We need to be tough on and off the bike.

We need to be tough on and off the bike.

Cut Like a Buffalo

by / / 32 posts

Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 Hour Rule suggests that mastering a skill comes down to an incredible amount of practice; however talented you might be, it is the cultivation of raw talent into skill that distinguishes between success and failure. To train is to practice, and every hour we spend devoted to our craft is one spent chipping away at our facade to slowly reveal our true selves, like Michelangelo swinging his hammer to chip away the fragments of marble that obscure the masterpiece within.

Becoming skilled at our chosen craft requires discipline and perseverance. Toughness. Not only on the bike, but in all aspects of our lives. It demands that we get enough sleep, that we eat well, and that we manage our personal lives such that we are still able to Train Properly. Well, two out of three ain’t bad, anyway.

But mastering the art requires that we go out when the skies are dark and the clouds are laden heavy with rain. It requires that we commit to early morning roller or turbo sessions, that we submit to long, cold rides on short winter days, riding within the light cone cut from the darkness by our headlights. Even in Spring and into Summer, as the demands of bad weather and dark days diminish, we are still torn between the work that lies before us and the temptation of the easier path.

Keeper @Marko sent me a set of rollers, which I am ashamed I did not previously posses. I am also ashamed to admit I have not yet ridden them apart from a short spin to make sure they didn’t have any grenades in them. In my defense, just as they arrived, the weather in Seattle morphed from caterpillar into butterfly and I have taken every opportunity to cultivate my tan lines, so faras a Seattleite might have a tan line in April. But I know that starting in May, my training for the Festum Prophetae Hour requires two-hour sessions on the rollers to cultivate my stroke, so I have to wrench myself from the sunny streets to do The Work for the greater objective. Especially because I have heard tell two hours on The Rollers in a nasty thing. Especially on a fixed-wheel track bike.

Picasso said that you should learn The Rules like a Pro so you can break them like an artist. To that end, I am prepared to start riding my rollers for the sake of my Hour efforts in June and August. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to like it. Not one stinking little bit. But it is required, so it will be done.

And speaking of track bikes, my Don Walker Hour bike is being redone in a VLVV paint scheme.

// Belgian Affirmations // Defining Moments // Etiquette // The Rules

  1. ask not what you can do for the rollers but what the rollers can do for you.

  2. Think of riding the rollers as an extension of Rule #9 – doing something that on the face of it, you don’t want to do. Because you know the results will be worth it. Because it will make you harder, faster, better.

    Rule #9 and Rule #5 = a shitload of Rule #10, i.e. Strack going lots faster for an Hour.

  3. There are so many way in which you can work them into your normal routine too….

  4. Great stuff again.

    First about the 10,000 hours. Love this Messi video (of course, Barca are tanking in epic style right now but I am not a fair weather fan and I still love them, Messi and most of all Iniesta). Skip the first 14 seconds of the video. Reminds me of the “You’re so lucky/so gifted” discussion we had last week. Very little in life comes down to pure luck. We make our luck. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALMQUaKhxF0

    And Rollers. Brother, I have come to embrace them in a weird, sick masochistic way where it is a pure love/hate relationship. But I do love rollers.

    Finally, got to love the music exposure I am getting here. I had never heard of “Cut Like a Buffalo”. Great stuff!

  5. Rollers are definitely best in Dead Weather.

  6. You had me at the pic of Fausto Coppi.

    Used to ride rollers ages ago. Great way to learn how to ride no hands. If you can take off and put back on a jacket riding rollers, you know how to ride.

  7. Seattelite tan? We finally got some 70 degree days here in WI on the weekend and the legs were finally uncovered sans knee or leg warmers. Holy crap were they white! This song kept going through my head: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mb3iPP-tHdA

  8. @Oli

    Rollers are definitely best in Dead Weather.

    Totally.

  9. Very nice piece! Enjoy the suffering, Frank. I left my rollers behind when I moved 1000 kms south a few years back. The weather in NC is always, always okay for someone used to the snow belt. If it’s truly bad, which is rare, I can ride in the woods.

    I often think about that 10,000 hour mark. I spent every day of every summer from around 10-18 practicing my favorite sport, at the time. Friends were off to summer camp, to their family’s lake house. Me, I was riding my bike to the local school field to practice, often alone. I’m not that big, I’m not that naturally talented. But, I still played at the highest collegiate level and that is something I’ll forever be proud of, as I truly earned it.

    I needed some time away from the sport after a tough college career. Just got back into coaching 2nd and 3rd graders. How special! Nothing like sharing a game you love with a new generation of players. Even cooler that the VMH is about ready to give birth to our first son! I’ll become a sensei sometime in the next 3 weeks.

  10. @Frank, you opened Pandora’s box with your Meatloaf “2 out of 3 ain’t bad” link. This was my first record I bought, when I was a teenager and I still know all lyrics by heart. So for training purposes, think about getting out of bed like a bat out of hell, see the cycling paradise by your dashboard light, during the Hour you’ll be all revved up with basically no place to go, we’ll all be crying out loud for you. Heaven for you will wait until after the Hour is done, after which you will be able to pop your malted recovery beverage (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAce1jH4OmE) at which moment you will say “you took the words right out of my mouth”.

  11. @KogaLover

    @Frank, you opened Pandora’s box with your Meatloaf “2 out of 3 ain’t bad” link. This was my first record I bought, when I was a teenager and I still know all lyrics by heart. So for training purposes, think about getting out of bed like a bat out of hell, see the cycling paradise by your dashboard light, during the Hour you’ll be all revved up with basically no place to go, we’ll all be crying out loud for you. Heaven for you will wait until after the Hour is done, after which you will be able to pop your malted recovery beverage (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAce1jH4OmE) at which moment you will say “you took the words right out of my mouth”.

    Oh yes. Bat Out of Hell. What a big, bombastic, brilliant album. Bought it when I came out but this track mystified me for many years: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C11MzbEcHlw

    Because a) I was Scottish, b) 14, c) didn’t know who Phil Rizzuto was, and d) was completely confused by the insertion of baseball commentary.

    The album was also awesome because Ellen Foley sang the female parts. (I don’t think that’s her in the video,. she was blonde)

    “What’s it gonna be boy, yes or no?”

  12. Is that a young Felice Gimondi staring at Il Championissimo?

  13. @KogaLover

    @wiscot

    Oh shite, I think that this thread has jumped the shark already if we are going into the virtues of Meatloaf!

  14. @Buck Rogers

    @KogaLover

    @wiscot

    Oh shite, I think that this thread has jumped the shark already if we are going into the virtues of Meatloaf!

    Well, you could reconfigure the conversation in Paradise by the Dashboard Light into a scenario where a man is looking in a bike shop window, lusting after a new steed for the stable, while his fiancee stands beside him. The object of his desire is a fully restored early 1980s ruby red Colnago (akin to Giuseppe Saronni’s 1982 steed) in his size. Acquisition would put him in the S-1 category. In this context, the “conversation” featured in the song makes perfect sense. He has a choice to make. As in the song, he makes the wrong one and instantly regrets it.

    BTW, according to wikipedia, BOOH has sold 43 million copies.

  15. @frank

    It isn’t glamorous when the sun is shining, but it is a necessity to ride your rollers in prep for your Hour attack. Leg speed/cadence, smoother stroke, and a constant power output are all very measurable and will pay dividends come your attempt. However, the immeasurable benefit will be the mental training you reap from two hour sessions on the rollers. You will experience very deep and dark moments that very few can ignore. Here is a link to help you quantify your time on the rollers vs. the road. It should make that suffering a bit easier knowing that for every 60 minutes on the rollers is equal to 90 or 100 minutes on the road. Good luck and Godspeed. http://home.trainingpeaks.com/blog/article/your-indoor-trainer-to-use-but-not-abuse

  16. Um, why would rain stop one from riding?

  17. @Phillip Mercer

    Um, why would rain stop one from riding?

    Rain just might be one’s El Guapo!

  18. @Frank

    I’m not much into rollers or Meatloaf (the musician; the one my mum makes is Fantastic) but I do greatly enjoy your Use of Capitals. Linguistically, it is Probably Genius.

  19. Anyone besides me ever seen Meatloaf in concert?

  20. @frank

    Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 Hour Rule suggests that mastering a skill comes down to an incredible amount of practice…

    Does this mean that you’re unlikely to put in a good Hour attempt before the year 12015 at the earliest?

    Embrace the rollers for all the reasons set out by @sparty (especially the fact that they’ll take you to some very dark places – you’ve got to have a crack at 2 x 20 intervals. The only other option is motorpacing

    transportation bmc pro cycling

    (this could be tempting fate, the last time I post a mini phinney, I broke Velominati.com)

  21. Just a note, as I’m seeing more and more folks raving about Skratch shite. Allen Lim is behind that fucking company. He was all wrapped up with Landis, Vaughters, then COTHO. If you want to make a liar even wealthier, that’s your choice. Guy gave an interview a few years back that was so full of lies. Your choice. I’m not going near that fucker nor his well-marketed bullshit products. I know how to cook rice anyway.

    His only upside is that he hates Gatorade.

  22. @chuckp

    Anyone besides me ever seen Meatloaf in concert?

    Nope but I did see the first ever live performance of Quadrophenia. That dates me. It was also a bit of a disaster as Townsend was not a happy bunny with the sound engineer – result was a lot of broken kit (not a huge surprise) and a 45 min gap in the programme when he stormed off.

  23. @Teocalli

    @chuckp

    Anyone besides me ever seen Meatloaf in concert?

    Nope but I did see the first ever live performance of Quadrophenia. That dates me. It was also a bit of a disaster as Townsend was not a happy bunny with the sound engineer – result was a lot of broken kit (not a huge surprise) and a 45 min gap in the programme when he stormed off.

    NOW we’re talking!

    I saw The Who in 1989 and they were old then, but still rocked. Absolutely LOVE The Who! Who’s Next is one of my favorite albums of all time.

  24. @Buck Rogers

    @Teocalli

    @chuckp

    Anyone besides me ever seen Meatloaf in concert?

    Nope but I did see the first ever live performance of Quadrophenia. That dates me. It was also a bit of a disaster as Townsend was not a happy bunny with the sound engineer – result was a lot of broken kit (not a huge surprise) and a 45 min gap in the programme when he stormed off.

    NOW we’re talking!

    I saw The Who in 1989 and they were old then, but still rocked. Absolutely LOVE The Who! Who’s Next is one of my favorite albums of all time.

    I don’t know why I didn’t go to their (supposedly) last performance of Quadrophenia in London a couple of years back. I pulled up the booking page and stupidly didn’t book. Big regret!

  25. @chuckp

    No thanks!!

  26. @Ron

    Just a note, as I’m seeing more and more folks raving about Skratch shite. Allen Lim is behind that fucking company. He was all wrapped up with Landis, Vaughters, then COTHO. If you want to make a liar even wealthier, that’s your choice. Guy gave an interview a few years back that was so full of lies. Your choice. I’m not going near that fucker nor his well-marketed bullshit products. I know how to cook rice anyway.

    His only upside is that he hates Gatorade.

    I just wish it came in sizes larger than a pound.

  27. @chuckp

    Anyone besides me ever seen Meatloaf in concert?

    Yep. 81 or 82, Wembley Arena.

    I don’t care what anybody says – BOOH is the ultimate teenage boy album. As a teenager the lyrics were brilliant. As an adult, I realise they were the corniest possible.

    “you took the words right out of my mouth – it must have been while you were kissing me”. Come on, that’s genius that is.

    Bat was my second ever album purchase (after Out of the Blue), and I’ll never forget hearing “The wolf with the red roses” for the first time. wtf?

    The concert was brilliant – I recollect the finale had a line up of 14 or 15 guitarists – it seemed as though anyone vaguely connected with the band was given a guitar and they did a line up.

    Ah, happy days. By coincidence ELO are at the 02 tonight….

    David

  28. @Philonius

    The kid is the best thing about that photograph – he’s star-struck, finally getting to stand in front of his idol and he’s got two bits of paper for the autograph. One’s for his Dad

  29. @Rigid

    Agreed.

  30. @chuckp

    Anyone besides me ever seen Meatloaf in concert?

    Last time….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZdiaFXW2U8

  31. @davidlhill

    @chuckp

    Anyone besides me ever seen Meatloaf in concert?

    Yep. 81 or 82, Wembley Arena.

    I don’t care what anybody says – BOOH is the ultimate teenage boy album. As a teenager the lyrics were brilliant. As an adult, I realise they were the corniest possible.

    “you took the words right out of my mouth – it must have been while you were kissing me”. Come on, that’s genius that is.

    Bat was my second ever album purchase (after Out of the Blue), and I’ll never forget hearing “The wolf with the red roses” for the first time. wtf?

    The concert was brilliant – I recollect the finale had a line up of 14 or 15 guitarists – it seemed as though anyone vaguely connected with the band was given a guitar and they did a line up.

    Ah, happy days. By coincidence ELO are at the 02 tonight….

    David

    Love me some ELO. Had all the albums. Early ones with Roy Wood are a bit moody and heavy on the strings but Jeff Lynne really lightened things up. For example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-RFwFjaVAk&list=RD6-RFwFjaVAk

    In this clip, they seem to be introduced by Richard Pryor which is weird . . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-RFwFjaVAk&list=RD6-RFwFjaVAk

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