If you have to choose, choose quality over quantity

If you have to choose, choose quality over quantity

Short But Sweet

by / / 91 posts

My lungs feel my favorite way my lungs can feel. Every breath I take tells me the whereabouts of each alveolus. They feel raw, like they were scraped clean and opened up anew after a period of dormancy. Every breath tells me their exact shape and depth, where my lungs end and where my diaphragm begins. I feel high, as though my freshly cleaned lungs are letting too much oxygen into the system and it’s not quite sure what to do with it other than to make everything feel more Awesome.

Cycling is, unequivocally, without question, a drug.

At my back lies a winter of frustration; my training has been behind all year with me neither having nor making the time to get the hours in that I am used to. I’ve never been a thoroughbred, but this winter I haven’t even been a donkey. I’ve been a mule. It feels good to say it out loud, actually.

“Hi, my name is Frank. I’m a mule.”

“Hi, Frank.”

I’ve always favored the 2 hour ride over one, three hours over two, four over three. The best rides are sun-up to sun-down endeavors that have me crawling into the kitchen or pub for a recovery session. On one notable occasion I got off my bike and sat at the side of the road in the pouring rain, just to contemplate how I might manage to ride up the final steep ramp to get back home. (Spoiler alert: I finally arrived at the conclusion to climb aboard my bike and pedal up the hill, something that seems a lot more obvious in hindsight than it did at the time.)

I’ve become more opportunistic in my training since arriving at some basic condition through getting my head kicked in for nine days at Keepers Tour. Since then, I cherish those small windows in my schedule that allow for a quick ride and jump at the opportunity, even if it’s just for an hour. The shorter the ride, the harder the ride. No mercy. Stop lights? Interval to the next one, like some idiot Cycleway Hero. Climb? Hit it until the lights go out. False flat into the wind? 53×11 and out of the saddle until the legs turn into Jell-O.

Today’s ride was 90 minutes. Full gas, start to finish; I was a Cat 5 on Race Day, born again. If I was stopped at a light, it was a double-down sprint to make up for lost time like a dog let off its leash trying to catch up to where it would have been if it had been loose the whole time. Everything my mind asked for, my body gave. Everything my body needed, The V provided. Today was a reminder that if quantity and quality are on offer, take them both. But if you have to pick one, quality will go a long way to make up for quantity. I’d rather ride a little every day than not ride every day. And a short ride, done right, can put you in the box just the same.

In the immortal words of The Prophet, “Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.”

Vive la Vie Velominatus.

// La Vie Velominatus // The Hardmen // The Rides

  1. @frank

    @KogaLover

    @Teocalli

    Didn’t anyone see the Rule #52 violation? 2 different bidons… and if this picture represents a short ride, then double whammy “Two cages can be mounted, but only one bidon on rides under two hours is to be employed”. Or is the black one on the seat tube a container for tools? Yet Frank’s jersey pockets do not seem to be too full? Am confused…

    Not a bidon; second spare tub for the customers, in addition to the one under the saddle. It was an unsupported ride to the Malteni brewery.

    Makes sense – but why carry two telegraph poles in your jersey – something to lean on after sampling the beer?




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  2. @Gianni

    Screw the brake levers, what about that kit. Love the kit. Want the kit. Need the kit. Riding to the brewery sounds like fun too.

    Now we’re talking! Malteni kit, very nice! William is sending you some but might suck as much at shipping stuff as I do!




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  3. @unversio

    @frank

    Primarily need to keep the right thumb lever comfortable when sprinting in the drops — and continuing to shift. One big reason that I prefer Campagnolo is the thumb lever on their controls.

    I love the idea of being fast enough in a sprint that Go-Button Position matters. I am a Rouleur, not a Puncheur.




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  4. Well,did a hard-ish one today into a head/side wind and the excuse of a pair of guns I have are now complaining a tad but a 7th overall Strava segment(actually for the most of the ride)means I must be doing something right.

    Oh and this is how you carry a beer in style;

    And drinking on the move;




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  5. @Teocalli

    @frank

    @unversio

    Then again I guess the riposte I’d expect to that is if you are on the drops why the f are you trying to brake?

    Because when I’m on the drops it’s often when I’m descending like a demon. Or shitting myself, so a handful of brake is essential.

    I can descend quite quickly due to my massive bulk but I think my imagination is too good to be a really good descender. I can picture too easily the consequences of hitting a damp manhole cover, or pothole, or loose bit of surfacing…that said, there is a local road where I touch 80kms/hr each time I descend.




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  6. @frank

    Eh? I’ve got both 10 Spd (centaur) and 11 Spd (record). The levers are the same size, I measured. I like my shifters dead level thusly.




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  7. @frank

    You for real or you’re acting dumb?

    I never questioned your personal set up and don’t care what rules you follow, obviously you missed that in my post. No ergos talk, 10 or 11 and how they are positioned. You added this shit later just to confuse what matters – bar angle.

    But if you want to fucking pretend and lie that the angle of your bars is between 180 and 175 then fucking do it, but you’re either blind or don’t know what horizontal is.

    So, Mr. Compliant, next time you make rules with your hippie friends you might consider actually following them, cause you’re clearly super fucking pissed and obnoxious when somebody points out violations.

    And I’m gonna pretend that this thread never existed.




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  8. @TommyTubolare

    Have you mislaid your sense of humour or piss take capability or have you just worked hard at it?




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  10. @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @frank

    @unversio

    Then again I guess the riposte I’d expect to that is if you are on the drops why the f are you trying to brake?

    Because when I’m on the drops it’s often when I’m descending like a demon. Or shitting myself, so a handful of brake is essential.

    I can descend quite quickly due to my massive bulk but I think my imagination is too good to be a really good descender. I can picture too easily the consequences of hitting a damp manhole cover, or pothole, or loose bit of surfacing…that said, there is a local road where I touch 80kms/hr each time I descend.

    I’ve hit 90 Km on one occasion and definitely was on the crapping self borderline to the extent that I’m not sure I want to go there again and would definitely be feathering a mitfull of lever before then.




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  11. @TommyTubolare

    @frank

    You for real or you’re acting dumb?

    I never questioned your personal set up and don’t care what rules you follow, obviously you missed that in my post. No ergos talk, 10 or 11 and how they are positioned. You added this shit later just to confuse what matters – bar angle.

    But if you want to fucking pretend and lie that the angle of your bars is between 180 and 175 then fucking do it, but you’re either blind or don’t know what horizontal is.

    So, Mr. Compliant, next time you make rules with your hippie friends you might consider actually following them, cause you’re clearly super fucking pissed and obnoxious when somebody points out violations.

    And I’m gonna pretend that this thread never existed.

    Dude, relax already. You’re gunna give yourself an anuerysm.




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  12. @frank

    @unversio

    One of the reasons I’m resisting going to 11spd is the levers are so long which makes you mount them very high if you align them to the bottom of the bars like Roger DeVlaemink did.

    @TommyTubolare

    In all seriousness, having the hoods lower does little more just put pressure on the wrists. While the lead photo looks more extreme (a better angle below) having the hoods at such an angle that it feels very neutral is, in my opinion, much more effective and does fuck all to screw up the handling; it improves it, if anything.

    So glad we’re talking about this stuff and not the drivel in the article!

    The ‘bars and levers look totally fine to me, but has anyone ever told you that your saddle is way too high?




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  13. @Oli

    @frank

    @unversio

    One of the reasons I’m resisting going to 11spd is the levers are so long which makes you mount them very high if you align them to the bottom of the bars like Roger DeVlaemink did.

    @TommyTubolare

    In all seriousness, having the hoods lower does little more just put pressure on the wrists. While the lead photo looks more extreme (a better angle below) having the hoods at such an angle that it feels very neutral is, in my opinion, much more effective and does fuck all to screw up the handling; it improves it, if anything.

    So glad we’re talking about this stuff and not the drivel in the article!

    The ‘bars and levers look totally fine to me, but has anyone ever told you that your saddle is way too high?

    You have no idea of the restraint it took me not to post what you just did. You fucker.




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  14. @frank @TommyTubolare

    In Frank’s unnecessary defense, ToTu you’re wrong as well. 3T determines the rules on mounting their bars and I always trust 3T. The Rotundo bar set can move in a 10 degree range from absolute horizontal. [ Willy Wonka voice ] “It’s all there, black and white, clear as crystal! You lose! Good day, sir!!”




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  15. So shines a good deed in a weary world…




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  16. Let’s not forget that Frank did preach the gospel on Rotundo bars before the gospel was established. It took me 1.5 years to listen and see the light, but I finally left my Ergosum life behind (there was a Cinelli Eubios in there too) to find a better position in the drops. Now that I consider it, I’ll move my levers up (we’re talking millimeters) to a better way of life. Hallelujah!




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  17. @TommyTubolare

    I think you accidentally checked your sense of humour at the door.

    @Ken Ho

    Oops, still uncammed.




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  18. @fenlander

    Well,did a hard-ish one today into a head/side wind and the excuse of a pair of guns I have are now complaining a tad but a 7th overall Strava segment(actually for the most of the ride)means I must be doing something right.

    Oh and this is how you carry a beer in style;

    And drinking on the move;

    So love both of those photos! I always wonder if he got a talking to by the DS the next morning?

    @Daccordi Rider

    @frank

    Eh? I’ve got both 10 Spd (centaur) and 11 Spd (record). The levers are the same size, I measured. I like my shifters dead level thusly.

    I’m talking about the old style Ergo 10spd, not the new 10spd which are basically the same body shape.

    These

    Vs these




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  19. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @frank

    @unversio

    Then again I guess the riposte I’d expect to that is if you are on the drops why the f are you trying to brake?

    Because when I’m on the drops it’s often when I’m descending like a demon. Or shitting myself, so a handful of brake is essential.

    I can descend quite quickly due to my massive bulk but I think my imagination is too good to be a really good descender. I can picture too easily the consequences of hitting a damp manhole cover, or pothole, or loose bit of surfacing…that said, there is a local road where I touch 80kms/hr each time I descend.

    I’ve hit 90 Km on one occasion and definitely was on the crapping self borderline to the extent that I’m not sure I want to go there again and would definitely be feathering a mitfull of lever before then.

    First ride on the new Café Roubaixs and new FMBs just prior to KT and started on a descent I’d never ridden before chasing a guy I’d never ridden with before. Much speed was achieved and I really had to hope ol’ Dan built up the wheels properly. I ride with a V Meter, but the other guy had a Garmin that claimed 93.5kph. And I was catching up to him.




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  20. @Oli

    @frank

    @unversio

    One of the reasons I’m resisting going to 11spd is the levers are so long which makes you mount them very high if you align them to the bottom of the bars like Roger DeVlaemink did.

    @TommyTubolare

    In all seriousness, having the hoods lower does little more just put pressure on the wrists. While the lead photo looks more extreme (a better angle below) having the hoods at such an angle that it feels very neutral is, in my opinion, much more effective and does fuck all to screw up the handling; it improves it, if anything.

    So glad we’re talking about this stuff and not the drivel in the article!

    The ‘bars and levers look totally fine to me, but has anyone ever told you that your saddle is way too high?

    HA! I am shocked the conversation didn’t diverge into a bunch of first-timers pointing that out.




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  21. @unversio

    Yes, very smart move, definitely.

    Ever since 3T relaunched the brand and went online in 2007 IIRC that ‘α’ changed from 3 to 5 and then to 8 and now it’s 10. That includes their manuals they used to send with Rotundos to the store. Their 120 mm stems also measure 130 as effective reach and seatposts with setback 25 mm also have setback closer to 35 mm. They also spell length on some of their stems as lenght, so yes definitely just go for what they are saying and it is printed without any checking or measuring. They are definitely always right. Always trust 3T, no doubt.




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  22. @frank

    Yes of course I did, but you didn’t, did you?

    Every time there’s a rule vs. keeper conversation here sense of humor suddenly takes priority and becomes very important. Tell you what, I know plenty of people with great sense of humor who still have hairy legs and use saddlebags, not like I have personally something against it, people can do what they like, not hating just saying.

    Good riding @frank.




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  23. @TommyTubolare

    @unversio

    Yes, very smart move, definitely.

    Ever since 3T relaunched the brand and went online in 2007 IIRC that ‘α’ changed from 3 to 5 and then to 8 and now it’s 10. That includes their manuals they used to send with Rotundos to the store. Their 120 mm stems also measure 130 as effective reach and seatposts with setback 25 mm also have setback closer to 35 mm. They also spell length on some of their stems as lenght, so yes definitely just go for what they are saying and it is printed without any checking or measuring. They are definitely always right. Always trust 3T, no doubt.

    3T are good at adding the extra — for sure. We all need a typo every now and them. I presume that articles by Frank have strategic typos just to keep his keen edge going.

    In all honesty, that 3T misspelling of lenhtg does bother me immensely.




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  24. Now I will pretend that this thread never existed.




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  25. I have been known to swap cages until I find ones that hold:

    a) H20 bidons for when I’m riding

    b) tall beers for when I’m riding home.

    VMH: “More new cages? Didn’t you just get some?”

    “Yes, but they didn’t work.”

    VMH: “How could they not work? They just hold your bottle.”




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  26. @Ron

    After years of hoping, the VMH finally said last week, “I’d like to do some road cycling with you.” Wow! In the past I bugged her to come out, then let it go. What a lovely surprise! Country roads, an hour of spinning along, a beautiful Sunday morning. She gets plenty of exercise from work and walking the dogs, but doesn’t do much plain ol’ exercise for fun or fitness. Much to my surprise, she called me yesterday morning and said on the walk with the dogs, she decided to do some jogging! I had her hooked! I’ve long told her once you get all that oxygen in ya, you are hooked. YEP, it’s a drug to feel the rush in your lungs.

    So, you took your VMH for a road ride and she decided to take up jogging? I think you did something wrong there.

    I can sympathize, though. I wish I could get my VMH out on the bike more. She jogs and will ride with me to the pub or a restaurant, but that’s it.




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  27. @frank

    Probably. I’ve put new bars on since then, and probably still have the cams open. MIght take another pic later for comparison purposes. The brakes still seem to work, so I never remember to close them after wheel changes.

    As for your brifter position, it seems to work for you, though I agree with Tommy that GSOH seems to suddenly come to the fore whenever it suits in a dispute. The sweep on your bars is old school, and the brifter design is modern. If anything, your aesthetic crime lies on trying to combine the two.




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  28. @TommyTubolare

    @frank

    Yes of course I did, but you didn’t, did you?

    Every time there’s a rule vs. keeper conversation here sense of humor suddenly takes priority and becomes very important. Tell you what, I know plenty of people with great sense of humor who still have hairy legs and use saddlebags, not like I have personally something against it, people can do what they like, not hating just saying.

    Good riding @frank.

    Oh FFS… ToTu, what’s next? “I’m rubber, you’re glue…”

    A tour of the site (which is now friggin’ enormous) will reveal that most of the main posters, not just the Keepers, will remind everyone and anyone about Rule #43 if the circumstances require. You’ll see @Gianni flirting with all kinds of heresy and @Brent extolling the virtues of getting your bike dirty. If you’re trying to play “gotcha” with a Keeper… you know, one of the guys who are giving you the chance to win a $3000 bike or a $1400 set of wheels just for showing up and playing along… FOR FREE!! you’ll find more than just @frank letting you know you’re not doing your time in the wind.

    And the people you know, the ones with the hairy legs, bulging EPMS, and a sense of humor… they’re probably having a great time on a randonneur site extolling the virtues of triple chainrings and waterproof panniers. Here we will continue to extol the virtues of smooth legs, proper jersey pocket packing, and burning lungs.




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  29. @TommyTubolare

    @frank

    Yes of course I did, but you didn’t, did you?

    Every time there’s a rule vs. keeper conversation here sense of humor suddenly takes priority and becomes very important. Tell you what, I know plenty of people with great sense of humor who still have hairy legs and use saddlebags, not like I have personally something against it, people can do what they like, not hating just saying.

    Good riding @frank.

    Not trying to be obtuse, but I literally don’t know what you’re talking about or trying to say.




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  30. @frank

    @fenlander

    Well,did a hard-ish one today into a head/side wind and the excuse of a pair of guns I have are now complaining a tad but a 7th overall Strava segment(actually for the most of the ride)means I must be doing something right.

    Oh and this is how you carry a beer in style;

    And drinking on the move;

    So love both of those photos! I always wonder if he got a talking to by the DS the next morning?

    @Daccordi Rider

    @frank

    Eh? I’ve got both 10 Spd (centaur) and 11 Spd (record). The levers are the same size, I measured. I like my shifters dead level thusly.

    I’m talking about the old style Ergo 10spd, not the new 10spd which are basically the same body shape.

    These

    Vs these

    Ah, I see. 2 cm difference. However Fronk, mate you need the new stuff. The improvement in grip shape and shift quality is huge! I’ve got a set of the old 10 Spd, barely used if anyone is doing a retro build.




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  31. First rule of Fight Club? Don’t talk about Fight Club.

    First Rule of Velominati Club? Don’t mention the height of Frank’s saddle.




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  32. I noticed this thread had a Campy/Deda streak running through it, I thpught I’d add to the mix. Steerer to be cut soon, still trying to dial the fit.




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  33. @Tugman

    ^^Goddamn phone and my fat fingers! Help!




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  34. @DeKerr

    Here we will continue to extol the virtues of smooth legs, proper jersey pocket packing, and burning lungs.

    Lung burn. Yes




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  35. @Tugman

    I notice there still aren’t any cages on there, check your messages son!




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  36. Short and Sweet = one hour in the morning on the small ring spinning, with a big ring the last five k’s. Fighting winter hibernation here in Melbourne.

    Try this for handlebar/hood positions.

    http://ruedatropical.com/2009/03/road-drop-bar-geometry/

    Note pics show bars with lower drop horizontal. Adjust angle to your liking. My Cycling Sensei taught me rule of thumb, start with lower drop same angle as fork crown.




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  37. Short and Sour for me this evening. I was invited to ride with a group of very strong riders today. Full gas pace line route of 61KMs. Averaging 41KM per hour in windy and cool conditions and I started to cramp in the legs and gut. Popped off the back at about 32KM and then they put the hammer down. Never had a chance to get back on and rode cramped and alone the rest of the ride. I ride pretty strong, but these big chaps have some serious power. Time to reevaluate my training to add power. My body is built to climb at 66 Kilos and the wind just pushes me all over the place zapping my strength. Rode back in at 35KM per hour but it was a struggle. Live and learn.




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  38. @frank

    @Teocalli

    I can descend quite quickly due to my massive bulk but I think my imagination is too good to be a really good descender. I can picture too easily the consequences of hitting a damp manhole cover, or pothole, or loose bit of surfacing…that said, there is a local road where I touch 80kms/hr each time I descend.

    I’ve hit 90 Km on one occasion and definitely was on the crapping self borderline to the extent that I’m not sure I want to go there again and would definitely be feathering a mitfull of lever before then.

    First ride on the new Café Roubaixs and new FMBs just prior to KT and started on a descent I’d never ridden before chasing a guy I’d never ridden with before. Much speed was achieved and I really had to hope ol’ Dan built up the wheels properly. I ride with a V Meter, but the other guy had a Garmin that claimed 93.5kph. And I was catching up to him.

    We don’t have any descents around here of the length or ‘open-ness’ to get to that sort of speed. Plus, riding a compact means I spin out totally above 70km/hr, and is the main reason I’d like to get a mid-compact 52/36 at some point. I feel more in control when I can pedal and drive the bike along, for some reason, and while I don’t want my maximum speed much more than 80 I would like to be able to accelerate towards there quickerer.

    Went for a ride with a big group of mates last night (unusual for me, I’m a bit of a lone ranger) and I was flying, climbing and descending. I rode some sections without touching the brakes that I normally brake hard on, and climbing I was able to keep up with my annoying skinny grimpeur mate for much longer than usual. Joy.




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  39. Racing a crit tonight – certainly short and quite possibly nasty and brutish too.




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  40. @wiscot

    First Rule of Velominati Club? Don’t mention the height of Frank’s saddle.

    Agree totally. In fact, Rule #44 should be completed with the following: Although one can be berated for having one’s handlebars too low compared to one’s saddle, it is not appropriate for a Velominatus to question the saddle-to-handle-bar distance of a certain long-armed Keeper.




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  41. @the Engine

    How did it go?

    @KogaLover

    +1!




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  42. @frank

    @the Engine

    How did it go?

    @KogaLover

    +1!

    I got lapped six times – slight improvement on last time out




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  43. I had a short and sweet ride that turned shitty yesterday morning. Bumped into the back of a car Davis Phinney style at the end of my ride. I did not spectacularly go thru the rear window (the car was not a wagon) but I smashed a tooth and bent my fork. Foook.




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  44. Came across these at the weekend browsing the internet. @frank looks like you need a set for more orange.




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  45. @Nate

    I had a short and sweet ride that turned shitty yesterday morning. Bumped into the back of a car Davis Phinney style at the end of my ride. I did not spectacularly go thru the rear window (the car was not a wagon) but I smashed a tooth and bent my fork. Foook.

    Fucking HELL! Which bike?




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  46. @frank

    @Nate

    I had a short and sweet ride that turned shitty yesterday morning. Bumped into the back of a car Davis Phinney style at the end of my ride. I did not spectacularly go thru the rear window (the car was not a wagon) but I smashed a tooth and bent my fork. Foook.

    Fucking HELL! Which bike?

    My Kirk — the custom I was riding when you were here a year ago.

    New fork got built today, off to paint tomorrow.




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  47. @Nate

    Bad news. Faack!




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  48. Goddamn Nate, I totally missed this! Have you healed up? How’s the toof? The fork?

    Frank – are those plain old Radars with Path lenses? With all the new frame and lens offerings from Oakley, I’m sorely fucking confused about my next set of shades. I’m so confused I’m at the stage of:

    a) not adding to my stock of shades

    b) just sticking with plain ol’ Radars with Path lenses and some simple white frames/black lenses.

    The very, very nice thing about Radars is they don’t look totally absurd off the bike and without a helmet. Very nice if you’re commuting to something. Jawbones and Jawbreakers don’t fall into this category.




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  49. @Ron

    Goddamn Nate, I totally missed this! Have you healed up? How’s the toof? The fork?

    Frank – are those plain old Radars with Path lenses? With all the new frame and lens offerings from Oakley, I’m sorely fucking confused about my next set of shades. I’m so confused I’m at the stage of:

    a) not adding to my stock of shades

    b) just sticking with plain ol’ Radars with Path lenses and some simple white frames/black lenses.

    The very, very nice thing about Radars is they don’t look totally absurd off the bike and without a helmet. Very nice if you’re commuting to something. Jawbones and Jawbreakers don’t fall into this category.

    Tooth is now a crown and fine. Fork has been replaced. IT was great to get the Kirk back on the road. What a fantastic ride it has.




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  50. Glad to read this, Nate! Glad you’ve healed up and gotten the steed back in order. It’s amazing, even with a slew of bikes, missing one for awhile seems like such deprivation.

    Yup, I can’t get enough of my Genius-tubed Casati Laser these days. The fit and ride quality are excellent.




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