Archive | The Hardmen

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…

I caught a fish this big!

Catching The Big Fish

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This post could also have been titled as an Anatomy of a Photo or Awesome Italian Guys-Guido Bontempi or The Hardmen. As an Anatomy of a Photo…where do you start? All these sprinters and no one but Van Poppel is even wearing a helmet. What could go wrong? And back there is Sean Kelly, his…

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…

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,…

Discuss

Anatomy of a Photo(s)

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Watching the Jensie set a “new” record was somehow not-that-interesting and riveting at the same time. One guy going around the track for an hour; only cycling aficionados could find it so compelling. The thing I can’t get out of my mind is Eddy Merckx still did 49.43 km/hr with toe clips, spoked, box section…

Jens, always up against it. Photo: Wil Matthews

End of an Error

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Jens Voigt is set to retire as we speak, having one final crack at a long break in some race in the Cycling backwater of the USA. Is it fair or fitting that he should go out like this, slipping out the back door with little fanfare, while others have been doing a farewell tour of…

agostinhoalpe

Guest Article: Joaquim Agostinho

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Who learns of their cycling potential while in the military, serving in Africa? @wiscot is once again serving up some great cycling history in his post about  Joaquim “The Bull” Agostinho. As dangerous as cycling seems, surprisingly few professionals get killed racing or training. Agostinho was one of the unlucky few. He was a man…

Joe-Breeze-Repack

Anatomy Of A Photo: Point And Shoot

by / / 36 posts

“You ruined a heap of photos!” Not the words you want to hear when the photos in question are ones you didn’t shoot, but were in. “How?” “You’re too low, too compressed.” At least he didn’t say I was ugly. “And you’re ugly.” When you work with professional photographers, you pick up a few tricks…

Hinault explores the second of the Fundamental Fives: technical skill.

Convergence of the Two Fives

by / / 81 posts

Physics tells us that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The conservation law extend beyond the physical world and into mystical where the V and Anti-V are also in a constant fight for balance. The Ancients on Mount Velomis understood this well, and taught that the Anti-V expresses itself within the universe as two…

Fabs and Vanmarke make the split on the Kwaremont. Photo: Alexandre Voisine

Balance

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I had always imagined that de Ronde van Vlaanderen must be hardest race in the world. The way I worked it out – having never ridden the course of either event at the time – was that de Ronde had the same cobbles as Roubaix, but with 20% grades thrown in. It makes enough sense…

pokerface

The Illusion of Transparency

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The illusion of transparency is perhaps the most important tool the Velominatus has in their toolbox, apart from having some measure of competence, being Casually Deliberate at all times, Looking Fantastic, and being able to dish out and endure heaping helpings of The V. Cycling is suffering, and one of the most crucial lessons we…

merckx pave 2

Raining in My Heart

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Not one to subscribe to the slew of text speak or acronyms that permeate the modern vernacular (well, not too much, I guess YJA is one used fairly regularly), I am harbouring a severe case of FOMO right now. And the catalyst for this? The lack of a KT14. Shit, I did it again. WTF?…

tomes tinker

Anatomy Of A Photo: Screen-grab From A Golden Age

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Even though in today’s mountain bike world the bikes are better, the clothing more appropriate, and there are more trails to ride, there’s no denying the early 90s were the Golden Age of Mountain Biking. Just look at these fellas, and tell me I’m wrong. Tomac knew what was up. You don’t get such a badass…

A 10 speed cluster; too many choices or not enough?

Les Choix

by / / 156 posts

I’ve never been able to decide if choices are a gift or a curse; a lack of choices introduces simplicity but also with it the risk that the simple choices do not meet the demands of a complex world. An abundance of similar choices, on the other hand, often reduces the impact of getting things…

An early morning ride on Keepers Tour 2013. Photo: Brett Kennedy

La Vie Velominatus: The Gifts of Rule #9

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We’re not really supposed to have favorites, but everyone does. Just ask your parents. So while I’m not supposed to have a favorite, I do, and its Rule #9. Bad weather immediately separates the wheat from the chaff, and so the weekend warriors stay indoors and leave the roads to the devout. I talk most…

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Anatomy Of A Photo: Life Is Beautiful

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Guido went to extraordinary lengths to shield young Joshua from the horrors of the war. On the way to the camp, a bicycle race passed their truck. As the riders, themselves escaping a life of grim toil, dirty and sweaty from the effort of heaving their heavy steel bikes up the col, rode by, Guido…

LeMan gets jiggy with the V-Locus

LeMaster of the V-Locus

by / / 124 posts

Finding The V-Locus is something of an extension of the Goldilocks Principle; bars set somewhere between Sit Up and Beg and a face-plant, saddle height somewhere between speed skater and Baryshnikov, and reach somewhere between a unicycle and the Batpod. This is art more than it is science, a process of iteration and refinement. And…

There is drafting, and then there's this.

Winter Training

by / / 147 posts

Merckx famously professed that after a night of sinning, the body must be cleansed. He obviously meant this figuratively, not literally, because those mud guards on his bike aren’t going to take a big bite out of whatever that lorry has to offer him by way of a Flandrian facial. Winter is a tough time…

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Anatomy Of A Photo: Ferdi Brings The Truth

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They don’t call it the race of truth for nothing, and Ferdi ain’t no liar. There’s no hiding when your specialist chrono machine is also your specialist road racing machine, and aero headwear is achieved through flipping your leather cap around to face the Jeep loaded with drunk French truffle hunters that’s been tailing you for…