Author Archive | frank

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

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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,…

There is pain to be found upon this road. Photo via <a href="">Symonbike</a>

On Rule #10: The Mandlebrot Set of Pain

by / / 111 posts

My training hasn’t gone as I’d like it to be going. My days keep getting loaded up with things that pay the bills more than they add to the account at the V-Bank. It’s part of not being a Pro, I suppose, as if to spite my obvious talent which is a sort of talent sleeper cell…

We've been Buysse

V-Announcements: We’re Back!

by / / 115 posts

I have to tell you, there is very little that gets me as aggravated as having Velominati go down. Its like having kids kicking down my sandcastle when I was a kid, watching helplessly as your labor of love collapses right before your eyes. We’ve spent the better part of the last month with the…

Hinault in his element

Five Face

by / / 31 posts

Why is it that all the greatest riders look strangely happy when they are suffering the most? Hinault says he still hasn’t regained the feeling in some of his fingers from racing off the front that day in Liege in 1980. He wanted to get someplace warm as quickly as possible, he said. That’s why he went…

No Graveur needed here.

On Rule #12: The Luxury of Passion

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Rule #12 is a luxury of passion; the #1 for good weather and epic rides or races, the Nine Bike for bad weather, the Graveur (which is neither a cross bike nor a road bike), a ‘Cross bike, a mountain bike, a townie, a track bike, a time trial bike. Add in steel, carbon, titanium –…

The machine that cuts a path through the darkness.

Musings from the Darkness

by / / 103 posts

Reality is always an unpleasant surprise; no one wants to see ourselves the way others see us, and that’s for good reason, too: depression would be much more widespread problem if each of us realized what a pain in the ass we are. Speaking of unpleasant realities, after recently reviewing videos of myself speaking, I have deduced that I have the face…

Respect is a cornerstone of La Vie Velominatus.

The Past and the Future

by / / 112 posts

I’m struggling with how to open this conversation without sounding like what I’m assuming my grandparents did when I was growing up. Maybe it’s because I’m just now clawing my way into some of the wisdom they had, or maybe I’m just less of an idiot than I was when they were moving their lips and…

Every path has a beginning...

The First Step

by / / 87 posts

I’ve spent my adult life believing that Mario Cippolini was the first rider to soil the Rainbow Jersey with matching bibshorts. Granted, Super Mario could pull off even the worst soilings with the most possible class, but nevertheless it kicked off a trend of matching bib shorts to jerseys – which is something I cannot abide unless they match because…

Climbing used to be all about disco; in Flanders, it still is.

De Vlaamse Disco

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I’m not a good dancer. I’ve come to this conclusion not through study but through ridicule and injury. Apparently it demands the ability to exhibit control over your limbs in some rhythmic capacity where “rhythmic” is defined both as “not chaotic” and “not stationary”. To make matters worse, this extends to all your limbs, not…

We've been Buysse

V-Announcements: Site Refresh and New Connections

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I don’t know what it is about Production servers, but they’re always different from Staging and Test servers. And when I say “different” I mean “sinister and evil”. Never the less, we have successfully launched Velominati’s site refresh. It was high time, too; after serving us well for V years, the site’s infrastructure was showing its…

Merckxy Christmas and a Coppi New Year

Merckxy Christmas

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To each and every one of you in our community, we’d like to express our heartfelt gratitude for your continued support and involvement in our community. Velominati is a project born of passion more than planning, and the fact that we’ve managed to gain your support means the world to us; over the years I’ve come…

The stones bring out the best in certain types of riders.

Riding Beautifully Ugly

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The cobbles are not for everyone. Peter van Petegem said it best, that you have to really love the stones to be good at them. Much like climbing, they demand that the rider forge a close relationship with a special kind of pain – one that is self-inflicted and inspires you to inflict more. I knew I…

This cat got skills

On Rule #43: Shaming the Sensei

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I think it would be hard for anyone to make the case that Eddy Merckx was Roger de Vlaeminck’s Cycling Sensei, but I think we can all agree that De Vlaeminck was a student of Merckx, if only a student of his domination. But every student at some point becomes the master, and the driven student will always challenge…

Does this twat make me look fat?

Anatomy of a Photo: Michelin Man

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I’m trying my best to stay thin this winter, but I’m nowhere near where I was when it was warm and the days were long. I keep flashing back to the last time I felt genuinely skinny and declared to myself, “This time, I’ll keep it off!” This photo is a metaphor. Winter me is on the right,…

My only remaining hub with loose ball bearings.

In Memoriam: Loose Ball Bearings

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The darker months bring out the macabre in each of us; for Gianni it was the extinction of his beloved Park Tool adjustable clamp. For me, I found myself mourning the fact that I recently purchased a headset press. Ignoring the fact that a Velominatus of my stature didn’t already own one, the mourn behind…

Spinal Tap Black

The Dark Side

by / / 184 posts

White is a troublesome color; hard to keep clean. I have a white dress shirt that I never wear because even if I manage not to spill on the front of it, the cuffs and collar will look crap by the end of the day regardless. I mean, I can keep from eating something all…

Not for the faint hearted: the Winter Cycling Cap.

Experts Only: The Winter Cycling Cap

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We just finished a thorough examination of the Cyclist’s marquee accoutrement, the Cycling Cap. Today’s lesson is about the Cycling Cap’s red-headed step brother, the Winter Cycling Cap. This is a toque born of necessity; the thin cotton cap is nowhere near warm enough for the demands of the Flemish winter training season. Form should follow function,…

Gimmeeawheel!!!! I have a flat!

On the Road Again: Keepers Tour 2015

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We want to look like Pros, sure, but what we’re really after is feeling Pro. All the aesthetics are just a tool we use to fuel the fickle internal combustion engine of Morale. In the end, there is little that will make you feel Pro more than clattering along a stretch of cobbles in a small group;…

The last masters of the Cycling cap passed into the night at the close of the 20th cetnury

Les Maîtres de la Casquette

by / / 130 posts

It doesn’t take a genius to see what’s going on here. Rule #5, Rule #9, Rule #10; every rider in this frame Looks Fantastic (most other Rules). The riders are in short sleeves and shorts while the public apparently has scavenged materials from rubbish bins and the local grain elevator in a very visually unpleasant…

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