Kelly teaches the masterclass once again.

La Vie Velominatus: Standing Grace

by / / 66 posts

We are bipedal creatures. Fact. Bipedal locomotion sucks. Also a fact. This makes being a human somewhat challenging in the sense that we don’t have opposable toes or a tail with which to swing from tree limbs. Swinging from your tail seems a little bit like bliss, if you ignore the associated demotion back into the Food Chain.

We Cyclists elect to circumvent these shortcoming by pushing our legs around in circles rather than in whatever shape makes a walking pattern or a tail-swinging pattern. It’s quite unnatural, riding a bike, and even the most casual study of the common Cyclist will reveal that most are not terribly good at it.

Which is why the graceful Cyclist is such a pleasure to watch; the mastery of the unnatural. A Cyclist who coaxes the pedals about their arch with fluid grace and power is not so much an athlete as an artist. This is a creature who has dominated the nature and become something wholly of another world.

Rising from the saddle in search of more power is perhaps the pinnacle of the art. Planting our butts in our saddle provides a solid platform from which to crush the pedals; it’s a handy way to keep our limbs from setting off in independent orbits. But when we’re really on the rivet and in the search for Speed Plus One, that rump is going to have to get lifted up into the air.

The most skilled in this craft are a beauty to behold. In one fluid motion that does nothing to limit the venom in their stroke, they rise out of the saddle and allow the machine to sway beneath them in  response to the power being applied by each thrust to the pedals. The saddle sways from side to side in an almost hypnotic rhythm as the rider suffers without revealing any external signs of the effort they are applying.

The only hint is that the amplitude of the saddle’s sway increases as the power does. And when the time comes to return to the saddle, the amplitude is reigned in and brought back to home with perfect precision and no loss in the pedal stroke.

Cadel Evans looked horrible out of the saddle; he gave the impression he was trying to strangle his machine for some untold afront. Sean Kelly, on the other hand, could rise out of the saddle without you even realizing he was standing, so smooth was the transition.

On my best days, my saddle returns to me in perfect unison; I am one with my machine, a symbiotic lifeform. Upon a visit with the Man with the Hammer, I almost need to coast in order to return my rump to its home on the rare occasion that I manage to lift it off in the first place.

Mastery of this art is one I continue to pursue. Vive la Vie Velominatus.

// La Vie Velominatus // Nostalgia // Riding Ugly // Technique

  1. @Haldy

    Hear hear. But no need for a velodrome, just the time-tested early season miles on the fixed gear road bike to regain the smoothness lost during the previous season (or off-season).




    0
  2. re: The first couple paragraphs . . . while riding the last few days, temps in the mid-90s, watching bipedal runners suffering like dogs, I’m glad to be on a machine if only to have some 30km air flowing over me. Funny that the same thoughts of (non) evolution/adaptation crossed my mind.




    0
  3. @Oli

    @ErikdR

    @Matt, @piwakawaka

    Agreed – perfection. The Delta brakes… those brake levers. The gumwall tires. The ‘V’ shoes…

    The only thing that puzzles me a bit (although it doesn’t distract from the awesomeness of the photo in any way whatsoever) is that he’s wearing shorts branded “Peugeot” while astride a Battaglin bicycle. Some of the wise ones who frequent this site may be able to enlighten this student on why/how that can be? (Could be that they simply are his favorite shorts, of course – or that Peugeot acted as some sort of ‘overall’ sponsor at the time…?)

    The year previously he’d ridden for Peugeot and was still theoretically signed with them for ’87, but Carrera headhunted him and he jumped ship to the Italian team; part of the deal that was thrashed out between the two teams and Roche to avoid a full legal stoush was that he’d wear his old sponsor’s shorts for the 1987 season.

    Cheers Oli!

    (@KogaLover: See…? I was hoping a Wise One would chip in – and almost immediately, it came true. Just one of the many, many things that makes this such a great site. (*Insert happy emoticon here*). By the way, I still owe you and the rest of the brethren a reasonable pic of my 63 cm, ‘Champagne’-colored, 1980 Koga Miyata Roadspeed. I’m still working on that – i.e. procrastinating – but stay tuned…)




    0
  4. @Phillip Mercer

    As someone who frequently sits on the front of the group into climbs to then be dropped by the smart-arse climbers who draft the entire way there when I get out of the saddle I always try to make sure there is no break in pedal stroke to avoid taking out those behind. The same cannot be said the other day when I reeled back in one of the guys where I sat on his wheel to regather myself, only for him to stop pedalling to get out of his saddle, change gears and start wildly swinging his back wheel. I found my front wheel being taken out at that point but was able to catch myself before hitting the ground. Sure, I was too close by my mate’s technique really could do with smoothing out…

    Phillip pointed out many issues here — concur. Never allow the bike to throw itself backward. It takes a good deal of practice, but control that glide into position. On the front of the line, at the “now” moment, the bike will even carry forward with me as I push up. There is a short version of this too where I lift entirely off the saddle all within one stroke (carrying forward) just to circulate stuff.




    0
  5. @Apex Nadir

    If you’re “on the rivet” your rump is on the edge of your Brooks saddle…

    Edge meaning the nose.




    0
  6. @Joe

    @Haldy

    Hear hear. But no need for a velodrome, just the time-tested early season miles on the fixed gear road bike to regain the smoothness lost during the previous season (or off-season).

    I wholehearted agree. Not many folk are willing to do the fixed thing in training these days in the off season though. Another great place to work it on it..on a set of rollers!




    0
  7. @KogaLover; @Oli

    Gents, the deed is done. Long overdue picture of my 1980 Koga Miyata Roadspeed (in the color that, at the time, was referred to as “light gold metallic”) has been uploaded under “the Bikes”




    0
  8. I have definitely found myself considering if the Saddle Sway I was engaging in was rhythmic and artistic when out of the saddle.

    Was traveling last week and wasn’t on a bike for five whole days. My Tuesday morning commute felt weird, like I’d never ridden a bike. Legs were all herky-jerky, nothing felt smooth. After a proper evening road ride on Thursday, I was back. Love the smooth, calm feeling on the bike when doing it right!




    0
  9. The looking good out-of-the is a puncheur thing:

    Being an Irish puncheur, Dan Martin makes it look great, but I can’t find a great pic. Valverde looks fantastic out-of-the-saddle, but I won’t post a pic of that.




    0
  10. Re the lead picture: that Vitus is in a world of pain.




    0
  11. @unversio

    @Phillip Mercer

    As someone who frequently sits on the front of the group into climbs to then be dropped by the smart-arse climbers who draft the entire way there when I get out of the saddle I always try to make sure there is no break in pedal stroke to avoid taking out those behind. The same cannot be said the other day when I reeled back in one of the guys where I sat on his wheel to regather myself, only for him to stop pedalling to get out of his saddle, change gears and start wildly swinging his back wheel. I found my front wheel being taken out at that point but was able to catch myself before hitting the ground. Sure, I was too close by my mate’s technique really could do with smoothing out…

    Phillip pointed out many issues here — concur. Never allow the bike to throw itself backward. It takes a good deal of practice, but control that glide into position. On the front of the line, at the “now” moment, the bike will even carry forward with me as I push up. There is a short version of this too where I lift entirely off the saddle all within one stroke (carrying forward) just to circulate stuff.

    I find the ninja throw of the bike backwards happens when you transition to standing on one downward stroke of one leg. You use the effort on the pedals to force you up higher, but it throws the bike back in the savage ninja chop we all know and love. God knows how many muppets back wheels I have missed by being close, but aligning just to the inside of their back wheel, allowing room to move to the non-gutter side if the wheel in front comes flying back at me.

    I find the smooth stand up is a 4 step process, and you have tension throughout your legs and core to make it the smoothest, as you attempt to keep the full turn of the crank as smooth as possible. First, change up gear so you are overgeared, this is key to prevent the ninja chop. Secondly the downstroke on one side is the tiniest rise out of the saddle. Thirdly the corresponding downward stroke on the other side rises you to about halfway (legs get a burn on here, core tight). Finally the following downward stroke on the initial side gets you all the way up.

    Then still body while swinging the bike beneath, torque the bike beneath you with your arms for a bit more power, rather than just letting the rock of the bike passively follow the application of power from your legs. It is kind of like as the crank is through the horizontal on the front of the downstroke, pulling in the opposite direction with your arms to the way the bike is rocking adds power. If you do it right, you feel like the bike surges ahead (but not backwards) of you because of the surges of power from your arms. It’s what I do when I’m tapped out climbing seated and standing and need a bit extra, or if there is a ridiculous steep pinch in a climb, because a change is as good as a holiday…




    0
  12. @Beers

    Not forgetting to move to the drops first.




    0
  13. @Teocalli

    @Beers

    Not forgetting to move to the drops first.

    well, that’s an entirely different sort of standing than what we are discussing here, standing with hands on the tops, (although, Kelly of course is neither on tops nor drops), now standing in the drops, there’s a whole other tread for that!

    In the drops it’s about power rather than grace, you torque the bike from side side to side like you want to tear it’s head off, standing is more like you’re trying to dance her ass off




    0
  14. Thursday evening ride last night…and I made sure my Regal saddle was ticking like a metronome when I climbed.




    0
  15. Kelly is the original Danger Man.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fztwlbrAxmA




    0
  16. @Haldy

    From the same 87 Tour TT- Roche was also a master at this…an Irish thing perhaps?

    Something else they share is the Rolls saddle, certainly the most beautiful saddle ever made, and arguable the most comfortable.

    Not to mention their resistance to the clipless pedal.




    0
  17. @Haldy

    So much awesomeness in this photo…a glorious old school funny bike( minus crank bolt covers I am sure!), and Sean Kelly full tilt out of the saddle. Kelly was one of my all time favorites..such that my son is named Sean! But I digress. One way for any Velominatis to help improve rising and returning to the saddle would be to spend some time on the glorious banks of my favorite cycling spot…a velodrome. Track racing is very unforgiving to those who do not have smoothness of stroke. When racing a full tilt…gliding up out of the saddle and caressing the pedals for more speed ends up all for naught if you cannot return to the saddle smoothly. When one just “plops” back to the saddle after winding it up, you can watch a couple of mph of speed get scrubbed off by the impact of them dropping back to the saddle. It takes a bit of practice to launch, then return to the saddle while still churning out that smooth power through the fixed gear.

    The skill involved in track racing is crazy. And I can’t imagine crashing with the added pleasure of splinters.




    0
  18. @Matt

    @Haldy

    From the same 87 Tour TT- Roche was also a master at this…an Irish thing perhaps?

    Everything about this photo rules. The backwards cap, the chrome fork, the bidon, the massive Big Ring. His face – suffering but ever so focused. Even the shifters are bloody PERFECTLY aligned. FFS.

    Roche was a master aesthete for sure. The cap wearing is most perfect.

    That rear mech was also the pinnacle of style as far as I’m concerned. They’d only just left the boxy design behind and really invested in machining the derailleur for one reason only: beauty.

    You gotta love those Italians.




    0
  19. @frank

    @Matt

    @Haldy

    From the same 87 Tour TT- Roche was also a master at this…an Irish thing perhaps?

    Everything about this photo rules. The backwards cap, the chrome fork, the bidon, the massive Big Ring. His face – suffering but ever so focused. Even the shifters are bloody PERFECTLY aligned. FFS.

    Roche was a master aesthete for sure. The cap wearing is most perfect.

    That rear mech was also the pinnacle of style as far as I’m concerned. They’d only just left the boxy design behind and really invested in machining the derailleur for one reason only: beauty.

    You gotta love those Italians.

    Ok…posting against my own post is not cool but I just can’t stop. Check out the inner chainring too. And the block. That is some burly gearing he’s crushing and I bet the course wasn’t even pancake flat.




    0
  20. @RobSandy

    The ability to rise out of the saddle every now and again is something I am working on. I tend to keep my arse firmly plonked on the saddle whenever I can, and this is not ideal for speed and not ideal for my arse.

    Interestingly, I had an issue with my rear derailleur on a route I did a week or so ago which features two of my steepest local climbs, whereby I could not shift to my biggest sprocket. I was forced to stand up to take on the climbs more than I normally would.

    The net result? I went faster. Changes to my bike are being meditated to enable better (harder) gearing.

    That’s a shocker!

    I’ve oft contemplated the 42T inner chainring, and I’ve gone so far as to buy one. I have not mounted it, and I don’t know why not; I’m very rarely in my lowest gear.




    0
  21. @frank

    @frank

    @Matt

    @Haldy

    From the same 87 Tour TT- Roche was also a master at this…an Irish thing perhaps?

    Everything about this photo rules. The backwards cap, the chrome fork, the bidon, the massive Big Ring. His face – suffering but ever so focused. Even the shifters are bloody PERFECTLY aligned. FFS.

    Roche was a master aesthete for sure. The cap wearing is most perfect.

    That rear mech was also the pinnacle of style as far as I’m concerned. They’d only just left the boxy design behind and really invested in machining the derailleur for one reason only: beauty.

    You gotta love those Italians.

    Ok…posting against my own post is not cool but I just can’t stop. Check out the inner chainring too. And the block. That is some burly gearing he’s crushing and I bet the course wasn’t even pancake flat.

    Clearly not…he’s cresting a hill in the middle of the course here. I was going to mention the chainrings as well..one wonders why they even bothered having the inner ring! I doubt he ever touched it.




    0
  22. @unversio

    @Phillip Mercer

    As someone who frequently sits on the front of the group into climbs to then be dropped by the smart-arse climbers who draft the entire way there when I get out of the saddle I always try to make sure there is no break in pedal stroke to avoid taking out those behind. The same cannot be said the other day when I reeled back in one of the guys where I sat on his wheel to regather myself, only for him to stop pedalling to get out of his saddle, change gears and start wildly swinging his back wheel. I found my front wheel being taken out at that point but was able to catch myself before hitting the ground. Sure, I was too close by my mate’s technique really could do with smoothing out…

    Phillip pointed out many issues here — concur. Never allow the bike to throw itself backward. It takes a good deal of practice, but control that glide into position. On the front of the line, at the “now” moment, the bike will even carry forward with me as I push up. There is a short version of this too where I lift entirely off the saddle all within one stroke (carrying forward) just to circulate stuff.

    Yes, preventing the rearward bike throw when standing is hugely critical and I would say that’s pack-riding 101; if you can’t pull that off, don’t stand.

    I’ve heard it referred to as “pedalling over the top of the stroke” when you stand, which I think describes it well. It feels to me like an extra-smooth motion and I focus on keeping pressure on the stroke as I rise out of the saddle. At this point, I even do that when I’m riding solo, just out of habit.




    0
  23. @piwakawaka

    @Teocalli

    @Beers

    Not forgetting to move to the drops first.

    well, that’s an entirely different sort of standing than what we are discussing here, standing with hands on the tops, (although, Kelly of course is neither on tops nor drops), now standing in the drops, there’s a whole other tread for that!

    In the drops it’s about power rather than grace, you torque the bike from side side to side like you want to tear it’s head off, standing is more like you’re trying to dance her ass off

    Standing on the tops? Oh for fucks sake, please tell me you mean standing on the hoods.




    0
  24. @frank

    @Haldy

    So much awesomeness in this photo…a glorious old school funny bike( minus crank bolt covers I am sure!), and Sean Kelly full tilt out of the saddle. Kelly was one of my all time favorites..such that my son is named Sean! But I digress. One way for any Velominatis to help improve rising and returning to the saddle would be to spend some time on the glorious banks of my favorite cycling spot…a velodrome. Track racing is very unforgiving to those who do not have smoothness of stroke. When racing a full tilt…gliding up out of the saddle and caressing the pedals for more speed ends up all for naught if you cannot return to the saddle smoothly. When one just “plops” back to the saddle after winding it up, you can watch a couple of mph of speed get scrubbed off by the impact of them dropping back to the saddle. It takes a bit of practice to launch, then return to the saddle while still churning out that smooth power through the fixed gear.

    The skill involved in track racing is crazy. And I can’t imagine crashing with the added pleasure of splinters.

    Of all the crashes in that video..the one that amazes me is the Madison crash with Kenny DeKetele( the belgian who hits the deck) 30 guys on the track all doing 30+ and he’s the only guy who falls! I much prefer to watch track videos where folks don’t fall down. Like this one from this years Madison at World’s. Watch the string of exchanges that happen at 1:15 into the video…bear in mind all of this is at 30+mph! I will be engaged it just such an event next Friday night! Though not quite as fast as what’s on offer here!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mBjJaP8NOk&list=PL7NFlV830crPzl5QysaoIIln3ns4Yblu7&index=16




    0
  25. @Ron

    I have definitely found myself considering if the Saddle Sway I was engaging in was rhythmic and artistic when out of the saddle.

    Was traveling last week and wasn’t on a bike for five whole days. My Tuesday morning commute felt weird, like I’d never ridden a bike. Legs were all herky-jerky, nothing felt smooth. After a proper evening road ride on Thursday, I was back. Love the smooth, calm feeling on the bike when doing it right!

    Isn’t that awesome; lately I get on the bike and just feel the awesomeness of easy smooth pedalling. This is why we do it, people.

    @The Grande Fondue

    The looking good out-of-the is a puncheur thing:

    Being an Irish puncheur, Dan Martin makes it look great, but I can’t find a great pic. Valverde looks fantastic out-of-the-saddle, but I won’t post a pic of that.

    Gobbles’ grace with power is among the best ever. Such a smooth rider.




    0
  26. @frank

    @frank

    @Matt

    @Haldy

    From the same 87 Tour TT- Roche was also a master at this…an Irish thing perhaps?

    Everything about this photo rules. The backwards cap, the chrome fork, the bidon, the massive Big Ring. His face – suffering but ever so focused. Even the shifters are bloody PERFECTLY aligned. FFS.

    Roche was a master aesthete for sure. The cap wearing is most perfect.

    That rear mech was also the pinnacle of style as far as I’m concerned. They’d only just left the boxy design behind and really invested in machining the derailleur for one reason only: beauty.

    You gotta love those Italians.

    Ok…posting against my own post is not cool but I just can’t stop. Check out the inner chainring too. And the block. That is some burly gearing he’s crushing and I bet the course wasn’t even pancake flat.

    42 I’d reckon, eh? Which means that Big Ring has gotta be, what, 54? SUR LA FUCKING PLAQUE. And can’t be more than 23 out back.




    0
  27. @Matt

    @frank

    @frank

    @Matt

    @Haldy

    From the same 87 Tour TT- Roche was also a master at this…an Irish thing perhaps?

    Everything about this photo rules. The backwards cap, the chrome fork, the bidon, the massive Big Ring. His face – suffering but ever so focused. Even the shifters are bloody PERFECTLY aligned. FFS.

    Roche was a master aesthete for sure. The cap wearing is most perfect.

    That rear mech was also the pinnacle of style as far as I’m concerned. They’d only just left the boxy design behind and really invested in machining the derailleur for one reason only: beauty.

    You gotta love those Italians.

    Ok…posting against my own post is not cool but I just can’t stop. Check out the inner chainring too. And the block. That is some burly gearing he’s crushing and I bet the course wasn’t even pancake flat.

    42 I’d reckon, eh? Which means that Big Ring has gotta be, what, 54? SUR LA FUCKING PLAQUE. And can’t be more than 23 out back.

    That inner ring is larger than a 42!




    0
  28. @frank

    hoods hoods hoods hoods hoods hoods…




    0
  29. @Haldy

    @Matt

    @frank

    @frank

    @Matt

    @Haldy

    From the same 87 Tour TT- Roche was also a master at this…an Irish thing perhaps?

    Everything about this photo rules. The backwards cap, the chrome fork, the bidon, the massive Big Ring. His face – suffering but ever so focused. Even the shifters are bloody PERFECTLY aligned. FFS.

    Roche was a master aesthete for sure. The cap wearing is most perfect.

    That rear mech was also the pinnacle of style as far as I’m concerned. They’d only just left the boxy design behind and really invested in machining the derailleur for one reason only: beauty.

    You gotta love those Italians.

    Ok…posting against my own post is not cool but I just can’t stop. Check out the inner chainring too. And the block. That is some burly gearing he’s crushing and I bet the course wasn’t even pancake flat.

    42 I’d reckon, eh? Which means that Big Ring has gotta be, what, 54? SUR LA FUCKING PLAQUE. And can’t be more than 23 out back.

    That inner ring is larger than a 42!

    Looks like 19T 8 speed and 44 runs with 54 — I don’t know.




    0
  30. @Haldy

    …and the 48 was clean as a whistle.




    0
  31. @Haldy

    I imagine many people would watch that event with the same bewilderment as with which I watch Cricket.




    0
  32. @Matt

    2 I’d reckon, eh? Which means that Big Ring has gotta be, what, 54? SUR LA FUCKING PLAQUE. And can’t be more than 23 out back.

    I’d say 46 or 48 at least. 42 is only a bit bigger than 39 and there is no air between the 54 (or even a 56?) and the inner ring!

    And I’d bet my left big toe that there isn’t anything bigger than 21 on the back. Maybe even 19. 23 back then was the mountain gear.




    0
  33. @frank

    @Matt

    2 I’d reckon, eh? Which means that Big Ring has gotta be, what, 54? SUR LA FUCKING PLAQUE. And can’t be more than 23 out back.

    I’d say 46 or 48 at least. 42 is only a bit bigger than 39 and there is no air between the 54 (or even a 56?) and the inner ring!

    And I’d bet my left big toe that there isn’t anything bigger than 21 on the back. Maybe even 19. 23 back then was the mountain gear.

    So here’s what I’ve gathered…

    Less Big Ring: V

    Big Ring: VV

    Cassette: V – VV




    0
  34. @frank

    @Haldy

    I imagine many people would watch that event with the same bewilderment as with which I watch Cricket.

    Indeed. It is often fun to see the puzzled look on the faces of some of the crowd that come to watch on Fridays, when I am rolling “relief” and high on the banks waiting to get flung back in. Although it’s the fans in the beer garden that want to hand me up a beer that are the best! :-)

    You need to come watch the Madison live and in the flesh next week. Come see for yourself what the ultimate interval session looks like.




    0
  35. @frank

    @Haldy

    So much awesomeness in this photo…a glorious old school funny bike( minus crank bolt covers I am sure!), and Sean Kelly full tilt out of the saddle. Kelly was one of my all time favorites..such that my son is named Sean! But I digress. One way for any Velominatis to help improve rising and returning to the saddle would be to spend some time on the glorious banks of my favorite cycling spot…a velodrome. Track racing is very unforgiving to those who do not have smoothness of stroke. When racing a full tilt…gliding up out of the saddle and caressing the pedals for more speed ends up all for naught if you cannot return to the saddle smoothly. When one just “plops” back to the saddle after winding it up, you can watch a couple of mph of speed get scrubbed off by the impact of them dropping back to the saddle. It takes a bit of practice to launch, then return to the saddle while still churning out that smooth power through the fixed gear.

    The skill involved in track racing is crazy. And I can’t imagine crashing with the added pleasure of splinters.

    Was at the Glasgow race in the first sequence and saw the whole thing – bizarre crash




    0
  36. @Matt

    @frank

    @Matt

    2 I’d reckon, eh? Which means that Big Ring has gotta be, what, 54? SUR LA FUCKING PLAQUE. And can’t be more than 23 out back.

    I’d say 46 or 48 at least. 42 is only a bit bigger than 39 and there is no air between the 54 (or even a 56?) and the inner ring!

    And I’d bet my left big toe that there isn’t anything bigger than 21 on the back. Maybe even 19. 23 back then was the mountain gear.

    So here’s what I’ve gathered…

    Less Big Ring: V

    Big Ring: VV

    Cassette: V – VV

    Correct. Class dismissed.




    0
  37. @frank

    @Matt

    2 I’d reckon, eh? Which means that Big Ring has gotta be, what, 54? SUR LA FUCKING PLAQUE. And can’t be more than 23 out back.

    I’d say 46 or 48 at least. 42 is only a bit bigger than 39 and there is no air between the 54 (or even a 56?) and the inner ring!

    And I’d bet my left big toe that there isn’t anything bigger than 21 on the back. Maybe even 19. 23 back then was the mountain gear.

    Yeah, I reckon it’s a 48/54 set-up.




    0
  38. @frank

    And I’m picking a 12-18 block.




    0
  39. Start them young. In and out of the saddle accelerations and particularly a fluid transition from one to the other is a key session of mine with the club kids. The ability to jump, then if needed jump again, wins races.

    When they get it it and use it, it’s an awesome thing to see.




    0
  40. @frank

    @Haldy

    From the same 87 Tour TT- Roche was also a master at this…an Irish thing perhaps?

    Something else they share is the Rolls saddle, certainly the most beautiful saddle ever made, and arguable the most comfortable.

    Not to mention their resistance to the clipless pedal.

    I strongly suspect Kelly is on a Reydel GTI saddle. Tried one myself all those years ago. Not unlike a Rolls really…




    0
  41. Can imagine the next few pedal strokes…….to ease back on the saddle.




    0
  42. @The Grande Fondue

    The looking good out-of-the is a puncheur thing:

    Being an Irish puncheur, Dan Martin makes it look great, but I can’t find a great pic. Valverde looks fantastic out-of-the-saddle, but I won’t post a pic of that.

    Great shot of one of my favourite all or nothing attacks of all time. Worth the rainbows for that alone




    0
  43. @Oli

    @frank

    And I’m picking a 12-18 block.

    I don’t even realize the era of 7-speed — shameful!




    0
  44. @gilly

    @The Grande Fondue

    The looking good out-of-the is a puncheur thing:

    Being an Irish puncheur, Dan Martin makes it look great, but I can’t find a great pic. Valverde looks fantastic out-of-the-saddle, but I won’t post a pic of that.

    Great shot of one of my favourite all or nothing attacks of all time. Worth the rainbows for that alone

    Not to mention one of the most Rule Compliant riders of the current generation.




    0
  45. @frank

    @gilly

    @The Grande Fondue

    The looking good out-of-the is a puncheur thing:

    Being an Irish puncheur, Dan Martin makes it look great, but I can’t find a great pic. Valverde looks fantastic out-of-the-saddle, but I won’t post a pic of that.

    Great shot of one of my favourite all or nothing attacks of all time. Worth the rainbows for that alone

    Not to mention one of the most Rule Compliant riders of the current generation.

    No doubt




    0
  46. @Teocalli

    @Beers

    Not forgetting to move to the drops first.

    If sprinting (crossings or bridging) yes. Climbing, non. The elaborate process explained is more when standing to climb. Sprinting, it’s chaos anyway so bike chucking is just part of the fun.




    0
  47. @Haldy

    @Joe

    @Haldy

    Hear hear. But no need for a velodrome, just the time-tested early season miles on the fixed gear road bike to regain the smoothness lost during the previous season (or off-season).

    I wholehearted agree. Not many folk are willing to do the fixed thing in training these days in the off season though. Another great place to work it on it..on a set of rollers!

    Agreed. Nothing like riding fixed in the off season for fitness and fluidity. When I worked at a shop, we used to try to encourage such practices by leading fixed-specific rides. Sadly, only a handful picked up on this awesome technique, but it’s still a habit I continue today. When I’ve finished cross, I get on the fixed gear until about February. Actually, anytime I’m feeling a little less like Kelly and more like Cadel, I get in some time on the fixie to remind me of my position, my stability, my smoothness. It’s odd how we lose it sometimes, but when that feeling of ease and grace returns it’s incredible.




    0
  48. @frank

    @RobSandy

    The ability to rise out of the saddle every now and again is something I am working on. I tend to keep my arse firmly plonked on the saddle whenever I can, and this is not ideal for speed and not ideal for my arse.

    Interestingly, I had an issue with my rear derailleur on a route I did a week or so ago which features two of my steepest local climbs, whereby I could not shift to my biggest sprocket. I was forced to stand up to take on the climbs more than I normally would.

    The net result? I went faster. Changes to my bike are being meditated to enable better (harder) gearing.

    That’s a shocker!

    I’ve oft contemplated the 42T inner chainring, and I’ve gone so far as to buy one. I have not mounted it, and I don’t know why not; I’m very rarely in my lowest gear.

    That goes to show how much stronger than me you must be! I’m planning to go from a 34 to a 36! And that’s only because I really want a 52T big ring.

    That said, I’m now riding my commuter as if it’s got a standard 52/42 crank (it’s actually a triple but I use the little ring so rarely I could take it off), and I can see the attraction of having a bigger inner ring, and having your two rings closer together in size. I’ve also fitted a 12-26 8spd block so I have to work much harder than I’m used to when I’m climbing.

    I think eventually I will have a 52/36 with a 11-25 block on my Nr#1, and that will be perfect for most riding I’d ever want to do.




    0
  49. @gilly

    @The Grande Fondue

    The looking good out-of-the is a puncheur thing:

    Being an Irish puncheur, Dan Martin makes it look great, but I can’t find a great pic. Valverde looks fantastic out-of-the-saddle, but I won’t post a pic of that.

    Great shot of one of my favourite all or nothing attacks of all time. Worth the rainbows for that alone

    And the thing is that every single person there in the race or watching knew exactly when and where he was going to attack and no one could do anything about it. (Though Óscar Freire claimed he would have won it if the Spainish had helped him instead of Valverde. Seems unlikely to me)

    Another good thing about that attack is that you can see exactly the same one every year in the Amstel Gold. If Gilbert is in form he wins, if not then he doesn’t – simple as that.




    0
  50. Went for a short, hard ride with 2 of the racers from the club last night. We rode as a 3 man chaingang at a pace where I could just hang the back wheel in front. Just.

    At the top of a long, fast easy angled climb it dissolved into a sprint. I knocked it up a couple of gears, stood up and dropped them both 100m before the summit.

    This is why I ride my bike.




    0

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar