kept the silver dollar-sized computer in my pocket wherever I went,…

Her graceful touch.

The Graceful Touch of La Volupté

by / / 60 posts

I get to certain parts of my training when I begin to crave his blows, especially in winter. Winter is the time of year when training is a time for reflection and spending hours on the bike. Thoughts of hill repeats and intervals don’t creep into even the dampest corners of my mind as I…

Laurel Rathbun makes an adequate effort at Jingle Cross.

À Bloc

by / / 62 posts

The V surrounds us, it penetrates and binds us together. Through disciplined practice we are able to draw from it to push harder and go farther on the bike; what we do on the bike then informs how we face our lives. The masters, such as the Prophet Merckx and the Apostle de Vlaeminck, could channel…

Sarah Ginsbach demonstrates perfect mounting style. Photo: Allen Kuo

A Study in Casually Deliberate: Start Properly

by / / 93 posts

I was recently asked how one is supposed to handle the delicate situation when departing a traffic signal and you are unable to clip in immediately. The obvious answer is that you’re supposed to clip in right away (use your toe to position the pedal and then pop your shoe into it) but I admit…

ERIK V IS ESCORTED AWAY BY THE TOUGHNESS POLICE. FOR BEING JUST TOO FUCKING FLANDRIAN.

In Memoriam: Erik de Vlaeminck

by / / 23 posts

Sad news today that Erik de Vlaeminck, older brother to Flemish Cycling legend Roger de Vlaeminck, passed away today at the age of 70. He was a dominant Cyclocrosser winning a whopping seven World Championships, six of which were back to back from 68-73. He was apparently suffering from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. I don’t know…

Socks over the booties? Please say it ain't so.

The Punter

by / / 180 posts

They say you can measure the quality of a man’s character by his ability to admit when he’s wrong. That in itself seems wrong, since it would obviously be better to be right in the first place, but I’m probably missing the point because I’m Dutch and everyone knows Dutch people are 97% more righter…

New Kit design (VLVV) and V-Casquettes

V-Announcements: VLVV Product Line and Long-Awaited V-Casquettes

by / / 82 posts

Whenever I drive somewhere in my car, I find myself wondering what the road would feel like from a bike. Driving in a car feels like cheating, especially on a windy day; roads are gobbled up at constant speeds irrespective of the conditions. On a bicycle, you learn what it costs to move up a gradient…

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