La Vie Velominatus: Ugly Ducklings

1984Kelly_Liege
Kelly waddles on the podium at the ’84 Luik-Bastenaken-Luik.

We’re an odd bunch, us Cyclists. Shaved legs, scars, tan lines, muscular legs paired to scrawny upper bodies. These things that make us stand out are some of the things I take great pride in. I marvel at my freshly shaved guns and how smooth they feel under my dress clothes when I’m stuck at the office. I’ll stand in front of the mirror each morning and gauge whether I’m getting fatter or skinnier. I’ll constantly feel my legs to check that they haven’t started to get soft since the morning’s ride. Being a Cyclist, it seems, is a full-time occupation.

Everything in our lives is biased towards riding. On the bike, we are a picture of elegance: perfect kit, tanned guns, magnificent stroke fluidly propelling us along the avenue. Remove us from the bicycle, however, and the graceful Cyclist is transformed instantly into an awkward creature; our legs suddenly look too big, our bodies too small, and we waddle about hopelessly on cleated shoes.

One of the most satisfying experiences of Cycling is to walk in my road shoes. Not only is it a thrill to avoid wiping out down a flight of stairs or in a café, but it marks the start and end of my ride. Kitting up before leaving, I’ll wander to the living room with my shoes in hand. Standing up after strapping them on, I’ll clomp out to the bike, my awkward gait signaling the sweet anticipation of the ride that awaits. Similarly, I cherish clomping back into the house afterwards, the clip-clop of my shoes echoing through the living room and signaling to anyone who is home that I’ve returned from my mission.

I embrace those things that make me strange to the rest of society; we are Cyclists and the rest aren’t meant to understand our ways. But a time will come when we ugly ducklings will blossom into skinny swans.

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67 Replies to “La Vie Velominatus: Ugly Ducklings”

  1. Standing up after strapping them on, I’ll clomp out to the bike, my awkward gate signaling the sweet anticipation of the ride that awaits. Similarly, I cherish clomping back into the house afterwards, the clip-clop of my shoes echoing through the living room and signaling to anyone who is home that I’ve returned from my mission.

    What happened to the Adilettes?

  2. Nothing ugly about Kelly’s guns, white socks, and black shoes!  You can tell that the spectators are both fascinated and terrified.

    I’d never noticed the little kid staring between Kelly’s ankles before.

  3. Waddling in the house, trying to find keys/pump/wallet/multitool/anything that seems to get lost whenever you need to go for a ride. Also the guilt that you’re wearing out the cleats with every step you take.

    When you return… The look at your roommate’s face, seeing you absolutely shattered, hair still helmet-shaped,  heart rate still 150.

    Priceless.

  4. In cycling beauty is the juxtaposition of grace and crudeness and together they evoke a sense of ultimate elegance even while your caked in dirt, and sweat from a lengthy summer ride. We try to be graceful in many ways ie shaving our legs, wearing tight Lyrca, buying expensive bikes, but only through suffering day in and day out can one achieve poise on a bicycle.

  5. @JCM

    Nothing ugly about Kelly’s guns, white socks, and black shoes! You can tell that the spectators are both fascinated and terrified.

    I’d never noticed the little kid staring between Kelly’s ankles before.

    Those Brancale shoes and duct tape where the toe clip straps went across his badass feet. I wonder what that was all about? Kelly was not worried about fashion, that’s for sure. I bought my wife those very same shoes for her first pair of proper cycling shoes. I hate to admit how old that makes us. Fuck it, it makes us as old as Sean Kelly, nothing wrong with that. He could still kick yer teef in!

  6. I miss being one of maybe 5 people in a little Oklahoma town to ride a bike in a strange sort of get up. Waddling around in my wood sole Diadora’s and trying not to slip at the gas station while filling my water bottles. In the mid 80s we had road racers, and the despised touring cyclists. We were not overrun with hipsters on bikes, triathletes, and whatever the hell most todays riders are. For me there was nothing like those days.

  7. I’ve acquired the cyclist’s dysmorphia in spades – huge, overbuilt legs,  scrawny, under-built upper body that always looks awkward unless it’s bearing down on a handlebar.

    Fine by me, really – I wouldn’t change it.  I just wish that the package had come with a really boss VO2 max.  No such luck.

  8. Jesus H Merckx on a popsicle stick. To have guns like those (yes, I read the article in case you wondered).

    I work in a place that is for the most part, staffed and run by women (which may explain some stuff to you old-timers around here). Getting cat called for tanned, shorn legs by the lady folk was fabulous and off putting at the same time. We are a weird bunch for sure.

  9. @Gianni

    @JCM

    Nothing ugly about Kelly’s guns, white socks, and black shoes! You can tell that the spectators are both fascinated and terrified.

    I’d never noticed the little kid staring between Kelly’s ankles before.

    Those Brancale shoes and duct tape where the toe clip straps went across his badass feet. I wonder what that was all about? Kelly was not worried about fashion, that’s for sure. I bought my wife those very same shoes for her first pair of proper cycling shoes. I hate to admit how old that makes us. Fuck it, it makes us as old as Sean Kelly, nothing wrong with that. He could still kick yer teef in!

    So the clips could “slide” a little and not create hot spots on the top of his feet, while remaining secure, ’cause the toe straps were probably tightened by a couple of Eastern Bloc weightlifters. Just a guess.

  10. I used to put my shoes on before stepping outside the house, until I forgot one day and stood on a step heel first and ended up doing the splits across four stairs… Now they are the last thing I do before hopping on my bike outside.

  11. Glide into the parking lot, trackstand nonchalantly for a minute just because you can, clop inside, pay a few bucks, and then wipe out spectacularly with a cup of coffee in your hand on the viciously slick tiles. Yeah.

  12. Minor point first:  …gait…

    ‘Tis a wonderful thing being a cyclist.  In season, on race days during the week, a colleague and I kit up in the office after work – sometimes surprising the new folks – and ‘clomp’ down the halls to escape the building to ride off to the race venue.  Shouldering the bike and negotiating the stairs heightens attention to balance and stability and contributes to getting ‘up’ for the race.  The shaven guns, snug kit, and ‘odd’ shape a sharp contrast to the gym rat, ball player, and runners.  We briefly chat and head off to our pursuits of passion…

    Would not trade it!

  13. Have we learnt nothing from our Tri cousins?

    Simply leave your shoes on your pedals, all lined up with natty elastic bands, insert your feet once underway, then crash into the undergrowth, fence, or your riding buddies.

  14. I’ll leave shoving sockless wet feet into single velcro strap shoes to those silly boys and girls thankyou (I take it we’ve all seen the video doing the rounds of a trihard crashing into an SUV?)

  15. @Frank: If your gate’s awkward, you could always get it fixed.

    If it’s your gait, on the other hand, you should be on a bike.

    I love the smell of pedantry in the morning.

  16. @Frank Great article!  Emotive and compelling.

    However, the Da Vinci Code part of me is a little disturbed by the first paragraph of this article.  Is there a hidden message, a cry for help?

    I marvel at my freshly shaved guns and how smooth they feel under my dress clothes when I’m stuck at the office. I’ll stand in front of the mirror each morning and gauge whether I’m getting fatter or skinnier

    If you simply remove the word clothes from the first line above.  You have just announced that you are, in fact, a lady.

    Call me if you need to talk about it…cue suitable winking emoticon!

  17. @frank I love this article.  For me, one of the greatest pleasures is the walk I have to do from the bike parking facilities in to my office building. Clip-clop’ing past the hordes of non-cyclists and fat, gasping smokers in their “look at me I’m killing myself” smoking shelter.  My mind is full of “I’m not you, I’m different from you, you don’t understand me and I’m loving that”.

    Those guns of Kelly’s were fearsome, but then again, I think Big George had a brain transplanted on to his…

  18. It’s completely off thread, but when has that ever been an issue here.

    But I am way excited by the fact that have just booked apartment in Bercy district of Paris and then find it is 1.5km from Le vélodrome Jacques-Anquetil.

    Any ideas if they have local racing in July?

  19. This Kelly pic is one of my favorites – I think I first saw it in the much-missed Winning. Couple of key things here – those shoes had plastic soles – not carbon, carbon-composite, but friggin’ plastic.  This lack of “stiffness” was clearly no impediment to dishing out the V. That being said, they were still probably lighter than many shoes around today because of their sheer simplicity – sole, upper, laces. The duct tape (very carefully applied and trimmed just-so), is surely there to prevent issues with loose laces.

    Are they Brancales? I know Kelly rode Puma shoes for a while and then Gaernes and Vittorias too for a while.

    Finally, the socks = perfection. Fully adhering to the Goldilocks principle.

  20. @markpa

    I am sitting just 2-3 km from there, so had a look on line:  long story short, in 2012 they tore  up the track to widen the interior rugby pitch, did an amateur job re-pouring it, and had to re-do it.   According to a recent press release, it remains completely unusable.  Here is a link to a Facebook page looking for answers  (La Cipale is another name for it)

    https://m.facebook.com/SauvonsLaCipale?id=210634225739222&refsrc=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.fr%2F&_rdr

    Sad.

  21. @xyxax Have a margherita pizza for me and the kids if you would!  They still talk about the corner restauraunt where we ate and had that pizza.  Sooo yummy!  And have a nice Sauternes for me if you would!

  22. Those look like bowling shoes…  except that upon further review, the placement of the duct tape, and near tissue paper covered guns, one would immediately realize that this individual likely cannot hold a bowling ball, let alone toss it 63 feet with enough force to knock down a feather….

  23. @VeloSix

    Those look like bowling shoes… except that upon further review, the placement of the duct tape, and near tissue paper covered guns, one would immediately realize that this individual likely cannot hold a bowling ball, let alone toss it 63 feet with enough force to knock down a feather….

    Oh I don’t know. If Kelly took his bowling as seriously as his bike riding, he’d be smashing those pins. Remember, he’s an Irish farm boy (I remember a pic in Winning of him howking tatties, so throwing a bowling ball would be a piece of cake.

  24. @wiscot

    @VeloSix

    Those look like bowling shoes… except that upon further review, the placement of the duct tape, and near tissue paper covered guns, one would immediately realize that this individual likely cannot hold a bowling ball, let alone toss it 63 feet with enough force to knock down a feather….

    Oh I don’t know. If Kelly took his bowling as seriously as his bike riding, he’d be smashing those pins. Remember, he’s an Irish farm boy (I remember a pic in Winning of him howking tatties, so throwing a bowling ball would be a piece of cake.

    and thus, the youth and ignorance of my cycling history is exposed…

    Shame on me

  25. @VeloSix

    @wiscot

    @VeloSix

    Those look like bowling shoes… except that upon further review, the placement of the duct tape, and near tissue paper covered guns, one would immediately realize that this individual likely cannot hold a bowling ball, let alone toss it 63 feet with enough force to knock down a feather….

    Oh I don’t know. If Kelly took his bowling as seriously as his bike riding, he’d be smashing those pins. Remember, he’s an Irish farm boy (I remember a pic in Winning of him howking tatties, so throwing a bowling ball would be a piece of cake.

    and thus, the youth and ignorance of my cycling history is exposed…

    Shame on me

    No worries! This is from Kelly’s wikipedia page. A hardman’s training for sure! The bit about DeGribaldy driving around the Irish countryside looking for the tractor-driving Kelly is classic.

    For eight years he attended Crehana National School, County Waterford to which he travelled with his older brother, Joe. Fellow pupils recall a boy who retreated into silence because, they thought, he felt intellectually outclassed.[2] His education ended at 13 when he left school to help on the farm after his father went to hospital in Waterford with an ulcer. At 16 he began work as a bricklayer.

    Kelly began cycling after his brother had started riding to school in September 1969. Joe rode and won local races and on 4 August 1970 Sean rode his own first race, at Kennedy Terrace in Carrickbeg, County Waterford, part of Carrick-on-Suir. The race was an eight-mile (13 km) handicap, which meant the weaker riders started first and the best last. Kelly set off three minutes before the backmarkers. He was still three minutes ahead when the course turned for home after four miles (6 km) and more than three minutes in the lead when he crossed the line. At 16 he won the national junior championship at Banbridge, County Down.

    Kelly won the national championship again in 1973, then took a senior licence before the normal qualifying age of 18 and won the Shay Elliot Memorial race in 1974 and again in 1975 and stages in the Tour of Ireland of 1975.[3] Kelly and two other Irish riders, Pat and Kieron McQuaid, went to South Africa to ride the Rapport Tour stage-race in preparation for the 1976 Olympic Games. They and others rode under false names[4] because of an international ban on athletes competing in South Africa, as a protest against apartheid.

    The Irish were suspended from racing for six months. They were racing again when the International Olympic Committee banned them from the Olympics for life.[5]

    Unable to ride in Canada, Kelly rode the 1976 Tour of Britain and then went to Metz, in France, after a London enthusiast, Johnny Morris, had arranged an invitation. The club offered him £25 a week, free accommodation and four francs a kilometre for every race he won. Kelly won 18 of the 25 races he started in France and won the amateur Giro di Lombardia in Italy. That impressed two French team managers, Jean de Gribaldy and Cyrille Guimard. De Gribaldy went to Ireland unannounced to discuss a contract with the Flandria professional team.[6] He didn’t know where Kelly lived and wasn’t sure he would recognise him. He took with him another cyclist, to point out Kelly and translate the conversation. Kelly was out driving a tractor and de Gribaldy set out again in the taxi that had brought him from Dublin, hoping to find Kelly as he drove home. They found him and went to Kelly’s stepbrother’s house. De Gribaldy offered £4,000 a year plus bonuses. A week later Kelly asked for £6,000 and got it. He signed for de Gribaldy with misgivings about going back on his promise to return to Metz, where the club had offered him better terms than before.[7]

  26. @markpa a quick search on the google box provides this info: http://users.rcn.com/barbara.dnai/lacipale.html a short description of the area. 

    -while you’re in paris, hit up an american’s cupcake shop 1 & 1/2 blocks from notre dame:
    http://www.bertiescupcakery.com/ 

    -they’re both runners/triathletes/bloggers/from DC, but don’t hold that against them! he’s also known as dc rainmaker, & has excellent gear reviews: http://www.dcrainmaker.com/

    bon chance!

  27. My VMH is not exactily enamored with my cycling habitus, specifically the shaved guns. I did not have the forsight to keep them shorn during my dark years away from the bike, when we met. Now I pay penance with all the comments about looking like “I’m on chemo,” and what not.

     

    I think she’s just jealous.

  28. YES!! Great stuff here, Big D.Monkey.

    I swear that more than once the clickity-clack of my cleats on a hard floor has caused an alarmed person to look in my direction with a fearful gaze. “Is that a fucking cross dresser? Is that fucking dude in full Lycra also wearing high heels?!”

    Trying to explain Les Pedales Automatiques to people isn’t easy either, especially when you live in a place where most people have never, ever downhill skied. That used to make things easier, it’s like a ski binding. “What is skiing?”

    I was at a party on Saturday night, discussing the upcoming World CX championships. A guy I play soccer with twice a week asked incredulously, “How do you know all this stuff [about cycling]?” I kind of wanted to ask him how he found it okay to not know more about cycling. I don’t really follow much else, but I love checking out the daily cycling news.

    Such as…Zdenek is racing on Sunday! Only because it’s close to his VMH’s house. How great is that for a reason to race the WCs?

  29. @scaler911

    Jesus H Merckx on a popsicle stick. To have guns like those (yes, I read the article in case you wondered).

    I work in a place that is for the most part, staffed and run by women (which may explain some stuff to you old-timers around here). Getting cat called for tanned, shorn legs by the lady folk was fabulous and off putting at the same time. We are a weird bunch for sure.

    yeah, me too, i have looked many times at that photo and just thought….and thought….and thought….what i would do to have guns like that man

    I like the routine you have there Frank.  You describe a routine I share similarly, but I do have cleat protectors to protect me in the arrival to work as I merge the workout/ride/commute, and daily after I spin in to work, I roll into the open doors of my work, the atrium of the hospital, and get off the bike, and do something similar as you describe.  Proud of the guns and the process, I slide in the door, put on the cleat protectors (so i don’t bust my ass) and put the glasses in the helmet, undo the helmet and casually deliberately go to my office to clean up…. maybe its just ego speaking here, but we all have one and yes, we all garner a little attention in the stand out

    I also really enjoy doing this at the local coffee shop, casually sipping the espresso similarly

    I wish I had guns like Kelly, but I will have to make do with what I have

  30. We’re having a very, very cold winter by local standards. We even got some snow yesterday. People are freaking out…and not going out, too cold to leave the house.

    Then I show up at work or the store on my bike. “You rode a bike here? In this?!”

    I love doing my small part to show people that with some good gloves, socks, and a nice winter cap, anything is possible!

  31. @cjcosgrove

    My VMH is not exactily enamored with my cycling habitus, specifically the shaved guns. I did not have the forsight to keep them shorn during my dark years away from the bike, when we met. Now I pay penance with all the comments about looking like “I’m on chemo,” and what not.

    I think she’s just jealous.

    I dare not mention trying to improve my climbing weight to my VMH.

  32. @wiscot

    @VeloSix

    @wiscot

    @VeloSix

    Those look like bowling shoes… except that upon further review, the placement of the duct tape, and near tissue paper covered guns, one would immediately realize that this individual likely cannot hold a bowling ball, let alone toss it 63 feet with enough force to knock down a feather….

    Oh I don’t know. If Kelly took his bowling as seriously as his bike riding, he’d be smashing those pins. Remember, he’s an Irish farm boy (I remember a pic in Winning of him howking tatties, so throwing a bowling ball would be a piece of cake.

    and thus, the youth and ignorance of my cycling history is exposed…

    Shame on me

    No worries! This is from Kelly’s wikipedia page. A hardman’s training for sure! The bit about DeGribaldy driving around the Irish countryside looking for the tractor-driving Kelly is classic.

    For eight years he attended Crehana National School, …………….Metz, where the club had offered him better terms than before.[7]

    Great stuff, thanks for sharing!  A far cry from the “talent camps” of today

  33. @Nate

    Standing up after strapping them on, I’ll clomp out to the bike, my awkward gate signaling the sweet anticipation of the ride that awaits. Similarly, I cherish clomping back into the house afterwards, the clip-clop of my shoes echoing through the living room and signaling to anyone who is home that I’ve returned from my mission.

    What happened to the Adilettes?

    Routine is the same with or without them, at least in the winter. Summertime I may shoe up outside.

    As for the Adeilettes, my last pair died after an introduction to our pitbul puppy. New ones on the way, don’t worry. Was trying to get orange ones.

  34. @Gianni

    @JCM

    Nothing ugly about Kelly’s guns, white socks, and black shoes! You can tell that the spectators are both fascinated and terrified.

    I’d never noticed the little kid staring between Kelly’s ankles before.

    Those Brancale shoes and duct tape where the toe clip straps went across his badass feet. I wonder what that was all about? Kelly was not worried about fashion, that’s for sure. I bought my wife those very same shoes for her first pair of proper cycling shoes. I hate to admit how old that makes us. Fuck it, it makes us as old as Sean Kelly, nothing wrong with that. He could still kick yer teef in!

    I’d be fucking proud as shit if I was Kelly’s age. Hard men were forged in that era.

    @scaler911

    @Gianni

    @JCM

    Nothing ugly about Kelly’s guns, white socks, and black shoes! You can tell that the spectators are both fascinated and terrified.

    I’d never noticed the little kid staring between Kelly’s ankles before.

    Those Brancale shoes and duct tape where the toe clip straps went across his badass feet. I wonder what that was all about? Kelly was not worried about fashion, that’s for sure. I bought my wife those very same shoes for her first pair of proper cycling shoes. I hate to admit how old that makes us. Fuck it, it makes us as old as Sean Kelly, nothing wrong with that. He could still kick yer teef in!

    So the clips could “slide” a little and not create hot spots on the top of his feet, while remaining secure, ’cause the toe straps were probably tightened by a couple of Eastern Bloc weightlifters. Just a guess.

    I was thinking the same, or possibly to combat stretching of the leather uppers during the race so they don’t get looser during the ride.

    @NICCO

    In cycling beauty is the juxtaposition of grace and crudeness and together they evoke a sense of ultimate elegance even while your caked in dirt, and sweat from a lengthy summer ride. We try to be graceful in many ways ie shaving our legs, wearing tight Lyrca, buying expensive bikes, but only through suffering day in and day out can one achieve poise on a bicycle.

    THIS.

  35. @AussieKopite

    I used to put my shoes on before stepping outside the house, until I forgot one day and stood on a step heel first and ended up doing the splits across four stairs… Now they are the last thing I do before hopping on my bike outside.

    Café Cleats on Time’s road shoes are the bomb digity.

    @Rom

    Have we learnt nothing from our Tri cousins?

    Simply leave your shoes on your pedals, all lined up with natty elastic bands, insert your feet once underway, then crash into the undergrowth, fence, or your riding buddies.

    SOLID. FUCKING. GOLD.

    @Deakus

    I’m afraid that’s @scaler911’s department.

    @Mike_P

    you don’t understand me and I’m loving that

    Sing it brother!

  36. @VeloSix

    Those look like bowling shoes… except that upon further review, the placement of the duct tape, and near tissue paper covered guns, one would immediately realize that this individual likely cannot hold a bowling ball, let alone toss it 63 feet with enough force to knock down a feather….

    HA!

    @wiscot

    @VeloSix

    Those look like bowling shoes… except that upon further review, the placement of the duct tape, and near tissue paper covered guns, one would immediately realize that this individual likely cannot hold a bowling ball, let alone toss it 63 feet with enough force to knock down a feather….

    Oh I don’t know. If Kelly took his bowling as seriously as his bike riding, he’d be smashing those pins. Remember, he’s an Irish farm boy (I remember a pic in Winning of him howking tatties, so throwing a bowling ball would be a piece of cake.

    That might be the most efficient way to produce mulch.

  37. @actor1

    @markpa a quick search on the google box provides this info: http://users.rcn.com/barbara.dnai/lacipale.html a short description of the area.

    -while you’re in paris, hit up an american’s cupcake shop 1 & 1/2 blocks from notre dame:
    http://www.bertiescupcakery.com/

    -they’re both runners/triathletes/bloggers/from DC, but don’t hold that against them! he’s also known as dc rainmaker, & has excellent gear reviews: http://www.dcrainmaker.com/

    bon chance!

    May I ask why the fuck you’d buy American food in fucking Paris?

  38. @cjcosgrove

    My VMH is not exactily enamored with my cycling habitus, specifically the shaved guns. I did not have the forsight to keep them shorn during my dark years away from the bike, when we met. Now I pay penance with all the comments about looking like “I’m on chemo,” and what not.

    I think she’s just jealous.

    The only problem we have is that I’m much better at and more diligent with my leg shaving than is the VMH.

    Truth be told, she just gets grossed out when she sees men with hairy legs.

  39. @cjcosgrove

    My VMH is not exactily enamored with my cycling habitus, specifically the shaved guns. I did not have the forsight to keep them shorn during my dark years away from the bike, when we met. Now I pay penance with all the comments about looking like “I’m on chemo,” and what not.

    I think she’s just jealous.

    hehe, had a friend who we only see infrequently comment the other day, “shit, you’ve got skinny, you look like a cancer patient!”

    Couldn’t wipe the grin off my face for the rest of the day.

  40. @Buck Rogers

    @xyxax Have a margherita pizza for me and the kids if you would! They still talk about the corner restauraunt where we ate and had that pizza. Sooo yummy! And have a nice Sauternes for me if you would!

    I will happily have a margherita for each of your young’uns.  And if you are ever down in the city en famille, we can do a raclette with Sauterne.

    @Buck Rogers

  41. @cjcosgrove

    Laying on the bed the other day the VMH  says “Most women would kill for legs that shine like that” refering to my guns. I never knew a shine was a goal women were shooting for but appraently mine shine (smoother?) than hers. She also occasionally asks me if when in bed I mistake my legs for hers and caress my own. I replied “Of course I caress my own, but it’s no mistake!”

  42. @Puffy

    @cjcosgrove

    Laying on the bed the other day the VMH says “Most women would kill for legs that shine like that” refering to my guns. I never knew a shine was a goal women were shooting for but appraently mine shine (smoother?) than hers. She also occasionally asks me if when in bed I mistake my legs for hers and caress my own. I replied “Of course I caress my own, but it’s no mistake!”

    Ha, been there….

  43. @NICCO

    In cycling beauty is the juxtaposition of grace and crudeness and together they evoke a sense of ultimate elegance even while your caked in dirt, and sweat from a lengthy summer ride. We try to be graceful in many ways ie shaving our legs, wearing tight Lyrca, buying expensive bikes, but only through suffering day in and day out can one achieve poise on a bicycle.

    I missed this, being lazy and skipping posts.  Shame on me, but thanks @Frank for quoting…

    I shall do the same and acknowledge the awesomeness!  A tip of the hat to you!

  44. @actor1 @xyxax  thanks for the extra info.

    After I’d google map’d around and found La Cipale I was too excited to do the follow up.

    My claim to link it to this thread is who else would appreciate someone being excited by a old bike track named after “Who is this Jacques Anquetil bloke”. Who else can get excited by how to look funny when wearing silly shoes.

    As a much better rugby player than I’ll ever be a bike rider, velodrome with rugby field seems ideal combination but not at the expense of actually being able to ride on it.

    We’ll certainly be wandering past Bertie’s as we head to Notre Dame. If I call in and whisper “The Velominati sent me” in a sinister tone will they be approriately awed. (probably only works for a Keeper)

  45. @Ron

    I was at a party on Saturday night, discussing the upcoming World CX championships. A guy I play soccer with twice a week asked incredulously, “How do you know all this stuff [about cycling]?” I kind of wanted to ask him how he found it okay to not know more about cycling. I don’t really follow much else, but I love checking out the daily cycling news.

    This is our frame of reference and it puts us at odds with the world.

    It’s interesting because a lot of football (american) and football (the real kind) and basketball fans I know are die-hard fans but don’t play the sport themselves. I don’t know anyone who follows Cycling who isn’t a Cyclist. Its  a completely different world.

    I was at dinner tonight with some peers from work, one of whom is a former NFL Football player. He’s a really cool guy and it was fun to talk to him about how he vies the sport now, “Most fans I talk to know a lot more about the sport than I do.”

  46. @Souleur

    I like the routine you have there Frank. You describe a routine I share similarly, but I do have cleat protectors to protect me in the arrival to work as I merge the workout/ride/commute, and daily after I spin in to work, I roll into the open doors of my work, the atrium of the hospital, and get off the bike, and do something similar as you describe. Proud of the guns and the process, I slide in the door, put on the cleat protectors (so i don’t bust my ass) and put the glasses in the helmet, undo the helmet and casually deliberately go to my office to clean up…. maybe its just ego speaking here, but we all have one and yes, we all garner a little attention in the stand out

    My dad, as many of you know, is a major inspiration for me in Cycling; for sure my main Sensei. But not the way you might think; he is a repeat offender of wearing YJA’s (Frank, I like your jersey, but can’t you make a yellow one?) .

    Anyway, he’s a prof at the University I went to, and I’d be studying in the Civil Engineering lounge where he worked and he’d come clopping through the middle of it in his spandex, YJA, cycling shoes and all, just happily on his way to the shower without giving two shits about what all his students thought of him waddling by.

    That is one of the major life lessons he taught me at a formative time: if you have a reason why you’re doing something and you believe in that reason, who cares what other people think?

    I also really enjoy doing this at the local coffee shop, casually sipping the espresso similarly

    I wish I had guns like Kelly, but I will have to make do with what I have

    I love how you come back to Kelly’s Guns. Everything always comes back to Kelly’s Guns.

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