Archive | Defining Moments

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Defining Moments: Hood Position

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If I spent half a summer riding with one hand on the tops and one on the hoods, I spent the other half riding with each hand deliberately gripping the hoods differently. As any young Cyclist growing up in the United States in the late 80s, I had a major thing for Greg LeMond. I imagined Greg…

More bikes is more better.

La Vie Velominatus: A Rule #25 Reasoned Decision

by / / 78 posts

There was no clear indication that Rick’s car had actually come to a complete stop. It wasn’t that the car hadn’t stopped its forward trajectory – it had – it was just that the car hadn’t actually stopped moving. Long after the vehicle had come to rest in what could only be considered a legitimate…

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Anatomy of a Photo: Campagnolo Candy Van

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Every night I pray to Merckx that in the morning when I wake up I’ll have a Campagnolo Free Candy Van with a Super Dome. And every morning, its a fresh disappointment that it didn’t come true. This photo also serves as further evidence that Cool peaked some time around the summer of 1977.

The_Forth_Rail_Bridge,_September_2012

Training: The Fourth Bridge

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Before the New Year, it was my ride up Haleakala. At present, it’s Keepers Tour: Cobbled Classics 2013. Before Haleakala, it was one of the various Cyclocross races and before that the Zoo Hill Time Trial. The targets change, but throughout my life as a Velominatus, there always seems to be a goal looming over…

Photo: Janet Hill

The Phoenix

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As a dyed-in-the-wool Northerner, my time living in the South was a mixed bag. Southerners think differently, speak differently, eat differently, and prioritize life differently than do Yankees. In many ways, I became a better person during my time in the South, learning to relax a little bit and stop chasing my tail over everything all…

Maui Pavé   photo by Strack

Insight on Rule #34

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Rule #34-Mountain bike shoes have their place-on a mountain bike. During our very recent Cogal I gained some on-the-road insight on Rule #34. We were on a part of the route I have never ridden on a bike and had no memory of. The pavement was pavé, Maui-style. Somewhere deep down below the surface of the…

Frank climbs at 9,000 feet on Haleakala.

Frank vs. The Volcano: Part Trois

by / / 95 posts

At some point, I reckon the idea may dawn on me that I’m not a climber. Eighty kilos and standing something just shy of two meters, I’m not clear on why climbing is what speaks to me most about Cycling; I’m certainly not built like a grimpeur. But there is no question about it; I…

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Solitude

by / / 115 posts

The task spreads out before me like molasses poured onto a tabletop, indulging in its viscous immensity. Its growing breadth makes it a kind of enigma, the sort distinguished by an elusive end and therefor an intangible beginning. It occurs to me, at this moment, that the difference between those who achieve and those who stagnate is not measured by…

Something has gone awry here. Photo: John Thompson

The Thin Boundary Between Casual and Deliberate

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Cycling and crashing are the kinds of things that come together whenever you liberally combine Newtonian Physics, skill, and overconfidence. In other words, I’ve been falling off my bike for nearly as long as I’ve been climbing on it. One of the more memorable crashes of my youth involved the commute home from my high school…

All in a line; the wheels.

La Ruota

by / / 193 posts

Its hard to say precisely where the line lays, but I’m certain I’m well on the wrong side of it. I never notice lines as I pass over them but I can usually tell after I have because it feels suddenly liberating to leave reason, sensibility, and convention behind. I find them very restrictive –…

Fignon leads the 1989 Giro d'Italia

Defining Moments: My First Kit

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As children, none of us were given an allowance. Instead, we were taught from a young age that if we wanted to buy something, we had to earn the money in order to do so. To facilitate the model, and possibly to avoid child-labor law infringement, we were paid to do chores around the house…

Terrorism at work against cancer.

Velominati: Terrahist

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PayPal has decided to classify Velominati as a “Terrorist Organization” because we accepted contributions last week from community members to support the fight against cancer – without being an accredited non-profit organization. So much for trying to do the “right thing”. While I’m sure they have their internal processes and reasons for this action given the current…

Optimism carries us to the most rewarding tasks of our lives.

La Vie Velominatus: Optimism

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If I were a pessimist, or a realist for that matter, I wonder if I might have started any of the various activities which have brought me the most pleasure and satisfaction. Though I have Cycling in my mind when I make that statement, this principle expands beyond the vast and il-defined borders of La…

Coppi's Specialissima carry's scars that tell a story.

La Bicyclette, Part II: Scars

by / / 48 posts

We meticulously care for our bicycle, stopping only just short of pampering it. Through ages spend coveting, building, and riding it, we become attached to it and its beautiful finishing details – the luster of the frame’s finish, the angle and sweep of the bars, the gleaming white tape, the tires, the wheels – all…

Darkness sets in.

Into The Tunnel

by / / 96 posts

It requires a combination of factors to intersect. You need to have already spent loads of time on a bicycle. Enough so that you have an inherent sense of this odd thing with two wheels; you can make it go quickly or slowly, you can steer it around a corner with ease, you know how the…

Van Petegem in 2003. Photo: Photonews

Peter Van Petegem: A Lesson in Rule #9

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Rule #9–Fair-weather riding is a luxury reserved for Sunday afternoons and wide boulevards. Those who ride in foul weather – be it cold, wet, or inordinately hot – are members of a special club of riders who, on the morning of a big ride, pull back the curtain to check the weather and, upon seeing…

Vande Velde leads on the Stelvio. Photo: Steephill/Sirotti

Twistin Banged and Felled. And Got Back Up.

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As a byproduct of brakes being strictly for ornamental purposes, cyclists are often forced to find alternative means of stopping their bikes. As a matter of both convenience and effectiveness, the tarmac and other objects of greater mass than the sum of cyclist and bicycle are often employed for this purpose. Collectively, we refer to…

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La Vie Velominatus: Addiction

by / / 116 posts

I feel it in my bones. I feel it in my breathing. I fixate on how much I feel it in my legs to the point where I find myself in a meeting, rubbing them to gauge how soft they’ve gotten. (Must learn to stop doing that in public as it can’t possibly improve my…

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Keepers Tour 2012 Update, Part 2: The Lion Rides Today

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With Keepers Tour: Cobbled Classics 2012 stitched up and in the history books, the challenge of documenting the trip became immediately obvious; how do you take the myriad impressions, experiences, and perspectives and put them down in a meaningful way – let alone in a way that can somehow be digested. Surely, to document even…

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