Archive | Etiquette

Disorganized Chaos

An Open Letter to Drivers

by / / 92 posts

I imagine that unless you’re a Cyclist, it is quite difficult to understand what it’s like to ride a bicycle on the open road amongst traffic. It is a vulnerable feeling to be riding along a road with limited or no escape routes, surrounded by vehicles who outweigh you by several orders of magnitude. Particularly when you take into consideration…

Hello, could you connect me to Dr. Ferrari please? Or just give me a Ferrari in my bottom bracket.

Hello Operator

by / / 90 posts

Marco Pantani had Armstrong on the ropes. It was the Col de Joux Plane in the 2000 Tour de France and the only time Pharmy was in real, genuine difficulty during any of his “seven” Tours. So he did what any reasonable rider would do: he got on the radio with his team boss and demanded…

The foxes alight upon the finish

Of Mother or Limb: First Week Wrap-Up

by / / 49 posts

As I sit here watching the Tour de France while resting comfortably in my armchair, I find myself ruminating on the risks of the modern professional Cyclist. Even from my perch of steel and cowhide, I find myself recoiling in fear as traffic islands are navigated at speed, shoulders and bumped on wobbly bikes, and the boney elbows…

K.I.S.S meets Soundgarden.

The Quick Zip Salute

by / / 68 posts

Diego Ulissi did us all a service on stage 4 of the Giro. Not only did he win in the best way possible for a rouleur with a sprint – by not having to sprint – he timed his attack so perfectly that he only had time for a split-second salute, and an even quicker…

Even Kittel can't make this work.

The All-Red Onesie

by / / 74 posts

When it comes to personal style and charisma, Marcel Kittel is at the top of the food chain. Only a certain kind of genius admits on live television that the most stressful thing about racing a Grand Tour is having your hair gel confiscated by airport security. He also clearly has a mystical, Samsonesque power to his hair;…

We need to be tough on and off the bike.

Cut Like a Buffalo

by / / 32 posts

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…

A bunch of new friends rolls along, getting to know one another.

Oversharing on the Group Ride

by / / 57 posts

My dog greets every dog on the street as though it were her long lost best friend. As soon as the customary butt-sniffing has been sorted out, the two dogs will wrestle each other endlessly, stopping only after an owner-forced separation. Any human that falls within her gaze is a viable candidate for a new home…

Phantom aero in the snow. Top marks, Michele.

Breathing Through Your Ears

by / / 65 posts

Suffering is part of Cycling the way alcohol is part of liver failure: they are obviously connected but it’s too much fun to stop and think about why you do it. Grace finds us through La Volupté, but her touch is rare and we generally are far better acquainted with her husband, The Man with the…

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…

There are a few subtle indications of this not being  the right way to do it.

Doing It Wrong

by / / 69 posts

Cycling is a complex sport, one whose fabric is densely woven from the fibers of a Hundred Years War between evolution and tradition. The Rules were laid out in part to provide a path through the chaos, helping lead the disciple towards transcendence. In the words of Pablo Picasso, “Learn the rules like a pro, so…

Lean casually.

Lean In, Lean Out

by / / 71 posts

I profess to understand every mannerism and habit of the Cyclist. I’m Dutch, and I’m a writer, so it all comes pretty naturally. The problem is that thinking you understand something and actually understanding it are two completely different things; the first is confidence, the second is wisdom; there is no Venn diagram that has an…

Sarah Ginsbach demonstrates perfect mounting style. Photo: Allen Kuo

A Study in Casually Deliberate: Start Properly

by / / 93 posts

I was recently asked how one is supposed to handle the delicate situation when departing a traffic signal and you are unable to clip in immediately. The obvious answer is that you’re supposed to clip in right away (use your toe to position the pedal and then pop your shoe into it) but I admit…

Kelly crushes fools with properly layered kit.

Dress Like An Onion: The Art of Layering

by / / 94 posts

The thing about the cold is that you can never tell how cold it is from looking out a kitchen window. You have to dress up, get out training and when you come back, you then know how cold it is. – Sean Kelly Apart from the obvious lesson in Rules #5 and #9, hidden…

Misty Mountain Hop

The Nine Kit

by / / 77 posts

Riding in bad weather is an incredible experience assuming you don’t fall off and break your hip, or you don’t get hit by a car. Those realities aside, the weather adds a dimension to the ride that you simply don’t have on a sunny day, lovely as they are. The other day I was riding early…

This helps make a bike special.

On Rule #12: The Bike #1 Paradox

by / / 64 posts

The only parents who proclaim to have a favorite child are the ones who have only one; all the other ones pretend they don’t have a favorite because they are each “different and special in their own way”. It’s complete bollocks, that, and we all know every parent does in fact have a favorite, but we…


Team USA: Doomed From The Start

by / / 84 posts

The Road Cycling World Championships are on our doorstep. The USA is hosting, which makes me nervous immediately. How can we fuck this up? Ask Taylor Phinney for starters. This event has not been hosted by the USA since Moreno Argentin won in Colorado almost thirty years ago. We just don’t have the experience to…

Hinault keeps the guns clean.

Cover High Before You Cover Low

by / / 102 posts

With the transitions of seasons occurring all over the world as Summer shifts to Fall in the Northern Hemisphere and Winter to Spring in the Southern, we are faced with the seasonal challenge of how to kit up properly for volatile and variable weather conditions. One of the most common mistakes made, apart from overdressing,…

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…

Classic witte socks

Lock, Sock, and Two Smoking Barrels

by / / 104 posts

It used to be that you could choose any color shoes you wanted, so long as they were black and any color socks, so long as they were white. Easy times, those. Then Gianni gave me his White Ladies and all of a sudden my life was complicated. First of all, the shoes were so beautifully white in…

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

The First Weak

by / / 88 posts

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…

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