Archive | Folklore

radioshack

In Memoriam: The Tricolore

by / / 88 posts

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…

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Tubulars: Art, Science, and Ritual

by / / 127 posts

As Keepers Tour crossed from dream to reality and routes over the cobblestones of Northern Europe were sketched out, with it came the familiar tingling in my fingertips and uneasy sensation at the base of my spine as my mind starts its irrevocable journey towards categorizing as mandatory an unnecessary indulgence. I was going to need a wheelset and…

tchmil1

Belgian Affirmations: Andrei Tchmil

by / / 130 posts

Andrei Tchmil got so tired of the palpable disappointment of not being Belgian that he decided to become one. Envision the world the way you want it to be, then make it so. People are cynical when I talk about Belgium. They think I’m only Belgian on paper. That is not true. Yes, I was…

languageofthepeloton

The Language of the Peloton

by / / 75 posts

I can’t understand the American obsession with finger food in general and sliders in particular. Finger food, in its strict interpretation, should be food for your fingers, not food which is eaten with one’s fingers. While “finger food” is inaccurate as a generality, sliders are basically just hamburgers that never got the Rule #5 Talk.…

Photo via La Gazzetta della Bici

Look Pro, Part IX: Proper Cycling Caps

by / / 164 posts

Rule #22 is perhaps the most complicated Rule amongst the (currently) 85. Part of the complexity springs from the fact that we are all very attached to this small cotton cap. Off the bike, it was once a badge used to recognize one of our own; now it has been taken over by the hipster crowd which…

Van Summerent

Look Pro, Part V: The Power of Hair

by / / 68 posts

The power of hair is not to be underestimated. Especially when it comes to having it carefully disheveled, with little bits poking out of the vents of your helmet. Indeed, hair sticking out of your helmet vents can be thought of as a conduit to The V; the strands reaching into the Ether, channeling its power like…

Courtesy Flandria Bikes

The Unsung Hardmen: Herman Van Springel

by / / 36 posts

Making a name for yourself in the pro ranks during the heyday of Merckx, De Vlaeminck, and Maertens would have been tougher than making a name for yourself in the pro ranks during the heyday of Merckx, De Vlaeminck, and Maertens.  Especially, I would think, if you also happened to be Belgian. But with somewhere…

100% V.  Photo: Roberto Bettini

V Ride of the Year: Strada Bianca

by / / 27 posts

We are not hard. We may espouse the values of the mythical hardman, but we are merely pretenders to the throne of the Kings of V. While it is ok to talk about hardness, suffering and toil on the bike, when it really comes down to it we are mere mortals who would rather be…

Putting the V in Diva

Riders who put the “V” in Diva: Federico Bahamontes

by / / 68 posts

Cyclists can be a twitchy lot.  Able to both endure and dish out pain for weeks on end in a grand tour takes considerable fortitude, or what we call The V.  The cyclist must know their body and measure out its effort carefully.  The pros we look to as the Giants of the Road, the…

BELGIUM

Anatomy of a Photo: I Will Eat You Where You Stand.

by / / 45 posts

If ever there was a photo that illustrated why anyone would be given the monicker, “The Canibal”, this is it. I devoted a full seventeen seconds to ‘finding out the history’ of this picture, and came up empty.  G’Phant sent this my way with a short but clear note, “This photo looks like it was taken…

The gleaming bunch in the Coors Classic

In Memoriam: Gleaming Metal Bits

by / / 47 posts

I posted this picture as a joke in yesterday’s Anatomy of a Photo piece, but I find myself going back to it over and over, captivated by the way the light gleams off the peloton as they race by. Gleaming metal bits – hubs, cranks, spokes, handlebars, stems, frames, toe clips, all reflecting light from a thousand…

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Velominati Challenge: Name that Climb

by / / 35 posts

As cyclists, our legs bristle with anticipation at the sight of a hairpin turn.  Stitch a series of them together in close succession, and we lose the ability to speak in complete sentences.  Show us a road that resembles a goat path, and we start to wonder aloud in fragmented sentences what it might be…

The cycling cap, perhaps at it's peak

In Memoriam: The Cycling Cap

by / / 95 posts

We gather here today to pay our respects to one of the icons of our great sport, the cycling cap.  The perfect union of form and function and an excellent example of why the former follows the latter, and why together they are beautiful.  The brim is just long enough to shield the eyes from the elements,…

LeMond and Indurain climb to the ski resort at Luz Ardiden

Defining Moments: 1990 Luz Ardiden

by / / 24 posts

There are several moments in my childhood when I realized the bike held a more meaningful place in my life than the other fancies and desires one experiences growing up; those instants that somehow stand out from the others in the endless stream of memories that hold greater significant than the rest. One such moment…

hunchbacks

Anatomy of a Photo: Hunchbacks of the 81 Tour

by / / 19 posts

My friend and trainee Velominata Rachel has a keen cycling eye and an inquisitive mind. While perusing the book Tour de France/Tour de Force she happened upon this image of The Badger, Bernard Hinault, sprinting for a stage win in the 1981 Tour. We know this because the caption says so. And that is pretty…

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Old School

by / / 26 posts

We, as cyclists, as Velominati, may share a common passion, yet invariably have our roots planted in differing turf.  Some may be late bloomers, coming to flower in our adult years, when we decide that a sedentary lifestyle, an expanding waistline or the realisation cycling is indeed more than just a sport or an activity,…

Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni at the summit of K2 in 1954. Photo: K2: Challenging The Sky

Doping: The Acceptability of a Method

by / / 60 posts

Performance-enhancing methods. This is a term we hear so often in cycling; it refers to the practice of using products or processes that elevate your performance beyond what you could naturally do. It is a terribly complicated matter for the fans, and I can only speculate as to how complicated it is for the professionals…

Tino Tabak

Tino

by / / 5 posts

The Kennett brothers have produced a series of great books on some of New Zealand's most successful, least successful, hardest, most famous, infamous and iconic cycling heroes. Their latest offering, written by Jonathan, looks at arguably the most naturally talented of all the subjects, the often-times controversial Tino Tabak. This evening I was lucky enough to…

Tchmil and his signature grimmace

Flahute: The Hardest of the Hardmen

by / / 30 posts

Few images inspire the Keepers more than those of hardmen grinding away large chainrings on roads of antiquity built as cattle paths in northern Europe. Throw in some grey skies, hordes of beer soaked Belgians lining the way, windmills in the background, and of course, Flandrian Mud, and the first word that comes to mind…

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