Archive | Nostalgia

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Dirty Romantics

by / / 43 posts

We’re into day three of the Six Days of the Giro series, and it’s time to hit the dirt. If ever a Keepers Tour goes to Italy, then we’re doing this climb. No doubt. Climbing on gravel up a real mountain, what’s not to love? In fact, you could probably do an entire Italian Gravé…

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Self-Chosen: Il Pirata & Il Giro

by / / 153 posts

We continue our Six Days of the Giro series with a look at the troubled bond between Marco Pantani and the Giro. Some were meant to be tormented, as though it were preordained that their brilliance should be balanced with fatal flaws. These are tortured souls, whose dramatic highs are equalled only by the devastating depths of their…

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The Weight of a Moniker

by / / 41 posts

Young riders rise through the ranks with such promise. We all know the story; the rider who borrows a bicycle and enters a local race and wins. He decides he might be good at going batshit fast on a bike. Mom and Dad buy him a klunker for his birthday and he takes out a…

Any Questions?

Guest Article: Bernard Hinault’s 1980 Liege-Bastogne-Liege

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Unfortunately the weather for 2013 L-B-L looks a lot nicer than the 1980 episode.  Then again, if the weather looked that bad, they might have cancelled the race or put them on buses before Bastogne and driven them back towards Liege. Who would be the Badger of the peloton of this year’s race in those…

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Keepers Tour: Eat Properly

by / / 33 posts

During last year’s Keepers Tour, the motor was fine for about two or three days until it suddenly sputtered and shut down completely on Wednesday. My basic problem, it appears, lies with my ongoing struggle with body dysmorphia; based on the quantity of calories rolling into the station on the Malteni train, I was loathe…

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Cobbled Classics 2013 Forecast: Hardman’s Valmanac

by / / 105 posts

As many of you know, one of my specialties is examining events, imagining trends in them, and then predicting future events by painting with broad strokes based on those findings. I find this approach particularly effective when it pertains to topics of which I know less than nothing. In many ways, this is the same…

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Sur La Plaque: Café Roubaix Haleakala Climbing Wheels

by / / 113 posts

I’m not going to lie to you, friction is an asshole. In the bottom bracket, in the bending of every single link in your chain as it rolls over the cogs and threads its way through the rear derailleur, and in the pulleys themselves, the devils. I cleaned out my rain bike last weekend after…

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Anatomy of a Photo: Campagnolo Candy Van

by / / 114 posts

Every night I pray to Merckx that in the morning when I wake up I’ll have a Campagnolo Free Candy Van with a Super Dome. And every morning, its a fresh disappointment that it didn’t come true. This photo also serves as further evidence that Cool peaked some time around the summer of 1977.

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Training: The Fourth Bridge

by / / 158 posts

Before the New Year, it was my ride up Haleakala. At present, it’s Keepers Tour: Cobbled Classics 2013. Before Haleakala, it was one of the various Cyclocross races and before that the Zoo Hill Time Trial. The targets change, but throughout my life as a Velominatus, there always seems to be a goal looming over…

Photo: Janet Hill

The Phoenix

by / / 71 posts

As a dyed-in-the-wool Northerner, my time living in the South was a mixed bag. Southerners think differently, speak differently, eat differently, and prioritize life differently than do Yankees. In many ways, I became a better person during my time in the South, learning to relax a little bit and stop chasing my tail over everything all…

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Look Pro: The Hunchbacks of Notre V

by / / 115 posts

The flat back position is perhaps the greatest lie ever told in sport, provided you ignore any of the racing we’ve seen in the last decade or two. It is possible, I suppose, that when we talk about a flat back, what we really mean is that on an elementary level, all curves are really…

Now this is a head badge.

In Memoriam: The Proper Head Badge

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The days of the proper head badge, I’m afraid, are numbered. It seems it used to be that any road bike with a pedigree that was really worth riding was festooned with an artful adornment on the head tube. By that I mean something made with a bit of heft, stamped or cast of alloy…

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The Eye of Sauron

by / / 132 posts

Aside from wheels staying in one piece and the frame holding together, the thing we take most for granted when riding a bike is how our bodies instinctively respond to and absorb bumps. The human body is, in fact, an incredible shock-absorber; our arms and legs are capable of flexing and shifting in ways that…

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Anatomy of a Photo: Casually Deliberate Masterclass

by / / 62 posts

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I’d need a thousand just to describe the carefully disheveled cap placement. I’d need another grand just to describe the positioning of the cranks or front skewer or downtube shifters. I’d be another mille mot in the hole to discuss the fit of the jersey or the white…

Something has gone awry here. Photo: John Thompson

The Thin Boundary Between Casual and Deliberate

by / / 137 posts

Cycling and crashing are the kinds of things that come together whenever you liberally combine Newtonian Physics, skill, and overconfidence. In other words, I’ve been falling off my bike for nearly as long as I’ve been climbing on it. One of the more memorable crashes of my youth involved the commute home from my high school…

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La Vie Velominatus: Clean Bike Day

by / / 134 posts

It seemed so easy, when I was young, to decide who to love and who to hate. These days, life is a complicated web of heroic deeds and dark shadows. As we get older, it appears our heroes and villains get mixed up. Fortunately for us, Cycling is about much more than bike racing. It…

Sean "Animal" Yates corners on the cobbles.

Anatomy of a Photo: Cornering on Cobbles

by / / 72 posts

A lot of things taken for granted in Cycling go swiftly out the window when cobblestones are introduced to bicycle and rider. The notion that your wheels should both be pointed in the same direction at any given moment, for instance, or that that they should in some way be in alignment with the direction…

Zoetemelk; not a killer, but always classy.

The Eternal Seconds: Heroes or Villians?

by / / 56 posts

Joop Zoetemelk was a hard man, a tough nut to crack. He specialized in getting second place, a talent he developed under the doctrine of Eddy Merckx and mastered via the harsh tutelage of Bernard Hinault. It’s very seductive to lean back in our armchairs and draw the conclusion that our sport’s Eternal Seconds, as…

All in a line; the wheels.

La Ruota

by / / 193 posts

Its hard to say precisely where the line lays, but I’m certain I’m well on the wrong side of it. I never notice lines as I pass over them but I can usually tell after I have because it feels suddenly liberating to leave reason, sensibility, and convention behind. I find them very restrictive –…

The CX-V stands Proud

One-Eyed Wonder: CX-V

by / / 208 posts

What I have always loved about Mountain Biking is the immersion into the woods; the sense of solitude that comes in the wilderness that is lost entirely in the convenience and hustle of the cities I’ve always lived in. What I always hated about Mountain Biking is that my mountain bike never feels enough like my…