Archive | Defining Moments

We need to be tough on and off the bike.

Cut Like a Buffalo

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Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 Hour Rule suggests that mastering a skill comes down to an incredible amount of practice; however talented you might be, it is the cultivation of raw talent into skill that distinguishes between success and failure. To train is to practice, and every hour we spend devoted to our craft is one spent…

Hayman fights back on the Carrefour. Photo: @harminator

You Can’t and You Don’t and You Won’t Stop

by / / 70 posts

Failure and success are destinations not often visible to the traveller. This is why it is nice to focus instead on the beauty of the journey and try not to be become overly fixated on any particular outcome. It is with some regret that I admit I didn’t invent this idea; there might be a few religions…

Woopsie-dasies.

Test Drive Dummies

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Everyone knows it’s a great idea to change out pieces of equipment the day before a group ride, especially an honorary Ronde van Vlaanderen Cogal involving steep, cobblestone climbs. There is obviously also no need to test-ride the equipment after making said change. I remark at this point that it is rather unexpected to find an 11 speed…

Rider and car (nearly) collide on the Koppenberg in the 1987 Tour of Flanders.

On Motors and Bikes: The Next Ride

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Every time I go riding, I know I subject myself to masses of cars and motorcycles, each of which has the potential to momentarily occupy the same space my bicycle and I are occupying, a physical impossibility that Nature will resolve via a messy process involving my death. I don’t know very much about the vehicles…

Hey guys, we're turning non-drive now.

Drive Side/Non-Drive Side

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I have a hard time with labels, which is why I am terrible at remembering people’s names. I remember the person and the conversation, but I rarely remember their name; the person had meaning, the label did not. I also can’t tell my left from my right which similarly feel like labels for “this way” or…

The Pro Mechanic. Is that a cigarette and is that diesel in there? Photo: HBStache

Dream Job

by / / 87 posts

I love working on my bikes. I feel closer to them, like a samurai sharpening their blade or a soldier cleaning their pistol; this simple act of preparation prepares us for the suffering that is to come, with the notable distinction that a Cyclist chooses this suffering with no tangible consequence while the warrior faces probably…

Motors are acceptable for this.

Motorhead

by / / 165 posts

Motherfucker. I honestly don’t like swearing in an Article, much less using such a word to open an article, but seriously. Motherfucker. A motor discovered in an U23 rider’s bike at the Cyclocross World Championships has to be the lowest of the low that anyone can go. I’m so pissed off, I’m rhyming. Which itself makes me…

If rider A rides 30kph toward rider B who is riding 22kmp, at what time with they lay down The V?

On Rule #74: Going Unplugged

by / / 156 posts

I think the most exciting Christmas present I ever received as a child was an Avocet 30 in what must have been 1989. Being in Minnesota and it being December, it meant my bike was going nowhere near the road any time soon, so I kept the silver dollar-sized computer in my pocket wherever I went,…

Her graceful touch.

The Graceful Touch of La Volupté

by / / 60 posts

I get to certain parts of my training when I begin to crave his blows, especially in winter. Winter is the time of year when training is a time for reflection and spending hours on the bike. Thoughts of hill repeats and intervals don’t creep into even the dampest corners of my mind as I…

Laurel Rathbun makes an adequate effort at Jingle Cross.

À Bloc

by / / 62 posts

The V surrounds us, it penetrates and binds us together. Through disciplined practice we are able to draw from it to push harder and go farther on the bike; what we do on the bike then informs how we face our lives. The masters, such as the Prophet Merckx and the Apostle de Vlaeminck, could channel…

We'll always have Paris.

La Solidarité

by / / 68 posts

We will always have strength, we will always have Paris, and we will always have the Tour de France racing to the finish on the Champs Élysée in July. Our thoughts are with the victims and people of Paris. Vive la France.

Rollin rollers into the sunset. Photo via @fabbricadellabici

Anticipation Shift

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I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn’t it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailleur? We are getting soft… As for me, give me a fixed gear! – Henri Desgrange Whenever I encounter a challenging thought or idea, I recoil…

Thankfully we've progressed beyond legwarmers made of baby buck sea monkeys.

Progressively Retro

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Innovation is a beast that lurches in leaps and bounds, fueled by its own momentum and restrained by its own progress. It lays dormant for ages before springing to life and briefly disrupting the world around it. And, just as suddenly as it appeared, it ambles back to its cave to slumber once again. Until 1984, eyewear…

A V.V Magnitude Awesome Quake. Photo via monsieurbloodpipes

V Point V Magnitude Awesome

by / / 46 posts

People, please grab hold of your butts: we are experiencing a V.V magnitude Awesome Quake, and it is sporting a totally rad lid. Further instructions will be provided. Have a pleasant day.

We all know this look. And we all love it.

Wet and Wild

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I have been spoiled rotten this summer as I alluded to last week and was evidenced through the flatness of the tires on my Nine Bike. I rode more this summer than I have in recent memory and I rode in the rain exactly one time; @snowgeek wondered if it might rain and I scoffed at the…

The Funnybike

In Memoriam: The Funny Bike

by / / 80 posts

Summer, it appears, has been snatched abruptly from Seattle’s grasp, like a squeak toy from a puppy’s mouth. A week ago, we were setting record temperatures which were sadly playing their role in producing the worst wildfire season the state has ever seen. On the plus side, I haven’t ridden my Nine Bike in so long both its…

There is a certain freedom to be found along this path.

The Liberty of Suffering

by / / 38 posts

The bicycle has always been a symbol of Freedom. Not just for us as children, extending the boundaries of our stomping grounds by an order of magnitude, but for humans from a societal standpoint. From the first days of its invention, we have sought out its limits, delighting in the process of finding the upper boundary…

Black eyes and yellow jersey go together like wine and pasta.

The First Weak

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Three days in, and it’s already been a brutal opening week of the Tour. I’ve never heard of the Tour neutralizing part of the stage unless a Schleck was involved, but I was relieved to understand that the reason for the neutralization had more to do with how many doctors were available for the second…

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…

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…

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