Author Archive | frank

The Prophet gets pumped to ride. Hopefully that thing isn't going to find its way onto his bike.


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As Cyclists, we are uniquely subjected to the changing of seasons. The green canopy of forest that we ride through in Summer gives way in Fall to one of orange and yellow that mimics the fire of sunset. Just as those hues give notice to the changing from day to night, so do they now signal…

Reaching down in the drops for the last drop of the V

Velominati Super Prestige: Men’s World Championship Road Race 2016

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Three riders stand out in this photo: Sagan, Van Avarcan’t*, and Deggencobble in the drops, crushing it up the stupid-steep cobbled final climb at the 2015 Worlds in Richmond, Virginia. I’ve never thought much of Virginia, if at all, and I certainly never thought of Virginia’s many cobbled climbs. Goes to show that not everything below…

Tied up in the stories of the past.

The Tangled Past

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For more than three decades, I’ve been obsessed with Cycling. Not just the business of being in love with riding and training, but with following Professional Cycling as well. When I was young, I pored over the photos in Winning and other magazines that made their way into my possession; their spines were cracked to pieces…


Velominati Super Prestige: Paris-Tours 2016

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One doesn’t appreciate how many touring companies there are in Paris until you do a search for “Paris-Tours”. Refine the search to “Cycling Paris-Tours” and the results are not noticeably reduced. I imagine that adding the year to the search will do little to improve the situation. The fact is, as popular as Cycling is, it…

Quietowski leads the remnants of the break around Lake Como. Photo: pedale.forchetta

Velominati Super Prestige: Giro di Lombardia 2016

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I turned forty last week. Nothing feels different except all my strength has gone, my memory sucks, and everything hurts now. That, and everything makes me mad because it isn’t the way it used to be. Case in point: the Giro di Lombardia is no longer the last race of the year. (I know it…

Tragic reports of endemic sideburn doping in the 70's

FFS Fridays: Sideburn Doping

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They say hindsight is twenty-twenty; it is only with the knowledge gained through experience that we are able to reframe the past in its proper context. Bike racing in the 2000’s will forever be known as the blood-transfusion era, the 90’s the EPO era, and the 80’s that of steroids and amphetamine. Hopefully we don’t let…

Don't cross-train; train for 'cross.

Training for ‘Cross

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I recently upgraded my phone, tablet, laptop, and TV to their most modern respective operating systems. These devices are now are so interconnected that they know what I want long before I do. In fact, I might not want it all, but no one can tell because I’m already doing what they told me I want…

The commuter bike that once again represents the simple freedom of riding a bike.

La Vie Velominatus: The Joyride

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There are very few experiences as incredible as riding a bike; the wind in your face, the sensation of generating speed under your own power, the balance of forces that almost magically hold the bike suspended upright. It is the closest we humans will ever come to feeling the miracle of flight; it is the closest…

Feeding the Good Wolf

The Good Wolf

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One evening, an elderly Cherokee brave told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “my son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is…

Big Mig, waiting for an appointment with the Man with the Hammer.

Waiting for the Man

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You have three questions going through your mind: How far to go? How hard am I trying? Is the pace sustainable for that distance? If the answer is “yes”, that means you’re not trying hard enough. If it’s no, it’s too late to do anything about it. You’re looking for the answer “maybe”. Chris Boardman,…

Disorganized Chaos

An Open Letter to Drivers

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I imagine that unless you’re a Cyclist, it is quite difficult to understand what it’s like to ride a bicycle on the open road amongst traffic. It is a vulnerable feeling to be riding along a road with limited or no escape routes, surrounded by vehicles who outweigh you by several orders of magnitude. Particularly when you take into consideration…

Platinum blond Frankie VDB goes deep in the Spanish desert.

Velominati Super Prestige: Vuelta a España 2016

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The Vuelta is my least favorite Grand Tour. I say this every year, I know. And every year, circumstances make it look an awful lot like I could be wrong about that. Circumstances like, for instance, the fact that the GC almost always comes down to a nail-biting final few days, or someone comes from…

Christ I miss the days of free-basing EPO.

FFS Fridays: Lost Friends and Blood Pipes

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FFS. It is Friday, finally, and this is what this week has felt like: I kid, I kid. We actually have no idea whether T-Rex was actually that color. The wine, well, depending on your poison. Today marks the third anniversary of our fallen comrade and community member Jon Lennard’s passing. His memory rides with me still…

Sometimes you're the joker, sometimes you're the joked.

Ebb and Flow

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As Tyler Farrar rode by in the other direction, we gave each other a subtle wave; not the wave between friends, but between brothers of the road. On another day, I might have turned around and chased him down, like the first time I’d seen him riding locally. Not so much to bother him or to ride with…

The 2012 Olympic Road Race was epic.

Velominati Super Prestige: Women’s Olympic Road Race 2016

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In contrast to the Men’s race in 2012, the Women’s event was epic; torrential rains, an elite breakaway, a nail-biting sprint finish, and a finish line interview with Lizzie Armitstead that changed the face of Women’s road racing for ever. Marianne Vos crushed fools that day, with four of those fools coming along on the…

The 1984 Road Race

Velominati Super Prestige: Men’s Olympic Road Race 2016

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The Men’s Olympic Road Race, a race traditionally won by the biggest jerk in the bunch, usually after one of the coolest riders in the bunch makes a mess of things when the race is all but in his hands. Take Fabian Cancellara last time ’round, casually looking behind him as he leaned into a right-hander which…

Hello, could you connect me to Dr. Ferrari please? Or just give me a Ferrari in my bottom bracket.

Hello Operator

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Marco Pantani had Armstrong on the ropes. It was the Col de Joux Plane in the 2000 Tour de France and the only time Pharmy was in real, genuine difficulty during any of his “seven” Tours. So he did what any reasonable rider would do: he got on the radio with his team boss and demanded…

Stand still and get your shit together. Wait for the car and freak out like every other civilized person.

On Rule #42: Running is Balls, Even for the Maillot Jaune

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Alright people, we heard you. Chris Froome ran. But he was going to lose the Tour de France. I’ve got news for you: Cyclocrossers run, too. So do convicts, burglars, children, footballers, and triathletes. And anyone who has ever seen a Grizzly Bear up close. And all of them ran because they were going to…

The foxes alight upon the finish

Of Mother or Limb: First Week Wrap-Up

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As I sit here watching the Tour de France while resting comfortably in my armchair, I find myself ruminating on the risks of the modern professional Cyclist. Even from my perch of steel and cowhide, I find myself recoiling in fear as traffic islands are navigated at speed, shoulders and bumped on wobbly bikes, and the boney elbows…

Warming up for an hour of suffering. Photo ChrissyOne

The Quitter

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The truth is that I’d been thinking about quitting for the best part of forty-five minutes. Round and round I went on that track, every lap hurting a little bit more than the previous; every lap taking a little bit longer to complete, every lap that voice inside my head getting a little bit louder.…

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