The Rides

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The Ride. It is the cathedral of our sport, where we worship at the altar of the Man with the Hammer. It is the end to our means. Indeed, The Bike may be the central tool to our sport, but to turn the pedals is to experience the sensation of freedom, of flight. It is all for The Ride.

The world is overflowing with small, twisty roads that capture our collective imagination as cyclists. We spend our lifetimes searching out the best routes and rides; we pore over maps, we share with our fellow disciples, we talk to non-cycling locals all in pursuit of the Perfect Ride.

The Rides is devoted entirely to the best routes and rides around the world. Some are races or cyclosportives, others feature in the Classics and stages of The Great Races, while others still are little-known gems, discovered through careful meditation on The V. Be warned: these rides are not your average Sunday Afternoon spin; these rides are the best and most difficult rides in the word – they represent the rites of passage into La Vie Velominatus. It is to be taken for granted that these rides require loads of Rule #5, many of them Rule #10, and all of them are best enjoyed in Rule #9 conditions. They have been shared by you, the community. The Rides also features articles devoted to the greatest rides and providess a forum for sharing other rides for discussion.

If you’d like to submit a ride or an article about your own favorite ride, please feel free to send it to us and we’ll do our best to work with you to include it.

Haleakala

Category: Grimpeur / Distance: 56km / Location: Paia, Maui, Hawaii, USA

haleakala

Haleakala is simultaneously the longest paved continuous climb in the world as well as the shortest ascent from sea level to 10,000 feet in the world. Though not terribly steep, this is a long, grinding climb that will reduce a strong rider to a whimpering lump.

To put the effort in perspective, this climb is 60km long a an average of 6% with two pitches as steep as 17%. That translates to somewhere between 3 or more hours of nonstop climbing, usually in Maui’s direct heat and often into a whipping headwind that spins around into a headwind no matter which direction the switchbacks take you.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/50412514

Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Category: Rouleur / Distance: 265 / Location: Liege, Belgium

lbl

Liege-Bastogne-Liege is not only La Doyenne, the oldest of the Classics, but also represents perhaps the most demanding course in cycling. The 280 km, 3000m vertical route starts with an easy ride out from Liege to Bastogne which lulls riders into a false sense of security; the hills are frequent, but none of them terribly demanding. Into Bastogne, and the story changes on the way back to Liege with 9 categorized climbs in the second half, including the fearsome Côte de la Redoute and the Côte de Saint-Nicolas.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/58053308/

Paris-Roubaix

Category: Hardman / Distance: 265 / Location: Compiégne, France

paris-roubaix

L’enfur du Nord. The Hell of The North. The Queen of the Classics. This isn’t a ride over the stones from your local brick-paved roads. You think climbs are what make a ride tough? We’ve got news for you: this is the hardest ride on the planet and it boasts a maximum elevation of 55 meters. These are vicious, brutal stones; the kind that will stretch each kilometer to their full length, the kind of stones that you will feel long after the rattling of the bars has stopped. These stones will change you. Forever.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/58052610/

Guide: Pavé Cycling Classics

Mortirolo/Gavia Loop

Category: Grimpeur / Distance: 115km / Location: Bormio, Italy / Contributor: Joe

The Mortirolo is perhaps the most feared pass in Western Europe, and the Gavia the most storied. Given their proximity to each other, its a wonder why this isn’t the most talked-about ride in Italy. Maybe it is; its impossible to say without being Italian. The loop nature of this ride makes it feasible as a solo escapade, but any ride with the kind of stats this one bears – 3200 meters ascended in 115 kilometers including the viscously steep Mortirolo – is best enjoyed with a riding partner or support car.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/59027020/

200 on 100

Category: Grimpeur / Distance: 330km / Location: Vernon, VT / Contributor: cdelinks

“Dumptruck of Awesome” has become the catch-phrase associated with this brutally hard, yet strikingly beautiful 330 kilometer (200 mile) ride down Vermont Route 100.  This ride was made popular during the summer of 2011 when Ted King, Tim Johnson, and a local amateur cyclist, Ryan Kelly, documented this ride on film. The ride starts on the Canadian border and finishes on the Massachusetts border.  With over 2500 meters of climbing on this 330 kilometer ride, you will need to pack a few lunches to get through this one.  Do this ride in the Fall, and the foliage might be beautiful enough to distract you from the horrible pain you will most certainly suffer.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/58052808/

De Ronde Van West Portlandia

Category: Grimpeur / Distance: 76km / Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

A ride that officially “never happens” each spring, this 76 km route charts a course through Portland’s West Hills, paying homage to the European Spring Classics. Approximately 1,800 meters of paved and unpaved climbs are spread throughout the course, with several sections reaching grades of over 20%. More information can be found at Ronde PDX.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/15276210

Seattle Master Urban Ride

Category: Rouleur / Distance: 130km / Location: Seattle, Washington, USA

seattleronde

This is perhaps the most challenging urban route in Seattle, hitting three of the big hills that define Seattle’s topography. The route starts and ends on Phinney Ridge, but hits the climbs of Interlaken and Alder Street/Lake Dell Drive on its way to Mercer Island, before coming back to hit Queen Anne and Magnolia, weaving its way up each of these hills as many times as possible via the steepest route available before the finale to the north via Golden Gardens, Blue Ridge Drive, and Carkeek Park. Panoramic views of the Cascades, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, The Olympic Penninsula and Puget Sound makes this a standout Urban ride.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/57732282

  1. The think about being retired is that I can get out riding on Monday. The thing about Monday’s is that all my normal cafes are shut after being open all weekend.




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  2. think = thing dumb auto correct.




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  3. @Teocalli

    The think about being retired is that I can get out riding on Monday. The thing about Monday’s is that all my normal cafes are shut after being open all weekend.

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    Doesn’t being retired mean you could go on Tuesday when they are open?

    Or every day? I’d love to be retired. There’s loads of things I’d finally get around to doing.




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  4. @RobSandy

    Yup – just stopped at a really great cafe for their cake and coffee before the last hill up to home!




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  5. It’s a charity ride from London to Folkestone, 130kms coming Friday.

    We have a challenge with penalty donations on Wye hill. But i get to rate all against all the kit Rules and every fail means another 5 quid for charity.




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  6. @KogaLover

    It’s a charity ride from London to Folkestone, 130kms coming Friday.

    We have a challenge with penalty donations on Wye hill. But i get to rate all against all the kit Rules and every fail means another 5 quid for charity.

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    Sounds fun, we’ve had good weather over here recently. Hope you get some nice dry roads.




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  7. First rainy ride for ages. The work I’d done to improve my Nr.3 bike was a delight, and my legs were shining in the rain.




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  8. @RobSandy

    First rainy ride for ages. The work I’d done to improve my Nr.3 bike was a delight, and my legs were shining in the rain.

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    Damp here too, I think I’ll stay in and replace the BB on #1




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  9. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    First rainy ride for ages. The work I’d done to improve my Nr.3 bike was a delight, and my legs were shining in the rain.

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    Damp here too, I think I’ll stay in and replace the BB on #1

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    I quite enjoyed being out in the wet, especially as I’d planned on it and got to use my newly refurbished rain bike. Brakes are so much better, and the FD function is a million percent more enjoyable. Minor chain scrape but I can’t figure out why – on the stand the chain is nowhere near the derailleur cage.

    Are you replacing the BB for fun or does it really need doing?

    My Nr.2 needs drive train refurbishments, and I think now I’ve spotted I can get the chainrings cheap from Rose Bikes online I might replace the whole lot, rather than doing chain and cassette and hoping it meshes with the old rings. I think they’ve done 6000km+ so wont hurt to replace it all.




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  10. @RobSandy

    It’s a Praxis conversion for a press fit BB and the existing Praxis BB bearing seat is a bit worn on the ND side and giving a tiny bit of play for the bearing resulting in an irritating click at times. So putting in a new Praxis BB converter.




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  11. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    It’s a Praxis conversion for a press fit BB and the existing Praxis BB bearing seat is a bit worn on the ND side and giving a tiny bit of play for the bearing resulting in an irritating click at times. So putting in a new Praxis BB converter.

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    All my bikes are producing irritating noises at the moment. Can’f figure out the chain scrape. One thought I had is that it happens when I’m pedalling hard, but not softpedalling. And it seems to be happening across the gears, so I’m not sure it’s caused by lateral movement of the chainring – could it be vertical movement, so when the chainring is being pushed lower or higher by flex in the BB on each pedal stroke, then it touches the derailleur?

    If that’s the case I need to move the FD slightly lower. Or higher.

    Trouble is, it’s working perfectly right now and I don’t want to mess that up!




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  12. @RobSandy

    You should have 1-2mm clearance of the FD cage as it crosses the outer chainring.

    I hope you don’t have that much flex in the BB that it induces that much flex at the chairing!!

    Do you have any lateral play in the cranks when it is static?

    The only other thing that springs to mind is that the indexing/cable tension is not quite right on the FD.

    Note also that you will get chain scrape when you get towards a crossed chain. Campag has a micro shift on the FD lever to trim that out.

    Those are the things that spring to mind without seeing it.




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  13. or the limit screws are not set correctly on the FD allowing the FD to go to far or not far enough……..




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  14. @Teocalli

    or the limit screws are not set correctly on the FD allowing the FD to go to far or not far enough……..

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    I think I’ve got the limit screws in the right place now. Took a bit of fiddling.

    And the cable tension seems spot on.

    Only thing I can think is the height – butit is around 1-2mm as it came with a little plastic thing to help line it up.

    I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

    And the frame/BB/cranks do flex a lot on that bike.




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  15. @RobSandy

    And the frame/BB/cranks do flex a lot on that bike.

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    oooerrr…..

    Though my old Alu Bianchi flexed noticeably when I had it locked in the turbo.

    Cue Scottie from Star Trek……..




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  16. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    And the frame/BB/cranks do flex a lot on that bike.

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    oooerrr…..

    Though my old Alu Bianchi flexed noticeably when I had it locked in the turbo.

    Cue Scottie from Star Trek……..

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    It’s not a high spec frame, cheapie alu, designed for a city-hybrid sort of bike. I’m misusing it.

    An item on my wish list is a replacement frame for that bike. But it’d have to be compatible with a standard square taper BB, have clearance for at leas 32mm tyres and fit caliper brakes.

    Thinking about it, if the height is wrong it can only be because the derailleur is mounted slightly too low – unless the chain scrape is at an inobvious place.

    I bought it because the one I had shifted very badly indeed (and sometimes didn’t) so now I’ve fitted one and the shifting is perfect I’m disinclined to mess with it too much.




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  17. @RobSandy

    I doubt that scrape is related to FD height if it is there or thereabouts.




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  18. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    I doubt that scrape is related to FD height if it is there or thereabouts.

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    Maybe I’ll check the limit screw again – move it in a little and see if it still scrapes (and still works!)




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  19. @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    I doubt that scrape is related to FD height if it is there or thereabouts.

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    Maybe I’ll check the limit screw again – move it in a little and see if it still scrapes (and still works!)

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    A guide is that with the chain in big dog and smallest cog (highest gear) then you should be able to get a thin card (business card) between the outside of the chain and the outer plate of the FD. Conversely in small dog and biggest cog there should be the same between the inside if the chain and the inner plate of the FD.




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  20. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    I doubt that scrape is related to FD height if it is there or thereabouts.

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    Maybe I’ll check the limit screw again – move it in a little and see if it still scrapes (and still works!)

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    A guide is that with the chain in big dog and smallest cog (highest gear) then you should be able to get a thin card (business card) between the outside of the chain and the outer plate of the FD. Conversely in small dog and biggest cog there should be the same between the inside if the chain and the inner plate of the FD.

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    Sorted. Carefully adjusted the limit screw before I left work and had a scrape-free ride home.

    The limit screw, she is a subtle and a mysterious mistress…




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  21. @RobSandy

    Good news. She be fickle too.




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  22. This seriously impressive. And quite beautiful.

    https://www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/articles/view/349




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  23. @RobSandy

    This seriously impressive. And quite beautiful.

    https://www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/articles/view/349

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    Impressive indeed and a great write up. Chapeau doesn’t really cut it.

    The logistics behind it are also quite astounding – a team Sky like fueling strategy over 800 miles!

    This is the Strava file for the ride. I just can’t get my head round riding that far at that speed – riding alone I can go for an hour or so at 20 mph and only over relatively flat terrain. Keeping that up for 43 hours doesn’t compute.




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  24. @RobSandy

    This seriously impressive. And quite beautiful.

    https://www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/articles/view/349

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    Thanks for sharing. What a ride and what a write up. Chapeau and kudos to Michael.

    And there’s always, always more water in spiteful Scottish skies . . .




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  25. @wiscot

    @RobSandy

    This seriously impressive. And quite beautiful.

    https://www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/articles/view/349

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    Thanks for sharing. What a ride and what a write up. Chapeau and kudos to Michael.

    And there’s always, always more water in spiteful Scottish skies . . .

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    I’ve thought about doing it in 5 days. I think that’s hard enough. Maybe leave it as a long term goal, go for it when I’ve got a bit more time and still have plenty of fitness. Perhaps when I stop racing.




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  26. @RobSandy

    @wiscot

    @RobSandy

    This seriously impressive. And quite beautiful.

    https://www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/articles/view/349

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    Thanks for sharing. What a ride and what a write up. Chapeau and kudos to Michael.

    And there’s always, always more water in spiteful Scottish skies . . .

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    I’ve thought about doing it in 5 days. I think that’s hard enough. Maybe leave it as a long term goal, go for it when I’ve got a bit more time and still have plenty of fitness. Perhaps when I stop racing.

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    I’ve always thought that five days would be a pretty sensible target, approx 170 miles a day gives you a bit of recovery time each day. Four days would be pushing it.

    I quite fancy doing this before I leave Qatar, it isn’t quite as far and the time limit is five days.

    No camper vans or support cars though. The overnight options are limited to convenient bushes, bus shelters or hotels/guesthouses.




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  27. Strade Bianche from last weekend, though as it was in France maybe it was Vin Blanc being through a vineyard. From Anjou Velo Vintage.




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  28. @Teocalli

    Noice pitcher! Expected you to do the Eroica in Limburg again? I had a Rule #11 violation last weekend; though still in Limburg and back in the Netherlands for the weekend, I had to attend an important family gathering with my godfather celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary. He cannot walk long distances anymore, but still can ride his (e)bike, bless him.




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  29. @wiscot

    Thought this might tickle you – I was just idly browsing through a Facebook TT ‘buy and sell’ page, and the name Ian Cammish popped up (guy called Derek Roe is ill and is selling basically a brand-new bike).

    I followed the name and found that our own @Chris is a FB friend of the man, and when I found Ian’s own website I saw a picture of one of my teammates smashing a 25 mile PB pn one of the tri-spoke wheels Ian sells.

    Small world.

    Oh, and if you find Ian’s FB pages there are LOADS of classic UK TT images on there. Worth a look.




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  30. My little velonipper pinned on a number for the first time on the weekend, riding his club ‘dirt crit’ race day (basically CX on a bone-dry course). Very proud moment.

    We had a long conversation before his race about whether it was better to be ‘aero’ or ‘Euro’, and decided that ‘aero’ was better for racing, so he zipped his jersey up.

    I raced in the Dad’s race, came 2nd to a guy on a CX bike. I’m not bitter about it though.




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  31. @RobSandy

    Chapeau to the little fellow. A great day but what’s going on with that front axle? Stunt pegs or some sort of Roman charioteers scythe type contraction for taking out the competition? Maybe he should have been helping his dad out!




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  32. @KogaLover

    @Teocalli

    Noice pitcher! Expected you to do the Eroica in Limburg again? I had a Rule #11 violation last weekend; though still in Limburg and back in the Netherlands for the weekend, I had to attend an important family gathering with my godfather celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary. He cannot walk long distances anymore, but still can ride his (e)bike, bless him.

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    Yup – got back home last night. It was hot. Very hot. Blisteringly Hot. Is there a trend here? Fab event thought and hooked up with Buck Rogers on his Hinault build for the first part of the ride till he went away with a couple of faster guys. Also had dinner with him.

    Had a couple of “misturns” which seems typical for most folk as the signage is pretty subtle. Seems part of the challenge. So ended up clocking a few extra miles which was OK as it ended as an Imperial Ton.

    https://www.relive.cc/view/1671968611




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  33. @RobSandy

    Well done for both!




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  34. @Teocalli

    Good on ya! How’s Bucko doing? Did you speak about why he suddenly dropped off this site? I read his rant (he cannot write plain/polite English even when not on this site) on how he got his bike together the other day, good read.




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  35. @chris

    @RobSandy

    Chapeau to the little fellow. A great day but what’s going on with that front axle? Stunt pegs or some sort of Roman charioteers scythe type contraction for taking out the competition? Maybe he should have been helping his dad out!

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    They are fittings for a FollowMe Tandem, which is a tag-a-long system that lets you clip their bike to the back of yours. It lifts up the front wheel and is hinged and articulated. It’s the balls.




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  36. @KogaLover

    @Teocalli

    Good on ya! How’s Bucko doing? Did you speak about why he suddenly dropped off this site? I read his rant (he cannot write plain/polite English even when not on this site) on how he got his bike together the other day, good read.

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    Yeah, after all the shenanigans over kit he didn’t want to continue here.




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  37. Not every ride has a ferry river crossing……

    Buck Rogers on the Ferry Crossing

    With Buck at a food stop in a Chateau. Soup and Pizza while a music quartet were playing. Not like yer average Sportive!




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  38. @Teocalli

    Is there a Rule #37 violation in Bucko’s kit?




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  39. @KogaLover

    @Teocalli

    Is there a Rule #37 violation in Bucko’s kit?

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    I guess it’s different when they are seeing specs vs sun specs…………




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  40. My VMH had breast cancer and is recovering from a full mastectomy with stacked diep flap reconstruction. It’s been a bit of a struggle for us, but the surgeons have now removed her exercise restrictions so today I accompanied her for the first ride since she was diagnosed in February. She rode 38km of Texas chipseal today. She’s determined to get back in shape, and I have no doubt that she will. Considering her circumstances and the fact that I’m married to her, I can forgive her Rule #37 violation. Trust me when I say that this woman is a badass.




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  41. Make that a Full Left mastectomy.




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  42. @Art G

    My VMH had breast cancer and is recovering from a full mastectomy with stacked diep flap reconstruction. It’s been a bit of a struggle for us, but the surgeons have now removed her exercise restrictions so today I accompanied her for the first ride since she was diagnosed in February. She rode 38km of Texas chipseal today. She’s determined to get back in shape, and I have no doubt that she will. Considering her circumstances and the fact that I’m married to her, I can forgive her Rule #37 violation. Trust me when I say that this woman is a badass.

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    Chapeau.




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  43. @Art G

    My VMH had breast cancer and is recovering from a full mastectomy with stacked diep flap reconstruction. It’s been a bit of a struggle for us, but the surgeons have now removed her exercise restrictions so today I accompanied her for the first ride since she was diagnosed in February. She rode 38km of Texas chipseal today. She’s determined to get back in shape, and I have no doubt that she will. Considering her circumstances and the fact that I’m married to her, I can forgive her Rule #37 violation. Trust me when I say that this woman is a badass.

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    Chapeau indeed! Good for her – good for both of you! May her road to full recovery be smoother than Texas chipseal.(Which I imagine is pretty shitty.)




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  44. @Teocalli

    Thanks! I no longer have any excuses. Hah hah!




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  45. @Teocalli

    @KogaLover

    @Teocalli

    Is there a Rule #37 violation in Bucko’s kit?

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    I guess it’s different when they are seeing specs vs sun specs…………

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    Agreed. If I’m nipping to the shop, my seing specs stay on and go under the strap, otherwise they fly off with even the smallest jostle.

    I finally got some decent shades with a prescription insert recently and they are the bomb!

    @Art G

    My VMH had breast cancer and is recovering from a full mastectomy with stacked diep flap reconstruction. It’s been a bit of a struggle for us, but the surgeons have now removed her exercise restrictions so today I accompanied her for the first ride since she was diagnosed in February. She rode 38km of Texas chipseal today. She’s determined to get back in shape, and I have no doubt that she will. Considering her circumstances and the fact that I’m married to her, I can forgive her Rule #37 violation. Trust me when I say that this woman is a badass.

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    My mum sent through the same eight years ago. She was never a Cyclist – rarely even simply a woman on a bike, despite my encouragements – but she never fully recovered in terms of her general fitness.

    I wish Mrs. Art a recovery smoother than a Dutch road, and many grand rides together for both she and thee. Chapeaux to you both!




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  46. @mulebeatsdrums

    @Art G

    I wish Mrs. Art a recovery smoother than a Dutch road, and many grand rides together for both she and thee. Chapeaux to you both!

    Make that Swiss roads which are even better than Dutch roads!




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  47. @KogaLover

    Thank you!




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  48. I don’t know if you all saw Contador’s tweet, it’s been doing the rounds – he currently has an FTP over 410w and weighs 62kg. WTF.




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  49. How can you not love this guy?

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1018432722115743745




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  50. @RobSandy

    Pro spec nipple lube. An awesome rider who really seems to struggle to take things too seriously.

    The sport would be a much duller place with out him.




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