Twistin Banged and Felled. And Got Back Up.

Twistin Banged and Felled. And Got Back Up.

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As a byproduct of brakes being strictly for ornamental purposes, cyclists are often forced to find alternative means of stopping their bikes. As a matter of both convenience and effectiveness, the tarmac and other objects of greater mass than the sum of cyclist and bicycle are often employed for this purpose. Collectively, we refer to this process as “crashing” and typically frown upon its use at least as much as using brakes in the first place. While strikingly effective, the process involves several undesirable side effects including a loss of skin, blood, and equipment. It also inflicts some degree of pain. Though tragic when they occur, brain injuries are rare primarily because you can’t hurt what you don’t have.

Though his powers are weakening, if I was going to identify an authority in this process within the Pro Peloton, I might pick Christian Vande Velde or, as we know him by his Nomen Velominatus: Twistin Banged and Felled. After a career spent in the service of others, Christian rocketed to the top of the “We’ll Doom You With Our Unrealistic Expectations” list during the 2008 Tour de France when he flirted with a podium place before falling off his bike while going down a mountain. In 2009, he crashed out of the Giro d’Italia on Stage 3 and, being short on form due to his injuries, returned to the role of domestique for Brad Wiggins in the Tour. He might have fallen off again, but I’m not sure. Let’s assume he did, for sake of argument. In 2010, he decided that 2009 was so cracking, he’d try to repeat the formula and crashed out of the Giro on Stage 3 for the second year running. It was all going to plan until he mistakenly also crashed out of the Tour on Stage 2, during the infamous Stockeu oil-slick crash. Oh well, best laid plans and all that.

Amidst of all this brakeless stopping, however, Christian has experienced the aforementioned side-effects acutely. As a result, he has some serious back problems and was forced to grow a few special bones which he then broke just so he could hold the record for Most Broken Bones. He contemplated retirement several times, knowing the battle that waited before him as he lay injured in a hospital bed somewhere in Europe.

Coming back from injury is hard. I’m coming back from laziness myself, and even that’s hard. Going out every day, knowing you’re not as fast and strong as you were, knowing that all the work it took to get that strong and fast has been lost and all that suffering will have to be relived. It’s as maddening as it is demoralizing.

But each time, he gritted his teeth and fought back. When Cycling is in your blood, there is no other way. You may tell yourself you’ll quit, or that you’ll never do a ride again, but those things are just something your brain and body need to hear before they start something hard over again from scratch.

Twistin Banged and Felled, and got back up. And as his performance as Ryder Hesjedal’s super domestique in the closing stages of the Giro d’Italia testifies, it was a fight worth having. More than any of the attacks, sprints, victories and losses, the image that for me identifies the 2012 Giro is that of Christian on the front of the ever-dwindling bunch on its way up the Stelvio. Kilometer after kilometer, after kilometer: Christian with the throttle wide open. Ryder better have given him a special thank you gift from Canada, though I’m not sure what that would be. Miniature hockey stick, probably.

// Defining Moments // Look Pro // Nostalgia // Racing // The Hardmen

  1. @frank

    @Nate
    Shut the fuck up about sun bitches. Whilst I may wrongly speak of Australia being the best at anything there is no doubt that this country is the world capital of skin cancer.

  2. @Marcus
    I’d advise you to have the dermotologist check that chip on your shoulder for pre-cancerous moles and melanomas.

  3. @ten B

    @frank

    @Marko
    I had assumed you were going in this direction, considering CVV is actually American.

    Again, how this turned into Canada-slagging is a delightful surprise.

    How soon some forget the Liberation. Ontevreden! Schandalig!

    Don’t even start me on the Dutch influence on American culture. The Boss? Yes, comes from the Dutch word for manager, “baas”. Yankee? Comes from the Dutch name “Jan Kees”. The list goes on and on and on. This place would be nothing without the Dutch colony at New Amsterdam.

    You’re welcome.

  4. @Nate

    @Marcus
    I’d advise you to have the dermotologist check that chip on your shoulder for pre-cancerous moles and melanomas.

    Nicely played.

    @sgt, @Steampunk, @Marko
    Jack Black kicks ass. Trey is fantastic, of course, not sure which Matt you’re talking about.

    And fuck Spoonman. That whole album, aside from a few great tracks, is the low point of Soundgarden musically. I’m talking about Slaves and Bulldozers. Loud Love. Burden in my Hand. Rusty Cage might be the top of the heap. Its raining ice picks on your steel shore. FUCK YEAH, it is.

  5. @frank
    To bad you guys didn’t keep what is now New York City. But on the up side one of the high schools is named after the former Dutch colonial leader.

  6. @frank

    @Nate

    @Marcus
    I’d advise you to have the dermotologist check that chip on your shoulder for pre-cancerous moles and melanomas.

    Nicely played.

    @sgt, @Steampunk, @Marko
    Jack Black kicks ass. Trey is fantastic, of course, not sure which Matt you’re talking about.

    And fuck Spoonman. That whole album, aside from a few great tracks, is the low point of Soundgarden musically. I’m talking about Slaves and Bulldozers. Loud Love. Burden in my Hand. Rusty Cage might be the top of the heap. Its raining ice picks on your steel shore. FUCK YEAH, it is.

    Gun from Louder Than Love. And Room a Thousand Years Wide.

  7. Bollocks link to a nice video

  8. @frank

    I would name Chris Cornell as the best modern lyricist.

    Chris Cornell? Really? Bah!

    Sadly, I don’t really have much of an answer to that as I’m not so much moved by lyrics alone as I am by music as a whole. Lately, I’ve been listening to Disco, so there’s no accounting for taste OR depth on my part.

  9. @frank

    @ten B

    @frank

    @Marko
    I had assumed you were going in this direction, considering CVV is actually American.

    Again, how this turned into Canada-slagging is a delightful surprise.

    How soon some forget the Liberation. Ontevreden! Schandalig!

    Don’t even start me on the Dutch influence on American culture. The Boss? Yes, comes from the Dutch word for manager, “baas”. Yankee? Comes from the Dutch name “Jan Kees”. The list goes on and on and on. This place would be nothing without the Dutch colony at New Amsterdam.

    You’re welcome.

    And tulips. Don’t forget the tulips. The Dutch based their entire economy around them in the 17th century—the first economic bubble (which Americans promptly inherited, too: love of economic bubbles). Now, that’s fucked up (the tulip mania stuff).

  10. @the Engine

    @frank

    @snoov

    I once mentioned (jokingly) to a guy on a chairlift at Big White that we Scots think of Canada as a province of ours. He didn’t like it at all and asked me why it was the case. I asked him if he knew that many of the place names were Scottish for example Banff. “How do you know the Scottish one wasn’t named after the Canadian one?” he queried. “Well ours has been there for much longer. I doubt if a place like Kicking Horse is ours though.” Turns out though that a Scottish surgeon in a group looking for a railway route had been kicked in the chest by his horse during the expedition and that’s where the name came from. I wonder if he checked it online that night like I did.

    Brilliant. The second you said Kicking Horse, I thought that has to be part of the training in the Scottish Marshal Art of “Fook Yu!”. Too classy for punching bags, you just go around kicking horse.

    Brilliant, I love you crazy fucking Scots. So yes, Thank You.

    Crazy?

    Us?

    Wibble.

    Mr Engine, when you say “Wibble” it makes me think I might know you. “Wibble” was the battle cry of Team Alien Space Cadet Banana (TASCB) and I thought they made it up. They were a skateboard crew from Dundee, I was a founding member of Dundee Hardcore Skate Squad (DHSS) and have now been skating for over 25 years. Yes I’ve met Tony Hawk and I even skated with Jay Adams at the Kailua skatepark on O’ahu (to be honest we were skating the park at the same time and he maybe grunted in my direction once or twice, seriously grumpy guy). If you ever skated in Scotland especially in the 90s we might have met.

  11. @frank
    If your vinyl collection doesn’t include some early Mudhoney, you are doing yourself a disservice. Mark Arm’s guitar playing was made for a turntable.

  12. @Steampunk

    @frank

    @ten B

    @frank

    @Marko
    I had assumed you were going in this direction, considering CVV is actually American.

    Again, how this turned into Canada-slagging is a delightful surprise.

    How soon some forget the Liberation. Ontevreden! Schandalig!

    Don’t even start me on the Dutch influence on American culture. The Boss? Yes, comes from the Dutch word for manager, “baas”. Yankee? Comes from the Dutch name “Jan Kees”. The list goes on and on and on. This place would be nothing without the Dutch colony at New Amsterdam.

    You’re welcome.

    And tulips. Don’t forget the tulips. The Dutch based their entire economy around them in the 17th century—the first economic bubble (which Americans promptly inherited, too: love of economic bubbles). Now, that’s fucked up (the tulip mania stuff).

    I thought you’d be smarter than to believe the myth about the tulip crisis being caused by a guy biting into a tulip bulb and hating the taste.

    Interesting note; most of the Tulips in Dutchland are actually from the Skagit Valley.

    @RedRanger
    Peter Stuijvesant, yes. Also a pack of sigs, and The Edge bought his guitar in a store named after him. Wall Street is named for the city wall. Brooklyn, the Bronx, all those neighborhoods are the names of the original Dutch settlers.

    The Dutch East India trading company really mistreated all the settlers, so when the English invaded and told them they could just keep living however they wanted to without interference, the Dutch being as pragmatic as they are, did the math on fighting and getting killed for a company they hated or not dying and being able to keep kicking ass. They chose the latter.

  13. Peg leg stui. He was a hard mother for sure. Had to learn about him in elementary school. Proof the NYC is the coolest city in the US.

  14. @frank
    As for the smokes. It’s funny as hell listening to Italians say that brand. Sounds like nothing we NYers say.

  15. @frank

    @Nate


    @Marcus
    I’d advise you to have the dermotologist check that chip on your shoulder for pre-cancerous moles and melanomas.

    Nicely played.

    @sgt, @Steampunk, @Marko
    Jack Black kicks ass. Trey is fantastic, of course, not sure which Matt you’re talking about.

    And fuck Spoonman. That whole album, aside from a few great tracks, is the low point of Soundgarden musically. I’m talking about Slaves and Bulldozers. Loud Love. Burden in my Hand. Rusty Cage might be the top of the heap. Its raining ice picks on your steel shore. FUCK YEAH, it is.

    Johnny Cash’s rendition of Rusty Cage is simply awesome. I like it better than the original. he takes an already great song and turns it into an apocalyptic anthem.

  16. Any discussion of 90’s alternative lyricism also has to include Billy Corgan. I know he’s a class-A douchebag (and a wingnut, besides), but so many of his lyrics are simply poetry. My VMH has a degree in creative writing, and she used to call him her soul-mate.

  17. @The Oracle

    Any discussion of 90′s alternative lyricism also has to include Billy Corgan. I know he’s a class-A douchebag (and a wingnut, besides), but so many of his lyrics are simply poetry. My VMH has a degree in creative writing, and she used to call him her soul-mate.

    I really have a love hate thing with the Pumpkins. Their albums are all, for the most part, fantastic, but getting past the overwhelming ass-hattery, super ego driven dickishness that is Corgan when he opens his pie hole to do anything other than sing, is tough.

  18. But if we’re going to go from bashing Canadians (which is good sport, like shooting fish in a barrel), to 90’s “alt”, this is the greatest song EVER to listen to after a shitty breakup.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9jX1KAKp78

  19. @scaler911
    I’m in the same boat, pretty much. Gish, SD, and Mellon Collie were masterpieces of lyric and music. Aside from a few tracks on Adore, everything after that is somewhat blah and musically uninspiring. I pretty much blame that on Corgan’s massive ego.

  20. @scaler911

    But if we’re going to go from bashing Canadians (which is good sport, like shooting fish in a barrel), to 90′s “alt”, this is the greatest song EVER to listen to after a shitty breakup. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9jX1KAKp78

    Perhaps, but the greatest album ever to listen to after a shitty breakup has to be Pretty Hate Machine.

  21. @The Oracle

    @scaler911

    But if we’re going to go from bashing Canadians (which is good sport, like shooting fish in a barrel), to 90′s “alt”, this is the greatest song EVER to listen to after a shitty breakup. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9jX1KAKp78

    Perhaps, but the greatest album ever to listen to after a shitty breakup has to be Pretty Hate Machine.

    Good point. I gotta go digging around in some boxes, but somewhere I have a playbill from AIC that has their original name on it when they played colleges; Alice in Fucking Chains.

  22. @frank

    I’m not slagging Canada at all. Quite the opposite. I was born there, spent the first 20 years of my life there, and still have a Canadian passport (among others). I’ve been a cyclist and fan of the sport most of my life and I’ve never been more satisfied with a race result than I was with Ryder’s win. I was jumping up and down in my office reading the live updates every day. It was a victory for Canadian cycling and victory for clean sport.

    And I was completely serious about the Canadian tylenol (aka Tylenol-1). It’s available over the counter. And yes, it does make you feel better if you’ve had too many Canadian beers (or any other kind, for that matter) the night before.

  23. @frank

    No doubt about Dutch influence on American society, but I was actually referring to the (largely) Canadian liberation of the Netherlands. But hey, what’s freedom from the Nazis when compared to lending some words and place names to a language?

  24. A typical Canadian thank you gift would be maple syrup.

  25. @snoov

    @the Engine

    @frank

    @snoov

    I once mentioned (jokingly) to a guy on a chairlift at Big White that we Scots think of Canada as a province of ours. He didn’t like it at all and asked me why it was the case. I asked him if he knew that many of the place names were Scottish for example Banff. “How do you know the Scottish one wasn’t named after the Canadian one?” he queried. “Well ours has been there for much longer. I doubt if a place like Kicking Horse is ours though.” Turns out though that a Scottish surgeon in a group looking for a railway route had been kicked in the chest by his horse during the expedition and that’s where the name came from. I wonder if he checked it online that night like I did.

    Brilliant. The second you said Kicking Horse, I thought that has to be part of the training in the Scottish Marshal Art of “Fook Yu!”. Too classy for punching bags, you just go around kicking horse.

    Brilliant, I love you crazy fucking Scots. So yes, Thank You.

    Crazy?

    Us?

    Wibble.

    Mr Engine, when you say “Wibble” it makes me think I might know you. “Wibble” was the battle cry of Team Alien Space Cadet Banana (TASCB) and I thought they made it up. They were a skateboard crew from Dundee, I was a founding member of Dundee Hardcore Skate Squad (DHSS) and have now been skating for over 25 years. Yes I’ve met Tony Hawk and I even skated with Jay Adams at the Kailua skatepark on O’ahu (to be honest we were skating the park at the same time and he maybe grunted in my direction once or twice, seriously grumpy guy). If you ever skated in Scotland especially in the 90s we might have met.

    Mr Snoov -Me? Skate? Nearest I ever got to skating was working a fishing boat in Montrose. Also in the 90’s I was beginning to move in to the breeding and blimping phase of life. 

    Wibble, I have to confess, originally comes from Blackadder – remember the last one in the series where Captain Blackadder tries to avoid the big push by feigning madness. Unfortunately, as he points out, “Who would notice one more madman around here?” The show went out in the late ’80’s so I’m guessing that one of your skating buddies picked it up from there. 

    Of course it could have been the other way round. 

    Also we need to get the Scottish Cogal sorted.

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