Category: La Vie Velominatus

Route Finding

I have memories of my life before Cycling, but as the years wear slowly on my mind their edges become less pronounced, like water wearing away at a sharp stone. My memories of Cycling, which start at the age of eight, remain somehow vivid. As Pedalwan learner to my father, one of the many arts…

René Privat wears yellow as Master Jacques reads a newspaper and tries not to notice.

Youth

I’ve never been afraid of imitating my heroes, they always seemed like the best examples available and as a student of life (as every child is) it seemed normal to me to copy every aspect of their lives that I had visibility into. I copied my dad’s handwriting as I was learning to write just as I…

Patience

It’s been about a month since I’ve last been on the bike; I can’t recall the last time I went for such a dry spell. The reasons don’t matter; life and work have been hectic, I moved, the bikes were just out of order and inaccessible enough to make it easy to find an excuse not to…

Shifting Sands

One of my favorite stories in Cycling is of the 1989 World Championships. It was a very lumpy parcours, with a particularly tough climb near the end of the circuit. Sean Kelly had a brilliant sprint but could get over the climbs handily enough that he fancied his chance to finally win the rainbow bands. With…

Winter

As Cyclists, we are uniquely subjected to the changing of seasons. The green canopy of forest that we ride through in Summer gives way in Fall to one of orange and yellow that mimics the fire of sunset. Just as those hues give notice to the changing from day to night, so do they now signal…

The Good Wolf

One evening, an elderly Cherokee brave told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “my son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is…

An Open Letter to Drivers

I imagine that unless you’re a Cyclist, it is quite difficult to understand what it’s like to ride a bicycle on the open road amongst traffic. It is a vulnerable feeling to be riding along a road with limited or no escape routes, surrounded by vehicles who outweigh you by several orders of magnitude. Particularly when you take into consideration…

Lights On Legs

Cycling is made up of hundreds of minute details, forming a larger entity which is generally simplified and viewed as the intrinsically simple act of riding––or racing––a bicycle. Getting on and pedalling, fast, may be the crux of winning the Tour, Roubaix, or the local B grade crit, but if it is held as the most important aspect, then…

The Quitter

The truth is that I’d been thinking about quitting for the best part of forty-five minutes. Round and round I went on that track, every lap hurting a little bit more than the previous; every lap taking a little bit longer to complete, every lap that voice inside my head getting a little bit louder….

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