Archive | La Vie Velominatus

If you have to choose, choose quality over quantity

Short But Sweet

by / / 84 posts

My lungs feel my favorite way my lungs can feel. Every breath I take tells me the whereabouts of each alveolus. They feel raw, like they were scraped clean and opened up anew after a period of dormancy. Every breath tells me their exact shape and depth, where my lungs end and where my diaphragm begins. I feel high,…

Chuck Flop had some of the best guns in the business.

La Vie Velominatus: Gun Envy

by / / 46 posts

Three things define a Cyclist: their ability to crush fools, their ability to Look Fantastic, and the Magnificence of their Guns. If you are lacking in one, it is mandatory that the other two are increased in compensation. In the immortal words of Paul Fournel, “To Look Good is already to go fast.” Thank Merckx for that, because…

Frank and Rigid experience the Holy Land via the muddied secteur at Abattoirs. Photo: @Harminator

La Vie Velominatus: The Holy Land

by / / 32 posts

No pavé is smooth, and to ride them well the rider must enter them à bloc and keep pushing until one of two things happen: the secteur ends or the lights go out. The thing about cobbles is that each stone beats back the wheels like a boxer punching a speed bag, robbing the unit of speed with every stone…

The weight of fatigue is taking its pound of flesh

Something from Nothing

by / / 61 posts

If the only kind of wind they have in Belgium is a headwind, then the only kind of flats they have in Northern France are false. In Vlaanderen, they specialize in a delectable combination of the two. (Everything that isn’t a windy false flat, it appears, is a windy cobbled climb.) The most obvious way to get…

There she goes, my beautiful world

The Real Diel

by / / 76 posts

Europe is full of history, ancient buildings filled with original masterpieces of art that you can spend days discovering. Looking at these artworks lasts but a moment, the only way to retain their majesty by memory or memory card. Other works of art take different forms, and some of these can be taken with you.…

It is time to confess your sins.

On Rule #3: The Apocalypse

by / / 110 posts

With The Rules being officially published in three languages (English English, American English, and soon Dutch) and now also being offered in a large full-color format by Rouleur, it is time for the Keepers to accept the reality that Rule #3 is perhaps the most important Rule of all and one which must be enforced vigilantly, even…

The look, of love... Photo via Oli's Tumblr

Anatomy of a Photo: Bike Love

by / / 76 posts

I got new wheels last week and got them mounted with tires by the weekend. Then @Haldy had to help me with a clearance problem on Sunday (27mm FMB Paris-Roubaix’s get to be more like 29mm tires after Francois finishes his lunchtime bottle of wine). When I wasn’t looking, @Haldy put orange cable ends on all the…

How cold is it outside?

On Rule #9: The Badass Within

by / / 59 posts

The rain is coming down in sheets, blowing sideways out from the coast. I hear its intensity more than I feel it; the drops reverberate through my helmet as they lash down. The temperature is just cold enough to add a sting to the rain, like a thousand needles upon the 15cm of exposed flesh between the…

The V-Lion of Flanders

Brush Strokes On The Soul

by / / 70 posts

I dream of painting and then I paint my dream. -Vincent Van Gogh Poor old Vinnie may have been Dutch, mad as a cut snake, riddled with gonorrhea, a romantic in the most insane sense, and a raging alcoholic, but despite these encumbrances he knew a bit about the use of colour. He also spent…

Daylight savings means less time riding in this

Reverence: Daylight Saving Time

by / / 82 posts

Not too many people espouse the virtues of Daylight Saving Time, much less chose to write about it every bloody year. But Daylight Saving Time is my favorite day of the year, no question. Better than Christmas, Sinterklaas, or my birthday. Combined. The reason is simple: Daylight Saving is the day of the year when it becomes feasible to…

There is pain to be found upon this road. Photo via <a href="http://szymonbike.tumblr.com/">Symonbike</a>

On Rule #10: The Mandlebrot Set of Pain

by / / 111 posts

My training hasn’t gone as I’d like it to be going. My days keep getting loaded up with things that pay the bills more than they add to the account at the V-Bank. It’s part of not being a Pro, I suppose, as if to spite my obvious talent which is a sort of talent sleeper cell…

No Graveur needed here.

On Rule #12: The Luxury of Passion

by / / 84 posts

Rule #12 is a luxury of passion; the #1 for good weather and epic rides or races, the Nine Bike for bad weather, the Graveur (which is neither a cross bike nor a road bike), a ‘Cross bike, a mountain bike, a townie, a track bike, a time trial bike. Add in steel, carbon, titanium –…

Respect is a cornerstone of La Vie Velominatus.

The Past and the Future

by / / 112 posts

I’m struggling with how to open this conversation without sounding like what I’m assuming my grandparents did when I was growing up. Maybe it’s because I’m just now clawing my way into some of the wisdom they had, or maybe I’m just less of an idiot than I was when they were moving their lips and…

This cat got skills

On Rule #43: Shaming the Sensei

by / / 53 posts

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…

My only remaining hub with loose ball bearings.

In Memoriam: Loose Ball Bearings

by / / 113 posts

The darker months bring out the macabre in each of us; for Gianni it was the extinction of his beloved Park Tool adjustable clamp. For me, I found myself mourning the fact that I recently purchased a headset press. Ignoring the fact that a Velominatus of my stature didn’t already own one, the mourn behind…

Spinal Tap Black

The Dark Side

by / / 184 posts

White is a troublesome color; hard to keep clean. I have a white dress shirt that I never wear because even if I manage not to spill on the front of it, the cuffs and collar will look crap by the end of the day regardless. I mean, I can keep from eating something all…

Eddy waits for his Jaegher

How Soon Is Now?

by / / 110 posts

Waiting has never been my strong point. I’m anxious, but don’t really suffer from anxiety. Good things come to those who wait isn’t at the top of my list of proverbs to live by. Do What Thou Wilt always has been, though; kind of a Just Do It for early 20th century Satanists, and me.…

Gimmeeawheel!!!! I have a flat!

On the Road Again: Keepers Tour 2015

by / / 66 posts

We want to look like Pros, sure, but what we’re really after is feeling Pro. All the aesthetics are just a tool we use to fuel the fickle internal combustion engine of Morale. In the end, there is little that will make you feel Pro more than clattering along a stretch of cobbles in a small group;…

The best tires money can buy: FMB.

The Hum

by / / 148 posts

One of the things that strikes me most about the English is they don’t appear to have developed any sort of “inner dialog”. It seems anything that passes through the brain is parlayed directly to the tongue; if the thought being expressed is an insult to you, it will generally include a query for confirmation: “You’re not…

A dead man, but a dead man of his word

Find What You Love And Let It Kill You

by / / 48 posts

“My dear, Find what you love and let it kill you. Let it drain you of your all. Let it cling onto your back and weigh you down into eventual nothingness. Let it kill you and let it devour your remains. For all things will kill you, both slowly and fastly, but it’s much better…

Skip to toolbar