Archive | Folklore

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Anatomy of a Photo: Rules Pioneer

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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…

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The Constant Companion

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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

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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…

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

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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

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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.…

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The Weight of a Moniker

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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…

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Look Pro: The Hunchbacks of Notre V

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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

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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…

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Imprecise Precision: L’Heure

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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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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…

Courtesy of The Friends of Roubaix - at http://www.lesamisdeparisroubaix.com/

Guest Article: The Most Beautiful Race in the World

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Finally we can speak to this Paris-Roubaix mythology. The Keepers Tour group rode twenty-one sectors at something much slower than race speed. After the first sector we regrouped and we were all stunned by how bad it was. Twenty more sectors of that? That was horrendously tough. The first sectors are the easy ones. The…

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In Flanders Fields

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You don’t have to be in Flanders very long before you start to breathe in the history of the area. Horrible things have happened in the fields across Northern France and Belgium, like the Battle of Waterloo and the Battle of the Bulge. These are the kinds of things that hang in the air for…

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In Memoriam: The Tricolore

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It was a simple time. Team kit was understated, with black shorts and a few colored panels on the jersey. Race Leader and National Championship jerseys were plain, and often even lacking in the name of the sponsor. National Championship jerseys in particular were a matter of national pride more than sponsorship; it was an honor…