We wish you a Merckxy Christmas and a Coppi New Year!

We wish you a Merckxy Christmas and a Coppi New Year!

Merckxy Christmas and Coppi New Year!

by / / 84 posts

Another year come and gone, another pile of New Year’s resolutions out the door, done and dusted. It’s a good thing I don’t recall what they were; I have a feeling this period of reflection might loom a bit darker if I was in a position to appreciate just how short I’ve come up on them.

I’m spending more time with young kids these days, and the Holiday Season is an entirely different experience when viewed within their context. To begin with, at my age I hardly notice the passing of the years. This itself is a paradox; as a Cyclist we are perhaps more aware of the passing seasons than anyone else, yet the years themselves manage to slip by without notice; for a kid, one year is a significant portion of their life and each one is remembered in astonishing (if inaccurate) detail.

Personally, it’s been a mixed year for me; the highest highs offset with some low lows, but if we are to experience life’s greatest moments, we have to be willing to walk the valleys between the peaks an for certain its been the singularly greatest year in terms of personal growth. I haven’t spent as much time on Velominati and with you, the community, as I would have liked in 2016; still for 2017 we have many exciting things lurking, all thanks to you who have kept the passion flowing through the community. We laugh, we quarrel, we reconnect. This is the beauty of Cycling and the charm of you, the Velominati community.

So here’s to you, your family’s and loved ones, and to 2017. On behalf of the Keepers, we wish you a Merckxy Christmas and a Coppi New Year!

And yes, it’s time for me to make a fresh batch of Cyclist Gingerbread cookies.

// La Vie Velominatus // Musings from the V-Bunker

  1. Coppy New Year? Shouldn’t it by Coppi? I guess your spell check is not cycling friendly.




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  2. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Frank. Also the very best of the Festive Season to the other Keepers, and lastly a very Cool Yule to all you mad Velominati that make this place tick.




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  4. To be able to share time and guide the young and exuberant can be as gratifying as any of our own accomplishments.Sometimes more.

    I fell way short of any of my cycling goals for the year. But it was the most gratifying year for me as I not only purchased my son his first “real” bike, I saw him race his first bike race. A challenging muddy cyclocross race. Then saw him do a few more that ended in a full-on affirmation of Rule #9.

    The gift I passed on to him was the same gift I receive every time I come to this site and engage in this community. The goals we’ve accomplish do not always need to be the ones we have set for ourselves.

    To Frank, the keepers and everyone – Merry Christmas.




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  5. Joy to Le mond(e)




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  6. merry christmas man! and thanks for the site.




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  7. I had my best cycling year ever, achieving a bucket list ride:

    https://www.strava.com/activities/613483932

    I know, I know, no Strava, blah blah blah…Rule 1,453,297…




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  9. Merry Christmas to all! My and the rest of the PEZ Crew’s holiday musings.

    http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/features/seasons-greetings-from-the-pez-crew-6/#.WF1LxrGZPdQ




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  10. Happy Holidays! I hope 2017 is an awesome year for everyone, its shaping up to be pretty exciting for me.




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  11. Merry Christmas all. Thanks for another great year motivating me to get out there on my bike and pedal til I hurt.




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  12. @chuckp

    Merry Christmas to all! My and the rest of the PEZ Crew’s holiday musings.

    http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/features/seasons-greetings-from-the-pez-crew-6/#.WF1LxrGZPdQ

    Cheers to ya and just for a point of I know where you are coming from; the young lady of our house has taken to following my wheel up a hill before attacking and… well, not much I can do. BUT, she cannot beat me at golf ! Just don’t tell me yours is driving the ball further than you, you young man! And it was sometime this good year that I had my first Negroni thanks to you and your PEZ crew. All best, Randy C




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  13. Merry Christmas and wishing everyone a great 2017




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  14. @Randy C

    @chuckp

    Merry Christmas to all! My and the rest of the PEZ Crew’s holiday musings.

    http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/features/seasons-greetings-from-the-pez-crew-6/#.WF1LxrGZPdQ

    Cheers to ya and just for a point of I know where you are coming from; the young lady of our house has taken to following my wheel up a hill before attacking and… well, not much I can do. BUT, she cannot beat me at golf ! Just don’t tell me yours is driving the ball further than you, you young man! And it was sometime this good year that I had my first Negroni thanks to you and your PEZ crew. All best, Randy C

    Randy – I can still hit the ball further than my daughter. She just hits it consistently straighter and in the fairway. Plus from her tees, more times than not she’s actually longer in the fairway. Such is my lot in life. :-) My approach game is probably still better, but that’s only because I can modulate my wedges. But her short game and putting really took a big step forward this last year. So I’m doomed, but happy to have a golf buddy for life. And once you’ve had one Negroni, you never go back. Welcome to the club! Cheers, Chuck




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  15. I hope that everyone had a Happy Christmas or Hanukkah, and hoping that we all have happy and healthy New Years, both on and off of the bikes!




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  16. You know you’re a cyclist when the presents which give you the most joy are Fignon’s autobiography and a new coffee maker.




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  17. Well Rollers work up a sweat in the way a Turbo does not in like for like pedalling. Must be getting better as the motion detector (or lack of) in the conservatory turned the lights off………..




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  18. @RobSandy

    You know you’re a cyclist when the presents which give you the most joy are Fignon’s autobiography and a new coffee maker.

    Indeed. I picked up the 7-11 book, one called Wheelmen (about COTHO’s scam) and one on the hstory of the Tour (clearly written before COTHO’s fall from grace) and a charity store in Madison for $6 for all three. Merry Christmas to me! Coffee makers I have: stovetop espresson, french press and big ass coffeemaker.

    What gifts, pray tell, gave you the least joy?




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  19. @Teocalli

    Well Rollers work up a sweat in the way a Turbo does not in like for like pedalling. Must be getting better as the motion detector (or lack of) in the conservatory turned the lights off………..

    I’m getting better each time I ride them, but can only do 20 minutes before I need to get off and give my ass a break. Next up, riding out of the saddle. I hear a big gear is the secret to this. Any input from fellow roller users?

    BTW, posting that Slade vid shows both your age and nationality! I say that because I remember it all too well too. Thursday night, BBC!, 7pm. ToTP. The original “must-see-TV.”




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  20. @wiscot

    What gifts, pray tell, gave you the least joy?”

    My mother, bless her lovely 83 year old heart gave me something I cannot wear… I told her I needed a gilet.. she got confused and bought me a god-awful florescent yellow specialized triathlete sleeveless jersey.. . It is a thing of horror and I can not throw it out since it was a gift yet it gives me distress knowing that it’s even living in the same drawer as my other cycling attire..




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  21. So what did y’all get for Christmas? Some of what I got:

    ProViz 360+ cycling vest (absolutely brilliant … almost literally … piece of kit for night riding)

    Yellow Jersey Racer

    Shoulder to Shoulder: Racing in the Age of Anquetil

    Road to Valor: A True Story of WWII Italy, the Nazis, and a Cyclist Who Inspired a Nation




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  22. @chuckp

    So what did y’all get for Christmas? Some of what I got:

    ProViz 360+ cycling vest (absolutely brilliant … almost literally … piece of kit for night riding)

    Yellow Jersey Racer

    Shoulder to Shoulder: Racing in the Age of Anquetil

    Road to Valor: A True Story of WWII Italy, the Nazis, and a Cyclist Who Inspired a Nation

    Santa was good to you! I have Shoulder to Shoulder and Road to Valor. Both excellent. Hero is a much overused word, but it applies to Bartali 100%.

    Yellow Jersey Racer is on my list.




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  23. @chuckp

    So what did y’all get for Christmas?…

    Since you asked… had to play my own Santa, the wife has no clue what kind of bike kit I need (want).

    Something I never thought I’d go for – carbon wheels. Campagnolo Bora tubulars. I have a set of Record/Ambrosio box section tubs I occasionally ride and tubs on my CX bike, but for some reason I agonized over the clincher/tub decision this time. Last night all I dreamed about was getting flats and not being able to fix them.

    Book – Lantern Rouge: The Last Man in the Tour de France.




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  24. @wiscot

    I just started reading Road to Valor. Had to finish The Boys in the Boat first. Great book about the 1936 crew team from University of Washington who won the gold medal at the Berlin Olympics. Many similarities between crew and cycling in terms of how both work as a team. Had to read the book after seeing PBS documentary (will have to get the DVD). And speaking of documentary, I understand there’s one for Road to Valor. My Italian Secret: The Forgotten Heroes. I’ll have to get that too.

    https://www.amazon.com/My-Italian-Secret-Forgotten-Heroes/




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  25. Rollers

    The Racer – David Millar

    Cycling Climbs of South East England

    Cycling’s Strangest Tales

    Some interesting anecdotes to be found in the last book.




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  26. @MangoDave

    I need to get and read Lanterne Rouge. It’s the name of a club/team that I helped a friend start (it’s now, sadly, defunct) after I quit the club/team I built, Unione Sportiva Coppi’s which became Squadra Coppi. I still have kit for all the different clubs/teams I rode for, including Lanterne Rouge (and I can still fit into all of it!)




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  27. @chuckp

    @wiscot

    I just started reading Road to Valor. Had to finish The Boys in the Boat first. Great book about the 1936 crew team from University of Washington who won the gold medal at the Berlin Olympics. Many similarities between crew and cycling in terms of how both work as a team. Had to read the book after seeing PBS documentary (will have to get the DVD). And speaking of documentary, I understand there’s one for Road to Valor. My Italian Secret: The Forgotten Heroes. I’ll have to get that too.

    https://www.amazon.com/My-Italian-Secret-Forgotten-Heroes/

    Boys in the Boat is fantastic! The PBS documentary is good, but the book offers so much more depth about the characters (and character of the characters) and their highly improbable story and success. I hear a movie is being made. Hard to believe such an incredible tale was ignored for so long. The whole thing has a “yeah, sure that’s what happened” quality to it. I mean, you have the Depression, kids from the wrong side of the tracks going against Ivy League boys, Olympics, Hitler, the Nazis, cheating by the officials, a photogenic sport. t’s incredible!

    I have the book of Riefenstahl’s Olympia and there are a couple of shots of “The Boys” in there.

    Sometimes truth is better than fiction!




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  28. @MangoDave

    picked up lanterne rouge myself a while ago. Very much looking forward to reading it as soon as I finish my current book which is proving to be a bit of a slog.

    Last year our Sam Bennett finished tdf as lanterne rouge in heroic fashion after a nasty crash in stage one. Chapeau Sam, here’s to better luck in 2017.




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  29. @wiscot

    Boys in the Boat is fantastic! The PBS documentary is good, but the book offers so much more depth about the characters (and character of the characters) and their highly improbable story and success. I hear a movie is being made. Hard to believe such an incredible tale was ignored for so long. The whole thing has a “yeah, sure that’s what happened” quality to it. I mean, you have the Depression, kids from the wrong side of the tracks going against Ivy League boys, Olympics, Hitler, the Nazis, cheating by the officials, a photogenic sport. t’s incredible!I have the book of Riefenstahl’s Olympia and there are a couple of shots of “The Boys” in there.

    Sometimes truth is better than fiction!

    I loved reading the book. Definitely had a “can’t put it down” quality. I saw The Boys of ’36 on PBS back to back with The Nazi Games-Berlin 1936. It’s amazing that the pomp and spectacle of the modern Olympic Games has its roots in Hitler and Nazi Germany. And the corruption too.




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  30. Sorry for a “downer” post on a holiday thread, but a reminder that life is fragile and that our sport/passion is not without danger.

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/canadian-neo-pro-ellen-watters-dies-from-crash-injuries/

    Especially during the winter months where days are shorter and visibility may not be as good, be safe and smart out there. Even if it means violating the rules and resorting to the YJA or YVA if that helps you to be seen and reduces your risk.




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  31. @wiscot

    RE: Riding out of the saddle on rollers. Big gear is the way to go. I’ve found a slow cadence is easiest, but with practice have moved upwards and can maintain 75ish relatively safely. Also, don’t put too much weight on your arms/front wheel. I’ve had the back start to float up on me. The benefit of this is that it also builds the supporting muscles in your glutes and core. In a 65-minute threshold session, I do 90-120 seconds standing every 10-12 minutes. This helps with the inevitable numbness in places that shouldn’t be numb…




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  32. @SamV

    @wiscot

    RE: Riding out of the saddle on rollers. Big gear is the way to go. I’ve found a slow cadence is easiest, but with practice have moved upwards and can maintain 75ish relatively safely. Also, don’t put too much weight on your arms/front wheel. I’ve had the back start to float up on me. The benefit of this is that it also builds the supporting muscles in your glutes and core. In a 65-minute threshold session, I do 90-120 seconds standing every 10-12 minutes. This helps with the inevitable numbness in places that shouldn’t be numb…

    You need to learn to ride rollers in your smallest gear spinning at 120rpm … no hands. :-)




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  33. @chuckp

    @SamV

    @wiscot

    RE: Riding out of the saddle on rollers. Big gear is the way to go. I’ve found a slow cadence is easiest, but with practice have moved upwards and can maintain 75ish relatively safely. Also, don’t put too much weight on your arms/front wheel. I’ve had the back start to float up on me. The benefit of this is that it also builds the supporting muscles in your glutes and core. In a 65-minute threshold session, I do 90-120 seconds standing every 10-12 minutes. This helps with the inevitable numbness in places that shouldn’t be numb…

    You need to learn to ride rollers in your smallest gear spinning at 120rpm … no hands. :-)

    Well, tonight’s a roller night so we’ll see how we go with both strategies!




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  34. @chuckp

    @wiscot

    Boys in the Boat is fantastic! The PBS documentary is good, but the book offers so much more depth about the characters (and character of the characters) and their highly improbable story and success. I hear a movie is being made. Hard to believe such an incredible tale was ignored for so long. The whole thing has a “yeah, sure that’s what happened” quality to it. I mean, you have the Depression, kids from the wrong side of the tracks going against Ivy League boys, Olympics, Hitler, the Nazis, cheating by the officials, a photogenic sport. t’s incredible!I have the book of Riefenstahl’s Olympia and there are a couple of shots of “The Boys” in there.

    Sometimes truth is better than fiction!

    I loved reading the book. Definitely had a “can’t put it down” quality. I saw The Boys of ’36 on PBS back to back with The Nazi Games-Berlin 1936. It’s amazing that the pomp and spectacle of the modern Olympic Games has its roots in Hitler and Nazi Germany. And the corruption too.

    Oh you got that right. Juan Antonio Samaranch was a pal of the Fascist dictator Franco too. He certainly turned the IOC and Olympics into the corrupt cash cow it is today.




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