La Vie Velominatus: Romanticization

La Vie Velominatus: Romanticization

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I’m often told I romanticize Cycling’s past, that the days gone by weren’t quite as rosy as I make them out to be. There is some truth to this, certainly, but the assertion isn’t entirely accurate in the sense that I romanticize everything about Cycling.

Because events are seasoned by our thoughts and individual experience, we necessarily cannot see them for what they truly were. The thoughts that pass through our mind when looking at an old or new photograph, a race, or when we go for a ride influences the way it is remembered and the significance it holds.

Our minds are very good at forgetting pain and remembering pleasure; it isn’t very long after an experience that negative associations begin to fade and positive ones to amplify. This psychological mechanism is the gateway to romanticization. Certainly, I remember that climbing Haleakala last January was a horrible experience, but I’ve managed to forget what that means precisely. On the other hand, the memory of accomplishing a task that turned out to be much harder than I had anticipated lingers strongly; I find myself drawn back to the mountain for the chance to experience once more the purity that touches us briefly when we persevere despite total exhaustion.

Romanticizing encourages us to study the past, to appreciate how things were, and provides the opportunity to learn from the mistakes others have made. It reminds us that things were not always as they are today and that those things we wish were different may be so tomorrow. It helps us forget that many long hours of suffering are balanced only by brief moments of exhilaration. It helps us to dream, to imagine what could be.

Do the great races of the past seem more glorious than they were? Perhaps. Does the sunlight’s glint off a chromed chainstay blind me to the weight of the bicycle and the extra burden it places on its rider? Certainly. Does the memory of reaching down to flick a downtube shifter eclipse the inconvenience of sitting down to shift, and removing a hand from the bars? Absolutely. But they also form the fabric of what keeps me returning to the bicycle.

Vive la Vie Velominatus.

// La Vie Velominatus

  1. @Souleur
    You just nailed it on both of your most recent posts. There is a case for radios in terms of safety, and even other sensible information. But the racing that makes us suggest things such as this:

    They must….(handfist) MUST, sit back in the car, hit ‘www.figure-out-time-gap-breakaway.com’ and go to it and hit in the distances, gaps and KNOW with surety the effort necessary to catch the breakaway, and then know EXACTLY when to go. That is artificial as Pamela Andersons beautiful set of knockers, but artificial none the less.

    is precisely why I liken the radios as they are used today to doping.

    And I can’t believe Pamela Anderson was mentioned on this site.

  2. @Souleur
    About the trains, didn’t the breakaway somehow not know? Shouldn’t radios have let them know?

  3. @frank
    The Keepers must never be tempted to add a “breakaway catch” calculator to the calculators already posted on this site.

  4. @Nate
    breakaway catch calculator = (pedal harder) x (now)

    while looking at the V meter, of course.

  5. @itburns

    @Nate
    breakaway catch calculator = (pedal harder) x (now)
    while looking at The V meter, of course.

    Should it not be be V+1 whilst looking at the V-Mantra on your right thigh?

  6. @frank
    Thanks Frank!

  7. @sthilzy

    @sgt This is about as close ‘race-radio’ should get – EVER!

    Thanks BIG RING RIDING!

    wow…that is freakin wild

    how can you NOT romanticize about what the conversation is
    what is he feeding him?? Granola? Bolongna??
    what is he saying?? admonishment? encouragement? ridicule?

    I simply choose Granola and encouragement
    because the poor bastard is taking it all so well

  8. @frank

    @SouleurYou just nailed it on both of your most recent posts. There is a case for radios in terms of safety, and even other sensible information. But the racing that makes us suggest things such as this:

    They must….(handfist) MUST, sit back in the car, hit ‘www.figure-out-time-gap-breakaway.com’ and go to it and hit in the distances, gaps and KNOW with surety the effort necessary to catch the breakaway, and then know EXACTLY when to go. That is artificial as Pamela Andersons beautiful set of knockers, but artificial none the less.

    is precisely why I liken the radios as they are used today to doping.
    And I can’t believe Pamela Anderson was mentioned on this site.

    @frank:

    did you catch something by my mere mention of her name?
    sorry bro, blame it on me. I will never mention such ever again.

  9. ohhhh Pamela Anderson. I raced against her on the PCH. She was in a white 911 Turbo so in the end she won. Actually I don’t think she knew we were racing…still it was jolly exciting for about two sets of traffic lights.

  10. @Souleur

    @sthilzy

    @sgt This is about as close ‘race-radio’ should get – EVER!

    Thanks BIG RING RIDING!

    wow…that is freakin wild
    how can you NOT romanticize about what the conversation is
    what is he feeding him?? Granola? Bolongna??
    what is he saying?? admonishment? encouragement? ridicule?
    I simply choose Granola and encouragement
    because the poor bastard is taking it all so well

    “Dai, bastardo, è scalare questa montagna, anche se devo tirare tue labbro”

    BTW @frank, that is what you call a gilet!

  11. @Chris

    @itburns

    @Nate
    breakaway catch calculator = (pedal harder) x (now)
    while looking at The V meter, of course.

    Should it not be be V+1 whilst looking at The V-Mantra on your right thigh?

    No, no, no!

    It’s

    do
    {
        V++;
    } while (true);

  12. for (effort=start; effort < finish && effort < V; effort++)
    {
        if (effort == manWithHammer) {break;}
    }

  13. @frank, @itburns
    My comment was not meant to be an invitation!

  14. @itburns, @Nate, @frank

    Oh dear god, what have I done? Not only am I going to spend the weekend in a foreign country with a bunch of men that I met on the internet but they’re also going to want to talk about programming.

  15. @Chris
    I think your non-quantitative approach is in the proper spirit.

  16. @Nate
    Writing code to work out how hard one should be riding, whether for the purposes of catching breaks or otherwise, doesn’t really seem to be in the spirit of Rule #74. Disappointing coming from a Keeper.

  17. @DerHoggz
    Yes to those 110’s and if the bike industry had not been held back what else??

  18. @DerHoggz
    HA, like a fine double barreled over under (and I do not like guns), that engraving is the shiznet but my dream goes toward single chain stay, one fork blade and mono everything in stealth black at 4 kilos…

  19. @Rob
    I think you missed the point, scroll down on the link.

  20. @Chris

    @Nate
    Writing code to work out how hard one should be riding, whether for the purposes of catching breaks or otherwise, doesn’t really seem to be in the spirit of Rule #74. Disappointing coming from a Keeper.

    It just means “go more harderified”. This is Theoretical stuff prior to the ride – obviously no such calculations would be going on. This is just to help you figure out what your plan will be prior to the ride.

    Just wait ’til April when I explain to you in detail how I solved the “backspace to exit fullscreen” problem on the new photo album plugin I deployed here today. Elegant, beautiful. I’ll casually explain it to you as we reach the top of the Kapelmuur.

  21. @DerHoggz
    What an old fart fail – thanks for some sweet bike porn! I do not know if we would have better bikes if those designs were the foundation of what we have now instead of UCI dictated diamond geometry holdbacks… but it would have been fun to find out.

  22. @frank

    @Chris

    @Nate
    Writing code to work out how hard one should be riding, whether for the purposes of catching breaks or otherwise, doesn’t really seem to be in the spirit of Rule #74. Disappointing coming from a Keeper.

    It just means “go more harderified”. This is Theoretical stuff prior to the ride – obviously no such calculations would be going on. This is just to help you figure out what your plan will be prior to the ride.
    Just wait ’til April when I explain to you in detail how I solved the “backspace to exit fullscreen” problem on the new photo album plugin I deployed here today. Elegant, beautiful. I’ll casually explain it to you as we reach the top of the Kapelmuur.

    I will live for that moment but I’m worried that life will be empty after it.

  23. Fignon images (posted). His character and merit is capturing me now. A rider that is revered among cyclist — there can be no exaggeration on their work. These images are great to see.

    The V !!

    The best photo !!

  24. French cyclist Roger Pingeon, Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx and French cyclist Raymond Poulidor, pictured with a tribute book MERCKXISSIMO. Who has this book ??

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