Archive | The Hardmen

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

Balance

by / / 78 posts

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…

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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…

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Raining in My Heart

by / / 37 posts

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?…

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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

by / / 49 posts

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

by / / 38 posts

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

by / / 119 posts

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

by / / 209 posts

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

by / / 91 posts

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

by / / 31 posts

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

by / / 153 posts

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

by / / 35 posts

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

by / / 110 posts

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

by / / 73 posts

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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