Archive | La Vie Velominatus

Rider and car (nearly) collide on the Koppenberg in the 1987 Tour of Flanders.

On Motors and Bikes: The Next Ride

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Every time I go riding, I know I subject myself to masses of cars and motorcycles, each of which has the potential to momentarily occupy the same space my bicycle and I are occupying, a physical impossibility that Nature will resolve via a messy process involving my death. I don’t know very much about the vehicles…

If you're not window shopping, you're lying.

Window Shopping

by / / 63 posts

One of the great dichotomies of being a Cyclist is that of our commitment to suffering paired against our fastidious attention to our appearance. We sacrifice endlessly for the sake of our craft, suffering hours on end in horrendous weather and diverting any money saved on depriving ourselves of food into maintaining and improving our equipment.…

Hey guys, we're turning non-drive now.

Drive Side/Non-Drive Side

by / / 52 posts

I have a hard time with labels, which is why I am terrible at remembering people’s names. I remember the person and the conversation, but I rarely remember their name; the person had meaning, the label did not. I also can’t tell my left from my right which similarly feel like labels for “this way” or…

These cobbles don't stand a chance against little Lizzie A. Photo: Ashley Gruber.

This Spells Rain

by / / 68 posts

For those of you with an interest in the subtle art of Paying Attention, you may have noticed a few things about my writing technique: apart from the inescapable fact that it is untrained and terrible, I make a habit of overusing the semicolon, a practice I started when I heard my third grade teacher tell…

A bunch of new friends rolls along, getting to know one another.

Oversharing on the Group Ride

by / / 57 posts

My dog greets every dog on the street as though it were her long lost best friend. As soon as the customary butt-sniffing has been sorted out, the two dogs will wrestle each other endlessly, stopping only after an owner-forced separation. Any human that falls within her gaze is a viable candidate for a new home…

The Goldilocks Principle in full effect.

Goldilocks Principle: The Golden Ratio

by / / 127 posts

There is a disturbance in the V. I have felt it for some time, and I suspect many of you have as well. The matter has to do with the ever increasing length of bibshorts and socks, approaching the knee like two lionesses stalking their prey in the savanna. Tracing back to the origin of this trend,…

Today is a good day to ride.

The Fasting Ride

by / / 80 posts

I’ve been doing fasting rides on the weekend, before breakfast and maybe also before lunch, depending on how long the ride is. The longer the ride, the lower the intensity. Also the more likely I am to meet my old friend, the Man with the Hammer. I might bring an Emergency Gel, in its glass tube, but I…

A fenderless creature emerges from the bog of the Forest of Arenberg.

Fendangelism

by / / 143 posts

Mudguards (fenders) and saddlebags are two subjects that are sure to get our collective ire up as Cyclists. When I wrote in one of my columns for Cyclist that saddlebags should never be used, my editor told me that he received a record number of emails threatening to cancel their subscription on the basis that my column was a…

Phantom aero in the snow. Top marks, Michele.

Breathing Through Your Ears

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Suffering is part of Cycling the way alcohol is part of liver failure: they are obviously connected but it’s too much fun to stop and think about why you do it. Grace finds us through La Volupté, but her touch is rare and we generally are far better acquainted with her husband, The Man with the…

The Pro Mechanic. Is that a cigarette and is that diesel in there? Photo: HBStache

Dream Job

by / / 87 posts

I love working on my bikes. I feel closer to them, like a samurai sharpening their blade or a soldier cleaning their pistol; this simple act of preparation prepares us for the suffering that is to come, with the notable distinction that a Cyclist chooses this suffering with no tangible consequence while the warrior faces probably…

As a matter of fact, no, I hadn't forgotten how awesome I am.

Body Language

by / / 87 posts

A true leader rarely asks someone to do something for them; the best leaders inspire through their own example those around them to follow suit and join them in their cause. The leader is fueled by something that is not externally driven, it is born from within and appears in this world as passion and conviction. These…

These aren't the men you're looking for. Photo: Tim De Waele

Body Dysmorphia

by / / 127 posts

I am thrilled to announce that for the first time in my life, my chest measurement is smaller than my hip measurement, an accomplishment I’m not sure many men around the world would be proud to admit. A Cyclist has no use for an upper body, we’re not going about lifting things with our arms; we are…

Laurel Rathbun makes an adequate effort at Jingle Cross.

À Bloc

by / / 62 posts

The V surrounds us, it penetrates and binds us together. Through disciplined practice we are able to draw from it to push harder and go farther on the bike; what we do on the bike then informs how we face our lives. The masters, such as the Prophet Merckx and the Apostle de Vlaeminck, could channel…

Sarah Ginsbach demonstrates perfect mounting style. Photo: Allen Kuo

A Study in Casually Deliberate: Start Properly

by / / 93 posts

I was recently asked how one is supposed to handle the delicate situation when departing a traffic signal and you are unable to clip in immediately. The obvious answer is that you’re supposed to clip in right away (use your toe to position the pedal and then pop your shoe into it) but I admit…

We will always find unity through Cycling. VLVV.

The Power of Sport

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Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the human race. HG Wells The world is a strange place. Our planet is more globally connected than ever before where our differences are measured by increasingly smaller margins, yet they represent apparently unbridgeable chasms. The horrific events in Paris and elsewhere around the world emphasize…

Mr Strack, Mr Merckx and The Rules

How Did We Get to Here?

by / / 102 posts

How did we get to here? Here is Frank, the founder of Velominati, standing next to Eddy Merckx. Eddy is looking at The Rules, in Rouleur’s book-zine format. Frank is in his best button down sweater, trying to keep his shit together. And it is not easy for him to do this as Rouleur has…

We'll always have Paris.

La Solidarité

by / / 68 posts

We will always have strength, we will always have Paris, and we will always have the Tour de France racing to the finish on the Champs Élysée in July. Our thoughts are with the victims and people of Paris. Vive la France.

Thankfully we've progressed beyond legwarmers made of baby buck sea monkeys.

Progressively Retro

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Innovation is a beast that lurches in leaps and bounds, fueled by its own momentum and restrained by its own progress. It lays dormant for ages before springing to life and briefly disrupting the world around it. And, just as suddenly as it appeared, it ambles back to its cave to slumber once again. Until 1984, eyewear…

Everything is so right.

The Aesthete’s Choice

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It has not escaped my attention that as I’ve evolved away from my original profession as a software developer and moved towards systems and solutions architecture and management, that I have tended to focus more on the theoretical aspects that support its fundamental principles rather than on the discrete activities that drive its execution. Being further removed from the work, it…

Forgiving the triple and EPMS, Pineapple Bob shows us how Looking Fantastic is done.

On Looking Fantastic

by / / 114 posts

Whenever I do anything, I try my best to project the confidence of Han Solo leaving the cantina after cooking Greedo which has been scientifically proven to be the maximum possible score on the Casually Deliberate scale. Being Casually Deliberate comes down to two fundamental units of knowledge that you must hold unwaveringly within your heart: That you Look Fantastic and…

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