Author Archive | frank

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…

The Lion King was once a Pedalwan cub, just as the rest of us. Guide the uninitiated.

The Book and the Cover

by / / 45 posts

I rode with a rider I know from work a few weeks ago. The first time we sat in a meeting together, we immediately pegged one another as a Cyclist the way Cyclists always peg one another; nothing specific or obvious but everything nonspecific and nonobvious. It’s what we do, you can’t learn it and it can’t be…

Rollin' Dirty

Defining Moments: Dust Caps

by / / 81 posts

I genuinely miss the eighties. Funny Bikes, which I say without thinking this though. Then again, time trial bikes today are basically road bikes with a position for  tuned for “more speed”. In other words, switching to your TT bike today is like switching from your road bike to a slightly less comfortable road bike, with your…

How big is too big? How soft is too soft?

The Goldilocks Principle: Deflategate

by / / 125 posts

The Rider is the best book ever written about Cycling. I don’t mean that figuratively, I literally mean that literally. I say this despite having had my hand in writing our own Book about Cycling. What makes this book great is not just the prose, which is immaculate, but the spirit of the Velominatus that permeates the…

If you have to choose, choose quality over quantity

Short But Sweet

by / / 91 posts

My lungs feel my favorite way my lungs can feel. Every breath I take tells me the whereabouts of each alveolus. They feel raw, like they were scraped clean and opened up anew after a period of dormancy. Every breath tells me their exact shape and depth, where my lungs end and where my diaphragm begins. I feel high,…

Chuck Flop had some of the best guns in the business.

La Vie Velominatus: Gun Envy

by / / 50 posts

Three things define a Cyclist: their ability to crush fools, their ability to Look Fantastic, and the Magnificence of their Guns. If you are lacking in one, it is mandatory that the other two are increased in compensation. In the immortal words of Paul Fournel, “To Look Good is already to go fast.” Thank Merckx for that, because…

The Prophet crushes fools on the way to the Tre Chime in the '68 Giro

Velominati Super Prestige: Giro d’Italia 2015

by / / 545 posts

This is the most exciting thing that’s happened in Cycling since April. Yes, that’s a full two weeks with nothing exciting happening and its been killing me. I know its been killing you, too. I love the Giro, the master alchemist of bad weather and big mountains that keeps the racing exciting from the first day through the…

Frank and Rigid experience the Holy Land via the muddied secteur at Abattoirs. Photo: @Harminator

La Vie Velominatus: The Holy Land

by / / 32 posts

No pavé is smooth, and to ride them well the rider must enter them à bloc and keep pushing until one of two things happen: the secteur ends or the lights go out. The thing about cobbles is that each stone beats back the wheels like a boxer punching a speed bag, robbing the unit of speed with every stone…

Merckx leaves them behind on the Stockeu

Velominati Super Prestige: Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2015

by / / 177 posts

Liege is an interesting animal; whereas the Cobbled Classics are the sole domain of the specialists known as de Klassiekers in Flemish who rarely show their faces as serious contenders in the other portions of the season (assuming you ignore John Degencobble or Al Kristoff), the Ardennes classics have a strong showing from the Grand…

The weight of fatigue is taking its pound of flesh

Something from Nothing

by / / 61 posts

If the only kind of wind they have in Belgium is a headwind, then the only kind of flats they have in Northern France are false. In Vlaanderen, they specialize in a delectable combination of the two. (Everything that isn’t a windy false flat, it appears, is a windy cobbled climb.) The most obvious way to get…

Merckx help us if this tool wins again.

Velominati Super Prestige: La Fleche Wallonne 2015

by / / 147 posts

Who doesn’t like a nice, steep, uphill finish after getting your head kicked in for six hours? Not me, assuming I’m not racing. The key feature on this little doozy of a race is the 1.3km long Mur de Huy; doing a wind sprint up this thing has made the world’s best climbers shift into reverse and…

It is time to confess your sins.

On Rule #3: The Apocalypse

by / / 110 posts

With The Rules being officially published in three languages (English English, American English, and soon Dutch) and now also being offered in a large full-color format by Rouleur, it is time for the Keepers to accept the reality that Rule #3 is perhaps the most important Rule of all and one which must be enforced vigilantly, even…

The look, of love... Photo via Oli's Tumblr

Anatomy of a Photo: Bike Love

by / / 80 posts

I got new wheels last week and got them mounted with tires by the weekend. Then @Haldy had to help me with a clearance problem on Sunday (27mm FMB Paris-Roubaix’s get to be more like 29mm tires after Francois finishes his lunchtime bottle of wine). When I wasn’t looking, @Haldy put orange cable ends on all the…

Mapei parties like it's 1998.

Velominati Super Prestige: Gent Wevelgem 2015

by / / 216 posts

Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy oh boy oh boy! Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy! This is it! We are really into the thick of it now! E3 Harelbeke is today, and on Sunday we have the Kemmelberg in Gent Wevelgem – the first real serious cobbled race of the…

Diego Caccia demonstrates how to make tights work. Photo: Pedale.Forchetta

The Tightness of Being

by / / 117 posts

Sprezzatura. Leave it to the Italians to dedicate a word to trying to Look Fantastic without looking like you’re trying too hard. I’ve haven’t spent much time in Italy, but I automatically love a country where an entire nation holds aesthetics in the same high regard that I do. Not to mention their dedication to drinking…

How cold is it outside?

On Rule #9: The Badass Within

by / / 59 posts

The rain is coming down in sheets, blowing sideways out from the coast. I hear its intensity more than I feel it; the drops reverberate through my helmet as they lash down. The temperature is just cold enough to add a sting to the rain, like a thousand needles upon the 15cm of exposed flesh between the…

Daylight savings means less time riding in this

Reverence: Daylight Saving Time

by / / 82 posts

Not too many people espouse the virtues of Daylight Saving Time, much less chose to write about it every bloody year. But Daylight Saving Time is my favorite day of the year, no question. Better than Christmas, Sinterklaas, or my birthday. Combined. The reason is simple: Daylight Saving is the day of the year when it becomes feasible to…

Badass. Just...badass.

The Curse of Hell

by / / 57 posts

Northern Europe is supposed to have crap weather in the Spring. By crap, of course, I mean wet. I call bullshit on that, because the last time I saw rain fall in Hell, it was 2002. In 2002, Outdoor Life Network aired an hour-long broadcast on the history of Paris-Roubaix before airing full live coverage of…

The Paterberg is a brute made easier by a comfortable, wide gutter.

Velominati Super Prestige: Women’s Omloop Het Volk (Nieuwsblad) 2015

by / / 40 posts

I don’t know what it is about Belgian Race organizers, but I love those guys. Routes? The longer the better, please. The climbs? The steeper the better please, and as many as possible (which is very many). Cobbles? As many as possible, please. Cobbled climbs? The steeper, the longer the better. And as many of possible. Oh,…

Skip to toolbar