Author Archive | frank

Black reflective tape on the Rain Bike

The Reflective Bike of Authority

by / / 114 posts

Everyone knows you need at least three road bikes – two if you’re absolutely determined to make a point about minimalism. Bike Number One is reserved for good weather and events, and the Rain Bike for inclement weather. Just like our guns need to be pampered and rubbed down whenever we’re off the bike, any…

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The Roundness of Being

by / / 149 posts

Evolution doesn’t really seem to be part of the picture anymore, at least not where humans and our direct reports are concerned. We control an astounding number of genetic defects in ourselves, our pets, and agriculture while Science and Technology give Natural Selection swirlies in the locker room. Take exercise-induced asthma, which is a condition I…

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Velominati Super Prestige: Gent Wevelgem 2014

by / / 323 posts

The Kemmelberg is a brute. In my opinion, its the hardest of the cobbled climbs in the Spring Classics; it has a high speed tarmac approach that saps the guns of their snap. The transition from tarmac to cobbles is awful, the stones are very badly laid throughout and if you don’t hit it just…

Merckx takes his first of seven MSRs.

Velominati Super Prestige: Milano Sanremo 2014

by / / 528 posts

Het Volk (it will always be Het Volk to me) and now the Strade Bianche may well mark the sentimental beginning to the season, but those are specialized, pre-season races that appeal mostly to riders who are preparing for bigger objectives later in the year, such as the Cobbled or Ardennes Classics. Same goes for…

Time for a different kind of suffering.

The Janus of Suffering

by / / 68 posts

I came strongly into the Fall, stronger than in other years thanks to a late-season objective to do well at my first Heck of the North gravel classic in Minnesota. I was light and I had built good power and endurance by riding the steep gravel roads that pepper the North Cascades and suffering through brutal…

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The Rules: Coming to the US May 5

by / / 99 posts

We recently lost our beloved Great Dane, Kirki, who we nicknamed Beene for reasons that elude logic. She was a good dog, more sweet than clever. A sad side effect of big dog breeds and their short lives is that it wasn’t until nearly the end of her life that she made certain key discoveries…

Pozzovivo goes more faster at the 2013 Giro d'Emilia. Photo: Pedale.Forchetta

Speed

by / / 78 posts

I wasn’t anywhere near old enough to hold a driver’s license but my dad had already bought me a motorcycle. It was a late seventies BMW R100 RS, dark blue. I loved that bike; I polished it fortnightly even though it never left the garage. I spent hours sitting on it, twisting the throttle and…

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La Vie Velominatus: Rebirth

by / / 166 posts

Wind is an asshole. I have no patience left for it. It has all of it been used up, gone, finished. It is the only force that I’m aware of (with the possible exception of gravity) that is more stubborn and less willing to listen to reason than I myself am. It blows me around on…

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Hunger

by / / 75 posts

My favorite feeling is perhaps the empty hollowness of hunger. That statement, in itself, is a declaration of the privileged life I’ve led; it is borderline obscene to boast of such a thing in a world where 842 million people don’t have enough to eat. Nevertheless, being lucky enough to have been raised in America…

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The Illusion of Transparency

by / / 70 posts

The illusion of transparency is perhaps the most important tool the Velominatus has in their toolbox, apart from having some measure of competence, being Casually Deliberate at all times, Looking Fantastic, and being able to dish out and endure heaping helpings of The V. Cycling is suffering, and one of the most crucial lessons we…

Recovery Ale Recepticle

Post-Ride Recovery Ales

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The most important moment in a man’s life is the first time they have a beer. I place it on the list above sex and having a child because sex usually only happens as a direct result of drinking beer. As for having children, I’m given to understand they are poop factories at first, then…

In Memoriam: Il Pirata, Ten Years Gone

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I don’t know if its because I see something of myself in them or if it awakens some kind of nurturing instinct, but I always seem to find myself drawn to tragically flawed figures. Layne Staley and Marco Pantani strike me as two halves of the same whole; incredibly talented yet tortured with mortally addictive personalities,…

Looking fast. Photo: Pedale.Forchetta

To Look Good is Already to Go Fast

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To look good is already to go fast. -Paul Fournel, Vélo My approach to research is pretty straight forward. First, I develop an opinion – usually in a cognitively compromised state. This is the first step in the process for the simple reason that it avoids the bulk of the hard work involving things like…

A cold morning ride on Keepers Tour 2013. Photo: Brett Kennedy

Look Pro: Dress for Success

by / / 215 posts

I recently overheard someone say that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. This is the kind of statement that makes me want to hate people as a species a little bit. Of course there such a thing as bad weather. There are also bad people (loads of them), bad ideas (even…

This man isn't about to quit; that's V Face right there.

On Rule #6: Resistance

by / / 112 posts

Strength can be a fickle thing this time of year, when the training isn’t as consistent as it should be; it comes and goes, sometimes several times in the span of a single ride or even a climb. Like a rosy-eyed dreamer I keep awakening as I train, thrown like a rag doll between a state…

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La Vie Velominatus: Ugly Ducklings

by / / 67 posts

We’re an odd bunch, us Cyclists. Shaved legs, scars, tan lines, muscular legs paired to scrawny upper bodies. These things that make us stand out are some of the things I take great pride in. I marvel at my freshly shaved guns and how smooth they feel under my dress clothes when I’m stuck at…

A 10 speed cluster; too many choices or not enough?

Les Choix

by / / 156 posts

I’ve never been able to decide if choices are a gift or a curse; a lack of choices introduces simplicity but also with it the risk that the simple choices do not meet the demands of a complex world. An abundance of similar choices, on the other hand, often reduces the impact of getting things…

The LeMond Revolution

Reverence: LeMond Revolution

by / / 137 posts

I read recently that a number of Pros like to ride the turbo for an hour or so before having breakfast in the morning to jump start the old metabolic system. Which means that now I ride the trainer for an hour in the morning before breakfast. I think the Pros probably do it to lose…

Just Right...

The Goldilocks Principle: Valve Stem Length

by / / 102 posts

The Goldilocks Principle is under assault, balance is lost. Without balance, we are reduced to savages. Steerectile dysfunction is spreading like wildfire; socks are quickly becoming knee-highs and the line between shorts and knickers continues to blur. We spend considerable time making everything on our loyal steed fit and look perfect. Bar tape and tire…

An early morning ride on Keepers Tour 2013. Photo: Brett Kennedy

La Vie Velominatus: The Gifts of Rule #9

by / / 148 posts

We’re not really supposed to have favorites, but everyone does. Just ask your parents. So while I’m not supposed to have a favorite, I do, and its Rule #9. Bad weather immediately separates the wheat from the chaff, and so the weekend warriors stay indoors and leave the roads to the devout. I talk most…