Archive | The Hardmen

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

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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

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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…

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Anatomy of a Photo: Rules Pioneer

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As surely as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, if you ride a bicycle you can bet your ass against an apple that you are going to get a flat. Not if, but when. Death and taxes, and all that. This could be Pierre or Antonio or Jean-Michel, most likely…

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Look Pro: The Flemish Compact

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Everyone knows that the quality of one’s character is measured by the size gear they can push, particularly when going uphill. It is also a well-established fact that no self-respecting Flemish Pro would ever ride a Compact, no matter what condition their knees are in or how ferocious the gradient. Which, by extension, means that…

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The Constant Companion

by / / 136 posts

A friend recently asked my advice for how to prepare for the longest ride he’d ever done. My approach is somewhat unorthodox when it comes to this sort of thing; I like to train to ride a lot farther than the event itself, and whenever possible, throw in a handful of sessions with my old…

Indurain kills it with puny calves up some Merckxforsaken Pyrenean climb.

Phobias

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I’m not too proud to admit to having multiple phobias against various things. That’s phobia multiplicity. Having a phobia against something is very simliar to having a normal phobia, except that in addition to being irrationally scared of something, you also harbor a stifling grudge against it. Also possibly irrationally. For example, I have been diagnosed with…

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Anatomy Of A Photo: Front Row Seat At The Gun Show

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André had spent the last ten years working underground, yet he had only just turned 24. His face, skin hardened and cracked from a cocktail of sweat, coal dust and intense labour, gave him the appearance of a man decades older. He had grown up quickly, but had aged even more rapidly in the physical…

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Self-Chosen: Il Pirata & Il Giro

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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…

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…

This is Rule #9. Photo: Kristof Ramon

Sur la Plaque: Rule #9

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As many of you know, there’s been a lot of synergy between BIGRINGRIDING and Velominati for several years now. Though BRR and Velominati have very different flavors, we work on a similar principle: foster passion for the sport through a mix of knowledge, history, and humor tempered with a healthy dose of irreverence, all while…

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Passista

by / / 79 posts

My first article on Velominati was to introduce one of my favorite cyclists, Eros Poli. I refered to him as a domestique on the Mercatone-Uno team. This faux pas was properly pointed out much later by @KaffeineKeiser, a commenter who suddenly surfaced and unfortunately submerged just as quickly, like Das Boot in the Straits of Gibraltar.* I…

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Anatomy Of A Photo: The Gents Of Wevelgem

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If you ever doubted for a minute that the hardmen of yore drafted the blueprint for The Rules, you need only look at these fine examples to be reminded that no matter how limited the resources they had to work with, they still managed to do a better job of Looking Fantastic than we ever could.…

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Cobbled Classics 2013 Forecast: Hardman’s Valmanac

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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…

Nicole Cooke on the Kapelmuur

Portrait of a Hardwoman: Nicole Cooke

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Cycling is hard; I’m not leaking any trade secrets with that statement, but it feels good to say it anyway. No Cyclist avoids suffering, but of those who venture into our world, there are some who seek to limit it while others choose to embrace it. Then we have a handful of characters who consider…

Rob and Frank on the road back from Hana

The Sunday Morning Reasonable Ride

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I rousted Frank early. The Sunday morning group ride rolls out at 6:30 am from Twin Falls. As I put bikes in the truck  I saw a sky full of stars, a good indicator for a beautiful morning ride. I have been crazed to show Frank our local Sunday morning group ride and now he…

Boonen goes long. Photo via Cycling Weekly

2012 V-Moment of the Year: Boonen Goes Long

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Yes, I know, I have a major thing for Boonen. But come on, wouldn’t you? Look at those guns. Look at that position on the bike. He even makes that ugly Specialized helmet look good. He even makes that ugly Specialized Roubaix look good, come to think of it. And those White Ladies? Kill me…

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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…

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