Archive | Etiquette

Winner on the road, loser in the mirror. Photo: Gian Mattia D'Alberto

The Mirror

by / / 140 posts

Have you ever been told to take a good look at yourself? Usually it infers that you need to smarten up your ideas, get your shit together, shape up or ship out. If Viagra eyedrops had an advertising campaign, (or indeed existed), their tagline would be: “Take a long, hard look at yourself.” Most Cyclists…

Black reflective tape on the Rain Bike

The Reflective Bike of Authority

by / / 114 posts

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…


The Dig

by / / 77 posts

“Are you havin’ a dig at me?” It’s a good old phrase that one. I hear it occasionally, usually in response to some jest, part of the banter that me and my friends enjoy on a regular basis. It can be used as an off-the-cuff remark, clearly meant in a jocular way, or can carry…

Time for a different kind of suffering.

The Janus of Suffering

by / / 68 posts

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…

Note the buggy whip arms

Every Day is Leg Day

by / / 167 posts

The proclamation is heard in the office, on social media, at the bar with friends; “It’s leg day.” When someone utters “it’s leg day” the accompanying tone of resentment and even dread is usually followed by an audible “ugh”. This exasperation belies one fact, the person making the utterance is not a cyclist. It’s likely…



by / / 75 posts

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…


The Illusion of Transparency

by / / 70 posts

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

by / / 145 posts

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…


On Rule #36: Cool Shades

by / / 56 posts

Forget quick-release skewer, the mechanical derailleur, carbon frames, or disc wheels. Never mind clipless pedals or brake-mounted shifters. Scratch those deep-section road wheels, lightweight helmets, or miracle fabrics. The most important innovation in Cycling had nothing to do with those incremental advances, but rather with the invention of Cycling-Specific eyewear. To begin with, they allowed…

You don't Look this Fantastic by being sensible all the time.

Of Course, But Maybe

by / / 86 posts

I’m a naturally loud and weird person who expresses excitement through volume. Also, alcohol is supposed to be a depressant, but it doesn’t appear to work for me; all it does is make me happier (and louder) – until I have a little too much at which point I get weirder (a too-happy, too-loud kind of…

T-Bone Farrar and Johan "Big Ring" Vansummeren ride in the elements. Photo: Pedale.Forchetta

The Elements

by / / 137 posts

Water is an asshole, at least when it comes to bicycles. So is wind, now that I think of it; I don’t love it, unless its at my back, but that rarely seems to happen even on out-and-back routes. Fire’s not winning any prizes either, unless you’re talking about the hunk-a-hunka burnin’ V. Even le soleil…

Ivan Basso rips it up on the way down.

Descents are Not for Recovery. Recovery Ales are for Recovery.

by / / 111 posts

My trouble isn’t with being a good descender; it is with cornering and stopping – and sometimes both. Or, as G’rilla puts it, “Descending is like sex; how good I am at it has nothing to do with how much I enjoy it.” Descending is demanding and requires great skill. It is not a time…


Full Circle: The ‘Evolution’ of Mountain Biking

by / / 84 posts

Think back to the early days of mountain biking. A bunch of friends, getting to the top of the hill any way they could, not needing to ride up at any great pace, saving themselves for the real buzz, the ride back down. It didn’t matter who got tot the top first, as long as…

The dangers of living with a VMH.

The Entanglements of Rule #12

by / / 140 posts

It is so deeply entangled at this point, I can no longer tell the threads from one another. The strands once ran cleanly from one bicycle to the next, linking a discrete sequence of events, considerations, wants, and desires. But then, 15 years ago, a strong force entered my life and I was forced to…

A disembodied body.

The Unexpected

by / / 97 posts

Gianni really took it in the shorts after trying to sneak his way along with a stealth EPMS. Like an alcoholic falling off the wagon, the poor fellow can’t quite come to grips with the comfort of his old friend, the saddle bag. The solution lies in finding a light toolkit to carry along with…


The Constant Companion

by / / 136 posts

A friend recently asked my advice for how to prepare for the longest ride he’d ever done. My approach is somewhat unorthodox when it comes to this sort of thing; I like to train to ride a lot farther than the event itself, and whenever possible, throw in a handful of sessions with my old…

The most stylish bit of gear in Cycling history: the Cycling Cap

Look Pro: Keep a Lid on It

by / / 163 posts

Cycling has been suffering a crisis every since the use of a helmet became compulsory. This crisis is rooted in the simple fact that cycling peaked aesthetically with the cycling cap perched casually deliberate atop a sweaty cranium. It was only after mandatory helmet dictum spread its tentacles into all UCI-sanctioned races in 2003 that…

Cyclisme - Archive - Laurent Fignon

Respect the Jersey

by / / 73 posts

Domination, at least from the spectator’s point of view, can quickly wring the suspense and excitement out of watching an event. In most cases, the sporting events we look back on most fondly are those most closely fought; even in recalling my own competitions, those where my winning margin was smallest feature most prominently in…

Too low and too short. Photo: Montreal Gazette

Riding Ugly: The Spider

by / / 191 posts

There are lots of things to like about Vroomie Froomie, like his willingness to accept the fact that people are inclined to question his performances. Aside from me resenting him for leading a Tour which everyday becomes a little less exciting, he seems quite a likable guy; he is polite, respectful of the sport, wears team-issue…

Sean Yates hits escape velocity

Look Pro: Escape Velocity

by / / 53 posts

Three things can send me from a deep sleep to sitting bolt upright in bed, gasping in terror. First is the most obvious, which is any dream involving visions of spiders. Second is dreaming of being dragged off or otherwise being aware of impending doom and opening my mouth to scream but having no sound…

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