La Bicyclette

La Bicyclette

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I love the shape of it. Aroma of it. The way it feels to be around it. It will catch my eye from across the way; I will be powerless to resist taking in its form and perhaps allow my hand to graze its surface. The source of such beauty and harmony, it is a fountain of unspeakable happiness.

It offers me companionship when I need it, solitude when I want to be alone. It distracts me when I’m trying to focus and focuses me when I am trying not to be distracted. It inspires me to take chances, and reminds me to be patient.

It breaks me down when I’m overconfident, it builds me up when I’m insecure. It brings me pain to remind me I should become a stronger man.

I love it when it’s flawless, but I love it more when it shows signs of wear; our time together has changed us both indelibly for the better.

It is no wonder the French and Italians refer to the bicycle in the feminine form, for all these things embody what it means to be a strong woman.

Women are made to be loved, not understood. -Oscar Wilde

// Accessories and Gear // Nostalgia // Reverence // The Bikes

  1. @Chris
    She might have some fat in her lips and earlobes but that’s about all. Beautiful, fit athlete.

  2. @sthilzy, @Marko
    New rule proposal, you can only post pictures of fat people if they’re as fit as Jessica Ennis.

  3. @Chris
    Seconded. Oh my eyes.

  4. @sthilzy
    WTF are those things on her head anyway? The can’t be curlers as there’s really nothing that can be done on the improvements front. Are they some sort of fat persons sausage holding survival kit for when she’s got to leave the immediate vicinity of the fridge?

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    start_el('?display_element(Object(stdClass), Array, 1, 0, Array, '?@scaler911

    I’m so stoked. I picked up #3 today! It’s looking to be #1 as soon as I get my Velominati Sticker Pack.
    Whadya think guys (and girl)?

    Crappy photo cause I’m soooo excited I was shaking.

    So where’s wee Joe 90 then? That sure looks like his gizmo chair.

  6. exception 'ImagickException' with message 'unable to open image `/nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati//wp-content/plugins/dm-albums/php/image.php?degrees=0&scale=yes&width=600&height=700&quality=85&maintain_aspect=yes&rounding=nearest&image=/home/frankdstrack/velominati.com/wp-content/uploads/readers/fleeting moment/2012.05.30.11.52.39/JessicaEnnisinterview.jpg': No such file or directory @ error/blob.c/OpenBlob/2638' in /nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati/wp-content/themes/velominati/generics.php:1269 Stack trace: #0 /nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati/wp-content/themes/velominati/generics.php(1269): Imagick->__construct('/nas/wp/www/clu...') #1 [internal function]: dm_replace_image_embeds('

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    @Chris

    Slightly off topic but all this posting photos of fat people reminds me that last week there were two stories side by side in the Telegraph, one that Jessica Ennis Britain’s world heptathlon silver medallist and Olympic gold chance had been described as being too fat by a senior UK Athletics official and the other that Britain’s fattest teenager had to cut out of her house by rescue crews in order to get her to hospital. WTF on both counts.

    Ennis had also just beaten the Olympic 100 metre hurdle champion Dawn Harper and world 100 metre hurdle silver medallist Danielle Carruthers so could be described as “on form”

    I read that too. I want to see a picture of the fat fuck in a blazer who called her fat. I think a wee head-to-head race should sort out the issue.

  7. @Chris

    @sthilzy
    WTF are those things on her head anyway? The can’t be curlers as there’s really nothing that can be done on the improvements front. Are they some sort of fat persons sausage holding survival kit for when she’s got to leave the immediate vicinity of the fridge?

    Correct. She is from Wisconsin and those curlers craftily hide a box of Johnsonville bratwurst in case she gets the munchies.

  8. @wiscot

    @Chris

    @sthilzy
    WTF are those things on her head anyway? The can’t be curlers as there’s really nothing that can be done on the improvements front. Are they some sort of fat persons sausage holding survival kit for when she’s got to leave the immediate vicinity of the fridge?

    Correct. She is from Wisconsin and those curlers craftily hide a box of Johnsonville bratwurst in case she gets the munchies.

    Carrying sausages is probably the only exercise she gets, might account for the neck.

    When you emigrated to Wisconsin, did you introduce the Scottish love of battering and deep frying all things from confectionery to offal? Were the locals skinny before that?

  9. @Chris

    @wiscot

    @Chris

    @sthilzy
    WTF are those things on her head anyway? The can’t be curlers as there’s really nothing that can be done on the improvements front. Are they some sort of fat persons sausage holding survival kit for when she’s got to leave the immediate vicinity of the fridge?

    Correct. She is from Wisconsin and those curlers craftily hide a box of Johnsonville bratwurst in case she gets the munchies.

    Carrying sausages is probably the only exercise she gets, might account for the neck.

    When you emigrated to Wisconsin, did you introduce the Scottish love of battering and deep frying all things from confectionery to offal? Were the locals skinny before that?

    I don’t think introducing Wisconsinites to the joys of deep frying everything would be a good move. They seem to be doing ok with fish frys as it is. I think they might develop a love of Iru Bru if it was ever imported.

  10. @wiscot
    You can look like that without deep frying mars bars, cheese burgers and pizza?

  11. @Chris

    @wiscot

    I think one of the things that really ties us to our machines is that they are all – to a great extent – customized. .

    @ChrisO I know you’re a big fan of Brooks saddles but are your bikes pretty much stock apart from that? does the fact that you see them as tools rather than obsess over them keep the upgrading to a minimum?

    Well one of them is handbuilt to me so that’s not stock. The Colnago – I’ve changed bars, seatposts, tape. The Ridley was bought as F+F with a custom paintjob and the rest was to my specs… So I guess the answer is no.

    Having said that I was quite happy to turn up at the Keepers Tour and ride a rental bike. I’m not obsessive about what I am on. I’d rather have been on my own bike for comfort and performance but it wouldn’t have made me appreciate my bike any more or any less by ‘sharing’ the experience.

    Just to be clear, I’m not saying I see them only as tools – I totally see the beauty of them as design. Like that Merckx that Pistard posted – I look at that and think it is a beautiful thing.

    But I admire bikes in the way I admire a work of art or a piece of music. I don’t feel emotional about them.

    In a fire I would be more likely to save my cat than my bike.*

    (*I only leave out my wife and children because they live in London while I’m in Abu Dhabi, so chances are they would have to save themselves inshallah).

  12. @Chris

    @Chris

    Hey, give us some credit. We were deep frying and ingesting everything we could find way before @wiscot showed up, and then we shove it on a stick for easy eatin’. Sausage. Bacon. Bananas. Snickers bars. Car batteries. Etc. Every year the top headline from the State Fair is what new deep-fried food-on-a-stick they’ve come up with.

  13. @motor city

    @versio

    @Jamie
    What size shoe? I have a bargain if interested “” Giro Prolight SLX Black 44? I need a 44.5.

    Nice shoes and I’m generally 44 (UK 9). If @Jamie passes, how much?

    They are scuffed on the right front. Just listed on Ebay today, so you could make an offer with Free shipping. Mention Velominati in your offer and I will give you a great bargain. Listed under title (Pre-owned Giro Prolight SLX cycling shoes Black size 44).

  14. @motor city

    @versio

    @Jamie
    What size shoe? I have a bargain if interested “” Giro Prolight SLX Black 44? I need a 44.5.

    Nice shoes and I’m generally 44 (UK 9). If @Jamie passes, how much?

    Need 60.00 USD to offer free shipping. Where are you located? Might need to make exception to the exclusion list.

  15. @The Oracle

    @Chris

    @Chris

    Hey, give us some credit. We were deep frying and ingesting everything we could find way before @wiscot showed up, and then we shove it on a stick for easy eatin’. Sausage. Bacon. Bananas. Snickers bars. Car batteries. Etc. Every year the top headline from the State Fair is what new deep-fried food-on-a-stick they’ve come up with.

    Indeed. In Scotland we just use our fingers. The sophisticates in WI use a stick. When I lived in IN a friend worked in a restaurant. One night he took the fat they cut off steaks, cubed it, rolled it in some spices and batter and deep fried it. In other words, deep-fried fat. The staff loved them but they never got on the menu. He called them Hoosier Snacks.

  16. @Marko

    The wear and tear kind and the oh shit kind.

    Ain’t that the truth. Good wear: rub marks on the cranks, the labels on the nose of your saddle being worn off…Bad wear: concave rim walls, deep scratch on the top tube where you leaned it against a tree by the frame instead of the saddle….

    @Chris

    @sthilzy, @Marko
    New rule proposal, you can only post pictures of fat people if they’re as fit as Jessica Ennis.

    Brilliant.

  17. @The Oracle

    @Chris

    @Chris

    Hey, give us some credit. We were deep frying and ingesting everything we could find way before @wiscot showed up, and then we shove it on a stick for easy eatin’. Sausage. Bacon. Bananas. Snickers bars. Car batteries. Etc. Every year the top headline from the State Fair is what new deep-fried food-on-a-stick they’ve come up with.

    One of the greatest things I’ve ever eaten are deep fried cheese curds in Black River Falls WI.

  18. @scaler911

    I for one thank whomever invented the Scotch Egg (maybe the Scots?) every time I visit the Horse Brass pub.

  19. @scaler911
    I can’t imagine why there is an obesity problem in the midwest.

  20. @motor city
    SLX shoes already sold.

  21. @mcsqueak

    @scaler911

    I for one thank whomever invented the Scotch Egg (maybe the Scots?) every time I visit the Horse Brass pub.

    When you’re in Seattle, go to Quinn’s Pub and try the Scotch Egg there, out of this world good.

  22. In Scotland the booze generally kills us before we come obese and die

  23. @the Engine

    In Scotland the booze generally kills us before we come obese and die

    “become obese” – dang

  24. @urbanwhitetrash

    We went there the night before the Whidbey Island Cogal last October! I had a boar meat sloppy joe, freakin’ awesome.

  25. @frank

    @scaler911
    I can’t imagine why there is an obesity problem in the midwest.

    The problem is there’s a word that only the minority of us in the US understand and follow; Moderation.

  26. @scaler911

    @frank

    @scaler911
    I can’t imagine why there is an obesity problem in the midwest.

    The problem is there’s a word that only the minority of us in the US understand and follow; Moderation.

    And not to get on too high of a horse here, but for much of the population in the United States exercise means “pay $60/mo for an unused gym membership” coupled with a healthy dose of “ride the elevator up one floor” and “circle the Wal-Mart parking lot for 10 minutes to find the closest spot to the door”.

  27. @mcsqueak

    @scaler911

    @frank

    @scaler911
    I can’t imagine why there is an obesity problem in the midwest.

    The problem is there’s a word that only the minority of us in the US understand and follow; Moderation.

    And not to get on too high of a horse here, but for much of the population in the United States exercise means “pay $60/mo for an unused gym membership” coupled with a healthy dose of “ride the elevator up one floor” and “circle the Wal-Mart parking lot for 10 minutes to find the closest spot to the door”.

    Don’t know where to start round here – I ride past people in our small town who’ve never been out of breath in their lives and who spend as much on fags and booze in a year as I spend on having a decent bike and at least trying to look pro. This whole group’s about self respect – maybe a giant Cogal would wake a few up to what they could still be – dream on I suppose…

  28. Sorry, bit off topic but hoping no Velominati were hurt in the shooting today in Seattle at the Cafe Racer. Just saw the news on the BBC. Prayers sent to those hurt and their families.

  29. Oh no, wtf!?

  30. @Buck Rogers

    Sorry, bit off topic but hoping no Velominati were hurt in the shooting today in Seattle at the Cafe Racer. Just saw the news on the BBC. Prayers sent to those hurt and their families.

    Thanks – and our thoughts are definitely with any of the injured. The first shooting took place not far enough away from our house (far enough away would be something like “never happened”), the second shooting right by my VMH’s work. Scary.

    Cafe Racer Shooting

    Downtown Shooting

    A man was killed last week by a stray bullet while driving in his car with his family. Lovely people all around.

  31. @frank

    @Buck Rogers

    Sorry, bit off topic but hoping no Velominati were hurt in the shooting today in Seattle at the Cafe Racer. Just saw the news on the BBC. Prayers sent to those hurt and their families.

    Thanks – and our thoughts are definitely with any of the injured. The first shooting took place not far enough away from our house (far enough away would be something like “never happened”), the second shooting right by my VMH‘s work. Scary.

    Cafe Racer Shooting

    Downtown Shooting

    A man was killed last week by a stray bullet while driving in his car with his family. Lovely people all around.

    Scary stuff right there. Glad to hear that you and the VMH are safe. Just never know.

  32. @versio

    @motor city
    SLX shoes already sold.

    No worries. Thanks for letting me know.

  33. My mother’s motto: “Everything in moderation.” She’s lived up to it. She’s 65, in great shape, and will probably live another thirty years. She walks, bikes, goes to the gym to retain muscle tone. A lively lady for sure!

    mcsqueak – I find the gym culture bizarre and outrageous. I live right near a college campus and the uni gym. It’s probably all of 900 meters from where I sit. Yet I have undergrad neighbors who will get in a car to drive down the block to get…exercise. Yikes. The hassle of parking is just one reason I drive as little as possible.

    Had to workout growing up for sports and in college. Post-college I found myself at the gym one day surrounded by sweaty grunting people staring at themselves in the mirror. I put down the weights and haven’t been back since.

    All this fat talk is very interesting to me. As a cyclist the body is reduced to simplicity. Calories in, calories out. Very simple. So why the obesity epidemic? Yes, I know there are genes and body chemistry at work. Yes, I know their is poverty and food knowledge at work. Yes, there is food access at work. BUT, I still think many, many people are fat for entirely personal, correctable reasons.

    And I’ve even noticed a growing “I’m a big person and I love me” movement. I don’t buy it. Big is one thing, fat is another. No one wants to carry around a 35 pound weight vest all day, every day.

  34. @frank

    Glad you and the fam are OK. WTF is going on up in Seattle as of late? Portland has had an uptick in violence this year as well, but nothing like what happened yesterday.

    @Ron

    If someone is totally into going to the gym, I say more power to them. Group classes can be fun – I did kettlebells this winter/spring and found the group dynamic a very nice change from my usual solo rides. My “brother-in-law” (not married yet but easier than explaining the family connection) goes to the gym 6 days a week and is in great shape.

    However I just think it’s sort of sad how many people complain about not being in good shape and do nothing about it. And how many people pay out the nose for gym memberships that go unused. I was one of those people ~5 years ago. Had all the right intentions, but for me going to the gym was about the least fun thing ever, so I stopped going. Thank god I was drawn to cycling. I do it for the pure joy of being on the bike and the challenge of a hard ride, but the positive physical benefits are icing on the cake.

  35. @mcsqueak

    Glad you and the fam are OK. WTF is going on up in Seattle as of late? Portland has had an uptick in violence this year as well, but nothing like what happened yesterday.

    I don’t know – scary stuff, though. Cafe Racer is right on one of my routes, very innocent-seeming location. Terrifying to think you’re at the mercy of someone who gets pissed and decides to unload their frustration with a hand cannon.

  36. @frank

    thanx Frank, I’m happy you enjoyed the photos (better, the stills from what we filmed with our GoPro cameras).
    In the next day we will post here a video pill… just to let everybody see how is difficult to run Paris-Roubaix with 29 degress and a lot, lot of dust!
    Bye!

  37. @Ron

    And I’ve even noticed a growing “I’m a big person and I love me” movement. I don’t buy it. Big is one thing, fat is another. No one wants to carry around a 35 pound weight vest all day, every day.

    See, here’s the thing. I did just that for almost 20 years. Then, one Thanksgiving, I went home to visit the fam and saw how much weight my father had lost (and has since gained it all back) and decided that I was done complaining. 16 months later, I’d dropped from 270 to 180. In the past year, after taking a more committed approach to longer-distance riding, I’d gained back another 15 of that. Still, I’m ~195, which is far better than the 270 I used to be.

    My point is that it’s far easier to complain about it (I called it the bitch-and-moan diet that didn’t work) than to do something about it.

    @mcsqueak
    I have a gym membership, but it’s to a rock climbing gym. I haven’t been at all for the last month with the strava challenge (I didn’t complete it, but I DID get 1037 miles in last month!) to do 1479 miles (it was not listed in KM) in the month of May. I’ll be back at it this month. I did freeze my gym membership last year when I found myself spending more time on the bike than would allow for the climbing gym. I may consider doing that again this year…

  38. Oh, I just looked up my strava stats for last month:

    1,701 kilometers
    72 hours 44 minutes
    13,735 meters

    My biggest month yet! *happydance*

  39. @Xyverz

    Oh, I just looked up my strava stats for last month:

    1,701 kilometers
    72 hours 44 minutes
    13,735 meters

    My biggest month yet! *happydance*

    NICE!!

  40. @Xyverz
    Chapeau x2.

  41. Wow, top effort! I’m sure that has been paying off in spades.

    I’m ending a self-imposed two week break this weekend, to try and give my sore hamstrings time to recover as cycling several times a week seemed to be slowing it down a lot. Not riding has been driving me bonkers.

  42. @mcsqueak
    You are assured to feel more like Superman when you do return.

  43. @Xyverz
    400km per week is a good club to be in. And tough club to stay in.

  44. @versio

    Yeah I hope. Just a nagging sore hamstring when riding, I think through taking on too much volume too quickly in the spring combined with weight lifting. Not a show stopper, but annoying as it takes your mind out of “the moment” during rides and focuses it on the small bit of soreness every time the leg bends.

  45. @the Engine

    This is my bike. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
    My bike is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.
    My bike, without me, is useless. Without my bike, I am useless.

    The makers of ” Jar Head ” forgive you ……. but apt none the less …

  46. @Chris

    @sthilzy, @Marko
    New rule proposal, you can only post pictures of fat people if they’re as fit as Jessica Ennis.

    Jabba’s fit enough for a competitive eating contest give Ennis a good run for here money!

  47. I love riding my bike.

  48. @Cyclops

    I love riding my bike.

    Yes, me too, when I am not working on my house.

  49. @mcsqueak

    @versio

    Yeah I hope. Just a nagging sore hamstring when riding, I think through taking on too much volume too quickly in the spring combined with weight lifting. Not a show stopper, but annoying as it takes your mind out of “the moment” during rides and focuses it on the small bit of soreness every time the leg bends.

    Taper the lifting off if you haven’t already, your body needs to convert that strength you’ve developed off the bike into useful strength on it. It’s a transition phase, that can be tricky to manange depending on your expectations.

    @McSqueak…
    “My “brother-in-law” (not married yet but easier than explaining the family connection)” dude that sounds like your not yet brother in law is already part of the family…

  50. @Cyclops

    I love riding my bike.

    isn’t that sorta like saying “i love to breathe” ?

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