Archive | Folklore



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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.…


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…


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

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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…


Anatomy of a Photo: Rules Pioneer

by / / 119 posts

As surely as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, if you ride a bicycle you can bet your ass against an apple that you are going to get a flat. Not if, but when. Death and taxes, and all that. This could be Pierre or Antonio or Jean-Michel, most likely…

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Look Pro: The Flemish Compact

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Everyone knows that the quality of one’s character is measured by the size gear they can push, particularly when going uphill. It is also a well-established fact that no self-respecting Flemish Pro would ever ride a Compact, no matter what condition their knees are in or how ferocious the gradient. Which, by extension, means that…


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

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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…

Quintanaroo and his family have a path to a new life. Whether to take it is their choice.

The Great Escape

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There is a sense of weightlessness that accompanies speed; a strange feeling for any Earthbound creature who temporarily breaks Gravity’s relentless grip – an intoxicating blend of liberty and a sense impeding doom. The day I learned to ride a bike, I felt this sensation spread through me like a virus; immediately my eyes cast…


Anatomy Of A Photo: Front Row Seat At The Gun Show

by / / 31 posts

André had spent the last ten years working underground, yet he had only just turned 24. His face, skin hardened and cracked from a cocktail of sweat, coal dust and intense labour, gave him the appearance of a man decades older. He had grown up quickly, but had aged even more rapidly in the physical…

Frank on the track in Gent. 2 minutes sucked enough. Why an Hour? Photo: @brettok

Festum Prophetae: The Impossible Hour

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Update: You can watch the live stream (assuming it works from the velodrome) on the Velominati channel at USTREAM. When you log in, you’ll first see my little test video of my puppy eating grass. Please disregard me yelling at it. That never happened. I have always considered myself to have a good imagination, something…

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La Fleur de V

by / / 67 posts

We have the kind of poor judgement that allows us to have a puppy. She’s half pit, half something, and half something else and boasts a lilliputian-sized head. As her Life Coach, I’ve instructed her to focus on growing her head because, as her Uncle Gianni says, no one gets anywhere in this world with a tiny head.…


The Weight of a Moniker

by / / 41 posts

Young riders rise through the ranks with such promise. We all know the story; the rider who borrows a bicycle and enters a local race and wins. He decides he might be good at going batshit fast on a bike. Mom and Dad buy him a klunker for his birthday and he takes out a…


Look Pro: The Hunchbacks of Notre V

by / / 115 posts

The flat back position is perhaps the greatest lie ever told in sport, provided you ignore any of the racing we’ve seen in the last decade or two. It is possible, I suppose, that when we talk about a flat back, what we really mean is that on an elementary level, all curves are really…

My shoes go one left, then right, then left strap, right strap, left buckle, right buckle.

La Vie Velominatus: Ritual

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Along the lines of what Bruce Dickinson famously decreed while espousing the medical benefits of cowbell in the remedy of rare types of influenza, I put my shoes on one at a time – just like you. But after I’ve got my shoes on, I ooze fluidly harmonic articulation. As Cyclists, we wield the mighty…

Zoetemelk; not a killer, but always classy.

The Eternal Seconds: Heroes or Villians?

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Joop Zoetemelk was a hard man, a tough nut to crack. He specialized in getting second place, a talent he developed under the doctrine of Eddy Merckx and mastered via the harsh tutelage of Bernard Hinault. It’s very seductive to lean back in our armchairs and draw the conclusion that our sport’s Eternal Seconds, as…

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…


Imprecise Precision: L’Heure

by / / 127 posts

Why would any sane person choose to suffer? The answer to this question is a primal one and of particular relevance to society in the current age: control. With chaos and uncertainty creeping from every corner of life, cycling provides us with control over physical suffering; to suffer at our own will provides us the…

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