The Velominati have our own set of nicknames and terms which have developed over time through posts and correspondence. Some of these are names of landmarks or terms in cycling; others are nicknames for some of the riders in the pro peloton. While not intended to be offensive or derogatory, the nicknames in the list represent the riders’ personalities or their reputations; usually little more than a play on words, these are intended to be a bit of fun in the sometimes too-serious world of cycling. *Of course, names such as The Cannibal, The Badger, Mr Roubaix, Der Kaiser and Il Pirata are taken as read, and should be well enough recognised by any Velominatus to warrant their non-inclusion in this list.
This can be used in many conversational instances or when in worship as a concluding word for prayers and hymns to the Great Gods of Cycling. (This is not to be confused with the first initial and last name of Eddy’ Merckx’s son, Axel.)
An Adrian also exhibits poor spelling and grammar while attempting to make points.
The combination of white and black in a fine Italian patent leather shoe, as perfectly demonstrated here.
I’m showing you my new bike and you say: Bel Mezzo! (Thanks to Pedale Forchetta.)
“Look how clean the tape is on that dude’s drops! He must be a Belgian Style specialist.”
Thanks to ZachOlson.
The assertion that one is not sporting a protruding gut but is in fact using a highly sophisticated respiration technique called diaphragmatic breathing.
Thanks to Will Benton.
Preferably made of patent-leather and by an Italian cobbler.
The process of gaining weight after becoming a parent due to a shift in priorities.
The guy who bridges up to you on a ride, usually a climb, wearing items like khaki shorts, a camelback, and clip-ons, breaking any given number of Rules and then proceeds to ride you off his wheel. (Thanks @sgt and @Nate)
Derived (read:taken wholesale) from the Dutch word for moped.
Specifically, the increasing in size of one’s gonads to gargantuan proportions when exposed to rainbows, as was the case with Cadel Evans.
This is best emphasized as you hammer on your Old Skule steel. e.g “I dropped a half dozen Carbon Craplets on the River Road sprint.” Thanks to Ray Bransky.
This is true whether they are on the bike, off the bike and is exhibited by a sharp dress sense and air of confidence. Details here.
Its a scientifically proven fact that people are more charismatic when drinking alcohol. Alcohol is also a poison. Thus, drinking makes us charismatically poisoned. Thanks to Mikael Liddy.
We’re all Peaking in Two Months; set your male insecurities aside and train harder, jackhole. (Thanks @Jen)
The assertion that despite your size, you are still a reasonable climber. See also:related video. (Thanks to Steampunk)
(Thanks to Collin)
This is most acutely felt in the presence of rough cobblestones.
Just as the Illuminati would stage their fabled, and somewhat feared Cabals, the Velominati stage our own modern-day versions, the Cogals. A meeting of like-minded misfits brought together by the promise of beer, preceded by a bike ride. A Cogal distinguishes itself from other group rides by the following criteria. First, Cogals are organized and supported through Velominati, though not necessarily a Keeper (legally speaking, however, we have no involvement, so if you crash or die, it’s your own problem. Second, a Cogal is a day-long undertaking that focuses 100% on the bike. The rides are categorized (Casually Deliberate, Rule #5, Rule #10, for example) but are long. This is what you’re doing today, nothing else; see Rule #4. Third, Cogals always include a session of Malted Recovery Beverage Consumption after the ride. Whenever possible, it should also include a pre-ride espresso.
We don’t strictly endorse their interpretation, but like the Catholics and Opus Dei, we recognize them as part of our own.
“The last time I climbed it a butterfly flew through my front wheel completely unscathed.” (Thanks to Cyclops)
Only they know where the intermediate sprints, KOM and finish line is, and they are never beaten.
The commute is seen as a way to prove their manhood by wheel-sucking, or blasting past on their squeaky MTBs whilst wearing a YJA. Never says ‘hello’. Considers fellow commuters to be their competition and sworn enemies.
This mentor teaches and guides us in the finer ways of our Sport.
Thanks to Omar for his Batman-inspired dissertation.
Inspired by Pedro Delgado’s 1989 late Tour start (as defending champion.)
Particularly one who has yet to make the most of his ability. It is the velomotion that daren’t speak its name. (Thanks to Marcus)
This part exists for the same reason as blue M&Ms: one we can’t explain.
The spotted jersey given in the drug-riddled King of the Mountains competition at the Tour de France.
(Thanks to @Mcsqueek)
A rider who insists on pointing out and scolding riders in a group who fail to ride with fenders, pointing out the many reasons they should do so in the future.
The Velominati observe His birthday, June 17, in our own ways. Some stage Cogals, others ride in wool jerseys, others just pour an ounce of Tripel on the ground in his honor. (But seriously, don’t spill beer.)
The fashionable “in” look of the Spring season whereby the cyclist’s face is caked with mud in the tradition of the Spring Classics. Note: any mud will do, not just Flandrian mud. (Thanks to BIGRINGRIDING.)
While church goers will dress in their Sunday Best for a sermon, when a Cyclist goes to worship in bad weather, they dress in their Flandrian Best.
See also Flanders Facial.
Training in winter on your usual hardman chainset of 53×42 is bad for your knees. Changing to a Flemish Compact during VVinter will help spare them. Or, as Museeuw said, “I don’t like the 50T on compacts. It is not big enough for climbing.”
See also Flanders Facial.
This refers to the symbiotic relationship between oneself and one’s machine. It is characterised by an immovable torso combined with effortlessly gliding pedal rotations. A revelation of harmony and elegance for you resulting in high doses of Rule #5 pain for your fellow riders. This is a state only obtainable when peaking, and is sometimes referred to as La Volupte. (Thanks to Marcus for twisting Jørgen Leth’s words as narrated in The Impossible Hour.)
See also, Steel is Real. (Thanks to Rusty Tool Shed)
Also applies to any other matter of Good Taste and Sensibility where extremes are unpalatable.
Whether its the white Tuscan roads of the Strade Biancha, the roughly graded clay backroads of Northern Minnesota, or the stone gravel mountain passes of the Rocky Mountains, the Graveur knows some of the best riding is to be had off the beaten path of tarmac. A Graveur’s rig generally resembles a CX bike modified slightly for longer rides higher speeds, but can also be a road bike with extra-wide and durable tires.
G.A.R.T. makes you stronger when you start your training overweight and build strength hauling your fat ass uphill. Thanks @Beers for this one.
How much hurt have your legs absorbed, and how much hurt they are capable of dishing out at any given moment. Whatever you’re doing now, can only be sustained for V more minutes. Own your guns.
Every Velominatus knows their guns aren’t their arms (carry those gallons of milk in one at a time, we don’t want to build up too much upper body mass, Hercules) but their legs. And we all know the way to make our bikes go faster is to push harder on the Gun Decks, also known as pedals. Thanks to @Conor via email.
See also Hasidic Handlebars. (Thanks to McSqueak.)
See A Sunday in Hell for clarity.
Often spotted gliding over cobblestones or mashing up the Koppenberg in the Big Ring in all kinds of weather. This one is not ours, but it bears inclusion here since we use it so much.
A spouse’s assertion that any promise made towards post-ride activity will be superseded by laying on the couch, complaining about your guns. (Thanks to Marcus)
The Keepers understand that from time to time, some riders will violate a Rule or two because of their personal situation. If this is the case, we understand you might do it, but don’t fucking brag about it. Also like masturbation, it is best done where no one can see you and too much of it will make you go blind. Thanks to @Marcus.
This is normally taken on by a bike when ejected over a fence, or the destination of your choice. *Of course, we would never treat our bikes like this, because we pay for ours.
Them’s fightin’ words! A Velominatus’ version of the “Gentleman’s Duel” of the past.
Also may mean to imply that you are in training and approaching form.
This could also apply the white R1′s as Onyx technically refers to a spectrum of colors. In any case, these shoes set the standard.
A universal acknowledgement that one is out of form and overweight, while at the same time asserting that you are following a strict training plan and diet and that when you do peak – in two months – you will dish out pain in overwhelming proportions. See also: related video. (Thanks to Andrew)
Getting low and aero on standard road bars as if they were riding on aerobar extensions, ala Fabian Cancellara. Thanks to Joe.
A model of punishment wherein a competitor is sanctioned for abusing the system while still technically staying within the specific guidelines.
The rapid (and often debilitating) build-up of lactic acid in the guns when, in the glorious haze of the Five and Dime, you hit a climb in the big ring which is both longer and steeper than your puny guns can feasibly conquer in the 53t. Often accompanied by much wimpering, weaving about the road. Thanks to @maxim.
Consumed after a hard ride to restore carbohydrates, proteins, sugars, and Awesome to the body.
Usually involuntarily and often a result of some action involving That Fucking Bike. This can also be a deliberate, voluntary pre-race preparation technique in the spirit of Sean Kelly. Thanks to Buck Rogers.
Wearing full matching white rainbow jersey with white rainbow bibs, and then being crapped out of the back of the bunch when the road goes uphill, as Mario Cipollini did in the 2002 Giro d’Italia.
One who is always on a recovery ride everytime you go out for a spin because they ‘hit it so hard the previous day’. Of course, no one is ever with them when they actually do a hard ride. See also Train Properly. (Thanks to Souleur)
Preferably made of patent-leather and by an Italian cobbler. Thanks to @RedRanger for the photo.
This can be either deep dish rims or handbuilt three-cross spoked wheels. (thanks to TexasRouleur).
See also: related video. (Thanks to Steampunk)
The Rules are simultaneously simple and complex. They are consistent yet rife with contradiction. To embrace them all is to walk the path of La Vie Velominatus.
These are the simple truths of Cycling, compiled and maintained by the Velominati.
Extra points if the mechanical could possibly be the rider’s own fault. (Thanks to Xponti.)
Specifically as it related to predicting if a rider’s less-than-stellar pre-TdF form foretells disaster or represents a ploy to fool rivals. Thanks to Xyxax.
Once you start shaving your legs, can you stop anywhere short of giving yourself a Brazilian, waxing your chest (men only, obviously), and shaving your eyebrows and head?
The riding position of a cyclist whose bars are placed absurdly high. (Thanks to Gillis.)
When something can be none more black, like the color of your cables, bars, saddle, tires, or your soul.
The monolithic protuberance rising above one’s waist and below one’s rib cage which is a source of explosive power. Ironically, it is the opposite of a six pack but typically acquired by drinking beer. (Thanks to Minion.)
Thanks to mcqueek.
(Literally, to move Sur La Plaque means to move onto the plate, or the BIG RING.)
Pronounced Survive on Five.
The localised swelling resulting from looking at pictures of switchback-laden mountain passes like the Stelvio. (Thanks to @Bianchi Denti.)
This has evolved to take on the greater meaning it holds within the Velominati. (Pronounced “The Five”.)
But remember this: this is a bank with steep inactivity fees. Thanks to King Clydesdale
The system isa repeatable and reliable process to ensure you Look Fantastic wearing fundamentally ugly objects on your head: the front should be low to the eyes, sides running close to the ears, and the back no deviating below the nape of the neck. More details here.
The mushroom-like appearance of wearing a bicycle helmet too high upon the head. (Thanks to Collin.)
The assertion that one is overweight and will not be able to climb well. See also:related video. (Thanks to Andrew)
Only those who have experienced the burning pain of a saddle sore will understand where this notion comes from.
This figures heavily into the assertion that you are only being passed on a climb because you are following a strict training regimen. See also: related video.
It surrounds us, it penetrates us, it holds our sport together.
The Italians call this la posizione. The Flemish call this “riding your bike.”
No confusing read-out. No buttons to push. No debate as to what you need to do. Just look down, ruminate briefly on the message conveyed to your oxygen-starved brain and lactate-laden legs, and V the fuck outa there. What’s the gradient of the climb? V. How fast are you going? V. What’s your heart rate doing? Your V-max? You will instantly and unequivocally know the answer.
This is typically not due to any reduction in passion, due to outide factors that should be banished, like friends, family, or work.
See also: related video.
This is a wily creature who always figures out a way to satiate the need for expensive kit using low-cost means. (Thanks to Cyclops)
Penance is paid in the form of hill repeats and heavy helpings of The V. (Thanks to Geof)
This typically involves them sometimes feeling like they are playing second fiddle to The Bike.
After having failed to shave the guns, now sports a thatch that Chewbacca would be proud of.
Thanks to Roadslave525.
A Velominatus/a who is also a Velominatus/a’s significant other.
This is usually prior to a ride in an effort to stay properly hydrated. Thanks to Jeff in PetroMetro
Preferably made of patent-leather and by an Italian cobbler.
This leaves furry patches above the shorts line that look like Chewbacca got stuck thigh-deep in a pool of Nair.
In the wild, this is sported by many commuting cyclists and gets its moniker from the smugness and perceived aura of invincibility that seems to emanate from wearers of this garish garment. Also comes in sleeveless version the YVA.
Made by the only company willing to do such a thing, Mavic.
No explanation needed. (Thanks to Eddy Merckx’s Ears)
Who looks nothing like ol’ Boss Hog, but his name is irresitable.
Like the Brothers Grimm, except instead of writing scary tales, these brothers are scary grimpeurs.
Like a cigarette, one minute on fire, smokin’, then extinguished and dropped like a bad habit. Not cool anymore.
Because since winning the Tour in ’08, that’s what he’s been. (Thanks to Vaughn)
Because despite his formidible sprinting prowess, the kid is a bit of douchebag.
After his positive test for Clenbuterol. (Thanks to Dermot K)
For his bloodlust.
The answer to this question seems to be unclear.
For his off the back-back on again riding style as he gallantly defended his Giro d’Italia lead.
Because this is how the commentators on Universal Sports pronounce it.
Because he’s dirty, and we simply couldn’t resist.
Makes up for his lack of balls with an inflated sense of self-importance. Who else could it be?
Or any combination of the above…
The Belgian JaJa.
Sorry – we love you (I Heart Hincrappy) and wish you all the success in the world, but while you ride like a hardman – when you start talking…
For his riding style up the bergs in Vlaanderen in 2012.
Depending on the results he produces, Cadel Evans can be good, bad, or almost good enough. This one comes from his comment at the 2010 Amstel Gold Race, “I was good, I was good, I was good and then I was bad.” Other variations of this moniker include, “Almost Good Enough Cadel”, “Not Quite Good Enough Cadel”, and his first name often is exchanged for his last name.
For his “I’m out with an injury and thus will be going on the sauce” coping mechanism.
… do we really have to explain it?
For his hide until the time trial methods of getting a Tour podium.
Young Aussie upstart gonna come at the peloton like a spider monkey.
For famously surviving a 60km/h introduction to a barbed-wire fence. (Prikkeldraad is the Dutch word for “barbed-wire”.)
For not only refusing to lend a hand to his team leader, Nicolas Roche during the 2010 Tour de France, but going on the attack when he suffered a puncture. Thanks to Marcus.
Because you never know if he’s gonna suck, crash, or crush.
Because we’d hate to ride in the paceline behind one of these guys. Old El Paso should consider sponsorship.
He won three Tours, laid down the fastest ITT in tour history, and is responsible for probably the most exciting (surely the closest) Tour of all time. He is The Man.
In 1986 at La Vie Claire, vying not only for team leadership, but for Tour dominance.
For his egg-shaped noggin.Plus the time it takes him to get up a hill is like waiting for an egg to boil. And like an underdone egg, Levi is soft in the centre and cracks easily.
I think we were the first on this one, but in any case, this one also refers to Markie Mark.
For his unorthodox leadout style.(Thanks to Marcus)
For his superb ability to drag Mark Cavendish to the line.
The ‘Where’s Wally?’ of the peloton.
They feed chickens hormones, don’t they?
For his (and his team’s) involvement in doping throughout his career; his organization could easily have doubled as a pharmaceutical business.
For his code name in Operación Puerto.
A stretch of terribly steep, unpaved road where an uphill time trial takes place in the Giro d’Italia. You gotta have some stones to send a race up that bit of road.
You say Potato, I say Pozzato.
The Chosen one, the Hardest Man of Them All, the man who, by the very sweat from his mighty guns, etched into stone The Rules.
The lovechild of Tony Curtis and Dean Martin. (Thanks to Jarvis)
(Thanks to Michael)
Does this really need explanation?
For his name and the sports the world’s worst haircut.
For his love of the party drugs.
The new poster child now for the organic, free-range, grass fed beef movement. (Thanks to KitCarson)
For his 7 stints in the Dotty Jumper.
First for his tendency to break bones, and then for his tendency to suck.
For the pint-sized Italian star.
Because he loves the white line fever.
Do we really need to explain this one?
For his unfortunate proclivity towards falling off his bike and breaking important bits of his body. (Thanks to Geof)
For all the shams he tried to pull…disappearing twin? Really?
Because he never doped, but now obliquely refers to “the dark years” of his career and insists that he is now honest and wants to prove bike races can be won without the use of the Vampire Tactics.
For his sprint from obscurity to a GT stage winner. (Thanks to Dermot K)
The majority of these terms were coined by the Velominati or one of our readers, but for those terms which we have borrowed, we endeavored to give credit where credit is due. If we missed you, please let us know and we’ll give you your well-deserved props.