Author Archive | frank

Disorganized Chaos

An Open Letter to Drivers

by / / 72 posts

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

by / / 149 posts

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

by / / 114 posts

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

by / / 90 posts

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

by / / 71 posts

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

by / / 49 posts

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.…

Sweat box riding has never looked so good.

Anatomy of a Photo: Winter Sweat Box Ride

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I spent the entire winter doing morning Spanish Interval Sessions, wherein one dons all their winter riding kit (including wooly hat) before climbing aboard the turbo in a hopeless attempt to sweat themselves thin. The flaw in the method is less in its commitment and more in its lack of effectiveness, although the magnitude of the commitment feels…

The case for black socks...and orange patent leather shoes.

On Rule #28: The Case for Black Socks

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Science has proven that people who wear crazy socks are smarter than those boring snooze factories who wear simple plain socks. I know the data supporting the claims is legitimate because I read it on LinkedIn. Also, when I say “read”, I mean that I glanced briefly at the title while simultaneously performing several other critical…

The Machine of the Hour

Festum Prophetae: Waiting for the Hour

by / / 119 posts

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. – Mike Tyson The one thing everyone should always plan for is that however well-conceived a program might be, things will never go to plan. The high level plan for my Festum Prophetae Hour Ride was as follows: Have a custom Hour Bike built by Don Walker. Because…

The way down should hurt as much or more than the way up. Photo: Jared Gruber

On Rule #93: The Throw Down

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The human mind is designed to forget how much things suck. That is a fact. If women had the capacity to retain meaningful data on how horrible things can be, there would be exactly zero families on the planet with more than one child. This has nothing to do with how wonderful children are; it has to do with…

Going Phantom Aero on the FMB naturals. Photo: Rouleur.cc

The Aesthete’s Choice: Boyaux Naturel

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Tradition and innovation are the two opposing edges that cut our evolution through the fabric of our sport. Tradition grounds us, while innovation ensures we advance ever forward. The problem with tradition is that it is comforting and familiar, often shielding us from adopting newer, improved practices and technology. The trouble with innovation is that its freshness can blind…

The joy of riding never wears off

Anatomy of a Photo: The Joy of the Ride

by / / 27 posts

Being the youngest in my family meant I spent a few long years staring at my older siblings’ bikes, wishing for the opportunity to grow up too fast and get to the prescribed age of being allowed to ride a bike. When the time finally came, my brother took me to the trail behind the house and…

Use the Five, Pedalwan.

On Rule #74: The Targeting Computer

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I could feel the power in my body as I breathed in the warm Spring air and pulled lightly on the handlebars; strength flowed from my lungs and shoulders into my chest, through my hips and down to my legs which churned over with alarming ease. With every change of gradient, I either stood on the pedals to maintain the…

Vittorio Adorni knew what Rule #9 really meant.

Anatomy of a Photo: Snowy Mountain Stages

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Vittorio Adorni taught Merckx how to manage himself during a Grand Tour. I wasn’t a part of any of those conversations, but I’m betting there were heavy conversations about not being a little bitch about bad weather, gravel roads, and high snowy mountain passes. This photo proves the entire modern peloton needs a giant Rule #5…

Even Kittel can't make this work.

The All-Red Onesie

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When it comes to personal style and charisma, Marcel Kittel is at the top of the food chain. Only a certain kind of genius admits on live television that the most stressful thing about racing a Grand Tour is having your hair gel confiscated by airport security. He also clearly has a mystical, Samsonesque power to his hair;…

The climber in a gorilla suit is a mysterious beast.

The Climber in a Gorilla Suit

by / / 72 posts

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…

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