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The Rules Goes on the Road-NYC

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Here are a few lessons learned while in New York City. I’m sure leaving a bar at one o’clock in the morning is not how the serious riders prepare for a ride with a 9 o’clock morning roll-out. I am sure. Conversational pace for a group ride means different things to different people. Eddy could…

Minnie Phinney takes a swig. Photo: Pedale.Forchetta

Look Pro: Drink Properly

by / / 119 posts

Riding a bicycle involves much more than just pushing the pedals around in a perfect sweep of muscular elegance while Looking Fantastic at all times. There are all sorts of soft skills involved like learning to shift properly, learning to corner properly, learning to crash properly, learning to criticize a fellow rider’s puncture-repair technique, learning to chide a struggling…

Winner on the road, loser in the mirror. Photo: Gian Mattia D'Alberto

The Mirror

by / / 140 posts

Have you ever been told to take a good look at yourself? Usually it infers that you need to smarten up your ideas, get your shit together, shape up or ship out. If Viagra eyedrops had an advertising campaign, (or indeed existed), their tagline would be: “Take a long, hard look at yourself.” Most Cyclists…

Pantani finds his power in the drops. Photo: Tom Able-Green/ALLSPORT

In Search of Power

by / / 119 posts

It’s no secret that I’m prone to riding in the big ring as much as possible, mostly on account of my not being a giant sissy. In accordance with the ISO Non-Sissy Standard, I also never read instruction manuals or ask for directions when lost. I make sure to only rarely ask my VMH to turn…

Pozzovivo goes more faster at the 2013 Giro d'Emilia. Photo: Pedale.Forchetta

Speed

by / / 78 posts

I wasn’t anywhere near old enough to hold a driver’s license but my dad had already bought me a motorcycle. It was a late seventies BMW R100 RS, dark blue. I loved that bike; I polished it fortnightly even though it never left the garage. I spent hours sitting on it, twisting the throttle and…

Note the buggy whip arms

Every Day is Leg Day

by / / 167 posts

The proclamation is heard in the office, on social media, at the bar with friends; “It’s leg day.” When someone utters “it’s leg day” the accompanying tone of resentment and even dread is usually followed by an audible “ugh”. This exasperation belies one fact, the person making the utterance is not a cyclist. It’s likely…

pokerface

The Illusion of Transparency

by / / 70 posts

The illusion of transparency is perhaps the most important tool the Velominatus has in their toolbox, apart from having some measure of competence, being Casually Deliberate at all times, Looking Fantastic, and being able to dish out and endure heaping helpings of The V. Cycling is suffering, and one of the most crucial lessons we…

Recovery Ale Recepticle

Post-Ride Recovery Ales

by / / 145 posts

The most important moment in a man’s life is the first time they have a beer. I place it on the list above sex and having a child because sex usually only happens as a direct result of drinking beer. As for having children, I’m given to understand they are poop factories at first, then…

In Memoriam: Il Pirata, Ten Years Gone

by / / 69 posts

I don’t know if its because I see something of myself in them or if it awakens some kind of nurturing instinct, but I always seem to find myself drawn to tragically flawed figures. Layne Staley and Marco Pantani strike me as two halves of the same whole; incredibly talented yet tortured with mortally addictive personalities,…

Looking fast. Photo: Pedale.Forchetta

To Look Good is Already to Go Fast

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To look good is already to go fast. -Paul Fournel, Vélo My approach to research is pretty straight forward. First, I develop an opinion – usually in a cognitively compromised state. This is the first step in the process for the simple reason that it avoids the bulk of the hard work involving things like…

A cold morning ride on Keepers Tour 2013. Photo: Brett Kennedy

Look Pro: Dress for Success

by / / 215 posts

I recently overheard someone say that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. This is the kind of statement that makes me want to hate people as a species a little bit. Of course there such a thing as bad weather. There are also bad people (loads of them), bad ideas (even…

This looks OK

Frame Job

by / / 183 posts

Last year we read that Philippe Gilbert is riding a 50cm (top tube of 535mm) BMC frame and he is 1.79m (5’10”) tall. Now it’s reported in Cyclingnews that Ritchie Porte’s Pinarello is a 46.5cm frame (top tube of 515mm) and Porte is 1.72m (5’8″) tall. He is no Nairo Quintana but somehow he is…

You don't Look this Fantastic by being sensible all the time.

Of Course, But Maybe

by / / 86 posts

I’m a naturally loud and weird person who expresses excitement through volume. Also, alcohol is supposed to be a depressant, but it doesn’t appear to work for me; all it does is make me happier (and louder) – until I have a little too much at which point I get weirder (a too-happy, too-loud kind of…

If only we would fit on an alignment table. photo-Seven Cycles

A More Perfect Union-Phase One

by / / 61 posts

Hear ye, hear ye, get thee, and a mirror, to your indoor trainer. This is going to be a multi-part series on getting the rider and the ride to a more perfect union. Most of us have never been professionally fit for our bikes. An inseam measured, a glance at a reflection when riding by…

Eddie gets his gear off.

Look Pro: Get Your Gear Off

by / / 96 posts

When you’re a kid, riding with your hands off the bars is something done for thrills, for style, and to impress chicks. As an older, wiser Velominatus, it can be a handy maneuvre to aid removing or donning extra clothing, taking a feed from your pockets, and to impress women (because that’s how adults refer to…

LeMan gets jiggy with the V-Locus

LeMaster of the V-Locus

by / / 124 posts

Finding The V-Locus is something of an extension of the Goldilocks Principle; bars set somewhere between Sit Up and Beg and a face-plant, saddle height somewhere between speed skater and Baryshnikov, and reach somewhere between a unicycle and the Batpod. This is art more than it is science, a process of iteration and refinement. And…

A fellow asthmatic, Ullrich, climbs l'Alpe d'Huez

Asthmatics

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Having asthma is kind of like winning the lottery, except it happens to more people and instead of money you win a chronic difficulty in breathing. I wouldn’t say I’m proud to be an asthmatic, but it’s not information I’m ashamed to share. In doing so, I often discover others who are similarly afflicted, and upon…

Ernesto and Beppe credit:Colnago

Beppe Saronni: Patron Saint of Rule #22

by / / 129 posts

The cycling cap was part of any kit: nearly black shorts, team jersey and cap. It would be matching, it would be cotton. In the day before the required helmet, the cycling cap was it. Unrestrained by helmet or hairnet, the cap was the crown upon the head. It would sit high on the head,…

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Look Pro: The V Tenets of the Casually Deliberate

by / / 107 posts

A Velominatus gives the impression of having been born on the bike; the connection between rider and machine is so deeply entrenched that one can hardly draw the line where one ends and the other begins. There is an air of relaxed precision that is part innate and part learned through countless hours devoted to…

Ivan Basso rips it up on the way down.

Descents are Not for Recovery. Recovery Ales are for Recovery.

by / / 111 posts

My trouble isn’t with being a good descender; it is with cornering and stopping – and sometimes both. Or, as G’rilla puts it, “Descending is like sex; how good I am at it has nothing to do with how much I enjoy it.” Descending is demanding and requires great skill. It is not a time…