Archive | The Hardmen

Hayman fights back on the Carrefour. Photo: @harminator

You Can’t and You Don’t and You Won’t Stop

by / / 70 posts

Failure and success are destinations not often visible to the traveller. This is why it is nice to focus instead on the beauty of the journey and try not to be become overly fixated on any particular outcome. It is with some regret that I admit I didn’t invent this idea; there might be a few religions…

These cobbles don't stand a chance against little Lizzie A. Photo: Ashley Gruber.

This Spells Rain

by / / 68 posts

For those of you with an interest in the subtle art of Paying Attention, you may have noticed a few things about my writing technique: apart from the inescapable fact that it is untrained and terrible, I make a habit of overusing the semicolon, a practice I started when I heard my third grade teacher tell…

Here comes sickness.

Shit Gets Real

by / / 83 posts

Can you feel that? That itchy, twitchy feeling… that’s anticipation, it’s expectation, it’s Belgian fucking racing fever! You know you’ve got it, and you can’t fight it, you don’t want to fight it, you need it bad because it’s been way too long. Some may call it Spring Fever, Cobblebone, or Kassientitis. It manifests itself deep in…

Today is a good day to ride.

The Fasting Ride

by / / 81 posts

I’ve been doing fasting rides on the weekend, before breakfast and maybe also before lunch, depending on how long the ride is. The longer the ride, the lower the intensity. Also the more likely I am to meet my old friend, the Man with the Hammer. I might bring an Emergency Gel, in its glass tube, but I…

This

The Moser Position

by / / 65 posts

For my money, the best slice of cycling video ever is Francesco Moser, appearing out of the dust, in the 1976 Paris-Roubaix. He blasts by the moto camera on the right, on a mission to get up to the front. Something about him appearing, then almost disappearing down the road. What was that? And there…

Erik Breukink crushes fools on the Gavia

Unsung Heroes: Erik “Gavia” Breukink

by / / 21 posts

I do love my Dutchmen. That much I admit. I also admit my love for the Americans with whom I share a passport. These affections are expressed erratically and sporadically, often at high volumes, and sometimes with some unreasonably held or possibly non factual evidence to support my passion. At this point, my love for…

Laurel Rathbun makes an adequate effort at Jingle Cross.

À Bloc

by / / 62 posts

The V surrounds us, it penetrates and binds us together. Through disciplined practice we are able to draw from it to push harder and go farther on the bike; what we do on the bike then informs how we face our lives. The masters, such as the Prophet Merckx and the Apostle de Vlaeminck, could channel…

Kelly crushes fools with properly layered kit.

Dress Like An Onion: The Art of Layering

by / / 94 posts

The thing about the cold is that you can never tell how cold it is from looking out a kitchen window. You have to dress up, get out training and when you come back, you then know how cold it is. – Sean Kelly Apart from the obvious lesson in Rules #5 and #9, hidden…

Off the back is the worst place to be. Photo: Tim De Waele <a href="http://www.tdwsport.com" target="_blank">TDWsport.com</a>

Reverence: The Ghosts of 2am

by / / 65 posts

The Prophet had never been dropped by anyone in a race-threatening situation during his entire Grand-Tour career. But he was dropped on this, a relatively minor climb to Pra Loup due to a combination of circumstances involving a chest injury, overconfidence, and savvy Frenchmen who could read the road surface well enough to understand what side of…

JC Rolls dirty. Photo: AP Photo/Laurent Ciprian

On Rule #81: Crash Test Dummies

by / / 63 posts

We don’t like to talk about crashing. Talking about crashing before you crash feels a lot like tempting fate and talking about it after you crashed feels a lot like a fisherman bragging about his catch. But crashing is the worst part of our sport apart from getting hit by a car, which has all the worst…

The three virtues: Mind, Body, Machine.

La Vie Velominatus: Santoku

by / / 41 posts

In Japanese, “Santoku” means “Three Virtues”. Exactly which three virtues it is referring to is unclear, but I am fascinated by the idea of a single word with such a rich, if ambiguous, meaning. I have several kitchen knives that goes by this name, and within the scope of knives the three virtues are generally accepted to…

What will Spartacus do?

WWSD

by / / 79 posts

When it comes to hardmen, there aren’t many tougher than this guy. That he manages to mix massive amounts of V with similarly massive amounts of Casual Deliberation only serves to heighten the man-crushes of a bunch of older, fatter, balder men who see a visage of Spatacus looking back at us in the mirror every time…

THe shadow foretells the ending.

Shadow Boxing

by / / 50 posts

In the 1989 Tour de France, Laurent Fignon was on the rivet. Close to collapse. But his Directeur Sportif noticed that Greg LeMond’s shoulders were rocking; he knew from the time he spent coaching Greg that this was the telltale sign of his imminent collapse. He ordered Fignon to attack, and he took the Yellow Jersey. He could…

If you have to choose, choose quality over quantity

Short But Sweet

by / / 91 posts

My lungs feel my favorite way my lungs can feel. Every breath I take tells me the whereabouts of each alveolus. They feel raw, like they were scraped clean and opened up anew after a period of dormancy. Every breath tells me their exact shape and depth, where my lungs end and where my diaphragm begins. I feel high,…

Chuck Flop had some of the best guns in the business.

La Vie Velominatus: Gun Envy

by / / 50 posts

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…

Never Give Up

Guest Article- Precedents

by / / 21 posts

The 2015 Giro is almost upon us. Productivity in May is likely to drop off. The combination of Tivo and free daily coverage by the BeIN channel means Gianni’s production, already dangerously low, will sink to record levels. Grazie to @Pedale for this link for the Giro. And grazie to @Wiscot for another superb article…

The weight of fatigue is taking its pound of flesh

Something from Nothing

by / / 61 posts

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

by / / 57 posts

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

by / / 31 posts

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…

Skip to toolbar