Winter

As Cyclists, we are uniquely subjected to the changing of seasons. The green canopy of forest that we ride through in Summer gives way in Fall to one of orange and yellow that mimics the fire of sunset. Just as those hues give notice to the changing from day to night, so do they now signal the change from Summer to Winter.

It is also a time of transition in our riding. The rides are first wetter, then cooler. Soon, we’ll be rooting about the kit bin for gloves and a wooly hat. Shorts become three-quarters and three-quarters become fulls. There might be a shadow of trepidation in bidding the warm months adieu, but there lurks some excitement, too. Wearing long sleeve jerseys and leg warmers signals to us that the fight for peak form is behind us and our rides now have a sense of insouciance about them; it is freeing to embrace the lack of structure to our rides. We ride, once again, simply for the pleasure of riding.

There is something else. The longer days of Summer almost afford us too much liberty in our training. The sun rises early and sets late; the possibilities to train are endless; the morning ride is skipped for the likelihood of riding in the afternoon. The afternoon schedule fills up and the ride is missed and the training takes on a more frenetic nature. The shorter days of the winter offer less choices, so the rides are fought for more vigorously. Choice can lead to indecision while restriction often feeds discipline.

I embrace the coming Winter and its accompanying discipline. Besides, after the Winter come the Spring Classics, and we loves ourselves some cobbles. Vive la Vie Velominatus.

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158 Replies to “Winter”

  1. @Ron

    @Buck Rogers

    @paolo

    So worth it. I only started to ride with one a few months ago but now I do not like to be out without one. I use the Lezyne 600 Macro XL for my front light and it is just amazing.

    Buck – I’m exactly the same way! I now can’t imagine riding on open roads without a front/rear light at all times, whether morning, afternoon, or evening. I’ve had to actually drive a car lately (the newborn is too young to be in a bike trailer and needs to get to daycare) and cyclists with lights or bright clothing definitely grab my eyes much, much faster than no lights/dark clothes riders. Being a husband and father these days I’m definitely more in the mindset of “it can only help me stay alive” than I was in my 20s.

    I’ve been very, very happy with Planet Bike Superflashes Minis & Turbos on the rear. One on the bike, one on my helmet with a small Velcro strap. I’ll even add a Serfas Thunderbolt in rainy conditions. All are USB rechargeable and I’ve had ’em for years. Serfas USB-5 up front for a be-seen, assorted Lezyne lights for commuting. Lately been using one on the bars and one on the fork…game changer for commuting in darkness with two levels of lights on the road.

    Also, and at the sake of being blasted for encroaching on YJA territory, I finally found some race-cut, slim roadie body jerseys in hi viz colors. Giordana makes some awesome ones that balance brightness and style. Kinda like a Tinkoff jersey sans sponsors. Very, very happy with them. Aside from catching the eye, I really feel like at least some Inbredicus rednecki subspecies dumbassae see me and think, “Wow, that guy fills potholes all day!” or “He must work for the city” instead of thinking, “Goddamnit, I hate skinny fuckers on shiny bicycles. I’m gonna buzz that guy, fuggemm!!!” Besides, I think a neon jersey, plain black bibs, and white socks looks pretty damn slick.

    Yup.  At some point last year I started to realize that riders were very hard to see when I was driving.  Seems like most were in black jerseys and without lights.  My grumpy old man came out and I started to think “What a bunch of dumbasses.  There are already too many cyclists being killed and then they go and dress all in black.”

    That is also the same time that I realized that most of my jerseys were black or dark coloured and I did not have lights.  And while I can be hypocritical with the best of them, I bought some lighter coloured kit  and bought front and rear lights which I use ANYTIME I am on the road.

    I haven’t gone full “light-tard” yet (“never go full light-tard)” with the helmet and forks and side running lights but I imagine that is not too far off in my future!

     

     

  2. @Barracuda

    @Graeme Armstrong

    Down here in Australia we prepare for the onslaught of summer now instead. We cherish the precious couple of months between rain and blistering heat. Each ride now is bathed in glorious sunshine yet still cool enough to warrant arm warmers. Soon the bitumen will liquefy and tyres will make an odd sucking sound when Max V is applied.

    The south coast of South Australia obviously did not get your memo !

    I’m still in the full Gabba / Nanoflex combo atm.

    Meanwhile in Melbourne……

     

  3. @Teocalli

    Though I did have an interesting moment or two on a high speed descent a couple of years back when my main light switched from constant beam to pulse. Somewhat less than ideal to say the least!

    I could only imagine that happening ! Yowza.

    I recall my first mtn bike in the dark ride and yea, was a mega lumen light on my lid, when my buddy says, will you quit looking at me… That’s one of those things in that you have to get accustomed to talking to someone w/o looking at them.

    Night rides are good fun. Spooky shadows jumping across the trails and red eyes glowing off the trails. I get a kick outa the teams that show up at the 24 hour races and race thru the woods at night lit up like Christmas Trees. Lotta creativity going on with the lighting.

    Cheers

  4. Buck – yup, I use lights all the time.Like I said, I can kinda forgive a college kid on campus or someone without means around town, but not the serious roadies in black kit and no lights in poor light conditions. It’s insane. Especially because we’ve had something like 8 cyclists killed in the past 2-3 years. We’ve absolutely smashed the per capita national average. A seasoned cyclist was killed one block from my house. Driver was like 85 years old, admitted to the police he saw the cyclist, admitted he thought he simply had enough time, pulled out in front of him. NOTHING has happened to the driver. I honestly know of no other situation where you can kill someone and absolutely nothing happens, especially when it was NOT accidental, it was dangerous use of a deadly machine. I’m part of an advocacy group and we’re pushing the city to implement something, some form of punishment if you hit and kill a cyclist. Suspended license, a night in jail, something. Our deaths have been all over the spectrum, from seasoned roadies to seasoned commuters, to people lacking a car and relying on a bike to get around. My wife gets more and more unhappy with me road riding as the deaths accumulate.

    And many cyclists I see put me in a hard spot as an advocate. I see commuters riding downtown in the city not riding defensively aggressive, no lights, not follow road rules, earbuds in, etc. No wonder the newspaper comments sections are packed with “Well, every cyclist I see…they deserve to be hit.” But then I’ll see roadies out in the country doing nothing to decrease their chances of being hit. As nice as it would be, the fact is that in the U.S. cyclists on open roads need to do everything they can to decrease their odds of being crashed into.

    The PB Superflash Micro on my helmet is nice and high, I think the two levels (on bike, on helmet) can only help. I just use a simple Velcro strip through the vents and it’s so light I don’t even know it’s on there.

    Man…we need the VSP to start again so we can get away from this doom and gloom!

  5. @Patrick There is no such thing as the wrong weather just the wrong clothes.

    Get a good soft shell jacket (Gabba’s re great), gloves and overshoes (waterproof socks are also great). Wear a cap under the helmet (peak must be down, up is for hipsters!). As long as you stay warm riding in the rain and cold brings a new perspective to riding. The more you are out in it the better it becomes.

    Not a big fan of outright waterproof jackets as they tend to just make you overheat. That is why the Gabba has been so successful. Layers help keep the heat in and you don’t want them too baggy, snug fitting keeps the heat in. A Gabba and a long sleeve base layer will keep me warm down to about 5c. Below that a dedicated winter jacket is required, I use Endura Equipe and Windchill jackets which are good even below -5c.

    Even in daylight hours a rear red led is a good idea to keep you visible.

     

  6. @Ron

    The most dangerous animal on the road BY FAR is the Retirie goingtochurchae subspecies andlate one of those fuckers is worse than 10 pissed off rednecks. In as far as the helmet placed lights, all I can do is quote what I overheard at a cafe stop one bike rider (not a cyclist mind you) say to another bike rider about his choice of putting lights on his helmet: “You know, if you put one more of those things on your helmet….I won’t be able to ride with you anymore.”

  7. Just amazing weather here on the UK south coast for the past few weeks and high pressure set in for the weekend. As we head to the inevitable cold of winter I have memories of some great rides, mainly without rain, to take into the winter season. Collecting the new winter shoes tomorrow, had to sell the cat to buy ’em, but felt more appropriate than skinning the cat for overshoes.

     

  8. @Ccos

    @Ron

    The most dangerous animal on the road BY FAR is the Retirie goingtochurchae subspecies andlate one of those fuckers is worse than 10 pissed off rednecks. In as far as the helmet placed lights, all I can do is quote what I overheard at a cafe stop one bike rider (not a cyclist mind you) say to another bike rider about his choice of putting lights on his helmet: “You know, if you put one more of those things on your helmet….I won’t be able to ride with you anymore.”

    I have to agree but also the Retirie Leavingchurchius is extremely dangerous. They are feeling well chuffed and driving with a clean, guilt free slate after church. In a word, invincible.

  9. @Gianni

    @Ccos

    @Ron

    The most dangerous animal on the road BY FAR is the Retirie goingtochurchae subspecies andlate one of those fuckers is worse than 10 pissed off rednecks. In as far as the helmet placed lights, all I can do is quote what I overheard at a cafe stop one bike rider (not a cyclist mind you) say to another bike rider about his choice of putting lights on his helmet: “You know, if you put one more of those things on your helmet….I won’t be able to ride with you anymore.”

    I have to agree but also the Retirie Leavingchurchius is extremely dangerous. They are feeling well chuffed and driving with a clean, guilt free slate after church. In a word, invincible.

    Description sounds like Gianni departing a local pub, bar, or dive — after completing the V ride.

  10. @Ccos

    @Ron

    The most dangerous animal on the road BY FAR is the Retirie goingtochurchae subspecies andlate one of those fuckers is worse than 10 pissed off rednecks. In as far as the helmet placed lights, all I can do is quote what I overheard at a cafe stop one bike rider (not a cyclist mind you) say to another bike rider about his choice of putting lights on his helmet: “You know, if you put one more of those things on your helmet….I won’t be able to ride with you anymore.”

    We have the above species but also the much more unpredictable and far more dangerous ” methaddicus noneblinkus drivefast angryie ” , so we get both spectrums on the road down here.

  11. @Gianni

    @Ccos

    @Ron

    The most dangerous animal on the road BY FAR is the Retirie goingtochurchae subspecies andlate one of those fuckers is worse than 10 pissed off rednecks. In as far as the helmet placed lights, all I can do is quote what I overheard at a cafe stop one bike rider (not a cyclist mind you) say to another bike rider about his choice of putting lights on his helmet: “You know, if you put one more of those things on your helmet….I won’t be able to ride with you anymore.”

    I have to agree but also the Retirie Leavingchurchius is extremely dangerous. They are feeling well chuffed and driving with a clean, guilt free slate after church. In a word, invincible.

    And not only that, they are racing like fuck to get that first table at the IHOP or Cracker Barrel restaurant.

  12. @Ron

    Buck – yup, I use lights all the time.Like I said, I can kinda forgive a college kid on campus or someone without means around town, but not the serious roadies in black kit and no lights in poor light conditions. It’s insane. Especially because we’ve had something like 8 cyclists killed in the past 2-3 years. We’ve absolutely smashed the per capita national average. A seasoned cyclist was killed one block from my house. Driver was like 85 years old, admitted to the police he saw the cyclist, admitted he thought he simply had enough time, pulled out in front of him. NOTHING has happened to the driver. I honestly know of no other situation where you can kill someone and absolutely nothing happens, especially when it was NOT accidental, it was dangerous use of a deadly machine. I’m part of an advocacy group and we’re pushing the city to implement something, some form of punishment if you hit and kill a cyclist. Suspended license, a night in jail, something. Our deaths have been all over the spectrum, from seasoned roadies to seasoned commuters, to people lacking a car and relying on a bike to get around. My wife gets more and more unhappy with me road riding as the deaths accumulate.

    And many cyclists I see put me in a hard spot as an advocate. I see commuters riding downtown in the city not riding defensively aggressive, no lights, not follow road rules, earbuds in, etc. No wonder the newspaper comments sections are packed with “Well, every cyclist I see…they deserve to be hit.” But then I’ll see roadies out in the country doing nothing to decrease their chances of being hit. As nice as it would be, the fact is that in the U.S. cyclists on open roads need to do everything they can to decrease their odds of being crashed into.

    The PB Superflash Micro on my helmet is nice and high, I think the two levels (on bike, on helmet) can only help. I just use a simple Velcro strip through the vents and it’s so light I don’t even know it’s on there.

    Man…we need the VSP to start again so we can get away from this doom and gloom!

    Ron, I read your posts and then I wonder, “Wait, did I write that or did Ron?”  Could not agree more and will probably add a few more lights.

    I’ve got five kiddos still to put through college and I would not want the VMH to have to start strip dancing again for money.

  13. @Ron

     

    The PB Superflash Micro on my helmet is nice and high, I think the two levels (on bike, on helmet) can only help. I just use a simple Velcro strip through the vents and it’s so light I don’t even know it’s on there.

     

    I’ll all for lights, but not at all convinced that strapping one to one’s helmet is a good idea. There is a theory that Michael Schumacher’s helmet failed to perform when he crashed because he had an action camera attached to it.

    On impact you want the helmet to spread the impact, and not, potentially, to drive a small object (the metal cased light?) through the helmet.

    Based on the number of things attached to motorbike helmets I see I think I’m in the minority in being concerned about this.

  14. A nice autumnal ride in this morning. Nothing really happening in my legs, but oh well, just enjoy the ride.

    I’m also starting to find the lack of a 16t cog on any of my cassettes a larger and larger annoyance. Think I’m going to have to invest in a 11-23 and/or a 12/26t for race season next year. I’d like an 18t as well but it seems to be virtually impossible to get both unless you run a hideously expensive 12-21 dura-ace or something.

  15. @Ron

    First road bike ride in far, far too long this morning. Having a four month old has seriously cut into riding time. Oh well, the little guy is pretty fun to be around (sometimes!). Anyway, nothing like riding in full kit on a pristine road bike after a few weeks of only riding the commuter bikes.

    They grow up really fast, enjoy every moment of them while they are small. My little lad has just turned 5 and he’s a total joy. He’s still very much a small child but he also likes lego and star wars and bikes.

    I’ve managed to get him going on his pedal bike properly now – he had a bit of a wobble switching from balance bike (on which he was awesome) to pedals, didn’t like the pressure – but now he just potters on it so easily and confidently, properly Cas Deb.

     

  16. @RobSandy

    A nice autumnal ride in this morning. Nothing really happening in my legs, but oh well, just enjoy the ride.

     

    Nearly head butted a Buzzard on my lunch ride.  They’re big birds when you are that close.  We’d have had each other if I hadn’t ducked.

  17. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    A nice autumnal ride in this morning. Nothing really happening in my legs, but oh well, just enjoy the ride.

    Nearly head butted a Buzzard on my lunch ride. They’re big birds when you are that close. We’d have had each other if I hadn’t ducked.

    I love buzzards. I’d have been well impressed with that. I spotted a couple of red kites on the last audax I did. I think the other guys were impressed with my acumen, being able to identify birds on the wing while riding.

    I’ve heard that in Scotland eagles will attack helmets they don’t like the look of.

    Ooh missus.

  18. @Ron

    Man…we need the VSP to start again so we can get away from this doom and gloom!

    Jayzus, it’s only after finishing up! I’m actually kind of relieved that it’s over. I had a disastrous first full VSP season. Hey, any chance of a prize for the lanterne rouge?

  19. @RobSandy

    @Ron

    First road bike ride in far, far too long this morning. Having a four month old has seriously cut into riding time. Oh well, the little guy is pretty fun to be around (sometimes!). Anyway, nothing like riding in full kit on a pristine road bike after a few weeks of only riding the commuter bikes.

    They grow up really fast, enjoy every moment of them while they are small. My little lad has just turned 5 and he’s a total joy. He’s still very much a small child but he also likes lego and star wars and bikes.

    I’ve managed to get him going on his pedal bike properly now – he had a bit of a wobble switching from balance bike (on which he was awesome) to pedals, didn’t like the pressure – but now he just potters on it so easily and confidently, properly Cas Deb.

    My baby girl is just 14 months old, and although I’ve ridden a lot less than I would have liked to this year, I wouldn’t take back any of the time I’ve spent with my daughter. There will be a time when I can ride much, much more; but right now she is priority number one.

  20. +1 for sacrificing ride time to spend the most valuable time ever with your kid.

    My boy is 6 now, and we’ve been going to the skate park and loving it so much, I had to get a 20-inch.  Things I never thought I’d say in my 50’s:  “Honey, can you bring my BMX bike home, I’d love to go to the skate park”

    The other day, he took the drop down one of the steeper ramps sitting down.  My heart was in my mouth as he nose-wheelied down the face of it – and landed ok.  Some painful lessons await in the future.

    These are great times.  Totally worth sacrificing solo time on the bike,

  21. @Buck Rogers

    @Ron

    Buck – yup, I use lights all the time.Like I said, I can kinda forgive a college kid on campus or someone without means around town, but not the serious roadies in black kit and no lights in poor light conditions. It’s insane. Especially because we’ve had something like 8 cyclists killed in the past 2-3 years. We’ve absolutely smashed the per capita national average. A seasoned cyclist was killed one block from my house. Driver was like 85 years old, admitted to the police he saw the cyclist, admitted he thought he simply had enough time, pulled out in front of him. NOTHING has happened to the driver. I honestly know of no other situation where you can kill someone and absolutely nothing happens, especially when it was NOT accidental, it was dangerous use of a deadly machine. I’m part of an advocacy group and we’re pushing the city to implement something, some form of punishment if you hit and kill a cyclist. Suspended license, a night in jail, something. Our deaths have been all over the spectrum, from seasoned roadies to seasoned commuters, to people lacking a car and relying on a bike to get around. My wife gets more and more unhappy with me road riding as the deaths accumulate.

    And many cyclists I see put me in a hard spot as an advocate. I see commuters riding downtown in the city not riding defensively aggressive, no lights, not follow road rules, earbuds in, etc. No wonder the newspaper comments sections are packed with “Well, every cyclist I see…they deserve to be hit.” But then I’ll see roadies out in the country doing nothing to decrease their chances of being hit. As nice as it would be, the fact is that in the U.S. cyclists on open roads need to do everything they can to decrease their odds of being crashed into.

    The PB Superflash Micro on my helmet is nice and high, I think the two levels (on bike, on helmet) can only help. I just use a simple Velcro strip through the vents and it’s so light I don’t even know it’s on there.

    Man…we need the VSP to start again so we can get away from this doom and gloom!

    Ron, I read your posts and then I wonder, “Wait, did I write that or did Ron?” Could not agree more and will probably add a few more lights.

    I’ve got five kiddos still to put through college and I would not want the VMH to have to start strip dancing again for money.

    Yes to lights, didn’t the Stones advocate one light on behind? That’s day time for me and 2 at night with one in front. I tell my wife that I light up like a Christmas tree so she can go to court and yell at the drunk/ahole who hit me “which frigging light did you not see”! Then maybe she will win a big enough settlement to put the kid through grad school?

    Hey Buck are you still at the Point or did you move to der Kiaser land??

  22. @Rob

    @Buck Rogers

    @Ron

    Buck – yup, I use lights all the time.Like I said, I can kinda forgive a college kid on campus or someone without means around town, but not the serious roadies in black kit and no lights in poor light conditions. It’s insane. Especially because we’ve had something like 8 cyclists killed in the past 2-3 years. We’ve absolutely smashed the per capita national average. A seasoned cyclist was killed one block from my house. Driver was like 85 years old, admitted to the police he saw the cyclist, admitted he thought he simply had enough time, pulled out in front of him. NOTHING has happened to the driver. I honestly know of no other situation where you can kill someone and absolutely nothing happens, especially when it was NOT accidental, it was dangerous use of a deadly machine. I’m part of an advocacy group and we’re pushing the city to implement something, some form of punishment if you hit and kill a cyclist. Suspended license, a night in jail, something. Our deaths have been all over the spectrum, from seasoned roadies to seasoned commuters, to people lacking a car and relying on a bike to get around. My wife gets more and more unhappy with me road riding as the deaths accumulate.

    And many cyclists I see put me in a hard spot as an advocate. I see commuters riding downtown in the city not riding defensively aggressive, no lights, not follow road rules, earbuds in, etc. No wonder the newspaper comments sections are packed with “Well, every cyclist I see…they deserve to be hit.” But then I’ll see roadies out in the country doing nothing to decrease their chances of being hit. As nice as it would be, the fact is that in the U.S. cyclists on open roads need to do everything they can to decrease their odds of being crashed into.

    The PB Superflash Micro on my helmet is nice and high, I think the two levels (on bike, on helmet) can only help. I just use a simple Velcro strip through the vents and it’s so light I don’t even know it’s on there.

    Man…we need the VSP to start again so we can get away from this doom and gloom!

    Ron, I read your posts and then I wonder, “Wait, did I write that or did Ron?” Could not agree more and will probably add a few more lights.

    I’ve got five kiddos still to put through college and I would not want the VMH to have to start strip dancing again for money.

    Yes to lights, didn’t the Stones advocate one light on behind? That’s day time for me and 2 at night with one in front. I tell my wife that I light up like a Christmas tree so she can go to court and yell at the drunk/ahole who hit me “which frigging light did you not see”! Then maybe she will win a big enough settlement to put the kid through grad school?

    Hey Buck are you still at the Point or did you move to der Kiaser land??

    YES!  I have landed on The Continent!  Fucking awesome here and I cannot WAIT for the Spring Pave’!!!

     

    As for the Stones, are you referring to their cover of the Robert Johnson song, Love in Vain?  I still remember when the record company released The Complete Recordings of Robert Johnsons  on CD back in the early 1990.  I had just started college and I remember picking it up at the local record shop.  Talk about blowing your musical mind!

  23. @Rob

    @Buck Rogers

    @Ron

    Buck – yup, I use lights all the time.Like I said, I can kinda forgive a college kid on campus or someone without means around town, but not the serious roadies in black kit and no lights in poor light conditions. It’s insane. Especially because we’ve had something like 8 cyclists killed in the past 2-3 years. We’ve absolutely smashed the per capita national average. A seasoned cyclist was killed one block from my house. Driver was like 85 years old, admitted to the police he saw the cyclist, admitted he thought he simply had enough time, pulled out in front of him. NOTHING has happened to the driver. I honestly know of no other situation where you can kill someone and absolutely nothing happens, especially when it was NOT accidental, it was dangerous use of a deadly machine. I’m part of an advocacy group and we’re pushing the city to implement something, some form of punishment if you hit and kill a cyclist. Suspended license, a night in jail, something. Our deaths have been all over the spectrum, from seasoned roadies to seasoned commuters, to people lacking a car and relying on a bike to get around. My wife gets more and more unhappy with me road riding as the deaths accumulate.

    And many cyclists I see put me in a hard spot as an advocate. I see commuters riding downtown in the city not riding defensively aggressive, no lights, not follow road rules, earbuds in, etc. No wonder the newspaper comments sections are packed with “Well, every cyclist I see…they deserve to be hit.” But then I’ll see roadies out in the country doing nothing to decrease their chances of being hit. As nice as it would be, the fact is that in the U.S. cyclists on open roads need to do everything they can to decrease their odds of being crashed into.

    The PB Superflash Micro on my helmet is nice and high, I think the two levels (on bike, on helmet) can only help. I just use a simple Velcro strip through the vents and it’s so light I don’t even know it’s on there.

    Man…we need the VSP to start again so we can get away from this doom and gloom!

    Ron, I read your posts and then I wonder, “Wait, did I write that or did Ron?” Could not agree more and will probably add a few more lights.

    I’ve got five kiddos still to put through college and I would not want the VMH to have to start strip dancing again for money.

    Yes to lights, didn’t the Stones advocate one light on behind? That’s day time for me and 2 at night with one in front. I tell my wife that I light up like a Christmas tree so she can go to court and yell at the drunk/ahole who hit me “which frigging light did you not see”! Then maybe she will win a big enough settlement to put the kid through grad school?

    Hey Buck are you still at the Point or did you move to der Kiaser land??

    Lights winter, Spring, summer, autumn! And with the sentiment from a few years ago, http://www.velominati.com/general/la-vie-velominatus-urban-riding/

    http://www.velominati.com/technology/the-reflective-bike-of-authority/

    Ride wide and bright!

  24. You know, I’m new to this great sport, but on the subject of lights, and I understand the Prophet did not have one, but now that I’ve used it I would not go out without my Varia rear Radar.

    Its all about maximizing your odds as far as I can tell, and that Varia picks up cars 300 feet behind me, well in advance of when I can see or hear them, and in some cases, it even goes around a curve so I know a car is coming before the car can see me, day or night.

    I check in here often, and am curious what the true Velominati think.  You guys and gals all ride with head units anyway, so its not much of an addition.

    Among my circle of cycling friends, everyone who tries them swears by it, including a guy who tends to follow all of the Rules and had been on the road without lights for 50 years.

  25. living in the DEEP south, comes with its inherent advantages and disadvantages.  one of the big advantages is that you never really have to even contemplate putting your bike up, or riding an indoor trainer, or anything of that nature.  i mean, when it snows, we take pictures of it, and say shit like, “i wonder what it’s like to have four seasons”, or, for transplants, “i miss having four seasons”, then we put on our various thermals, and have at it.

    one of the big disadvantages is that we, as daily cyclists, must share the road with a buncha fuckers that, being barely competent enough to handle normal road conditions, completely screw the pooch when it’s wet or icy.  it does take practice to deal with this, and the stakes are obviously high.

  26. @Hank

    There’s a local master’s racer here in southern New England that rides and races with a mirror. Owing to the fact that he’s a complete bad ass and has won 20+ national championships, no one says Boo to him. Someone else, perhaps not.

    What’s a head unit?

  27. @Ccos

    @Hank

    There’s a local master’s racer here in southern New England that rides and races with a mirror. Owing to the fact that he’s a complete bad ass and has won 20+ national championships, no one says Boo to him. Someone else, perhaps not.

    What’s a head unit?

    Greg (@Gladoe ?), who comes on our cogals also uses a mirror.

    I assume it’s so he doesn’t put too much distance into everyone on the climbs and have to wait so long at the top.

    To be fair it is quite handy and he was often giving the Car Back call before the rest of us knew it was there.

    As for the Varia or things like that, I can see the benefit on more open roads but riding around London one just assumes there’s a car behind you.

  28. @Buck Rogers

     

    YES! I have landed on The Continent! Fucking awesome here and I cannot WAIT for the Spring Pave’!!!

    As for the Stones, are you referring to their cover of the Robert Johnson song, Love in Vain? I still remember when the record company released The Complete Recordings of Robert Johnsons on CD back in the early 1990. I had just started college and I remember picking it up at the local record shop. Talk about blowing your musical mind!

    NO WAY!! You are near the sacred stones! You dog you, how did you engineer that one?? Man oh man I need to make a spring time rendezvous with you on the top of the Koppenburg!

    And yes, Robert Johnson – I had it wrong 2 lights on behind! Best to Mrs. Buck and all the Buckettes!

     

  29. @Ccos

    @Hank

    There’s a local master’s racer here in southern New England that rides and races with a mirror. Owing to the fact that he’s a complete bad ass and has won 20+ national championships, no one says Boo to him. Someone else, perhaps not.

    What’s a head unit?

    @Ccos oh shit is that little fucker still wearing that dipshit mirror?? You are talking about my nemesis back in the early 80’s if you are talking about someone who wheel sucks, whines and enters every age graded race to wear the national jersey so he doesn’t have to pay entry fees? No I’m not bitter or vindictive – really but I never ever heard him say a nice thing or do a nice thing and that mirror sums up his whole shtick. Before the rule he was the reason I did not ever entertain using a mirror. P.S. The sad thing is he was a good racer, when he wasn’t wheel sucking me I’d sometimes get really low and come up on his blind side, that little mirror would be desperately seeking me like a mini me Eye of Sauron, his neck twisting around like it was on a gimbal. Funny as shit!

  30. He’s a tough smart racer and we’d give him shite about that mirror back in the day.

    Back to the post – rear view radar! Whoa I may not have the mobility for many more years but last time I rode (this morning) it was pretty easy to hear and or turn my head to see…. Just sayin? Also I have to side there with @ChrisO -we all know there are cars there. Having said that the critical time is when said car is now 2 meters behind you and it is too close for comfort that’s when my internal radar starts beeping. I’ve had close, but never hit my elbow close. When it’s close I’m more than happy to give a healthy whack to the offenders rear panel. That sure gets their attention. So perhaps my end will not be under some Cadillac Escalade but fleeing from the bullets?

  31. @Rob

    @Buck Rogers

    NO WAY!! You are near the sacred stones! You dog you, how did you engineer that one?? Man oh man I need to make a spring time rendezvous with you on the top of the Koppenburg!

    Finally built up enough evidence against The Man in charge of me in the Army that he had to send me here!

    So psyched to be here.  Only 2.5 hours from the Belgium border and 30 minutes from France.  Hoped across the border last weekend for some foie gras and Escargot just b/c I fucking could!

    And YES, I will be riding the pave’ this Spring!  Might even do the full RVV route, either with a Keeprs Tour, the cyclo or ask the Cycling Pave’ boys to set me up independently, if needed.  You’ll have to swing over this spring for it!!!

    @Rob

    So perhaps my end will not be under some Cadillac Escalade but fleeing from the bullets?

    Fuck Mate!  I was run over by a FUCKING HUGE Black Escalade in Texas in 2012.  Just managed to avoid getting caught up under the rear wheels but the tiny little lady driving it did mange to run over my rear wheel completely while turning across me after a red light.

    As for dying by fleeing from bullets … I always found it better to go at the bullets and kill the fucker that was firing at me!

  32. @Buck Rogers

    @Rob

    @Buck Rogers

    NO WAY!! You are near the sacred stones! You dog you, how did you engineer that one?? Man oh man I need to make a spring time rendezvous with you on the top of the Koppenburg!

    Finally built up enough evidence against The Man in charge of me in the Army that he had to send me here!

    So psyched to be here. Only 2.5 hours from the Belgium border and 30 minutes from France. Hoped across the border last weekend for some foie gras and Escargot just b/c I fucking could!

    And YES, I will be riding the pave’ this Spring! Might even do the full RVV route, either with a Keeprs Tour, the cyclo or ask the Cycling Pave’ boys to set me up independently, if needed. You’ll have to swing over this spring for it!!!

    @Rob

    So perhaps my end will not be under some Cadillac Escalade but fleeing from the bullets?

    Fuck Mate! I was run over by a FUCKING HUGE Black Escalade in Texas in 2012. Just managed to avoid getting caught up under the rear wheels but the tiny little lady driving it did mange to run over my rear wheel completely while turning across me after a red light.

    As for dying by fleeing from bullets … I always found it better to go at the bullets and kill the fucker that was firing at me!

    RVV entries are opening this week apparently and I’ve been told they’re liable to sell out relatively quickly. I think we’re doing the medium route.

     

  33. @chris

    Good to know!

    As for the “we”, is that “We” as the Keepers Tour or “We” as in the royal we???

    For me it is an easy drive to get there that morning, ride, and then drive home so either way it works for me

  34. @Buck Rogers

    The “we” is a bunch from the local cycling club. The rest of the group are old hands; I’m a bit of an interloper.

    I wasn’t aware of a Keeper’s Tour next year. Have your colleagues in US Military Intelligence been monitoring the mutterings from the V-Bunker?

     

  35. @chris

    @Buck Rogers

    The “we” is a bunch from the local cycling club. The rest of the group are old hands; I’m a bit of an interloper.

    I wasn’t aware of a Keeper’s Tour next year. Have your colleagues in US Military Intelligence been monitoring the mutterings from the V-Bunker?

    Nope.  I’ve not heard anything either and when I went to check the Pave Cycling Classics website, it is now defunct.  Not sure?

    I will try to sign up for the full fucking cyclo tomorrow.  If you’re going to do it, might as well do it all the way, eh?

    What about you @xyxax???  Are you and Cecile in?  Cannot be much worse than either of the 200-on-100 rides that we have done, right?

    (insert smiley, painful emoticon here!)

  36. @Buck Rogers

    I think the Pave lads are operating off their facebook page although you might be best to email them directly if you’ve got their addresses.

    I did quite fancy the full distance but the rest of the group aren’t so keen and I’m the slowest in the bunch and relying on them for logistics.

    1. @Chris @Buck Rogers

    So want to do this! To be blunt, it won’t happen unless I sell my house! It’s on the market but winter is not a great time to sell to the NYC weekend crowd… if luck shines I’m in!

    Hey @Xyxax come to think of it YOU need a weekend house, No? Remember how great the 200on100 training was?? Time to leave Central Park and get serious!!

    (insert smiley, painful emoticon here!)

  37. @chris

    @Buck Rogers

    I think the Pave lads are operating off their facebook page although you might be best to email them directly if you’ve got their addresses.

    I did quite fancy the full distance but the rest of the group aren’t so keen and I’m the slowest in the bunch and relying on them for logistics.

    Yeah, I also checked their facebook page earlier today but it has not had ANY activity since last May.  Not sure they are around anymore?

    I totally want to go with them, if at all possible.  They are fucking super and helped me a ton when I did my full Paris-Roubaix cyclo in 2012.

    Anyways, I just called Frahnk and left him a message so hopefully we’ll have an update soon!

  38. @Rob

    1. @Chris @Buck Rogers

    So want to do this! To be blunt, it won’t happen unless I sell my house! It’s on the market but winter is not a great time to sell to the NYC weekend crowd… if luck shines I’m in!

    Hey @Xyxax come to think of it YOU need a weekend house, No? Remember how great the 200on100 training was?? Time to leave Central Park and get serious!!

    (insert smiley, painful emoticon here!)

    One question:  You’ve got two kidneys, right???

  39. @chris

    @Buck Rogers

    Have a look at the contacts section of maltenibeerdotcom

    Fuck Mate, there has been no updates on THAT site since 2014.

    I will try to sing up tomorrow for the full ride if I do not hear from Frahnk.  Even if I am signed up and they put something together for this Spring, I am sure that I could still join into their trip if I register and pay.

    Hoping to be able to register tomorrow.  I have to work all day here in Germany and the site does not work on my office computer.

  40. @Buck Rogers

    They’re still selling the stuff and sponsoring cyclocross riders. Have you tried the two phone numbers? Otherwise try Alex’s instragram or facebook.

  41. @Hank

    I’ve seen one of those in action, it was so accurate you could assume the lane without looking.  While i trust the lights to give me an edge on metallic wild life encounters, nothing beats out being aware of them first and being able to have a chance to react.  That being said, they don’t tell you if the car is coming behind you and passing around you, or over you.

  42.  

    @Buck Rogers

    @Rob

    1. @Chris @Buck Rogers

    So want to do this! To be blunt, it won’t happen unless I sell my house! It’s on the market but winter is not a great time to sell to the NYC weekend crowd… if luck shines I’m in!

    Hey @Xyxax come to think of it YOU need a weekend house, No? Remember how great the 200on100 training was?? Time to leave Central Park and get serious!!

    (insert smiley, painful emoticon here!)

    One question: You’ve got two kidneys, right???

    @Buck Rogers,

    OK Buck, obviously your level of commitment goes waaaaay beyond mine!

    And I too ended up under a light delivery van (unloaded!) one Friday afternoon after a petit contretemps. It went over the whole bike and my ankle. So lucky to only have a sprain and limp for 3 days but could still ride. The bike not so lucky, only 1 brake and 1 pedal survived!

    As for going in when in the line of fire..?

    Not til I can open carry my Samurai sword!

  43. @Rob

    1. @Chris @Buck Rogers

    So want to do this! To be blunt, it won’t happen unless I sell my house! It’s on the market but winter is not a great time to sell to the NYC weekend crowd… if luck shines I’m in!

    Hey @Xyxax come to think of it YOU need a weekend house, No? Remember how great the 200on100 training was?? Time to leave Central Park and get serious!!

    (insert smiley, painful emoticon here!)

    @Buck Rogers

    Rob, I too have succumbed to the lure of Europa, and now me, Mrs Xyxax and the xyxettes are just outside of Geneva in the shadow of the French Juras.  Next year’s TdF has a finish about 35 km from the house.  I have the summer house that you and Mrs. Rob absolutely must visit.

    Buck, I see us doing an Etape first, before suffering through a RVV.  Need to do some real riding, though, and take off this fat bastard costume.

  44. @xyxax

    @Rob

    1. @Chris @Buck Rogers

    So want to do this! To be blunt, it won’t happen unless I sell my house! It’s on the market but winter is not a great time to sell to the NYC weekend crowd… if luck shines I’m in!

    Hey @Xyxax come to think of it YOU need a weekend house, No? Remember how great the 200on100 training was?? Time to leave Central Park and get serious!!

    (insert smiley, painful emoticon here!)

    @Buck Rogers

    Rob, I too have succumbed to the lure of Europa, and now me, Mrs Xyxax and the xyxettes are just outside of Geneva in the shadow of the French Juras. Next year’s TdF has a finish about 35 km from the house. I have the summer house that you and Mrs. Rob absolutely must visit.

    Buck, I see us doing an Etape first, before suffering through a RVV. Need to do some real riding, though, and take off this fat bastard costume.

    Fuckin’ ‘ell, well played. I hope you are being paid in Swiss francs. Switzerland rocks.

    Regarding KT 2017, the V bunker has sustained flood damage and the intercom system doesn’t work anymore and as far as I know there are no plans yet. Tricking William and Alex directly makes sense, jaysus, they have as little business sense as we do. And they are the best so anytime spent with them is worthwhile.

  45. @Xyxax, that is just fine, you and Buck bail, do you know something we don’t?? Oh wait, there’s an election coming up…

    Seriously, congrats there does not have to be any reason for moving to Switzerland and I won’t be shy if the Realestate gods smile on us!

  46. @xyxax

    @Rob

    1. @Chris @Buck Rogers

    So want to do this! To be blunt, it won’t happen unless I sell my house! It’s on the market but winter is not a great time to sell to the NYC weekend crowd… if luck shines I’m in!

    Hey @Xyxax come to think of it YOU need a weekend house, No? Remember how great the 200on100 training was?? Time to leave Central Park and get serious!!

    (insert smiley, painful emoticon here!)

    @Buck Rogers

    Buck, I see us doing an Etape first, before suffering through a RVV. Need to do some real riding, though, and take off this fat bastard costume.

    DAMMIT!  I just hate it when someone shows up at the Halloween party in the same costume as me.

    But, as for me., training starts today!!!

    I just laid my money down for the full RVV cyclo (well, I guess it is actually 25 k shorter than the pro version but it was the longest they offered at 230 k’s).  I need a huge goal/.target on the horizon or I just eat, drink and get fat!

    Time to hit the rollers more than just once a week!

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