Her graceful touch.

The Graceful Touch of La Volupté

by / / 60 posts

I get to certain parts of my training when I begin to crave his blows, especially in winter. Winter is the time of year when training is a time for reflection and spending hours on the bike. Thoughts of hill repeats and intervals don’t creep into even the dampest corners of my mind as I kit up and set out upon the road, just me and my bicycle, the rhythm, and the weather.

The rides are long, the intensity low and the lack of tactical objective is both liberating and concerning. I cherish the simplicity of this sort of riding; the weather is cold if not bad – but usually it is cold and bad. Just being on the bike means you’re training harder than most everyone else, which feels empowering. But there is a complacency that is unnerving; I’m unsettled by the question of whether I still know how to hurt myself. But this is not the time of year for me to push so hard on the climbs that I can answer that question for myself, so I begin to yearn for his hammer’s cruel blow, so I can prove that suffering is still where I thrive.

She arrives with the same abruptness that he does. La Volupté, yin to The Man with the Hammer’s yang, comes uninvited but welcome. Her visits are swift encounters, an angelic push to make the hill a bit shorter or the wind a bit less fierce. Before you realize she was there, she is gone.

But yesterday, she clung closely to me, pushing me along for the duration of my ride. The fluidity in my stroke felt other worldly, the lines I took into corners were as perfect as the gear I chose to exit them. The cadence always seemed in harmony with the terrain. I felt blissful joy at being on my bicycle.

Then the rain began to fall, lashing at me and chilling me to the bone. The sound of the rain rapping on my helmet was motivation; the sound of the spray from my tires onto my downtube was confirmation of my speed. I felt her next to me, acting as my personal conduit to The V. I pushed harder, I rode faster. But still I felt only the fluidity of the pedals spinning beneath me and the steady breath in my lungs. I was outside myself, an observer. Whatever was happening on the bicycle was going to happen with or without me.

The Man with the Hammer and La Volupté; bonded together as Pain and Grace. Pain is easy to recognize, easy to process, and easy to conquer. Grace, on the other hand, is elusive and easily mistaken. I have not felt so good on a bicycle for as long as I can recall, possibly ever. I work hard to be the best rider I can be, and the sport repays me in equal measure of what I put in. That is the beauty of it, the harmonious symmetry of dedication to a craft.

Yesterday, it was different. I was paid something forward, and I will not forget it. Vive la Vie Velominatus.

// Defining Moments // Folklore // Reverence // The Rides

  1. er, @frank, what’s that thing on your wrist? Doesn’t look like a watch, or a fitbit type thing.

    But it has to be, as the obvious alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.

    David




    0
  2. @davidlhill

    er, @frank, what’s that thing on your wrist? Doesn’t look like a watch, or a fitbit type thing.

    But it has to be, as the obvious alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.

    David

    It’s a road ID.




    0
  3. I did a ride a month ago where I was totally flying. On the flat, up hills, anywhere. Everything felt perfect and I also felt like suddenly I’d figured something out. In accordance with the principle of the article above, La Volupté has not returned. But at least now I know what I’m missing.




    0
  4. @robsandy

    thanks – that actually looks like a vaguely sensible idea. Mmm, add it to the Christmas wish list?




    0
  5. I have rarely had a ride when that feeling was more than just a fleeting sensation that quickly was gone, to have it for a full ride is amazing! Well written Frank.




    0
  6. She showed up on my way in to work this morning – totally unexpected. Admittedly there was a tailwind but still I was invincible at times. A kind of spongy / springy feeling in the legs on inclines, very pleasant feeling.

    Also relate to absence of pain without intervals and hill repeats this time of year, like something is missing.




    0
  7. Also, just noticed that Frank’s stem faceplate has a big shiny V on it. Chapeau. Want.




    0
  8. I thought Frank was writing about riding in winter yet he posts a photo taken on what looks like a cool summer’s day. Otherwise, quite the poetic piece!




    0
  9. Crap, this reminds me to get my ass back in the saddle. Too easy this time of year to use a nagging head and/or chest cold as an excuse to stay inside instead of getting out and even doing an easy ride. It’s no way to maintain form into the spring classics (not that I will ride them, but watching them takes fitness too, right?).

    VLVV, time to go take my lumps.




    0
  10. @davidlhill

    er, @frank, what’s that thing on your wrist? Doesn’t look like a watch, or a fitbit type thing.

    But it has to be, as the obvious alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.

    David

    Its an orange RoadID.

    @Irwin

    what wheels are you on in that pic?

    CR Wheelworks Arenbergs, Velominati edition. They possibly look orangerer because of the glow from my orange oversocks.




    0
  11. @frank

    @davidlhill

    er, @frank, what’s that thing on your wrist? Doesn’t look like a watch, or a fitbit type thing.

    But it has to be, as the obvious alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.

    David

    Its an orange RoadID.

    They come in other colours?




    0
  12. My word, Frank! Congratulations on that ride, must have been awesome.

    I’m looking forward to getting back to long rides in 2016, been a distracted 2015 for me, but in a way that will pay off in the long run. The form will always come back, with enough hard work.

    Also, am I the only one who doesn’t like riding sexy tan sidewalls in the rain? They never get quite as cleand AND starting at them getting dirty can ruin the ride for me. I’ll usually put on a rain wheelset with all black tires if I know rain is definite. Oh, and stop posting those wheels! They keep making me rethink my mantra of, “I’m fine riding alloy clinchers, I’m fine riding alloy clinchers…”

    Oh, and ID is a great idea. Either the road ID or just dog tags on a string/necklace. I don’t wear any other jewelry, so I enjoy that my lone decoration is a set of dog tags that I wear whenever I’ll be riding, which is every day.




    0
  13. @Oli

    I remember being touched once. It was in that special place.

    Oli, I cannot endorse this kind of absurdity, but wow, that is funny.




    0
  14. La Volupté only visits when you are very fit. So it’s been many a year since I can say I’ve had that sensation. It’s a fortunate rider who gets a visit from her ever.

    The guy with the Hammer, I don’t see him much either mostly because I’m smarter. I define the Man with the Hammer as a complete bonk. Butterflies copulate on the wheel’s spokes, the bike goes in cruel slow motion, hopes of a quick death float over the head. With the advent of actually bringing food on a ride, I hope I don’t see him too much anymore. We used to do long rides with only some dilute sports drink in a bottle. Once that was gone and the engine room runs out of soft coal to burn and the pace does not relent, bad things will happen.




    0
  15. @rfreese888

    She showed up on my way in to work this morning – totally unexpected. Admittedly there was a tailwind but still I was invincible at times. A kind of spongy / springy feeling in the legs on inclines, very pleasant feeling.

    Also relate to absence of pain without intervals and hill repeats this time of year, like something is missing.

    Damn tailwind. I’ve been fooled too many times by that. Now I know better; if I’m feeling this good it has to be a tailwind.




    0
  16. @chris

    @frank

    @davidlhill

    er, @frank, what’s that thing on your wrist? Doesn’t look like a watch, or a fitbit type thing.

    But it has to be, as the obvious alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.

    David

    Its an orange RoadID.

    They come in other colours?

    Yep, I have a black one, with silver name and ID plate. A must have round these parts !




    0
  17. @Barracuda

    @chris

    @frank

    @davidlhill

    er, @frank, what’s that thing on your wrist? Doesn’t look like a watch, or a fitbit type thing.

    But it has to be, as the obvious alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.

    David

    Its an orange RoadID.

    They come in other colours?

    Yep, I have a black one, with silver name and ID plate. A must have round these parts !

    indeed. I have red, white, black and orange. need to get a new ID plate since I have moved a couple pop times since I originally got it.




    0
  18. @Ron

    Also, am I the only one who doesn’t like riding sexy tan sidewalls in the rain? They never get quite as cleand AND starting at them getting dirty can ruin the ride for me. I’ll usually put on a rain wheelset with all black tires if I know rain is definite. Oh, and stop posting those wheels! They keep making me rethink my mantra of, “I’m fine riding alloy clinchers, I’m fine riding alloy clinchers…”

    This VVinter I ponied up for a pair of Continentail GP4000 All Seasons. That gives me a few months to get the sidewalls on my Veloflex Masters looking clean-ish again.

    Oh, and are these the wheels you want to stop seeing. Sweet Merckx on a Marinoni I want a pair of these.




    0
  19. There’s a thin line between . . .




    0
  20. @Ron

    My word, Frank! Congratulations on that ride, must have been awesome.

    I’m looking forward to getting back to long rides in 2016, been a distracted 2015 for me, but in a way that will pay off in the long run. The form will always come back, with enough hard work.

    Also, am I the only one who doesn’t like riding sexy tan sidewalls in the rain? They never get quite as cleand AND starting at them getting dirty can ruin the ride for me. I’ll usually put on a rain wheelset with all black tires if I know rain is definite. Oh, and stop posting those wheels! They keep making me rethink my mantra of, “I’m fine riding alloy clinchers, I’m fine riding alloy clinchers…”

    Oh, and ID is a great idea. Either the road ID or just dog tags on a string/necklace. I don’t wear any other jewelry, so I enjoy that my lone decoration is a set of dog tags that I wear whenever I’ll be riding, which is every day.

    Rain bike has black tires. Tubs. Friends don’t let friends ride clinchers. These particular ones are rubbish, however; love the hubs but the rims are first-gen Enve and they are like the Beastie Boys: You can’t, you won’t and you don’t stop!

    In the main photo, I was caught out on the Number #1; I didn’t expect the bad weather to swoop in the way it did, but I was thankful it did. What a ride.

    @DeKerr

    Oh, and are these the wheels you want to stop seeing. Sweet Merckx on a Marinoni I want a pair of these.

    The are the droids you’re looking for. Loves me the FUCK outta thems there puppies.




    0
  21. @minion @Owen

    The man with the hammer “touched” my rib a couple of weeks ago when I crashed on my first day skiing. Breathing became agony, used the rollers instead, but I hope to be riding tomorrow again.




    0
  22. @frank

    I love your Shimano Pro Vibe stem. And I love your 3T handlebars. I know there isn’t a rule, but should there be one about mixing and matching cockpit components? I mean, ideally shouldn’t stem, handlebars, and seat post all match, i.e., be the same manufacturer?

    BTW, your handlebar finishing tape job doesn’t fucking suck. And yes, I know you will say mine does.




    0
  23. @chuckp

    @frank

    I love your Shimano Pro Vibe stem. And I love your 3T handlebars. I know there isn’t a rule, but should there be one about mixing and matching cockpit components? I mean, ideally shouldn’t stem, handlebars, and seat post all match, i.e., be the same manufacturer?

    BTW, your handlebar finishing tape job doesn’t fucking suck. And yes, I know you will say mine does.

    Don’t say that Chuck, I’ve got some Rotundos coming for Christmas and I can’t afford to buy new stem and seatpost too! I’ve only just had to replace the original Felt seatpost with a very budgetatus plain alloy and am not planning to change it any time soon.

    My bike is going to look a lot like yours soon, except mine has some strips of red on the matt black. And I’m going to go for the full white bar tape, and soon, if budget allows, a matching white saddle (Fizik, Selle, how do you choose a saddle) as my Felt saddle is starting to look a bit ratty.




    0
  24. @RobSandy

    @chuckp

    @frank

    I love your Shimano Pro Vibe stem. And I love your 3T handlebars. I know there isn’t a rule, but should there be one about mixing and matching cockpit components? I mean, ideally shouldn’t stem, handlebars, and seat post all match, i.e., be the same manufacturer?

    BTW, your handlebar finishing tape job doesn’t fucking suck. And yes, I know you will say mine does.

    Don’t say that Chuck, I’ve got some Rotundos coming for Christmas and I can’t afford to buy new stem and seatpost too! I’ve only just had to replace the original Felt seatpost with a very budgetatus plain alloy and am not planning to change it any time soon.

    My bike is going to look a lot like yours soon, except mine has some strips of red on the matt black. And I’m going to go for the full white bar tape, and soon, if budget allows, a matching white saddle (Fizik, Selle, how do you choose a saddle) as my Felt saddle is starting to look a bit ratty.

    Also, is it just the camera angle or does your stem slope down? Any particular reason you’ve gone for that rather than just slamming the stem (I think I spy a spacer in there)?




    0
  25. Ah, all black tires for rain riding makes sense. I’m not alone in wanting to Protect the Tan.

    Frank, are you posing for a photo in the designated bike lane? I can only image a cager seeing that and muttering, “There’s that smug bastard Frank of the Velominati. Not only did he just meet Merckx, but now he thinks he can do whatever he wants out on public roads! That jerk doesn’t even pay his road taxes!”




    0
  26. @RobSandy

    Also, is it just the camera angle or does your stem slope down? Any particular reason you’ve gone for that rather than just slamming the stem (I think I spy a spacer in there)?

    It’s a combination of camera angle and a -17 degree stem. When I built the bike (bare Felt FC frameset) and bought all the parts, I originally thought I’d be able to run a -17 degree stem slammed based on my old (early 90s) race bike set up (my Hollands). Instead, I ended up using the taller headset top cap plus a 10mm spacer. But that was also due to the fact that my 12cm 3T stem really wasn’t 12cm. Turns out 3T measures their stem length based on the stem being flipped up in the + position, so a -17 degree 12cm stem actually measures more like 14cm. After riding around for quite a while and feeling like I was reaching just a bit too far, I figured it out and swapped the 12cm for a -17 degree 10cm that actually measures more like a 12cm (got that?) With the “shorter” stem, I could probably get rid of the spacer and still be comfortable but just haven’t bothered because that would also mean having to cut the fork 10mm and I’m happy enough with it as it is. That plus I re-configured my Hollands so that the reach/drop to my brake hoods is identical to my Felt. I could achieve the same (current) position on the Felt without the spacer if I went to a -6 degree stem, but I’m partial to the look of -17 degrees.




    0
  27. @RobSandy

    Side view of my Felt FC to give you a better look at the stem angle.




    0
  28. @RobSandy

    Don’t say that Chuck, I’ve got some Rotundos coming for Christmas and I can’t afford to buy new stem and seatpost too! I’ve only just had to replace the original Felt seatpost with a very budgetatus plain alloy and am not planning to change it any time soon.

    My bike is going to look a lot like yours soon, except mine has some strips of red on the matt black. And I’m going to go for the full white bar tape, and soon, if budget allows, a matching white saddle (Fizik, Selle, how do you choose a saddle) as my Felt saddle is starting to look a bit ratty.

    Which year/model is your Felt? I got my FC frameset last year, so it’s a 2015. I did the build in November 2015 (but my wife got me the frame mid-year as a birthday present). If I had known that Felt was going to replace the FC with the F1 frameset that uses the TeXtreme carbon fiber, I probably would held off and gotten that. At my level, I doubt that I would notice any difference (geometry is the same, just different material) but I absolutely love the TeXtreme checkerboard weave. http://www.feltbicycles.com/USA/2016/Bikes/road/race/frameset-f1.aspx

    FWIW, I see used (some it barely used) 3T stuff for sale a fair bit. If your Rotundos are alloy, an alloy 3T ARX Pro stem can probably be found pretty cheap so you could probably get your bars and stem to match. Finding a 3T carbon seat post for cheap, however, is harder. I got a really good deal on my carbon Dorico Team seat post because it was an old model on closeout. Plus I’m sure the white wasn’t as popular.




    0
  29. @chuckp

    @RobSandy

    Don’t say that Chuck, I’ve got some Rotundos coming for Christmas and I can’t afford to buy new stem and seatpost too! I’ve only just had to replace the original Felt seatpost with a very budgetatus plain alloy and am not planning to change it any time soon.

    My bike is going to look a lot like yours soon, except mine has some strips of red on the matt black. And I’m going to go for the full white bar tape, and soon, if budget allows, a matching white saddle (Fizik, Selle, how do you choose a saddle) as my Felt saddle is starting to look a bit ratty.

    Which year/model is your Felt? I got my FC frameset last year, so it’s a 2015. I did the build in November 2015 (but my wife got me the frame mid-year as a birthday present). If I had known that Felt was going to replace the FC with the F1 frameset that uses the TeXtreme carbon fiber, I probably would held off and gotten that. At my level, I doubt that I would notice any difference (geometry is the same, just different material) but I absolutely love the TeXtreme checkerboard weave. http://www.feltbicycles.com/USA/2016/Bikes/road/race/frameset-f1.aspx

    FWIW, I see used (some it barely used) 3T stuff for sale a fair bit. If your Rotundos are alloy, an alloy 3T ARX Pro stem can probably be found pretty cheap so you could probably get your bars and stem to match. Finding a 3T carbon seat post for cheap, however, is harder. I got a really good deal on my carbon Dorico Team seat post because it was an old model on closeout. Plus I’m sure the white wasn’t as popular.

    Mine’s a very budget 2014 F75 – which I think is their workhorse alloy racer (cheap wheels, 105 throughout, but racy geometry). I think because of the matt colours it looks like carbon, and thus looks more expensive than it is (Teocalli thought it was carbon!).

    However, I’ve upgraded the wheels and chainset (and soon the bars) and I think it’s competitive, speed-wise, with bikes worth £thousands more. It’s a bit heavy, like 9.5kg but then I’m not a featherweight either so I really don’t think that is a hindrance.

    I do think that F1 frameset looks sweet. One day, one day. Until I’ve ridden a nice carbon bike I don’t know what I’m missing, so I’ll have to keep it like that for the time being!

    I’m having a week off this week. I’m desperate to ride my bike.




    0
  30. @RobSandy

    Another pic … mostly just to incite the fashion police. The kit is 90s era. Jersey is a club/team one of my friends created after breaking away from the club/team I founded after I quit the club/team (long story). Java Shack is our favorite local coffee shop (eventually became the title sponsor of the team I founded after my original sponsor pulled out) and where club rides started and ended. Still a local epicenter for rides and cyclists. The red shorts are from a local club/team in Lucca, Italy that we discovered when we were on vacation.




    0
  31. @chuckp

    Nice. Your bike looks mini in that picture – what size frame is it?




    0
  32. @RobSandy

    Mine’s a very budget 2014 F75 – which I think is their workhorse alloy racer (cheap wheels, 105 throughout, but racy geometry). I think because of the matt colours it looks like carbon, and thus looks more expensive than it is (Teocalli thought it was carbon!).However, I’ve upgraded the wheels and chainset (and soon the bars) and I think it’s competitive, speed-wise, with bikes worth £thousands more. It’s a bit heavy, like 9.5kg but then I’m not a featherweight either so I really don’t think that is a hindrance.

    I do think that F1 frameset looks sweet. One day, one day. Until I’ve ridden a nice carbon bike I don’t know what I’m missing, so I’ll have to keep it like that for the time being!

    I’m having a week off this week. I’m desperate to ride my bike.

    Nothing wrong with a budget build. Or alloy frameset. I ride fairly regularly with a guy who rides a CAAD 10. Lots of bang for the buck. In the hands of mere mortals, probably just as stiff and responsive as a carbon frame. But the ride is probably a little more harsh (but tamed with a carbon fork); I know @Oli would disagree, but I think a carbon seat post can do a lot to make the ride more compliant on an alloy frame. With the F75, you’ve got yourself a great bike (especially with upgraded wheels). Yeah, you don’t know what you’re missing versus a comparable carbon bike, but you’re probably not missing as much as you might think you are. Just ride it like you stole it!

    I’m fortunate in that my wife works in the bike biz so I was able to buy a bare frameset and build up the bike exactly the way I wanted it, with the parts I wanted, and everything sized right (except for the original 3T stem but that wasn’t my fault … at least that’s my story and I’m sticking with it). Plus I didn’t have to deal with the added expense of upgrading wheels as I could just get the wheels I wanted.




    0
  33. @chuckp

    Nothing wrong with a budget build. Or alloy frameset. I ride fairly regularly with a guy who rides a CAAD 10. Lots of bang for the buck. In the hands of mere mortals, probably just as stiff and responsive as a carbon frame. But the ride is probably a little more harsh (but tamed with a carbon fork); I know @Oli would disagree, but I think a carbon seat post can do a lot to make the ride more compliant on an alloy frame. With the F75, you’ve got yourself a great bike (especially with upgraded wheels). Yeah, you don’t know what you’re missing versus a comparable carbon bike, but you’re probably not missing as much as you might think you are. Just ride it like you stole it!

    I’m fortunate in that my wife works in the bike biz so I was able to buy a bare frameset and build up the bike exactly the way I wanted it, with the parts I wanted, and everything sized right (except for the original 3T stem but that wasn’t my fault … at least that’s my story and I’m sticking with it). Plus I didn’t have to deal with the added expense of upgrading wheels as I could just get the wheels I wanted.

    After a year, I’m still really pleased with what I ended up with in terms of value for money. It has a carbon fork and as I said I replaced the original carbon seatpost with alloy, and I can’t tell the difference. That may be possibly because mine’s a 58 so the long alloy tubes have enough flex in them to dampen the ride anyway? I can certainly see the flex in the BB area when I’m on the turbo.

    I ride it like a lunatic, any chance I get. I think I’d do that with any bike I had. I’m not the fastest up the hills but once I’m on the flat I can get my head down and ride people off my wheel. Damnit I want to go for a ride!

    You are lucky, I’ve thought since it’d be nice to start with a frameset and build it up. But when I got mine I’d have had no idea what I wanted.




    0
  34. @RobSandy

    @chuckp

    Nice. Your bike looks mini in that picture – what size frame is it?

    It’s a 54cm. In theory, the 51cm frame is supposed to the “right” size frame for me (I’m 5’8″) if I wanted to build a true modern compact geometry bike. But Felt’s geometry on the 54cm frame is identical to within 1-2mm (including stack and reach) to my custom Hollands “old school” steel is real (Reynolds 653) racebike. I have “short” legs and a “long” torso for my height so need a “small” frame but with a “long” top tube (my Hollands is 52cm with a 54.5cm top tube, which is the effective top tube length on my Felt). Because the Felt FC is a semi-sloping top tube, standover isn’t an issue (it would be with a horizontal top tube) so it fits me “perfectly.”




    0
  35. @Gianni

    La Volupté only visits when you are very fit. So it’s been many a year since I can say I’ve had that sensation. It’s a fortunate rider who gets a visit from her ever.

    The guy with the Hammer, I don’t see him much either mostly because I’m smarter. I define the Man with the Hammer as a complete bonk. Butterflies copulate on the wheel’s spokes, the bike goes in cruel slow motion, hopes of a quick death float over the head. With the advent of actually bringing food on a ride, I hope I don’t see him too much anymore. We used to do long rides with only some dilute sports drink in a bottle. Once that was gone and the engine room runs out of soft coal to burn and the pace does not relent, bad things will happen.

    Yes, there is much talk of The Man with the Hammer from people who don’t know what it actually is. It’s like the Green Flash.

    His hit is more than just a bonk, although it can start out that way. A bonk you can recover from by eating so long as you haven’t overheated the engine room and burned out the guns.

    For me, a bonk is a bonk, a visit with TMWTH is the trifecta. It should take the rest of the day, loads of beer, and lots of food to recover from a real meeting.




    0
  36. @frank

    @Gianni

    La Volupté only visits when you are very fit. So it’s been many a year since I can say I’ve had that sensation. It’s a fortunate rider who gets a visit from her ever.

    The guy with the Hammer, I don’t see him much either mostly because I’m smarter. I define the Man with the Hammer as a complete bonk. Butterflies copulate on the wheel’s spokes, the bike goes in cruel slow motion, hopes of a quick death float over the head. With the advent of actually bringing food on a ride, I hope I don’t see him too much anymore. We used to do long rides with only some dilute sports drink in a bottle. Once that was gone and the engine room runs out of soft coal to burn and the pace does not relent, bad things will happen.

    Yes, there is much talk of The Man with the Hammer from people who don’t know what it actually is. It’s like the Green Flash.

    His hit is more than just a bonk, although it can start out that way. A bonk you can recover from by eating so long as you haven’t overheated the engine room and burned out the guns.

    For me, a bonk is a bonk, a visit with TMWTH is the trifecta. It should take the rest of the day, loads of beer, and lots of food to recover from a real meeting.

    So true. I had La Volupte early last month – gorgeous fall day – 70 degrees, summer kit on. I think I ended up at 120 kms at an almost 29 kms average on a lumpy circuit. Truly one of the rides of the year.

    As for the MWTH, back when I was a pedalwan, I’d do 3 hour rides on one bottle. I regularly struggled to make it home because I was almost dizzy with the knock. The gas light and the check engine lights were on solidly for the last 15 kms. Those rides I do not miss.




    0
  37. @RobSandy

    Mine’s a very budget 2014 F75 – which I think is their workhorse alloy racer (cheap wheels, 105 throughout, but racy geometry). I think because of the matt colours it looks like carbon, and thus looks more expensive than it is (Teocalli thought it was carbon!).

    Did I? Well it was a typical sunny South Wales day!




    0
  38. @wiscot

    So funny. Those are still my favorites. I loved the last chunk of the Whidbey Island Cogal, alone, on empty, just turning the pedals over and cursing every hill I came across (which were plentiful).




    0
  39. TMWTH is where my mind and body start to play tricks on me. If I’m sitting my mind convinces me I will be in less pain if I stand, as soon as I try that my body informs my mind that it was wrong and I will be far more comfortable sitting. So I sit and my mind once again convinces me that I can still stand and I continue to suffer desperately alternating between seating and standing but with no relief. My body and mind continue in conflict but I have no spare mental energy to mediate the argument. The only battle my mind can contemplate is one more turn of the pedals.




    0
  40. @chuckp

    @RobSandy

    Another pic … mostly just to incite the fashion police. The kit is 90s era. Jersey is a club/team one of my friends created after breaking away from the club/team I founded after I quit the club/team (long story). Java Shack is our favorite local coffee shop (eventually became the title sponsor of the team I founded after my original sponsor pulled out) and where club rides started and ended. Still a local epicenter for rides and cyclists. The red shorts are from a local club/team in Lucca, Italy that we discovered when we were on vacation.




    0
  41. @RobSandy

    @chuckp

    Nothing wrong with a budget build. Or alloy frameset. I ride fairly regularly with a guy who rides a CAAD 10. Lots of bang for the buck. In the hands of mere mortals, probably just as stiff and responsive as a carbon frame. But the ride is probably a little more harsh (but tamed with a carbon fork); I know @Oli would disagree, but I think a carbon seat post can do a lot to make the ride more compliant on an alloy frame. With the F75, you’ve got yourself a great bike (especially with upgraded wheels). Yeah, you don’t know what you’re missing versus a comparable carbon bike, but you’re probably not missing as much as you might think you are. Just ride it like you stole it!

    I’m fortunate in that my wife works in the bike biz so I was able to buy a bare frameset and build up the bike exactly the way I wanted it, with the parts I wanted, and everything sized right (except for the original 3T stem but that wasn’t my fault … at least that’s my story and I’m sticking with it). Plus I didn’t have to deal with the added expense of upgrading wheels as I could just get the wheels I wanted.

    I ride it like a lunatic, any chance I get. I think I’d do that with any bike I had. I’m not the fastest up the hills but once I’m on the flat I can get my head down and ride people off my wheel. Damnit I want to go for a ride!

    It’s December, we like to see people with that attitude on our rides go up the road and hopefully disappear for good. Suggest you buy a book on training and actually read it.




    0
  42. @frank

    @wiscot

    So funny. Those are still my favorites. I loved the last chunk of the Whidbey Island Cogal, alone, on empty, just turning the pedals over and cursing every hill I came across (which were plentiful).

    Those death rides usually ended in going over the Erskine Bridge – a big ass structure over the river Clyde. It was about a mile from one side to the other and angled just enough to the west where the prevailing wind came from to make it seem like Everest. The last two miles were all westwards. To be young and stupid . . .




    0
  43. @frank

    @chuckp

    @RobSandy

    Another pic … mostly just to incite the fashion police. The kit is 90s era. Jersey is a club/team one of my friends created after breaking away from the club/team I founded after I quit the club/team (long story). Java Shack is our favorite local coffee shop (eventually became the title sponsor of the team I founded after my original sponsor pulled out) and where club rides started and ended. Still a local epicenter for rides and cyclists. The red shorts are from a local club/team in Lucca, Italy that we discovered when we were on vacation.

    I’ll take that as as compliment.




    0
  44. @chuckp

    You shouldn’t.




    0
  45. @Chipomarc

    @chuckp

    It’s December, we like to see people with that attitude on our rides go up the road and hopefully disappear for good. Suggest you buy a book on training and actually read it.

    Jeez, who pissed in your cornflakes?




    0
  46. Some nice Velominati references by Msr Inrng in this review of Marc Madiots’ book might get everyone into a happier state of mind.

    http://inrng.com/2015/12/book-review-madiot/#more-27042




    0
  47. Although a certain “frank” in comments has noted a Rule #14 infraction…..




    0
  48. Had the ‘visit’ on Saturdays club ride;a long stint on the front on a long up and down drag and a chase to catch a lone ‘break’ with a short sharp up hill finish all seemed to have a ghostly hand helping me along.

    Maybe the new narrower Deda bars helped,plus the Zondas which had to be used in place of the usual winter wheels but there definitely felt like an outside influence giving me a helping hand.

    Best ride out I’ve had in ages.

    Oh and bib shorts with no warmers in mid-December;global warming has arrived in the Fens.




    0
  49. My water bottle froze on my Sunday morning group ride! So did my face, hands, and feet!! Just being out there was awesome, even with the pain of frostbite coming on!




    0
  50. @PT

    Some nice Velominati references by Msr Inrng in this review of Marc Madiots’ book might get everyone into a happier state of mind.

    http://inrng.com/2015/12/book-review-madiot/#more-27042

    Thanks for the link. Sounds like a fascinating read. I always liked les freres Madiot – even if they did beat Kelly in P-R. Marc was also part of that glorious swashbuckling Renault team in the 1984 Tour – 9 stage wins, the overall win, team win, and TT stage. Lemond, Fignon, Jules, Barteau, M. Madiot, Y. Madiot, Poisson, Simon, Didier and Mentheour.




    0

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar