Archive | The Hardmen

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Cobbled Classics 2013 Forecast: Hardman’s Valmanac

by / / 105 posts

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

by / / 187 posts

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

by / / 112 posts

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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In Memoriam: Fiorenzo Magni, December 7, 1920 – October 19, 2012

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The Velominati mourn today the passing of Fiorenzo Magni, perhaps one of the Cycling world’s greatest living example of the spirit of The V and all that surrounds it. Magni was the original Lion of Flanders, a feat heightened somewhat by his being Italian, not Flemish – though the Flemish had little to argue with…

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…

The young Boss of the Bosburg.

Awesome Belgian Guys: Edwig Van Hooydonk

by / / 85 posts

It was Frank’s recent post that started all this. Mentioning Breukink always makes me think of my friend’s saying, “I have a Breukink in my Van Hooydonk” as his excuse for coming up short on a long training ride. Maybe that’s only funny during a long training ride. That phrase put me back onto Van…

The Frame Handle. Photo: Wallnut Studio

Anatomy of a Photo: The Shoulders of Giants

by / / 119 posts

The question tackled here is of carrying the bicycle, should it require carrying. The non-cyclist is perhaps more inclined to consider carrying their bicycle than is the Cyclist. Examples that come to mind include the navigation of a giant mud pit or a steep twisty narrow snowy descent, where the uninitiated may erroneously contemplate the likelihood of survival between…

Van Petegem in 2003. Photo: Photonews

Peter Van Petegem: A Lesson in Rule #9

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Rule #9–Fair-weather riding is a luxury reserved for Sunday afternoons and wide boulevards. Those who ride in foul weather – be it cold, wet, or inordinately hot – are members of a special club of riders who, on the morning of a big ride, pull back the curtain to check the weather and, upon seeing…

Vande Velde leads on the Stelvio. Photo: Steephill/Sirotti

Twistin Banged and Felled. And Got Back Up.

by / / 122 posts

As a byproduct of brakes being strictly for ornamental purposes, cyclists are often forced to find alternative means of stopping their bikes. As a matter of both convenience and effectiveness, the tarmac and other objects of greater mass than the sum of cyclist and bicycle are often employed for this purpose. Collectively, we refer to…

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Imprecise Precision: L’Heure

by / / 127 posts

Why would any sane person choose to suffer? The answer to this question is a primal one and of particular relevance to society in the current age: control. With chaos and uncertainty creeping from every corner of life, cycling provides us with control over physical suffering; to suffer at our own will provides us the…

Rik van Looy, The Emperor, proving that Steel is Real

The Rule #5 Talk

by / / 490 posts

Have a look around to see who you find occupying your immediate vicinity. Presently, I am surrounded by a pleasant-seeming bunch. Some are even going so far as to appear happy or at least not displeased; all of them are pale and none of them fit. My attention is drawn, however, to a a portly…

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Anatomy of a Photo: You Can Leave Your Hat On

by / / 49 posts

Sometimes, when there’s a job to be done, you just don’t care what you look like. As with gardening, changing the oil or building that new pergola, the best gear for the job is usually the most practical, not the most stylish. In this Cor Vos image from the 1985 Liége-Bastogne-Liége, keeping warm is clearly the…

Meet your DS      photo by Andrew Hood

Anatomy of a Photo: Sean Yates V. 2.0

by / / 94 posts

Sweet Jesus, here is a DS you can’t bluff. Having Raas, Tchmil or Sean Yates as a director must make you a better rider; you will be getting little sympathy from the team car with one of these guys behind the wheel. Some ex-racers really let go when they retire but only Sean Yates looks…

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Anatomy of a Photo: Things That Are Hard To Come By

by / / 135 posts

Museeuw rockin’ the bands riding with Cipo decked out in yellow as he twists one up. There are only two things cooler than this and both of them are impossible to get. One is Led Zeppelin playing at your shitty graduation party in the late 70’s and the other is one of those awesome Coca…

Hitting the cobbles. Photo: Jesse Willems

Keepers Tour 2012 Update, Part I: Roubaix & RVV

by / / 140 posts

With Keepers Tour: Cobbled Classics 2012 stitched up and in the history books, the challenge of documenting the trip became immediately obvious; how do you take the myriad impressions, experiences, and perspectives and put them down in a meaningful way – let alone in a way that can somehow be digested. Surely, to document even…

Guest Article: The Most Beautiful Race in the World

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Finally we can speak to this Paris-Roubaix mythology. The Keepers Tour group rode twenty-one sectors at something much slower than race speed. After the first sector we regrouped and we were all stunned by how bad it was. Twenty more sectors of that? That was horrendously tough. The first sectors are the easy ones. The…

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In Flanders Fields

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You don’t have to be in Flanders very long before you start to breathe in the history of the area. Horrible things have happened in the fields across Northern France and Belgium, like the Battle of Waterloo and the Battle of the Bulge. These are the kinds of things that hang in the air for…

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