That is some serious gunnage my boy Jan is showing off there.

Zee Germans

by / / 48 posts

The Germans are onto something. They call a bike a “rad”. From a linguistic standpoint, that is the most accurate name for a bike in any language. They call Cycling “riding rad”. I’m not even making that up. Radfahren. When they put it in a sentence, it translates roughly to “I’m practicing being rad.” I accept the possibility that I have the nuances of the translation off a tad because I don’t speak German, but I am pretty sure it’s directionally correct.

Rudy Pevenage wasn’t German, he was Belgian. I like most Belgians, but Jan Ullrich should have chosen a different coach and mentor because as it turns out, Rudy was a back-stabbing, turncoat, Judas motherfucker. And he looked like a blowup doll. Never trust anyone who looks like a blowup doll.

I think it’s fair to say Germans aren’t known as being an overly sympathetic people. When Jan Ullrich shat the bed by getting caught up in Operación Puerto and again later when Rudy took the liberty to confess on Jan’s behalf, it broke hearts around the world, mine included. But just like every other time we’ve had our hearts broken, we blew through a few meaningless flings, settled down, and got over it. Not Germany. Germany Sharpied “Cheating Bastard” on Cycling’s forehead, threw all its belongings on the front lawn, and set that shit on fire. No more National Tour, no more television coverage of any race happening anywhere.

It must have been tough to be an aspiring Cyclist in Germany during this time; I imagine that confessing your dreams of becoming a Pro to an anxious parent trying to get you to focus on school instead was the sort of proclamation that sucked the air right out of the room. I shudder to think that it may well have resulted in more than a few hacksaws being taken to a bicycle frame by a desperate father.

I have it on the excellent authority of the man down the pub that Cycling is undergoing some kind of rejuvenation in Germany. And if you haven’t watched Clean Spirit, might I suggest you stop reading Velominati and go watch it. And then come back and commence reading Velominati. John Degencobble and Marcel Kittel are two funny bastids with the kind of unhealthy love for the bike that makes it impossible not to like them. And it gives you hope that there are at least two fellows in the men’s peloton who are trying to take racing clean seriously.

There are numerous Germans riding the Pro circuit today that are fun to watch race. I’m glad Zee Germans are coming; if the only emotion they seem to wear on their sleeve is their zaney love for suffering, then that’s a good one to settle on.

// Awesome German Guys

  1. @frank you are a bit off on zee translation radfahren literally is driving a bike. Still great article and degenkolb, kittel, martin and the gorilla are certainly helping cycling in Germany. Personally since I live in Austria I am looking forward to the 2018 world Championship in Innsbruck.

  2. My first word of German — Schlauchreifenkitt!

  3. Rad is the German noun for wheel; a Fahrad is a bicycle (sometimes colloquially referred to merely as a rad). Fahren is the German verb for driving; Reiten is German verb for riding (as in a horse).

    Thus in German, one doesn’t merely ride a bike, they drive it. Seems appropriate to me!

  4. Marcel Kittel’s hair cut = rad.

  5. @1860, @Touriste-Routier

    You guys both realize I don’t give two flying fucks, right?

  6. @frank

    @1860, @Touriste-Routier

    You guys both realize I don’t give two flying fucks, right?

  7. All I know is, I’m a radler.

  8. When Ulle got popped for juicing, this Ule was heartbroken. I love that guy. He’s doing better now, minus the odd drink-driving infraction.

  9. @frank

    Geez, I figured you’d appreciate that it means drive it, as in driving hard. With a German, it is always on.

  10. @Packfiller

    If it wasn’t cycling related, you’d be watered down beer; blasphemy, except in this context:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shandy#Radler

  11. Himmel, mein fahrad ist kaput!

  12. But the german word for ride is “fahrt”. Kinda loses something when you tell someone you’re ” going for a fahrt”, non? The French have cycling words locked down.

  13. Three words showing Germans are awesome.

    Jens.

    Motherf*cking.

    Voigt.

  14. @TBONE

    When Ulle got popped for juicing, this Ule was heartbroken. I love that guy. He’s doing better now, minus the odd drink-driving infraction.

    PS

  15. @Touriste-Routier

    @frank

    Geez, I figured you’d appreciate that it means drive it, as in driving hard. With a German, it is always on.

    I do, you just didn’t hear me chuckling as I wrote that.

    I actually know it means drive, otherwise the Volkswagen slogan doesn’t make sense. I just selectively translated it to make it fit into the joke better. Writers of all sorts have a term for doing that, it’s called doing whatever the fuck we want.

  16. @TBONE

    @TBONE

    When Ulle got popped for juicing, this Ule was heartbroken. I love that guy. He’s doing better now, minus the odd drink-driving infraction.

    PS

    I think that’s from Bayern Rundfahrt; story is one of the riders saw that podium girl prior and was talking about her endowment.

    so he won the race in order to inspect the goods.

  17. And he looked like a blowup doll. Never trust anyone who looks like a blowup doll.

    Best quote ever! Words to live by.

  18. Degencobble has already won two more Monuments than any American. If KIttel gets hit shiet wired tight this year, all this talk of Cav being the best sprinter will quickly stop, again.

    That Clean Spirit movie really was great. Degencobble, despite the dodgy mo’, has much V burning inside him and a little wacky too. Zer goot.

    And Rudy, holy shit, how do you get your face that fat? Inflated to 8 bars.

  19. Typo in the title Frank; I think you’ll find its Zee Chermans, not Zee Germans.

    For a pronounciation reference, try Turkish in Snatch.

    “Wot do you need a gun for Tommy? In case Zee Chermans arrive?”

    Or something…..

  20. Sorry, I incorrectly quoted Turkish: its not gun, its shooter. Pron shoe-ah.

    Apologies.

  21. @fignons barber

    But the german word for ride is “fahrt”. Kinda loses something when you tell someone you’re ” going for a fahrt”, non? The French have cycling words locked down.

    And most things said in French sound fantastic. German always seems to sound like “show me your papers.”

  22. Was really wonderful racing times when Ullrich would be mashing a huge gear and Lance spinning up the mountains in July.

  23. @Packfiller

    All I know is, I’m a radler.

    A radler with panaché? Shandy squared!

  24. @frank

    @1860, @Touriste-Routier

    You guys both realize I don’t give two flying fucks, right?

    You two must be German to miss the fun in something and point out linguistic and grammatical inaccuracies.

  25. @frank I can’t imagine that Morten Okbo is your average man in the pub or that you’d end up in an average pub on a night out with him.

  26. @Chipomarc

    Was really wonderful racing times when Ullrich would be mashing a huge gear and Lance spinning up the mountains in July.

    Earrings, goatees, velcro, peroxide, bandannas & EPO. Those were the days alright.

  27. @PT

    @Chipomarc

    Was really wonderful racing times when Ullrich would be mashing a huge gear and Lance spinning up the mountains in July.

    Earrings, goatees, velcro, peroxide, bandannas & EPO. Those were the days alright.

    I see what you did there, Sarcasm. Nice!

  28. @chris

    @frank

    @1860, @Touriste-Routier

    You guys both realize I don’t give two flying fucks, right?

    You two must be German to miss the fun in something and point out linguistic and grammatical inaccuracies.

    In fact I have spent such a long time closely observing the Germans that I have broken their code, and am here to share it with all of you whether you like it or not.

  29. Jan Ullrich should have chosen a different coach and mentor because as it turns out, Rudy ……….. looked like a blowup doll. Never trust anyone who looks like a blowup doll.

    Probably also explains Jan’s winter profile.

    Has anyone found that place in the middle of Germany called Ausfahrt? I keep seeing it on exit signs but can never find the darned place on the map.

  30. @Gianni

    And Rudy, holy shit, how do you get your face that fat? Inflated to 8 bars.

    No wonder Ulli couldn’t keep his shit together in winter. Sitting at the table, across from that guy…you’ll always feel like you’re on the right side of skinny!

    @PT

    Typo in the title Frank; I think you’ll find its Zee Chermans, not Zee Germans.

    For a pronounciation reference, try Turkish in Snatch.

    “Wot do you need a gun for Tommy? In case Zee Chermans arrive?”

    Or something…..

    That scene is exactly what I was channeling. Nicely done!

  31. @Ccos

    @fignons barber

    But the german word for ride is “fahrt”. Kinda loses something when you tell someone you’re ” going for a fahrt”, non? The French have cycling words locked down.

    And most things said in French sound fantastic. German always seems to sound like “show me your papers.”

    For sure, agreed on all counts. The French can make anything sound good. Even snails.

    But still, rad is such a great word to incorporate into the name for Cycling.

  32. @Chipomarc

    Was really wonderful racing times when Ullrich would be mashing a huge gear and Lance spinning up the mountains in July.

    Only in 2001 and 2003. What’s great and relatively unknown is that Ullrich was not blood doping or taking EPO in 2000 or 2001. He finally got tired of getting his ass kicked and started it up in 2003 when he almost won.

    I love Ullrich’s riding style, my favorite of any post-80’s rider for sure. Right up my alley as well for how I ride. You can follow him on Facebook and see some of the monster rides he’s doing. He’s totally back in the spirit of things.

    Legend.

  33. @chris

    @frank I can’t imagine that Morten Okbo is your average man in the pub or that you’d end up in an average pub on a night out with him.

    We closed out the Mondrian after Stage 2 of the Rouleur Classic. It was outrageously good times. As far as Men Down the Pub go, he is among the best and most reliable.

  34. @PT

    @Chipomarc

    Was really wonderful racing times when Ullrich would be mashing a huge gear and Lance spinning up the mountains in July.

    Earrings, goatees, velcro, peroxide, bandannas & EPO. Those were the days alright.

  35. I met Ullrich a couple of months ago. They say you should never meet your heroes, but in this case, it did not disappoint. He’s a great guy and a class act. He looked fit and trim, too.

  36. Degenkobl Sr. was a very Rad guy.

  37. @frank

    @Chipomarc

    Was really wonderful racing times when Ullrich would be mashing a huge gear and Lance spinning up the mountains in July.

    Only in 2001 and 2003. What’s great and relatively unknown is that Ullrich was not blood doping or taking EPO in 2000 or 2001. He finally got tired of getting his ass kicked and started it up in 2003 when he almost won.

    Yeah, right!

  38. @Oli

    @frank

    @Chipomarc

    Was really wonderful racing times when Ullrich would be mashing a huge gear and Lance spinning up the mountains in July.

    Only in 2001 and 2003. What’s great and relatively unknown is that Ullrich was not blood doping or taking EPO in 2000 or 2001. He finally got tired of getting his ass kicked and started it up in 2003 when he almost won.

    Yeah, right!

    Haha! Now I’m the one drinking to koolaide! I see the tables have turned!

  39. @MangoDave

    I met Ullrich a couple of months ago. They say you should never meet your heroes, but in this case, it did not disappoint. He’s a great guy and a class act. He looked fit and trim, too.

    That is cool to hear. Didn’t work out as well for Pantani or (so far) Armstrong though.

  40. @frank

    @PT

    @Chipomarc

    Was really wonderful racing times when Ullrich would be mashing a huge gear and Lance spinning up the mountains in July.

    Earrings, goatees, velcro, peroxide, bandannas & EPO. Those were the days alright.

    Festina, the fuckers.

  41. @frank

    The main difference is that I’ve admitted I was wrong.

  42. @chris

    Nope, just an American who got pummeled on the roads and tracks of Germany in the early 90s. I learned the “drive” part early on; my first training ride with my German teammates started in the 53 x 12, and never let up for 100k.

    Since it was the 90s “rad” was most apropros, and with the resurgence of the German Pros, hopefully will be again.

  43. @Schmiken

    Three words showing Germans are awesome.

    Jens.

    Motherf*cking.

    Voigt.

    This.

  44. @frank

    @Ccos

    @fignons barber

    But the german word for ride is “fahrt”. Kinda loses something when you tell someone you’re ” going for a fahrt”, non? The French have cycling words locked down.

    And most things said in French sound fantastic. German always seems to sound like “show me your papers.”

    For sure, agreed on all counts. The French can make anything sound good. Even snails.

    But still, rad is such a great word to incorporate into the name for Cycling.

    Ah oui, ah oui. Escargots…

    As if often the case, Krabbé comes to mind here: “What an incredibly rich language, French, that it can spare a word like ‘Jante’ for a thing as down-to-earth as a rim”, or words to that effect.

    Most of you Veople probably know this – but just to be on the safe side: “Jante” is not pronounced “Yen-tea” or any such thing: the “Jan” sounds as if you add an ‘n’ to the first syllable in Zsa-Zsa Gabor’s name – and the “te” sounds like “tûh”. Zsjâhn-tuh. Rolls off the tongue like truffles marinated in Armagnac, fried in butter and served with cream. Ah, zee French – mon Dieu. (Sorry – back to the Germans… Schnell…)

  45. @PT

    Hey, five out of six ain’t bad.

    Cheers,

    Will

  46. @Oli

    @Chris “You two must be German to miss the fun in something and point out linguistic and grammatical inaccuracies.”

    Living in Switzerland, but being Dutch, could be interpreted that on average I am German, geographically speaking. The Swiss do not use Fahrrad (capital F and double r) but Velo and velofahren. And kaputt is with double t.

  47. @Teocalli

    It’s the next town over from Bahnhof. Gut Fahrt!

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar