Archive | Folklore

Climbing used to be all about disco; in Flanders, it still is.

De Vlaamse Disco

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I’m not a good dancer. I’ve come to this conclusion not through study but through ridicule and injury. Apparently it demands the ability to exhibit control over your limbs in some rhythmic capacity where “rhythmic” is defined both as “not chaotic” and “not stationary”. To make matters worse, this extends to all your limbs, not…

This cat got skills

On Rule #43: Shaming the Sensei

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I think it would be hard for anyone to make the case that Eddy Merckx was Roger de Vlaeminck’s Cycling Sensei, but I think we can all agree that De Vlaeminck was a student of Merckx, if only a student of his domination. But every student at some point becomes the master, and the driven student will always challenge…

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Anatomy Of A Photo: Mad Jacques, Pioneer Of Neutral Service

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Whenever you see one of those yellow cars or motorcycles laden with spare wheels and manned by efficiently deliberate young professionals with no allegiance or favour to any one rider, take a moment to reflect on the oft-overlooked pioneer of the neutral service as we know it today, M. Jacques Mavic. Usually only sighted once a year in…

The Prophet goes by the numbers.

Three Points in Space

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Most great ideas in life are accompanied by an unforeseen consequence of equal or greater magnitude. For instance, no one predicted that the Industrial Revolution would pollute our air and set off climate change on a global scale. Similarly, no one realized that when placing unfathomable computing power in the palm of our hands in…

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In Memoriam: The LBS

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There was a time when I held down ‘real jobs’. Jobs with (a little) stress, with (some) responsibility, but without soul. And while dealing with the great unwashed public never held much appeal, I always envied the guys who worked at my preferred LBS. They seemingly had it all––an endless supply of cheap bikes and parts, hanging…

Joe-Breeze-Repack

Anatomy Of A Photo: Point And Shoot

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“You ruined a heap of photos!” Not the words you want to hear when the photos in question are ones you didn’t shoot, but were in. “How?” “You’re too low, too compressed.” At least he didn’t say I was ugly. “And you’re ugly.” When you work with professional photographers, you pick up a few tricks…

Hinault explores the second of the Fundamental Fives: technical skill.

Convergence of the Two Fives

by / / 81 posts

Physics tells us that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The conservation law extend beyond the physical world and into mystical where the V and Anti-V are also in a constant fight for balance. The Ancients on Mount Velomis understood this well, and taught that the Anti-V expresses itself within the universe as two…

king-kelly

Hunger

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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…

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…

tomes tinker

Anatomy Of A Photo: Screen-grab From A Golden Age

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Even though in today’s mountain bike world the bikes are better, the clothing more appropriate, and there are more trails to ride, there’s no denying the early 90s were the Golden Age of Mountain Biking. Just look at these fellas, and tell me I’m wrong. Tomac knew what was up. You don’t get such a badass…

A 10 speed cluster; too many choices or not enough?

Les Choix

by / / 156 posts

I’ve never been able to decide if choices are a gift or a curse; a lack of choices introduces simplicity but also with it the risk that the simple choices do not meet the demands of a complex world. An abundance of similar choices, on the other hand, often reduces the impact of getting things…

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…

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Anatomy Of A Photo: Life Is Beautiful

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Guido went to extraordinary lengths to shield young Joshua from the horrors of the war. On the way to the camp, a bicycle race passed their truck. As the riders, themselves escaping a life of grim toil, dirty and sweaty from the effort of heaving their heavy steel bikes up the col, rode by, Guido…

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…

Walter Godefroot. photo from www.gios.it

Can’t Do That

by / / 99 posts

Pity our cyclist, it’s Saturday and he won’t shave his face, it might sap his strength but he has to shave his legs or he won’t look serious. He certainly can’t have sex, more strength stealing there, and kissing his wife, whoa, slow down, that could spread some germs. He doesn’t want to get sick…

A fellow asthmatic, Ullrich, climbs l'Alpe d'Huez

Asthmatics

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Having asthma is kind of like winning the lottery, except it happens to more people and instead of money you win a chronic difficulty in breathing. I wouldn’t say I’m proud to be an asthmatic, but it’s not information I’m ashamed to share. In doing so, I often discover others who are similarly afflicted, and upon…

JVS

Rouleur

by / / 84 posts

Growing up, I imagine my dad did his fair share of worrying about me getting into trouble with chemicals and girls. Like with most problems in life, the solution lay in Cycling; training encouraged healthy behavior and once my dad convinced me to shave my legs, no one needed to worry about the girls anymore.…

thev

Photo Contest: The Ever-Present V

by / / 139 posts

Five is an important number. Assuming nothing has gone amuck in our development or our usage of cutlery, we each boast five digits on both our hands and both our feet. Most of us have five senses. Most miraculously, any number multiplied by five and then divided by five gives you the same number you…

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Full Circle: The ‘Evolution’ of Mountain Biking

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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 switchbacks of Luz Ardiden

Allez la Douze: Dropping Flies

by / / 95 posts

An ancient Velominati legend states that when the The Prophet created the common fly, he gave it a maximum air speed of exactly 12 kilometers per hour. When he created the common Cyclist, on the other hand, he gave us a maximum climbing speed of 11.9 kilometers per hour. The worst flies on the planet…