Archive | Routes

Summit of Mont Ventoux in October 2013.  Note rime ice on rocks.

Le Mont Ventoux: The Windy Mountain

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Legends are central to any culture, ours perhaps more than most. The Ventoux is a French legend, rising 1912m above the rolling hills of Provence. The road is thick with the paint of Tours past and the names of giants. The grade is 7%, on average, though 10, 11, and 12% are routine throughout the…

The ride up Mt. Baker is long, hard, and stunning

Guest Article: Ride 542 – the Mt. Baker Hill Climb

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@eightzero is throwing down the sweaty gauntlet here. He has a vision of a V-kitted, Rule compliant freight train of pain. Normally this post would be directly slotted into the Cogal section but it technically is not a Cogal: it has an entry fee, it’s too organized and people will not get lost. We have,…

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Portland Cogal v1.1 Post Ride Report

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“My teeth are famous!” exclaimed Fränk while Mrs. Scaler was running around with her shiny new camera, documenting the day. This happened quite a few post ride hoppy beverages into the evening after the Portland Cogal. But let me back up a bit. As most here know, Saturday was the first Velominati Portland Cogal. From…

@chris being hunted down by the yellow jacket of authority  Photo by Sportive Photo (www.philoconnor.com/sportive/)

Guest Article: Edric’s Windy, Wet, Wild Wiggle

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One of the cairns on the unknowable path to Cyclist is riding one’s first unimaginable distance. In the non-metric world it would be the first 100 mile ride, an unholy distance if one has never done it. And there is nothing for it. Come up with a rationalization, a plan, an excuse, something that forces…

Ryan Kelly on the 200 on 100 photo: Chandler Delinks

Training with the Pros

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Training with the Pros, it sounds like fun but it can’t be. Pros are genetic freaks; they put more kilometers on their bikes than any of us civilians do on our cars each year, they ride around whole countries at an average speed greater than 40km/hour and they can dish out such Rule V style…

The Man with the Hammer lurks in the mountains. Cartoon by Pellos.

Frank vs. The Volcano: Haleakala, Part Deux

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The French call it la fringale. It’s one of the worst conditions that can befall a cyclist, this, when our reserves are tapped dry and yet we still have some distance to ride and some obstacle to cover. It’s happened to me twice in my life, and one of them was when I rode Haleakala in…

Been there, done that

Gravé Diggers

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Sometimes we need to be reminded that originality is paramount to leading a good and honest life. It took some home truths from a poster in Frank’s Gavia post to jog our memories that old news is, well, just that; old news. We need to come up with some new material man, that shit is going…

Welli Roubaix poster

A Sunday in Well

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It’s on like Donkey Kong!  Welli-Roubaix: Hell of the North (Island) is recon’ed, the seal of approval has been licked and stamped and the gravé awaits.  Oh, yes, it is on! It looks like there may be a touch of dampness around on Sunday, which only adds to the fun (read: no fun).  We’ve added in a…

The field at de Ronde van Vlaanderen. Photo: Willie Verhegge

Ever-Prescent V: Ronde van “V”laanderen

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There is something about Northern Europe in general and Flanders in particular that exudes The V; you feel it in the air the moment you set foot into the region. Such terrible things have happened here for so long that living with hardship and suffering has not only become part of the culture of the region, but being tough…

Welli Roubaix poster

Velominati Cogal: Welli-Roubaix 2011

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It’s a call to arms.  No, it’s a call to legs, hearts and minds. Just as the Illuminati would stage their fabled, and somewhat feared Cabals, we the Velominati will this year stage our own modern-day versions, the Cogals.  A meeting of like-minded misfits brought together by the promise of beer, preceded by a bike…

Near the 5000 foot halfway point on Haleakala.

Frank vs. The Volcano: Haleakala 2011

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Flying into Maui, the first thing you see are the tops of the volcanoes on each of the Hawaiian islands. An awesome sight, they appear as massive domes that stretch high above the clouds. Descending, as the plane passes through the cloud layer, one is struck by how far below the ocean and island still…

The lower reaches of the Beartooth, between ass-kickings

The Meaning of the Word Respect: The Beartooth Challenge

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This past weekend I learned a number of lessons here in my new home state of Montana. Or perhaps relearned these lessons””lessons of my own mortality; of my fragility; of my limitations. Full of hubris and vigor I entered the 2010 Beartooth Challenge, an 8.2 mile uphill run over 2,500 vertical feet followed the next…

F Grimpeur, Banged but not Felled - Photo Courtesy of Universal Sports

Professionals: Rule 5 and No Room For Protests

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First and foremost, as a cyclist and a devoted fan of this sport – a Velominatus, no less, – I express my deepest sympathies to the riders who crashed in Stage 2 of the Tour de France.  Blame was cast around, but as pointed out by Ben, there were many months of opportunity for the riders to…

One of the switchbacks on the Cooke City side of the pass

Tales of a Cyclotourist: Beartooth Hwy

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It’s been called the most beautiful highway in the world. That, as with most things, can be left to debate. What’s not debatable, however, is that the Beartooth Highway, which runs from Red Lodge Montana to Cooke City Montana via Wyoming, is a great place to ride a bike. I had the opportunity to ride…

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Tour Organizers: Follow the Giro’s Lead

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In response to criticism that the Tour de France is too predictable and uninteresting, the organizers of the Tour have taken a novel approach to designing this year’s route: make the route suck so much that the biggest source of discussion and suspense about the race is who is the real leader of Astana and…

rumriding

Clever Thinking

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Seattle is a much hillier town than most people realize.  Hills of 15% grades and 2-4 km in length are a dime-a-dozen, and there are several, such as the Lighthouse and Dravus, that are considerably more.   Lighthouse is around 22% while Dravus’ grades make me test my track-stand abilities (I have none). Our normal route,…

ROUND AND ROUND

Round and round

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I just rode around Lake Washington on my single speed. “So what, you pussy?” I imagine you are saying. Fair enough. But what if your brother-in-law is keeping the pace at a brisk 24 mph on your 9-spd Cannondale, hills and all? My knees are numb and my quads feel like jello. I will never…

STUFF IT

Stuff it

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I spent Memorial Day weekend in Boise, and on the actual holiday I headed out for a big ride with my brother-in-law. We started at 2800″² elevation, and ended up at the local ski area, Bogus Basin- where the parking lot is a mean 6200″². It was a great ride, until the skies opened up…

Seattle Tre Cime

The Seattle Tre Cime

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Here’s the funny thing about cycling: I go out of my way to find the biggest and hardest hills I can, and I start to talk excitedly about how “good” the climbs are. “Good” in this application is taken to mean hard, steep, and long. Then, when I actually ride these “good” climbs, I suffer…