Archive | Technique

Something has gone awry here. Photo: John Thompson

The Thin Boundary Between Casual and Deliberate

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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…

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…

The classic gear lever

Changer de Braquet

by / / 153 posts

Some people are supremely good at it, reducing complex situations into matters of simple black and white. This isn’t my particular area of expertise; I enjoy wading through the pools of ambiguity a bit too much to go about bludgeoning this beautiful world into absolutes. In fact, I would venture that delighting in nuance is part…

Its in the loose sleeves

Climbing Weight

by / / 277 posts

When it comes to weight and body dysmorphia, we cyclists can go toe-to-toe with any thirteen year old tween who has done their time flipping through the pages of Vogue and Sixteen. However fit and thin we might be, at some point it dawns on us that we’re not as light as we could be.…

Philippe Gilbert's Legs

Having Good Legs

by / / 84 posts

One great mystery remains in this cycling world. I’ve been a cyclist for over thirty years and I still can’t buy a clue. Remember those rides where very early on, as you roll out of a parking lot, or just away from your house, you notice you have good legs. You need verification and after…

Darkness sets in.

Into The Tunnel

by / / 96 posts

It requires a combination of factors to intersect. You need to have already spent loads of time on a bicycle. Enough so that you have an inherent sense of this odd thing with two wheels; you can make it go quickly or slowly, you can steer it around a corner with ease, you know how the…

Copybook under the arm technique. Photo: José Sandoval/Velorazzi

Spitting Image

by / / 84 posts

When I was but a young Velominatus, my poor mother was often horrified/embarrassed/disgusted by my typical boy’s habit of sucking back the mucous from the back of my throat and swallowing it… yes, I know, now you’re disgusted too. Taking me to seek a cure from the good Dr Edwards, he let her down somewhat…

megfisher

Guest Article: The Fine Art of Pedaling

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Keeper Jim and I came across Meg Fisher during an icy-rain Rule #9 training ride on Mercer Island in March. The first thing that struck us was that there was a good rider up the road, one of the few braving those cold, wet, early morning hours. It wasn’t until we caught up to her that…

Shouldn't you have sorted this out already?

Look Pro(phetic): Muck Around with Your Seatpost

by / / 153 posts

I have a friend who is borderline OCD. He’ll sometimes wash his hands dozens of times a day, doesn’t like sticky stuff, cats drive him to antihistamine hell and there is a place for everything, with everything in its place. This can be annoying, not only for those around him, but especially for himself. It’s…

photo: Tim De Waele

Guest Article: Get it together

by / / 64 posts

It is my great pleasure to introduce this guest article, penned by my long time friend @Rob. I’ve know the lad since we were both in short pants. We both discovered cycling as something more serious than transportation at the same impressionable age. For Rob, his discipline gained from martial arts, his fearlessness on the…

A Study in Casually Deliberate

A Study in Casually Deliberate: Wait Properly

by / / 131 posts

We spend a small enormity of time waiting. We wait for lights to turn green. We wait for riders to arrive to the ride. We wait for riding partners to finish repairing a flat or mechanical. Due to various practical considerations including the perceived notion that armchairs don’t stuff well into jersey pockets, we generally find ourselves…

The Portet d'Aspet

The Paradox of Maturity

by / / 160 posts

Although we find our way to the bicycle by different path, we all share the fact that at some point, this simple and elegant machine captured our imaginations. It became something more than simply a means to travel about, get exercise, or compete – it became something central to our lives. Somehow and by different…

The Badger meditates

Look Pro, Part III: Meditate on The V

by / / 71 posts

In the interest of full disclosure, I feel it is my responsibility to warn you that this article might accidentally make you a better cyclist. Even though it breaks protocol, the subject of this edition of Look Pro involves the power of the mind, not just aesthetics. As we established previously, The Rules can be transcended if the…

The Grimplette drops his sword; the worst moment of the year.

Anti-V Moment of the Year: Chaingate

by / / 101 posts

It is a telling sign of the state of our sport that picking the Anit-V moment of the year was a more difficult task than picking the V Ride of the Year. Best ride of the year? Clean, unanimous vote among The Keepers on that one. Low point of the year? Dissention in the ranks…

I recommend you revisit your approach.  Photo: Tim de Waele

The Rhythm of the Stones

by / / 32 posts

This picture makes me think, “There’s a right way to ride the cobbles, and a wrong way.”  Those riders who have raced on the cobbles of Flanders and Northern France will tell you that riding the stones fast takes a “something” that can’t be taught.  The trick seem to be finding a subtle space between…

An example of why off-road excursions are worth while.

Know Your Limitations

by / / 37 posts

I always strongly consider observations from anyone willing to wave a 44 Magnum in people’s faces.  As such, I’ve always appreciated Dirty Harry‘s recommendation that a man know his limitations.  For example, I can appreciate that I am not an elegant creature and it is best if I avoid sports involving hand-eye coordination. I’ve also noted that…

Jan Jansen, a master of the double-shift.

Reverence: The Double Shift

by / / 26 posts

There was a time when shifting was an art. Friction down-tube shifters required a finess and a light touch of the fingers; a slight overshift to pop the chain onto the cog, and then ease the shifter forward to rest the chain perfectly in its place. Over time, and with the advancement of technology, the…

A Velominatus' labor of love: working on a bike

Le Mecanicien

by / / 132 posts

Each of us remembers how they became a Velominatus. For me, it was at Grimpeur Wielersport, in Zevenaar, The Netherlands. Its the perfect place: a small shop, on a small street, in a small town, in a small country, run by a Giant of the Sport, Herman van Meegen. I haven’t been back in years,…

Specialized S-Works Classic Tape

Tape-O-Philia*

by / / 126 posts

Nothing says “amateur” more than an imperfect handlebar tape job. A review of Specialized S-Works Handle bar tape

The Trench at Wallers-Arenberg the first year it was included, 1968

The Trench

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This 1968 photo of the the sector at Wallers-Arenberg shows what it must really be like to ride Paris-Roubaix.  The cobbles are uneven and the holes are deep; the safety of the gutter is dramatically reduced by the deep mud.  At 95km from the finish, the race can’t be won here, but it can certainly…

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