Spring blossoms in Seattle

La Vie Velominatus: Rebirth

La Vie Velominatus: Rebirth

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Wind is an asshole. I have no patience left for it. It has all of it been used up, gone, finished. It is the only force that I’m aware of (with the possible exception of gravity) that is more stubborn and less willing to listen to reason than I myself am. It blows me around on my bike, it embezzles speed from my Magnificent Stroke. No matter how emphatically I lose my temper with it, no matter the unprintable curses and insults I hurl in its direction, it just keeps on blowing like a big stupid blowing thing.

The weather systems that move in and out of the Puget Sound Convergence Zone are accompanied by a gale and, and as every Cyclist knows, gales blow exclusively against the direction of travel. With the changing seasons come the frequent storm systems and the unreliability of the meteorologists is amplified by the complexity of the weather patterns. Taking Bike Number One is a gamble during any of these times, but sometimes living dangerously feels better than it is sensible. Every now and then, taking #1 when you really shouldn’t can offer a bit of much-needed redemption.

Fall winds steel us for the arrival of colder, darker days. Winter around here comes with less wind, but with annoyances of its own. Our friends in more harsh climates than mine will agree: we have had a dark Winter here in the Northern Hemisphere. Seattle is a mild place to live, but even here the damp, cold, short days have taken their toll. The sun is down when I arrive at work, and it is down when I leave for home. With vitamin D in short supply, our moods sour, the chickens stop laying their eggs (there is no creature more entitled than a clucking chicken who refuses to lay an egg), and alcohol, food, and sloth start looking like viable plans of remediation.

But as Winter makes its slow exit, the winds begin to blow once again and Spring starts to dot hints that she is about to make her entrance. The redbud trees are in blossom, and the Earth is letting loose the green stalks of tulips and crocuses. The work we did over the winter was supposed to make us feel strong and fast; instead, trees bow to our arrival as the wind pushes against our face and robs us of the free flight that a Cyclist in form works so hard to achieve.

Nevertheless, this weekend I rode with bare legs, the strong headwind filling my senses with the fresh smell of damp, life-giving earth and budding blossoms. Rebirth is infectious and like the trees and plants around me, so too have I been reborn. 

Wind might well be an asshole, but when it signals warmer, brighter days it somehow seems more tolerable. Vive la Vie Velominatus.

// La Vie Velominatus // Nostalgia // Tradition

  1. @RedRanger

    @PeakInTwoYears like I keep saying, “planes are easy”

    Its been a matter Id rathet be riding than fixing. After I get #1 road and #1 CX ready to go, I’ll take a look at it.

    Just giving you shit. Let me know what was causing your issue. I need all the vicarious experience with those damned things that I can get.

  2. @Ccos

    @cyclebrarian

    @wilburrox

    @frank A visit to New Orleans for family AND Rouge Roubaix? (!) I can assure ya that there is most certainly a Laissez Les Bon Temps Roule attitude just about anywhere in Louisiana that carries in to the race. Early a.m. I’m squaring away start times and am informed by race staff that there is still time to get drunk. Probably only half serious I’m guessing. Anyways, someone from the master’s group posted this year’s race day blockhouse climb on youtube. This comes at mile 65 with grade in excess of 15% on gravel and the run-up road being lunar landscape. Last year was fresh gravel = deep and Hard. This year was washed out so FAST… therefore = Hard. That’s the old saying isn’t it? Doesn’t get easier, just faster. RC

    I just read about that event. And saw this pic and read about this guy:

    Apparently, he wiped out at mile 30 and rode the other 70 miles in this condition. Definitely Rule #5 compliant.

    Would anyone but a cyclist do this? Would anyone else but a cyclist understand doing this?

    Do tri-hards have rules too? (Rule 1: be annoying, Rule #2: ride your bike like shit, Rule #3: sleeveless jerseys and arm warmers together are ok, please make sure they don’t match…)

    I’m sure ‘merely a flesh wound’ was uttered many, many times.

  3. @Teocalli

    @the Engine ……………other than finding that if you turn the pads through 90 degrees they sometimes start working again.

    I’m trying to get my brain around which plane you are talking about. As most disc pads (ie every pad I’ve ever come across) cannot actually be turned in the vertical plane due to locating lugs/pin this leaves me with the vision of jamming the pads through the holes in the rotor blades. Granted that would stop you but does seem to be a sort of one off application followed by a Milligan-esque “fortunately my fall was broken by the ground”. This could of course account for the bent discs……..

    Which is why I’m not allowed to touch any part of my bike with any sort of tool unless there is no choice whatsoever.

    The pads are circular on my MTB and if you rotate them through a quarter turn by turning the knurled thing on the other site of the mounting from the pad they start to grip again – I am also aware that this moves the pad closer to the disc but its the change in orientation rather than their decreased proximity to the surface of the disc that makes them work.

    Have you been at the Puckoon again?

    Also note that I set you up for the tool gag of your choice.

  4. @Ccos

    @cyclebrarian

    @wilburrox

    @frank A visit to New Orleans for family AND Rouge Roubaix? (!) I can assure ya that there is most certainly a Laissez Les Bon Temps Roule attitude just about anywhere in Louisiana that carries in to the race. Early a.m. I’m squaring away start times and am informed by race staff that there is still time to get drunk. Probably only half serious I’m guessing. Anyways, someone from the master’s group posted this year’s race day blockhouse climb on youtube. This comes at mile 65 with grade in excess of 15% on gravel and the run-up road being lunar landscape. Last year was fresh gravel = deep and Hard. This year was washed out so FAST… therefore = Hard. That’s the old saying isn’t it? Doesn’t get easier, just faster. RC

    I just read about that event. And saw this pic and read about this guy:

    Apparently, he wiped out at mile 30 and rode the other 70 miles in this condition. Definitely Rule #5 compliant.

    Would anyone but a cyclist do this? Would anyone else but a cyclist understand doing this?

    Do tri-hards have rules too? (Rule 1: be annoying, Rule #2: ride your bike like shit, Rule #3: sleeveless jerseys and arm warmers together are ok, please make sure they don’t match…)

    That’s Rule #5 right there. Judging by the vacant stare, the concussion was kicking in nicely. He’s been studying at the Laurens Ten Dam school of hardmanship.

  5. @Teocalli

    @Mike_P

    The downside to all this rebirth talk is when you’re sitting at work, looking out of the window at beautiful spring sunshine. I know what I’d rather be doing.

    Well fortunately I’m WFH so will sneak out later.

    Git.  Welcome back by the way!!

  6. @PeakInTwoYears

    @RedRanger

    @PeakInTwoYears I hear you on that. My MTB makes a horrible sound in the rear. Cant figure it out. I just brake less. I’m all about simplicity on a road/CX bike, which is why I went with mini V‘s on the new one. I hated wanted Frank to explain it for Ivor.

    Wait a minute. What the fuck do you do for a living? Hello? If you can’t figure this one out, I’m taking the fucking train, amigo.

    +1 Badge to you, matey.

  7. @Pedale.Forchetta

    Against the wind, Tuscany, Saturday 8th March 2014.

    Is it just me or is Cav slimming down? He looks mean in that shot.

  8. @frank exactly what I thought at TA today

    Mark Cavendish led home Omega Pharma-Quickstep to take the first blue jersey of this year's Tirreno-Adriaticodefinitely leaner in the face

  9. @Mike_P  Yep, sometimes there’s a fine line between “bad-ass” and “dumb-ass”. (I’m erring on the side of bad-ass in both photos).

  10. @Mike_P

    @Teocalli

    @Mike_P

    The downside to all this rebirth talk is when you’re sitting at work, looking out of the window at beautiful spring sunshine. I know what I’d rather be doing.

    Well fortunately I’m WFH so will sneak out later.

    Git. Welcome back by the way!!

    Ha Ha – ’twas gorgeous out.  Made the mistake of wearing a base layer and didn’t need it.  Penalty for being a git is that I forgot about a conf call till part way round and had to cut short.  Then got back and most people did not join the call so it got canned 2 mins after I called in.  Rats.

  11. @Teocalli

    @Mike_P

    @Teocalli

    @Mike_P

    The downside to all this rebirth talk is when you’re sitting at work, looking out of the window at beautiful spring sunshine. I know what I’d rather be doing.

    Well fortunately I’m WFH so will sneak out later.

    Git. Welcome back by the way!!

    Ha Ha – ’twas gorgeous out. Made the mistake of wearing a base layer and didn’t need it. Penalty for being a git is that I forgot about a conf call till part way round and had to cut short. Then got back and most people did not join the call so it got canned 2 mins after I called in. Rats.

    Sometimes it almost seems like the people you work for have no appreciation for the fact that you’d rather not be doing your job. Rats indeed.

  12. Uh oh, we have some “fuck the Rules” chatter in the comments section of the Rouge Roubaix photo set. Nothing like taking advantage of a good photo op, then talking about how much you hate the Rules.

  13. @Ron

    Uh oh, we have some “fuck the Rules” chatter in the comments section of the Rouge Roubaix photo set. Nothing like taking advantage of a good photo op, then talking about how much you hate the Rules.

    No, no, we have some (1) Mockery of Tri-hards and what their rules may entail, (2) observations that we cyclists are programmed differently than other athletes and will do things that others will not (ride 112 km with a smashed face and chest) and (3) in some situations it is not clear if dumbassness is involved (oh wait, in the aforementioned pictures it was not).

    No mention of hating the rules, more a celebration of those who follow them, concussions or not.

  14. @Ron Just an All American John Watson.

  15. @frank

    I’ll see your sheepfucker and raise you the weather.

    Turns out I had a sensational powder day yesterday at the Hole.  Last run I ran across some Texans camped under a cornice drinking some beers.  They invited me to join them and what a grand time we had, sitting on a black diamond bowl face, drinking PBR.

    If you went to Whistler maybe you aren’t as thick as a typical Dutchie after all. It’s a cracking spot.  I’ve done six trips there and jagged wonderful conditions every time. Of course,  I have skied some seriously fucked visibility there, but that’s all part of the shenanigans.   JH is whole lot of fun though too.  Very few cut runs, bugger all grooming, just lots of au naturel off-piste fun and games.   It’s got a bleeding stupid lift system though, with an hour wait to get up the tram, which is the only way to the peak.   Not a patch on Whistler/BC there.

  16. @ped

    @frank exactly what I thought at TA today

    Mark Cavendish led home Omega Pharma-Quickstep to take the first blue jersey of this year's Tirreno-Adriaticodefinitely leaner in the face

    There’s a guy in this photo???Aye Yeah Yeah!!!

  17. @frank The Milano Sanremo 2014 with the very old route is a gift to Cavendish. He’s better be ready!

  18. Great article Frank. Did my biggest ride of the year so far last weekend, and with the wind in my face and the sun on my left it was torture on every climb in the wilds of Northumberland. I soon felt a pang of emvy as I saw club ride after club ride rolling with the wind on their backs in the opposite direction, but I had the last laugh as I turned towards home and finally flew with a tail wind from Heaven…

  19. FINALLY got the first outdoor ride of the year in after work yesterday.

    40km, the first half of which was straight into winds of 30-40kph. Made for very slow going, and made me realize just how fat and out of shape I’m in.

    However, it was so fantastic that I decided to get the first commute of the year in this morning. 20km into that same fucking wind. Weather report says I should have a tailwind on the way home.

    The important thing is that I’m back on the road, and that’s ALL that matters!

  20. @frank

    @Pedale.Forchetta

    Against the wind, Tuscany, Saturday 8th March 2014.

    Is it just me or is Cav slimming down? He looks mean in that shot.

    Speaking of looking lean, Tommeke is looking the slimmest I’ve ever seen him. I think he’s having a nice Paris-Nice, building the form for the classics. How much can I wait for them? I can’t!

  21. @The Pressure

    @ped

    @frank exactly what I thought at TA today

    Mark Cavendish led home Omega Pharma-Quickstep to take the first blue jersey of this year's Tirreno-Adriaticodefinitely leaner in the face

    There’s a guy in this photo???Aye Yeah Yeah!!!

    Yup, and one who knows what a proper cycling cap is! Good man Cav, and nice to see that it looks like OPQS are all doing the proper caps these days. A renaissance of the cycling cap? I hope so.

  22. @KW

    FINALLY got the first outdoor ride of the year in after work yesterday.

    40km, the first half of which was straight into winds of 30-40kph. Made for very slow going, and made me realize just how fat and out of shape I’m in.

    However, it was so fantastic that I decided to get the first commute of the year in this morning. 20km into that same fucking wind. Weather report says I should have a tailwind on the way home.

    The important thing is that I’m back on the road, and that’s ALL that matters!

    Good man. You’re in WI I know and yes, it’s a bit blowy today, but I’m hoping to get a short one in late pm. The weekend’s looking pretty sketchy unless Rule #5 is invoked.

  23. @The Oracle

    @RedRanger

    @The Oracle

    @teleguy57

    @The Oracle

    @teleguy57 Where are you situated, teleguy?

    Appleton.

    Well, shit. We’re practically neighbors.

    Im in Wausau now. shit lots of us in Wisconsin.

    One would think that another WI cogal should be in the offing. @wiscot, I’m looking in your general direction …

    Yes sir, I see that you are indeed looking in my direction. Let me consult the calendar, Map my Ride and see what can be concocted out of West Bend.

  24. This is my first time go to see at here and i am genuinely impressed to read everthing at single place.

  25. @Izetta

    This is my first time go to see at here and i am genuinely impressed to read everthing at single place.

    High praise indeed…stick around a while and we are sure to correct you misguiding impression that we have the faintest idea what we are talking about, in the near future.  Having said that…welcome to the site!

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