Author Archive | frank

Minnie Phinney takes a swig. Photo: Pedale.Forchetta

Look Pro: Drink Properly

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Riding a bicycle involves much more than just pushing the pedals around in a perfect sweep of muscular elegance while Looking Fantastic at all times. There are all sorts of soft skills involved like learning to shift properly, learning to corner properly, learning to crash properly, learning to criticize a fellow rider’s puncture-repair technique, learning to chide a struggling…

Hinault explores the second of the Fundamental Fives: technical skill.

Convergence of the Two Fives

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Physics tells us that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The conservation law extend beyond the physical world and into mystical where the V and Anti-V are also in a constant fight for balance. The Ancients on Mount Velomis understood this well, and taught that the Anti-V expresses itself within the universe as two…

The Prophet hands down the New V-Estament

Book Release: Events and New Rules

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The Rules lie at the beginning of The Path, not the end. In pursuit of La Vie Velominatus, we know of no end to the Path; each of us journey through an endless evolution of understanding and reverence. As such, The Word continues to be handed down from high upon Mount Velominis and The Rules…

Pantani finds his power in the drops. Photo: Tom Able-Green/ALLSPORT

In Search of Power

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It’s no secret that I’m prone to riding in the big ring as much as possible, mostly on account of my not being a giant sissy. In accordance with the ISO Non-Sissy Standard, I also never read instruction manuals or ask for directions when lost. I make sure to only rarely ask my VMH to turn…

Phinney takes flight in the Trouée d'Arenberg.

Velominati Super Prestige: Paris-Roubaix 2014

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It has been a brutal week for us Keepers, having decided not to hold a Keepers Tour this year. Watching the action from half a world away has been almost too much for us to bear, and I know most of the participants from last year must be feeling similarly. On Sunday, we would be…

Fabs and Vanmarke make the split on the Kwaremont. Photo: Alexandre Voisine

Balance

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I had always imagined that de Ronde van Vlaanderen must be hardest race in the world. The way I worked it out – having never ridden the course of either event at the time – was that de Ronde had the same cobbles as Roubaix, but with 20% grades thrown in. It makes enough sense…

Ellen van Dijk scales the Oude Kwaremont

Velominati Super Prestige: VVomen’s Ronde van Vlaanderen 2014

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Vlaanderen. Its no accident the Flemish word for Flanders starts with a V; there is nothing simple or easy about riding a bike here. If it isn’t wind, its steep bergs. If it isn’t tarmac, its cobbles. Most of the time, its all three. Oh, and the weather there sucks. In fact, Flanders doesn’t have…

In defiance of Gravity

Gravity

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Gravity is the most unavoidable force on Earth, with the possible exception of Stupidity. And like with Stupidity, you can take measures to reduce its influence on you, but you won’t get rid of it completely, assuming you’re staying on this planet. From the very moment we’re born, Gravity takes its unrelenting hold on us – which…

Black reflective tape on the Rain Bike

The Reflective Bike of Authority

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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…

king-kelly

Hunger

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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

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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,…

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