Author Archive | frank

The enigmatic Bradley Wiggins

The Curious Case of Bradley Wiggins

by / / 54 posts

Brad Wiggins is an enigma. There is a lot about him that makes him easy to dislike. That mopey, Pete Townshend look on his face and mop hairdo are the low-hanging fruit in this case, with the length of his socks being there to round out the podium in a close third. Also, he dropped Bont…

A different breed.

World Champion

by / / 40 posts

The Worlds are going to be played out on US roads, which is fantastic and the last time it happened we witnessed a great race with a worthy winner. But the Worlds has lost a lot of its prestige since moving from late August to its current position in late September. It’s only a month’s difference, but it…

Meanwhile in Spain...

Velominati Super Prestige: Vuelta a España 2015

by / / 225 posts

This is the best Cycling photo in the history of time. If you’re wondering why, then we’re probably not looking at the same photo. I am pretty sure the guy playing guitar is the Dos Equis guy. Anyway, nothing that cool will happen during this year’s Vuelta, although we’ll get to watch more lightbulb-humping, if that’s any consolation…

There is a certain freedom to be found along this path.

The Liberty of Suffering

by / / 38 posts

The bicycle has always been a symbol of Freedom. Not just for us as children, extending the boundaries of our stomping grounds by an order of magnitude, but for humans from a societal standpoint. From the first days of its invention, we have sought out its limits, delighting in the process of finding the upper boundary…

13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. That's a corncob Popeye would make a pipe of.

In Memoriam: The Straight Block

by / / 149 posts

Disc brakes and 1x drivetrains. These are the sort of things that belong on mountainbikes, are questionable on cross bikes, and should make an immediate trip to the rubbish bin when it comes to road bikes. Change for the sake of change; gimmickry masquerading as innovation. And to make matters worse, the appearance of 11-speed blocks has killed…

Sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail.

The Hammer and the Nail

by / / 66 posts

Sometimes you’re the hammer, sometimes you’re the nail. I was a cheapy little Ikea one today. It was terrible. – Geraint Thomas It is strange, the workings of a the Cyclist as an organism. We are of three autonomous parts, Head, Body, and Legs. In the short term, there is little that fundamentally changes between…

The dreaded slow leak

The Race of Truth

by / / 70 posts

We’ve all felt it; going over a bump or through a corner and feeling that unmistakable bit of slop in the handling that sends your heart straight to your feet. Hoping you’re wrong, you bounce the tire as you roll along, confirming you’ve got a puncture. But it’s not really flat – not yet, at…

Rule #41 Violation forces Tour Champ to swap bikes.

On Rule #41: Garbage Collectors

by / / 80 posts

Look, people. We’re not making this up; we’re mainlining this shit straight from the rivers of Truth flowing down the slopes of Mount Velomis. They draw from the history and culture of the sport, and from good common sense. They make sense, in fact, even if the Keepers don’t necessarily know why at the time…

Off the back is the worst place to be. Photo: Tim De Waele <a href="http://www.tdwsport.com" target="_blank">TDWsport.com</a>

Reverence: The Ghosts of 2am

by / / 65 posts

The Prophet had never been dropped by anyone in a race-threatening situation during his entire Grand-Tour career. But he was dropped on this, a relatively minor climb to Pra Loup due to a combination of circumstances involving a chest injury, overconfidence, and savvy Frenchmen who could read the road surface well enough to understand what side of…

JC Rolls dirty. Photo: AP Photo/Laurent Ciprian

On Rule #81: Crash Test Dummies

by / / 63 posts

We don’t like to talk about crashing. Talking about crashing before you crash feels a lot like tempting fate and talking about it after you crashed feels a lot like a fisherman bragging about his catch. But crashing is the worst part of our sport apart from getting hit by a car, which has all the worst…

The three virtues: Mind, Body, Machine.

La Vie Velominatus: Santoku

by / / 41 posts

In Japanese, “Santoku” means “Three Virtues”. Exactly which three virtues it is referring to is unclear, but I am fascinated by the idea of a single word with such a rich, if ambiguous, meaning. I have several kitchen knives that goes by this name, and within the scope of knives the three virtues are generally accepted to…

Classic witte socks

Lock, Sock, and Two Smoking Barrels

by / / 104 posts

It used to be that you could choose any color shoes you wanted, so long as they were black and any color socks, so long as they were white. Easy times, those. Then Gianni gave me his White Ladies and all of a sudden my life was complicated. First of all, the shoes were so beautifully white in…

Black eyes and yellow jersey go together like wine and pasta.

The First Weak

by / / 88 posts

Three days in, and it’s already been a brutal opening week of the Tour. I’ve never heard of the Tour neutralizing part of the stage unless a Schleck was involved, but I was relieved to understand that the reason for the neutralization had more to do with how many doctors were available for the second…

Sep Vanmarcke rides the cobbles Kelly-Style in the 2014 stage to Port du Hinault. Photo: Cycling Tips

Velominati Super Prestige: Tour de France 2015

by / / 520 posts

Cobblestones make the race, I’m not ruining any fantasies telling you that. Wet cobblestones, well, those make a legend. Nibbles rose in my esteem considerably when he rode the wet cobbles as well as he rides any mountain descent or climb; that is a boy with some nerves and some mad bike handling skills. Wet…

Parting the waters on a 24 pound bike.

Weight Weenies

by / / 118 posts

My bike weighs about 6 kilos. It is no waify little thing either, with it having a 61cm frame and and three stories of seatpost. It has beefy tubes, a stiff bottom bracket and steerer, and deep section wheels which are laced 3x in the back and 2x in front. This bike has never made me go faster;…

The Kuwahara Hirame pump head

Reverence: Kuwahara Hirame Pump Head

by / / 34 posts

I pump my tires up every single day, and every day it is the only part of Cycling I don’t like. The act of pumping while holding the pump in place is itself a bit of a bummer, especially if you are trying to do it in your Cycling shoes because your brain is too small to…

Kelly teaches the masterclass once again.

La Vie Velominatus: Standing Grace

by / / 66 posts

We are bipedal creatures. Fact. Bipedal locomotion sucks. Also a fact. This makes being a human somewhat challenging in the sense that we don’t have opposable toes or a tail with which to swing from tree limbs. Swinging from your tail seems a little bit like bliss, if you ignore the associated demotion back into the Food Chain.…

THe shadow foretells the ending.

Shadow Boxing

by / / 50 posts

In the 1989 Tour de France, Laurent Fignon was on the rivet. Close to collapse. But his Directeur Sportif noticed that Greg LeMond’s shoulders were rocking; he knew from the time he spent coaching Greg that this was the telltale sign of his imminent collapse. He ordered Fignon to attack, and he took the Yellow Jersey. He could…

Pantani shows how to do it.

Look Pro: Baller

by / / 87 posts

Whenever something tries to be something it isn’t, you wind up getting into trouble. Those Cutlass Cruisers in the 70’s and 80’s with vinyl wood panelling weren’t fooling anyone. Neither are those linoleum tiles in my kitchen; not one person in history has ever mistaken them for being marble. And Lycra has never tricked anyone into believing…

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