Archive | Nostalgia

Rollin' Dirty

Defining Moments: Dust Caps

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I genuinely miss the eighties. Funny Bikes, which I say without thinking this though. Then again, time trial bikes today are basically road bikes with a position for  tuned for “more speed”. In other words, switching to your TT bike today is like switching from your road bike to a slightly less comfortable road bike, with your…

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

La Vie Velominatus: Gun Envy

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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…

The weight of fatigue is taking its pound of flesh

Something from Nothing

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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…

Badass. Just...badass.

The Curse of Hell

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Northern Europe is supposed to have crap weather in the Spring. By crap, of course, I mean wet. I call bullshit on that, because the last time I saw rain fall in Hell, it was 2002. In 2002, Outdoor Life Network aired an hour-long broadcast on the history of Paris-Roubaix before airing full live coverage of…

Hinault in his element

Five Face

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Why is it that all the greatest riders look strangely happy when they are suffering the most? Hinault says he still hasn’t regained the feeling in some of his fingers from racing off the front that day in Liege in 1980. He wanted to get someplace warm as quickly as possible, he said. That’s why he went…

No Graveur needed here.

On Rule #12: The Luxury of Passion

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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

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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…

Climbing used to be all about disco; in Flanders, it still is.

De Vlaamse Disco

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I’m not a good dancer. I’ve come to this conclusion not through study but through ridicule and injury. Apparently it demands the ability to exhibit control over your limbs in some rhythmic capacity where “rhythmic” is defined both as “not chaotic” and “not stationary”. To make matters worse, this extends to all your limbs, not…

This cat got skills

On Rule #43: Shaming the Sensei

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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…

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…

The last masters of the Cycling cap passed into the night at the close of the 20th cetnury

Les Maîtres de la Casquette

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It doesn’t take a genius to see what’s going on here. Rule #5, Rule #9, Rule #10; every rider in this frame Looks Fantastic (most other Rules). The riders are in short sleeves and shorts while the public apparently has scavenged materials from rubbish bins and the local grain elevator in a very visually unpleasant…

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…

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Anatomy Of A Photo: Mad Jacques, Pioneer Of Neutral Service

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Whenever you see one of those yellow cars or motorcycles laden with spare wheels and manned by efficiently deliberate young professionals with no allegiance or favour to any one rider, take a moment to reflect on the oft-overlooked pioneer of the neutral service as we know it today, M. Jacques Mavic. Usually only sighted once a year in…

Pantani: Undisputable folk hero.

The Hero and the Villain

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I’m not saying I’m Batman; if I was Batman it would be a foolish thing to admit to and if I wasn’t Batman it would be a foolish thing to claim to be. What is true, however, is that Batman is pretty cool and it would probably be pretty cool to be a cool dude like Batman. It bears mentioning,…

Hinault, Le Blaireau

Truth and Fiction

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There is nothing more disappointing than discovering the truth behind a myth or spotting the mortal behind a legend. This is why I make a point never to do any research or in any other way attempt to validate my assumptions when evaluating a situation; mystery that feels like a fact and sounds like a fact is better than an actual fact. Truth, like sex,…

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Anatomy Of A Photo: Where Do We Go From Here?

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A great unknown awaits the young men, bound by a common entity of steel, flesh and passion rolled together. Do they contemplate the future, or are they so encapsulated in the here and now that anything beyond the finish line seems like it could only be for old people? Have they any inkling which path they will take,…

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The Hard Way

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Doing things the hard way is a luxury. It says to the world that we’ve beat evolution; intelligence is no match for technology and economy is no match for indulgence. We need only step a bit outside our bubble to realize the scale of the illusion, but nevertheless it has become reality for many of us who live our…

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When Kits Were Cool

by / / 111 posts

The modern day Pro cyclist has many disadvantages stacked against them by comparison to their forefathers. They have to ride plastic bikes with little or no distinguishing character or discernible caché; they must willingly or perhaps unwittingly subject their body to an array of questionable “training techniques”; and they have to spend every waking hour…

Canadian re-Mountie

Guest Article: Joy Ride

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I hesitate to file this in the Guest Article category. It would be better filed under fellow un-rewarded pirate cycling-site writer, if we had such a file. @winnipegcyclechick does all of her site’s writing, her graphics are usually hers and much too funny. Frankly, she makes me sick. And, AND, she can make the jokes…

The Prophet goes by the numbers.

Three Points in Space

by / / 62 posts

Most great ideas in life are accompanied by an unforeseen consequence of equal or greater magnitude. For instance, no one predicted that the Industrial Revolution would pollute our air and set off climate change on a global scale. Similarly, no one realized that when placing unfathomable computing power in the palm of our hands in…

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