La Vie Velominatus, Part IV: The Great Escape

The Col du Tourmalet

One of the most magnificent things about Cycling is that not only does it represent different things to different people, it represents different things on different days. Some days, it’s training – a means to an end. Other days, it’s the culmination of a body of work; rather than a means to an end, it represents that end itself, whether that end is exhilarating or devastating. But these two facets represent Cycling only as Sport, the complex simplicity of the balance between dedication and results.

Cycling stands apart, however, in its many dimensions beyond Sport. For me, Cycling is meditation, a time to clear my mind of ancillary concerns and contemplate on those that require my focus. It is thoughtlessness, a time to eliminate everything through the simplicity of pain. It is simultaneously medication and therapy; even a short ride can shake a heavy lethargy from my bones and rejuvenate aching muscles and joints. It is simultaneously tension and release; Cycling can fill my being with effort, an effort that overflows my legs and lungs and spills over to fill every fiber of my being, flushing from me all those things I wish not to keep.

Cycling is penance for my mistakes; a few hours at the mercy of the Man with the Hammer can help me understand the error of my ways. It is cleansing of other’s mistakes – here the Man with the Hammer helps pound out the ripples in the surface of Life they cause me.

I am by no means a great man and never will be. But I am a better man for my bike, and for that I am eternally grateful to it.

Vive la Vie Velominatus.

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163 Replies to “La Vie Velominatus, Part IV: The Great Escape”

  1. Clicked on a link to this video of someone jumping of a mountain in China in a wing suit and fuck me! Look at the road he flies past, switchback spaghetti!

  2. @DrC… re: your idea for a P-R 2013 Sportive EuroV trip…. awesome idea. Only suggestion I have is that ASO only run the ‘official’ P-R sportive every two years (that includes the velodrome and velodrome showers experience)… looks like it is June 10th 2012 and then will be similar time in 2014. In 2013, it will go ahead unofficially (on the Sat before the real P-R), but this year – even though I think Rapha organised it – there were some challenges with the status of roads, police coverage etc.

    HOWEVER The Tour of Flanders is run every year, and I would highly recommend it – on an awesomeness scale of 1 to 10, the RvV scored a 27 for a great day’s riding and experience.

  3. @Chris
    are you going to post the link?

    good point, I’d forgotten it was alternate years – happy to do ToF next year instead – need to sort something unofficial, as Phil Anderson charges about £3000 for his week long trip! Will keep an eye on 2012 P-R Sportif and see how it pans out – I recall all the dramas they were having with the route earlier this year

  4. @Dr C
    What a twat I am! Go here.

    I’m up for cold weather, muddy adventures on the pave in 2013 and for that matter sportives and the like in the UK/Ireland – it would be great to get a V Fuelled Paceline going if we could get the numbers!

  5. @Dr C

    haha I just noticed I wrote about the same thing independently on another thread. As I said there 11.2km with 1100 meters of ascent and 90 hairpins in total. Let the hill repeats begin!!

  6. @Chris

    If the fat boy with the balloons had got that wrong it would have been messy!
    He can also fly through mountains!

    Can’t go without mentioning the great hairpin sections again!!

    Can’t wait to see Le Petit Grimpeur in Le Tour de China

  7. @huffalotpuffalot
    Upon seeing that, I could only exclaim “What the fuck is that?” and then quickly realized the 270 degree turns and had Climbone to the extreme. How could I possibly get a bike to China to go up, up, and away? Unbelievable.

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