Author Archive | frank

The climber in a gorilla suit is a mysterious beast.

The Climber in a Gorilla Suit

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There is a force upon this world which governs all manner of voodoo and wizardry. This force ensures the streak in your windshield wiper is always precisely at eye level. It ensures that the phone call goes to voicemail just as you touch the “answer” button. It ensures that a product which you endlessly encountered but…

What has four thumbs and loves climbing in big gears? Those guys!

And the 39 Was Clean as a Whistle

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I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn’t it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailleur? We are getting soft… As for me, give me a fixed gear! — Henri Desgrange I like to think that any time a rider running a…

The most Rule #9 edition of LBL was in 1980.

Velominati Super Prestige: Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2016

by / / 223 posts

We were descending for a while before I saw Roche’s name painted on the road. It was one of those little bridges over a river that you only seem to find in the Benelux; just a little too ancient and just a little too arched, and just a little too perfectly flawed to be anywhere else.…

We need to be tough on and off the bike.

Cut Like a Buffalo

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Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 Hour Rule suggests that mastering a skill comes down to an incredible amount of practice; however talented you might be, it is the cultivation of raw talent into skill that distinguishes between success and failure. To train is to practice, and every hour we spend devoted to our craft is one spent…

Why can the French not sort out their helmets?

Velominati Super Prestige: La Fleche Wallonne Femmes 2016

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Nothing magical happened in between us publishing the Men’s event ten minutes ago that somehow brought us another day for the VSP. I was really banking on a fissure in the space-time continuum but no luck. Seems a guy can’t catch a break. On the surface of it, I blame the fact that Gent Wevelgem…

The bunch climbs the Mur de Huy

Velominati Super Prestige: Men’s La Fleche Wallonne 2016

by / / 219 posts

Don’t these race organizers understand how confusing it is when races are held mid-week? It means we have to have to manage against unrealistic expectations like realizing what day of the week it is and then do the sums on how much lead time we want to give on the VSP. Which is obviously too…

Hayman fights back on the Carrefour. Photo: @harminator

You Can’t and You Don’t and You Won’t Stop

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Failure and success are destinations not often visible to the traveller. This is why it is nice to focus instead on the beauty of the journey and try not to be become overly fixated on any particular outcome. It is with some regret that I admit I didn’t invent this idea; there might be a few religions…

The brutal stones of Paris-Roubaix

Velominati Super Prestige: Paris-Roubaix 2016

by / / 385 posts

Every time I’ve ridden the Roubaix pavé, I’ve peed the next few days like I got VD from some dirty cobble. That might not really sell the non-believer on the pleasure of riding the sacred stones, but there truly is nothing like it anywhere else in the world. Here in Seattle, we have cobbled climbs and…

Woopsie-dasies.

Test Drive Dummies

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Everyone knows it’s a great idea to change out pieces of equipment the day before a group ride, especially an honorary Ronde van Vlaanderen Cogal involving steep, cobblestone climbs. There is obviously also no need to test-ride the equipment after making said change. I remark at this point that it is rather unexpected to find an 11 speed…

That's a legitimate Pain Face right there.

Velominati Super Prestige: Men’s Ronde van Vlaanderen 2016

by / / 306 posts

Everybody knows there are two kinds of cobbles. Big cobbles, little cobbles, grippy cobbles, and slippy cobbles. And when it comes to mastering the stones, no one is better than the undisputed King of the Cobbles, Kenny Van Vlaminck. And speaking of cobble legends, there is a great piece on our friend Johan Museeuw over on…

Queen Lizzie leads the chasing group up the Oude Kwaremont

Velominati Super Prestige: Women’s Ronde van Vlaanderen 2016

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Has anyone checked the weather report for Sunday? Seriously. Have you checked? Wind. Rain. This. Is. Going. To. Be. EPIC. And you can all thank me for that because this is the year I chose not to head over there, naturally. I’m annoyed that we didn’t do a Women’s Gent-Wevelgem; we somehow missed it even though we…

Rider and car (nearly) collide on the Koppenberg in the 1987 Tour of Flanders.

On Motors and Bikes: The Next Ride

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Every time I go riding, I know I subject myself to masses of cars and motorcycles, each of which has the potential to momentarily occupy the same space my bicycle and I are occupying, a physical impossibility that Nature will resolve via a messy process involving my death. I don’t know very much about the vehicles…

If you're not window shopping, you're lying.

Window Shopping

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One of the great dichotomies of being a Cyclist is that of our commitment to suffering paired against our fastidious attention to our appearance. We sacrifice endlessly for the sake of our craft, suffering hours on end in horrendous weather and diverting any money saved on depriving ourselves of food into maintaining and improving our equipment.…

What's got two thumbs and makes grown women weep? This chick!

Velominati Super Prestige: Trofeo Alfredo Binda 2016

by / / 191 posts

There are a couple things you need to know about the Women’s Racing Scene. First of all, they’ve been racing the fuck out of Belgium and Italy, and staying well clear of the warmer climes. They are also busy kicking off their first-ever WorldTour. No surprise in who the current leader is; Lizzy Armitstead has…

Spoiler alert, Greg. You're fucked.

Velominati Super Prestige: Milano-Sanremo 2016

by / / 459 posts

Milan Sanremo. I know we’ve been watching the men and women crush the cobbles already, and that’s the spiritual beginning of the season, but La Primavera is the longest Classic of them all, and the first race of the season that will be a genuine target for all the gunslingers. Which makes this the symbolic start to…

Hey guys, we're turning non-drive now.

Drive Side/Non-Drive Side

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I have a hard time with labels, which is why I am terrible at remembering people’s names. I remember the person and the conversation, but I rarely remember their name; the person had meaning, the label did not. I also can’t tell my left from my right which similarly feel like labels for “this way” or…

These cobbles don't stand a chance against little Lizzie A. Photo: Ashley Gruber.

This Spells Rain

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For those of you with an interest in the subtle art of Paying Attention, you may have noticed a few things about my writing technique: apart from the inescapable fact that it is untrained and terrible, I make a habit of overusing the semicolon, a practice I started when I heard my third grade teacher tell…

A bunch of new friends rolls along, getting to know one another.

Oversharing on the Group Ride

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My dog greets every dog on the street as though it were her long lost best friend. As soon as the customary butt-sniffing has been sorted out, the two dogs will wrestle each other endlessly, stopping only after an owner-forced separation. Any human that falls within her gaze is a viable candidate for a new home…

The Goldilocks Principle in full effect.

Goldilocks Principle: The Golden Ratio

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There is a disturbance in the V. I have felt it for some time, and I suspect many of you have as well. The matter has to do with the ever increasing length of bibshorts and socks, approaching the knee like two lionesses stalking their prey in the savanna. Tracing back to the origin of this trend,…

Today is a good day to ride.

The Fasting Ride

by / / 80 posts

I’ve been doing fasting rides on the weekend, before breakfast and maybe also before lunch, depending on how long the ride is. The longer the ride, the lower the intensity. Also the more likely I am to meet my old friend, the Man with the Hammer. I might bring an Emergency Gel, in its glass tube, but I…

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