René Privat wears yellow as Master Jacques reads a newspaper and tries not to notice.

René Privat wears yellow as Master Jacques reads a newspaper and tries not to notice.

Youth

by / / 92 posts

I’ve never been afraid of imitating my heroes, they always seemed like the best examples available and as a student of life (as every child is) it seemed normal to me to copy every aspect of their lives that I had visibility into. I copied my dad’s handwriting as I was learning to write just as I copied Greg LeMond’s position on the bike as I was learning how to get serious about Cycling. None of my friends recognized my dad’s handwriting; they all thought my handwriting looked different from everyone else so they figured I had “cool” handwriting. All of my friends who rode bikes recognized Greg Lemond’s riding style; they all figured I was a copycat.

It was an early lesson; neither the complement nor the criticism meant terribly much to me; I was busy learning and that was good enough for me. I have to say, though, that as I’ve grown older, I’ve become more fond of my younger self, that version of me who didn’t feel the influence of what others believed so much. As we age, we “know” more and we “believe” less. Preserving the ability to believe is what keeps us young; for that reason alone, I refuse to grow up and insist on believing in everything I find beautiful, however irrational it might be.

Which brings me to Cycling; Cycling is the perfect way to stay in touch with the more delicate aspects of what we love in our lives. Riding in the first place is already enough; breathing the air and indulging in the tension of strength in our muscles and body as we ride brings an awareness that most people don’t have the opportunity to experience. As we develop in the sport, we start to test the limits of our bodies and equipment; testing is the way we experience growth and the development of our skill.

Every time we climb aboard a bicycle, we are testing our limits the same as we did as children; to be a Cyclist is to be young again. Vive la Vie Velominatus.

// Defining Moments // La Vie Velominatus

  1. @Buck Rogers

    @ChrisO

    Any idea what the thing on the bottom of the down tube on the blue bike might be? A sort of canister. Maybe for tools or something but it seems an odd place to put it.

    Probably that is the canister where they kept La Bamba back in the day. They did not have to be so discrete in those days, ya know.

    The boring bit is that it might be a CO2 canister as they did use them way back and given that they have their own spare tubs under the saddle they were obviously not depending on the team car.

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  2. @ChrisO

    @RobSandy

    @Teocalli The purple bike’s seattube looks more angled back – but the saddle looks like it’s pointing up so perhaps the front wheel is slightly raised on something.

    The top tubes seem to be running parallel but I think it’s just the angle and that the bike behind is further forward. Any idea what the thing on the bottom of the down tube on the blue bike might be? A sort of canister. Maybe for tools or something but it seems an odd place to put it.

    It’s the motor.

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  3. @Cary

    @Buck Rogers

    @Randy C

    Then I think to myself, thank goodness we’ve evolved and have moved beyond the black shoes white sox thing exhibited here… Cheer all

    Ha! Now don’t start that again (b/c we all know that it does not get any more classy than pure white socks with pure black shoes!)

    agreed!

    You got the same shoes as me. Except mine are white, obviously.

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  4. @Mikael Liddy

    @RobSandy

    @Teocalli The purple bike’s seattube looks more angled back – but the saddle looks like it’s pointing up so perhaps the front wheel is slightly raised on something. I want a new bike. Racy, carbon, Ultegra (but not Di2), not too pricey. What should I look at? More concerned with stiffness, aerodynamics and position than weight.

    Looks fucking sexy too

    You’re right, it looks an awesome bike. But about double my hypothetical budget. Any thoughts on the more budget end aero road bikes? I’ve seen bikes by Sensa and Boardman that both look awesome, full aero carbon frame and mostly Ultegra kit, for roundabout £2k. Granted, you’d probably want to replace the wheels pretty sharpish.

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  5. @RobSandy 1500GBP for a Speshy Allez sprint with 105. Seems like a reasonably priced bike yet I betcha would be a lot of fun to ride fast and put the hammer down in some crits. Especially after you upgraded the wheels yes. Doesn’t look like Speshy is offering up the Allez sprint frame sets alone in the UK. They have some cool color ways available in US that would be fun to build up.

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  6. @RobSandy These folk are not far from you. http://www.pilothousecycles.co.uk/new-page/ I fancy coming over sometime and talking a look at Paulus Quiros based in the same building as I hone down my options for a custom build.

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  7. Ha Ha – I think my posts re the cylinder on the frame are being filtered out by a spam filter on the site so (assuming this posts) search on Pennine CO2 Pump on ClassicLightweights. Can’t think why that is being filtered out!

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  8. As an Arsenal-mad lad, my favourite player was Liam Brady. I had the yellow away kit circa 1979, and whenever I played it had to be all left-footed like him, even though I was naturally right-footed. He just looked cooler than anyone else, and I still think lefties look more stylish than right-footed players. If I was a kid today, I’d have to be Mesut Ozil. Style is everything. Great picture, by the way.

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  9. @Steve T

    As an Arsenal-mad lad, my favourite player was Liam Brady. I had the yellow away kit circa 1979, and whenever I played it had to be all left-footed like him, even though I was naturally right-footed. He just looked cooler than anyone else, and I still think lefties look more stylish than right-footed players. If I was a kid today, I’d have to be Mesut Ozil. Style is everything. Great picture, by the way.

    I’m assuming you’ve read Fever Pitch? Great book.

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  10. @wiscot @wiscot

    @Steve T

    As an Arsenal-mad lad, my favourite player was Liam Brady. I had the yellow away kit circa 1979, and whenever I played it had to be all left-footed like him, even though I was naturally right-footed. He just looked cooler than anyone else, and I still think lefties look more stylish than right-footed players. If I was a kid today, I’d have to be Mesut Ozil. Style is everything. Great picture, by the way.

    I’m assuming you’ve read Fever Pitch? Great book.

    You’re right. Everyone recognises some part of themselves in that book. Classic.

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  11. @Cary Bang on!

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  12. They obviously hadn’t read the rule on rear skewer nor one of the older articles on this site how to lean bicycles properly against each other. Been skiing all week and crashed this morning so now recovering with this new article! Agree it’s great to have a new one.

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  13. Just figured it out. Anquetil is reading the paper as he has misplaced his sunnies and needs something to protect his eyes from the glare coming off Privat’s guns. It’s the Tour. It’s therefore July. Has Privat been wearing tights all season? At least I’ve an excuse for my legs being that shade of white: a) I’m from Scotland b) I live in Wisconsin, and c) it’s February. What Privat’s excuse?

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  14. @wiscot

    Just figured it out. Anquetil is reading the paper as he has misplaced his sunnies and needs something to protect his eyes from the glare coming off Privat’s guns. It’s the Tour. It’s therefore July. Has Privat been wearing tights all season? At least I’ve an excuse for my legs being that shade of white: a) I’m from Scotland b) I live in Wisconsin, and c) it’s February. What Privat’s excuse?

    I’ve had a couple of good shaves now to pre-empt the race season and because I was having a massage last week (the thought of going for a massage with hairy or stubbly legs now fills me with horror) – is it common to be upset by the pale-ness of one’s guns?

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  15. @RobSandy

    @wiscot

    Just figured it out. Anquetil is reading the paper as he has misplaced his sunnies and needs something to protect his eyes from the glare coming off Privat’s guns. It’s the Tour. It’s therefore July. Has Privat been wearing tights all season? At least I’ve an excuse for my legs being that shade of white: a) I’m from Scotland b) I live in Wisconsin, and c) it’s February. What Privat’s excuse?

    I’ve had a couple of good shaves now to pre-empt the race season and because I was having a massage last week (the thought of going for a massage with hairy or stubbly legs now fills me with horror) – is it common to be upset by the pale-ness of one’s guns?

    I would say no. I wore knee warmers on my ride yesterday which exposed much of my calves. Even with super white socks on, my legs still looked awfully pale. Supposed to be 65 on Wednesday, Dare I wear shorts?

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  16. @wiscot

    I’ve had a couple of good shaves now to pre-empt the race season and because I was having a massage last week (the thought of going for a massage with hairy or stubbly legs now fills me with horror) – is it common to be upset by the pale-ness of one’s guns?

    I would say no. I wore knee warmers on my ride yesterday which exposed much of my calves. Even with super white socks on, my legs still looked awfully pale. Supposed to be 65 on Wednesday, Dare I wear shorts?

    If you never uncover you’ll stay pale all year. I will uncover as soon as I can and still stay pale all year. Because I live in Wales. I am, however, highly versed in Rule #9 and #5 as a result.

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  17. While on the topic of black shoes… My new dancing shoes…

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  18. @kixsand Love those!

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  19. @RobSandy

    @wiscot

    I’ve had a couple of good shaves now to pre-empt the race season and because I was having a massage last week (the thought of going for a massage with hairy or stubbly legs now fills me with horror) – is it common to be upset by the pale-ness of one’s guns?

    I would say no. I wore knee warmers on my ride yesterday which exposed much of my calves. Even with super white socks on, my legs still looked awfully pale. Supposed to be 65 on Wednesday, Dare I wear shorts?

    If you never uncover you’ll stay pale all year. I will uncover as soon as I can and still stay pale all year. Because I live in Wales. I am, however, highly versed in Rule #9 and #5 as a result.

    Is there an inverse relationship to Rule #7?

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  20. @Rick

    @RobSandy

    @wiscot

    I’ve had a couple of good shaves now to pre-empt the race season and because I was having a massage last week (the thought of going for a massage with hairy or stubbly legs now fills me with horror) – is it common to be upset by the pale-ness of one’s guns?

    I would say no. I wore knee warmers on my ride yesterday which exposed much of my calves. Even with super white socks on, my legs still looked awfully pale. Supposed to be 65 on Wednesday, Dare I wear shorts?

    If you never uncover you’ll stay pale all year. I will uncover as soon as I can and still stay pale all year. Because I live in Wales. I am, however, highly versed in Rule #9 and #5 as a result.

    Is there an inverse relationship to Rule #7?

    I think I meant to say “I should say SO.” I’m always embarrassed by the glare from my guns when I first wear shorts.

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  21. @w

    @Rick

    @RobSandy

    @wiscot

    I’ve had a couple of good shaves now to pre-empt the race season and because I was having a massage last week (the thought of going for a massage with hairy or stubbly legs now fills me with horror) – is it common to be upset by the pale-ness of one’s guns?

    I would say no. I wore knee warmers on my ride yesterday which exposed much of my calves. Even with super white socks on, my legs still looked awfully pale. Supposed to be 65 on Wednesday, Dare I wear shorts?

    If you never uncover you’ll stay pale all year. I will uncover as soon as I can and still stay pale all year. Because I live in Wales. I am, however, highly versed in Rule #9 and #5 as a result.

    Is there an inverse relationship to Rule #7?

    I think I meant to say “I should say SO.” I’m always embarrassed by the glare from my guns when I first wear shorts.

    You could alway go for a Trump Tan – the Orange would match the V colour (with apologies if that is too political – please do not respond with political comments!) but his face tan does seem to be Rule #7 compliant.

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  22. When I turned 40 years old, I realized that I had started doing two things regularly again in the year leading up to that birthday- reading books for pleasure and riding a bike. These were two of the main things I did for fun when I was twelve. I would read for hours or go on long rides around my neighborhood for no reason other than to ride. I met the Man with the Hammer for the first time (they called it “head exhaustion”). I walked my bike up hills until I could eventually ride them without dismounting. Just as it did for the Prophet, the bike made me feel free. Cycling, in particular, was something I had not done in over twenty years. This connection with my younger self was like finding the mainline of happiness that I had lost for many years. When I ride the bike, I still find freedom in each pedal stroke.

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  23. @Rick

    I am, however, highly versed in Rule #9 and #5 as a result.

    Is there an inverse relationship to Rule #7?

    I think to comply with Rule #7 there has to be the potential for tan lines. It’s not a rule I’ve ever been that worried about, to be honest.

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  24. @RobSandy After 13 minor surgeries to remove Basil Cells, I am constantly covered in 75 SPF sunscreen. As a result, I am in violation of Rule #7 to perpetuity. That is much better than being forced to take 4 weeks off of my bike to prevent scarring on my Pantani like pate.

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  25. @Ccos

    @Teocalli

    @wiscot

    @Ron

    Was playing soccer last night when a sweetheart of a Youth decided he wanted to kick around my spare ball on the sideline. He and his pal kept on coming onto the field, interfering with the game. Someone told him to cut it out. He proceeded to punt my ball into the woods, then try to walk off. Told him to go collect it. He did, then threw it into the middle of our game. I told him to quit being a puke. He gave me the finger and told me to fuck off. I imparted some wisdom to the scrawny teen: You’re going to do that to the wrong person one day soon and it’s gonna hurt. Badly. I cannot imagine acting like that to a field full of much larger adult strangers. Good god.

    The kid is lucky you were not the “wrong person.”

    Many years ago in the era when I used to play Rugby, 3 guys went to mug a chap who happened to play for another Rugby club in the area. They picked on the “wrong person”, 2 ended up in hospital with broken bones and the 3rd ran off while he was dealing with the other two. In those days the Police were able to say “they got what they deserved”. They still charged them with attempted mugging though.

    I’m told, “he had it coming” was (or perhaps still is) a legitimate plea in Texas courts for when you’re charged with killing someone…

    It just kinda blew my mind. First of all, he was the one being the prick job. Secondly, why be a total asshole to a group of strangers, especially ones that could tear your head off? His buddy also told me to relax. Right. They’re the ones punting someone else’s ball into the woods but it’s crazy to ask them to go find it. Thankfully I’ve reached a slightly enlightened place where I realize it’s just not worth it to get into a fight with a stranger, as much as I wanted to smash that dude.

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  26. @Ccos

    @Teocalli

    @wiscot

    @Ron

    Was playing soccer last night when a sweetheart of a Youth decided he wanted to kick around my spare ball on the sideline. He and his pal kept on coming onto the field, interfering with the game. Someone told him to cut it out. He proceeded to punt my ball into the woods, then try to walk off. Told him to go collect it. He did, then threw it into the middle of our game. I told him to quit being a puke. He gave me the finger and told me to fuck off. I imparted some wisdom to the scrawny teen: You’re going to do that to the wrong person one day soon and it’s gonna hurt. Badly. I cannot imagine acting like that to a field full of much larger adult strangers. Good god.

    The kid is lucky you were not the “wrong person.”

    Many years ago in the era when I used to play Rugby, 3 guys went to mug a chap who happened to play for another Rugby club in the area. They picked on the “wrong person”, 2 ended up in hospital with broken bones and the 3rd ran off while he was dealing with the other two. In those days the Police were able to say “they got what they deserved”. They still charged them with attempted mugging though.

    I’m told, “he had it coming” was (or perhaps still is) a legitimate plea in Texas courts for when you’re charged with killing someone…

    My similar story was when one of the rugby boys I had coached was getting married. He was having drinks at a pub with his work mates and his Dad was there as well. By now his Dad, who was always a little bloke, was getting on in years and a bit frail. He’s at the bar when some of the local lads can’t be bothered waiting and basically shove the old bloke out of the way and take up the bar. Well the son had followed in his father’s footsteps. Dad was a Vietnam SAS vet (Aust.), who had gone on to command the regiment. The son was now a senior SAS officer, and his work mates were all SAS. Suffice to say the local lads learnt a bit about respecting your elders.

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  27. @kixsand Only noticed now, but do you prefer blue cleats? I always use yellow to save my knees (skiing gives them already enough battering and bashing) but I’d be interested in experience whether blue or even red feels better.

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  28. @KogaLover

    @kixsand Only noticed now, but do you prefer blue cleats? I always use yellow to save my knees (skiing gives them already enough battering and bashing) but I’d be interested in experience whether blue or even red feels better.

    Ya – good question. I used yellow for a long time and then had a pair of blue ones lying about so I threw them on and honestly didn’t notice a lot of difference so I’ve stuck with them. I have observed that my pedal stroke is fairly linear up and down without a lot of wandering knee or ankle movement. I expect that I’d be fine with red cleats too as long as everything was locked in square.

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  29. I’ll just post this here as it’s the current thread. The weather for Le Samyn today is truly Belgian! Maybe we’re in for a classic classics season?

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  30. @wiscot

    I’ll just post this here as it’s the current thread. The weather for Le Samyn today is truly Belgian! Maybe we’re in for a classic classics season?

    Strade Bianchi looks like being wet this weekend too. Unfortunately that covers Sunday too at the moment…….

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  31. Le Samyn was incredible! For that matter, that’s three great one-day races in a row. It’s a good time to be alive and love cycling! Felt for #2 today. Guillame tricked that youngster as only a more senior race knows how. Big G probably would like to give a double middle finger to Lefevere, or did so tacitly.

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  32. @Ron

    Le Samyn was incredible! For that matter, that’s three great one-day races in a row. It’s a good time to be alive and love cycling! Felt for #2 today. Guillame tricked that youngster as only a more senior race knows how. Big G probably would like to give a double middle finger to Lefevere, or did so tacitly.

    Super Hardman race! Just awesome. I watched the last 55 k’s on the rollers today. Man, what a tough one. I just LOVE the Napoléon Race series! I totally thought that Keirsbulck was the Man of the Match and did more than his fair share in the wind. Not sure how he tricked the younger rider? They were both fucking dead on that final climb and never had more than about 20 to 30 seconds on the main chasing group for the whole last 50 k’s. Brutal!

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  33. @Buck Rogers

    @Ron

    Le Samyn was incredible! For that matter, that’s three great one-day races in a row. It’s a good time to be alive and love cycling! Felt for #2 today. Guillame tricked that youngster as only a more senior race knows how. Big G probably would like to give a double middle finger to Lefevere, or did so tacitly.

    Super Hardman race! Just awesome. I watched the last 55 k’s on the rollers today. Man, what a tough one. I just LOVE the Napoléon Race series! I totally thought that Keirsbulck was the Man of the Match and did more than his fair share in the wind. Not sure how he tricked the younger rider? They were both fucking dead on that final climb and never had more than about 20 to 30 seconds on the main chasing group for the whole last 50 k’s. Brutal!

    That was a great race. Especially after what I thought was a disappointing omloop/kbk opening weekend. Way too predictable, but still in awe of Sagan’s ridiculous abilities/super powers. I think the guy who won le samyn just held is nerve while the younger guy panicked into leading out the finish. Roll on the spring classics!

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  34. @DVMR

    @Buck Rogers

    @Ron

    Le Samyn was incredible! For that matter, that’s three great one-day races in a row. It’s a good time to be alive and love cycling! Felt for #2 today. Guillame tricked that youngster as only a more senior race knows how. Big G probably would like to give a double middle finger to Lefevere, or did so tacitly.

    Super Hardman race! Just awesome. I watched the last 55 k’s on the rollers today. Man, what a tough one. I just LOVE the Napoléon Race series! I totally thought that Keirsbulck was the Man of the Match and did more than his fair share in the wind. Not sure how he tricked the younger rider? They were both fucking dead on that final climb and never had more than about 20 to 30 seconds on the main chasing group for the whole last 50 k’s. Brutal!

    That was a great race. Especially after what I thought was a disappointing omloop/kbk opening weekend. Way too predictable, but still in awe of Sagan’s ridiculous abilities/super powers. I think the guy who won le samyn just held is nerve while the younger guy panicked into leading out the finish. Roll on the spring classics!

    Yes, such a great race. But I did not think that there was any tricking going on or any panicking. They both knew that the chasers were close and both were attacking the hell out of each other in the final 3 k’s. I thought that they both did a great job and that the strongest guy on the day won in the end.

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  35. @Buck Rogers Ahh, maybe I need to watch it again. Wouldn’t be a bad thing!

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  36. Wrong! : https://cyclingtips.com/2017/03/commentary-forget-velominatis-rules-youre-not-wrong/

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  37. @chuckp I’ve talked to a lot of people who have a similar feeling about riding a bike. Even at the ripe age of 33 I ride my road bike like a kid on a bmx bike.

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  38. @ChrisO Test rig. Trying to figure out where to put the battery for when electronic shifting came along…..

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  39. @VirenqueforeVer

    Wrong! : https://cyclingtips.com/2017/03/commentary-forget-velominatis-rules-youre-not-wrong/

    What a boring article. I really don’t know why he bothered.

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  40. @Nick

    @chuckp I’ve talked to a lot of people who have a similar feeling about riding a bike. Even at the ripe age of 33 I ride my road bike like a kid on a bmx bike.

    i’m 47, and it’s the same for me. i will say that i much prefer centuries and Grand Fondos to racing, now.

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  41. @RobSandy

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  42. @Kyle

    @RobSandy

    WHUT?!

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  43. @RobSandy

    @Kyle

    @RobSandy

    WHUT?!

    I’m fairly sure he meant that the ‘author’ of that article has violated Rule #43. Any news on a potential Welsh Cogal?!

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  44. @David Hill

    @Kyle

    WHUT?!

    I’m fairly sure he meant that the ‘author’ of that article has violated Rule #43.

    Ah, I see. Well, I disagree with that to. He’s not being a jackass, funny or otherwise. He’s just being really boring.

    . Any news on a potential Welsh Cogal?!

    I have thought about t vaguely but I’m not really able to plan things too far in advance at the moment. Unless we try to agree a date and I’ll come or not depending? I’ve forgotten where negotiations got to previously

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  45. @RobSandy

    I’ve forgotten where negotiations got to previously

    I think you were hosting and paying for a mega splurge in Cardiff?

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  46. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    I’ve forgotten where negotiations got to previously

    I think you were hosting and paying for a mega splurge in Cardiff?

    Nice try. You might get a home made flapjack and Sandy Mansion if you’re very nice to me. I’m still up for it in principle and can do more or less any weekend not in school holidays. I may, however, have to pull out at the last minute and while I’m fairly wonderful my non-attendance shouldn’t put too much of a dampener on the whole thing. Also, sussed out another route yesterday that takes in the Devil’s Elbow.

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  47. @RobSandy Not even a round of Welsh Cakes?!

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  48. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy Not even a round of Welsh Cakes?!

    I’ve never known the Mrs to make Welsh cakes (remember we’re not even a little bit Welsh), but her flapjacks, millionaires shortbread and other cakes are awesome. If I wasn’t a cyclist I’d be be a big fat bastard.

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  49. @RobSandy We’ll have to add a loop through the covered market then.

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  50. @Teocalli You could always chance it in a cafe up the Valleys. What’s the worse that could happen?

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