Archive | Nostalgia

A V.V Magnitude Awesome Quake. Photo via monsieurbloodpipes

V Point V Magnitude Awesome

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People, please grab hold of your butts: we are experiencing a V.V magnitude Awesome Quake, and it is sporting a totally rad lid. Further instructions will be provided. Have a pleasant day.

A ride for the people, the Sean Kelly Cyclosportive


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My first bike was a Sears Moonlight Special. It was literally a piece of shit – figuratively. I mean, it would only “literally” be a piece of shit if shit was made of sand-filled steel tubes salvaged from the plumbing of the local sewage facility. Which it might have been, but I simply don’t have…

The icon of an iconic color gives a lesson in Casually Deliberate. <sup>1</sup>


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In grade school, a teacher once asked me to name my favorite color, a query to which I responded with the only logical answer for any prepubescent boy surrounded by scary girls in a small classroom: “Celeste.” “No, you have to pick a real color.” While the rest of the world believes the most iconic color in Cycling…

This helps make a bike special.

On Rule #12: The Bike #1 Paradox

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The only parents who proclaim to have a favorite child are the ones who have only one; all the other ones pretend they don’t have a favorite because they are each “different and special in their own way”. It’s complete bollocks, that, and we all know every parent does in fact have a favorite, but we…

The Funnybike

In Memoriam: The Funny Bike

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Summer, it appears, has been snatched abruptly from Seattle’s grasp, like a squeak toy from a puppy’s mouth. A week ago, we were setting record temperatures which were sadly playing their role in producing the worst wildfire season the state has ever seen. On the plus side, I haven’t ridden my Nine Bike in so long both its…

The enigmatic Bradley Wiggins

The Curious Case of Bradley Wiggins

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Brad Wiggins is an enigma. There is a lot about him that makes him easy to dislike. That mopey, Pete Townshend look on his face and mop hairdo are the low-hanging fruit in this case, with the length of his socks being there to round out the podium in a close third. Also, he dropped Bont…

Sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail.

The Hammer and the Nail

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Sometimes you’re the hammer, sometimes you’re the nail. I was a cheapy little Ikea one today. It was terrible. – Geraint Thomas It is strange, the workings of a the Cyclist as an organism. We are of three autonomous parts, Head, Body, and Legs. In the short term, there is little that fundamentally changes between…

Kelly teaches the masterclass once again.

La Vie Velominatus: Standing Grace

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We are bipedal creatures. Fact. Bipedal locomotion sucks. Also a fact. This makes being a human somewhat challenging in the sense that we don’t have opposable toes or a tail with which to swing from tree limbs. Swinging from your tail seems a little bit like bliss, if you ignore the associated demotion back into the Food Chain.…

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

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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

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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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