Archive | La Vie Velominatus

The Lion King was once a Pedalwan cub, just as the rest of us. Guide the uninitiated.

The Book and the Cover

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I rode with a rider I know from work a few weeks ago. The first time we sat in a meeting together, we immediately pegged one another as a Cyclist the way Cyclists always peg one another; nothing specific or obvious but everything nonspecific and nonobvious. It’s what we do, you can’t learn it and it can’t be…

Sometimes, the eyes can only take so much.

Voyeurs

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We are a sick lot. We have no morals whatsoever. I understand why others are wary of us, why café patrons reel in disgust, why real men driving utes want us dead. We attempt to assimilate while at the same time exhibiting no shame of our middle-aged bodies swathed in a thin shield of no real protection (for us or…

Rollin' Dirty

Defining Moments: Dust Caps

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I genuinely miss the eighties. Funny Bikes, which I say without thinking this though. Then again, time trial bikes today are basically road bikes with a position for  tuned for “more speed”. In other words, switching to your TT bike today is like switching from your road bike to a slightly less comfortable road bike, with your…

If you have to choose, choose quality over quantity

Short But Sweet

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My lungs feel my favorite way my lungs can feel. Every breath I take tells me the whereabouts of each alveolus. They feel raw, like they were scraped clean and opened up anew after a period of dormancy. Every breath tells me their exact shape and depth, where my lungs end and where my diaphragm begins. I feel high,…

Chuck Flop had some of the best guns in the business.

La Vie Velominatus: Gun Envy

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Three things define a Cyclist: their ability to crush fools, their ability to Look Fantastic, and the Magnificence of their Guns. If you are lacking in one, it is mandatory that the other two are increased in compensation. In the immortal words of Paul Fournel, “To Look Good is already to go fast.” Thank Merckx for that, because…

Frank and Rigid experience the Holy Land via the muddied secteur at Abattoirs. Photo: @Harminator

La Vie Velominatus: The Holy Land

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No pavé is smooth, and to ride them well the rider must enter them à bloc and keep pushing until one of two things happen: the secteur ends or the lights go out. The thing about cobbles is that each stone beats back the wheels like a boxer punching a speed bag, robbing the unit of speed with every stone…

The weight of fatigue is taking its pound of flesh

Something from Nothing

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If the only kind of wind they have in Belgium is a headwind, then the only kind of flats they have in Northern France are false. In Vlaanderen, they specialize in a delectable combination of the two. (Everything that isn’t a windy false flat, it appears, is a windy cobbled climb.) The most obvious way to get…

There she goes, my beautiful world

The Real Diel

by / / 76 posts

Europe is full of history, ancient buildings filled with original masterpieces of art that you can spend days discovering. Looking at these artworks lasts but a moment, the only way to retain their majesty by memory or memory card. Other works of art take different forms, and some of these can be taken with you.…

It is time to confess your sins.

On Rule #3: The Apocalypse

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With The Rules being officially published in three languages (English English, American English, and soon Dutch) and now also being offered in a large full-color format by Rouleur, it is time for the Keepers to accept the reality that Rule #3 is perhaps the most important Rule of all and one which must be enforced vigilantly, even…

The look, of love... Photo via Oli's Tumblr

Anatomy of a Photo: Bike Love

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I got new wheels last week and got them mounted with tires by the weekend. Then @Haldy had to help me with a clearance problem on Sunday (27mm FMB Paris-Roubaix’s get to be more like 29mm tires after Francois finishes his lunchtime bottle of wine). When I wasn’t looking, @Haldy put orange cable ends on all the…

How cold is it outside?

On Rule #9: The Badass Within

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The rain is coming down in sheets, blowing sideways out from the coast. I hear its intensity more than I feel it; the drops reverberate through my helmet as they lash down. The temperature is just cold enough to add a sting to the rain, like a thousand needles upon the 15cm of exposed flesh between the…

The V-Lion of Flanders

Brush Strokes On The Soul

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I dream of painting and then I paint my dream. -Vincent Van Gogh Poor old Vinnie may have been Dutch, mad as a cut snake, riddled with gonorrhea, a romantic in the most insane sense, and a raging alcoholic, but despite these encumbrances he knew a bit about the use of colour. He also spent…

Daylight savings means less time riding in this

Reverence: Daylight Saving Time

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Not too many people espouse the virtues of Daylight Saving Time, much less chose to write about it every bloody year. But Daylight Saving Time is my favorite day of the year, no question. Better than Christmas, Sinterklaas, or my birthday. Combined. The reason is simple: Daylight Saving is the day of the year when it becomes feasible to…

There is pain to be found upon this road. Photo via <a href="http://szymonbike.tumblr.com/">Symonbike</a>

On Rule #10: The Mandlebrot Set of Pain

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My training hasn’t gone as I’d like it to be going. My days keep getting loaded up with things that pay the bills more than they add to the account at the V-Bank. It’s part of not being a Pro, I suppose, as if to spite my obvious talent which is a sort of talent sleeper cell…

No Graveur needed here.

On Rule #12: The Luxury of Passion

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Rule #12 is a luxury of passion; the #1 for good weather and epic rides or races, the Nine Bike for bad weather, the Graveur (which is neither a cross bike nor a road bike), a ‘Cross bike, a mountain bike, a townie, a track bike, a time trial bike. Add in steel, carbon, titanium –…

Respect is a cornerstone of La Vie Velominatus.

The Past and the Future

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I’m struggling with how to open this conversation without sounding like what I’m assuming my grandparents did when I was growing up. Maybe it’s because I’m just now clawing my way into some of the wisdom they had, or maybe I’m just less of an idiot than I was when they were moving their lips and…

This cat got skills

On Rule #43: Shaming the Sensei

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I think it would be hard for anyone to make the case that Eddy Merckx was Roger de Vlaeminck’s Cycling Sensei, but I think we can all agree that De Vlaeminck was a student of Merckx, if only a student of his domination. But every student at some point becomes the master, and the driven student will always challenge…

My only remaining hub with loose ball bearings.

In Memoriam: Loose Ball Bearings

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The darker months bring out the macabre in each of us; for Gianni it was the extinction of his beloved Park Tool adjustable clamp. For me, I found myself mourning the fact that I recently purchased a headset press. Ignoring the fact that a Velominatus of my stature didn’t already own one, the mourn behind…

Spinal Tap Black

The Dark Side

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White is a troublesome color; hard to keep clean. I have a white dress shirt that I never wear because even if I manage not to spill on the front of it, the cuffs and collar will look crap by the end of the day regardless. I mean, I can keep from eating something all…

Eddy waits for his Jaegher

How Soon Is Now?

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Waiting has never been my strong point. I’m anxious, but don’t really suffer from anxiety. Good things come to those who wait isn’t at the top of my list of proverbs to live by. Do What Thou Wilt always has been, though; kind of a Just Do It for early 20th century Satanists, and me.…

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