Previous Posts

  • Ronde van Vlaanderen November 7, 2018Teocalli1809

    Ronde van Vlaanderen

    I’m trying to persuade myself that I really don’t want to ride the RVV cobbles again in 2019 – but somehow the memory of the pain fades and that was such a nice hotel we stayed in in Kortijk, a day out in Brugge and I’ve yet to go to the Wielermuseum Roeselare.  Anyway, who is planning on going in 2019?  I’m guessing Chris will be dragged there by his son.

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  • I think I found my next bike November 7, 2018chuckp1804

    Totally non-compliant with The Rules!

    Just wanted to check in with y’all. I will do my best to participate and contribute to the conversation. But I can’t access the site from work and when I get home and on weekends, I just get caught up with a lot of other stuff (which sometimes includes riding!) As appropriate, I’ll post any articles I write for PEZ. I’ve got a review of a documentary of British track riders Team KGF (now Team HUUB Wattbike) that I’ve been asked to write, as well as a review of “The Comeback: Greg LeMond, the True King of American Cycling, and a Legendary Tour de France.

    Teocalli – Kudos and thanks for the effort you’ve put forth to keep the flame alive.

    Cheers y’all!

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  • Eroica Limburg November 2, 2018Teocalli1802

    Early Bird tickets for Eroica Limburg are on sale 1 Dec to 31 Dec.  Saving Euro 10 on the entry.  Anyone else planning on 2019?

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  • Reactive Adaptations by Teocalli November 1, 2018Teocalli1755

    Photos by Teocalli

    Starting back in 2002/3 I had the good fortune to be granted the first of what proved to be a number of Sabbaticals from work in the IT/Telecomms Industry to teach Adaptive Skiing (teaching people with disabilities).  I had been teaching Adaptive Skiing for a number of years from the UK and by a strange set of coincidences had become one of the first batch of people to become qualified to train and examine Adaptive Ski Instructors within the BASI (British Association of Ski Instructors) system.  As a result, I wanted to broaden my horizons beyond the UK scene and was successful in getting accepted to teach at the Adaptive Sports Centre in Colorado.  The original intent was just to go for a single season.  However, the consequences were that we ended up buying a winter home there and spending a number of seasons teaching with the ASC.

    During my time there I also went through the PSIA scheme and successfully qualified as Trainer/Examiner within that system too.  It was truly a privileged and life changing experience for me and resulted in building some long term friendships with people I worked with and others who I taught during my period with the ASC.

    One of those people is Jake.  I had the pleasure to teach Jake on some of his early ski lessons and subsequently, over the years, we have spend quite a bit of time skiing together on some of the nutty terrain that Crested Butte offers in the Back Bowls.

    There seems to be a significant number of people who visit Crested Butte and end up living there for some period of time.  So much so, that it is a local saying that people go there to visit but end up staying.  Jake fits that scenario.

    So what does this have to do with On The Rivet and cycling?  Well, I invite you to watch the following video that introduces a different sort of cycling.  Please also take a little time to access the links following the video.

    I leave Jake to introduce himself below.

    Reactive Adaptations

    Adaptive Sports Centre

    If you have an article to share please Contact Us via the Soigneurs page.

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  • “When is it right to forgive a cheat?” October 26, 2018davidlhill1690

    fascinating article in today’s The Times. At the unveiling of the route for next year’s TDF Armstrong was written out of the narrative. Yet Virenque was there who was “central to the Festina affair”. If I could post a link here I would. (Admin – here is the Article)

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  • Hands Down by Wiscot October 25, 2018Teocalli1651

    Photo Laurent Fignon by Bike Race Info

    Today we call them clipless pedals. They scare a lot of newbies to the sport who fear that they won’t be able to get their feet “unclipped” in time to avoid a potentially nasty and embarrassing fall. So long as the brain and one of a rider’s ankles/feet are somewhat coordinated, releasing a foot from a clipless pedal is as easy as, well, falling off a log. Today’s shoes even come predrilled with holes to fit the wide variety of pedal/cleat designs out there, and the cleats all have some degree of float to accommodate foot pronation. It’s a tidy little package that guarantees both efficiency and safety.

    But (as they say on late night TV,) wait, there’s more. Even setting up your shoe/cleat combo has never been easier. Just install six  screws into two cleats, sit on bike, adjust as necessary and you’re good to go. Adjust the release tension with a few turns of a hex wrench. Getting in and out of pedals requires no hands – just the ability to coordinate brain and foot to engage, then twist an ankle to release. Simple, secure and effective.

    Back in the day, it was not so. And I’m not talking 50s and 60s, I’m talking early 80s. Shoes were almost always all leather with laces. (Plastic and Velcro were radical advances back then.) You could have any color you liked so long as you liked black. The leather soles were smooth and lacked any kind of pre-drilled holes. The ubiquitous cage-type pedals had lovely shiny chromed steel clips bolted to the front of them and a long leather strap around the back to form the holy trinity of serious cycling. It was a matter of personal preference and style as to whether you ran your toe strap through the sides of the pedal or through the back plate; the latter was felt to offer a more secure cinch. Cleats (or as they were properly called in the UK, shoe plates) were nailed onto the sole. Not regular nails, but wee, fine, fiddly nails. They offered  no play or float (just as the early Look style plates offered no play either). To make sure you didn’t bugger up your knees, you rode a few miles in the shoes “sans plates” and let the pedal mark the leather sole. Then you nailed your cleat on. If you didn’t get it right, you took out the wee, skinny nails and tweaked. Now all cleats come with some degree of “float” meaning that you can get your cleats close enough to a perfect position and still not wreck your knees.

    Then you had to practice the fine art of learning how to use the toe of the shoe to flip the pedal, clip and strap around to slide your foot in and engage the shoe plate on the back of the pedal – without using a hand. Then you leant over to pull the strap tight thus securing your foot in the pedal/clip/strap combo. Release was a breeze under normal circumstances: reach down, flick the strap buckle and lift and pull back your foot. With practice, it became second nature. The biggest issue was if you took a spill: if the feet were strapped in tight, separating yourself from your machine could be tricky to put it mildly. (Ask Freddy Maertens about the 1976 Paris-Roubaix and Johan DeMuynck in the 1978 Giro d’Italia. Both took tumbles and required assistance to detach themselves from their bikes). There was the real possibility of twisting a knee or ankle if you crashed with the straps pulled tight. Then you really had to use your hands to get free ‒ or get help.

    Clipless pedals are, of course, progress in a way. They are safer, easier to use and lighter. However, the fine art of the one-hand-on-the-bars, the other reaching down to flick the strap buckle is as redundant as the rotary phone. It’s just another little skill that has slowly vanished only to find a home at myriad Eroica events.  Now, with shifters and brakes combined on the bars, and clipless pedals ubiquitous, there’s no need to reach down for anything except a water bottle, and that can be solved with a camelback (well, not really, but it’s possible). At the end of the day, we now live in a world where whatever hand isn’t on your bars is free to fiddle with your goddamn strava app. Progress comes at a price I guess.

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  • How to set up your Gravatar October 20, 2018Teocalli1496

    Hiya, The site is configured to generate a Gravatar for you. To configure your own – 1. Hover your mouse over your logged in name (to right) 2. Click on Edit My Profile 3. Scroll down the screen to Profile Image 4. Click on Gravatar and follow their instructions Cheers, Teocalli

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  • Strade Bianche October 19, 2018Teocalli1486

    Photo by Sportograph

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  • The Butler by Teocalli – (from 2014) October 19, 2018Teocalli1444


    First published in 2014 in another place, the story of The Butler is reproduced here as much for testing site updates as for the content.

    As the younger brother many of my early possessions were hand-me-downs.  The first bike I recollect was red with stabilisers.  I was a lazy starter and would just ride on the stabilisers till they bent.  Eventually my Dad simply removed them out of frustration.  The next was a trike, green with a boot (trunk) between the rear wheels and rod brakes.  Quite how we ended up with a trike I can’t remember – but I do remember it was lethal and turning the thing over quite a few times.  Then there was the blue sit up and beg, again with rod brakes.  I had a major crash on that one chasing my brother down a hill on his first racing bike.  Much Red Sauce involved and I still have the scar on my head.

    Finally came the day, the first major item that was to be all mine from new, my first Racing Bike.  I still remember coming home from school in the summer of 1967 “There’s something for you in your bedroom”.  Rushing upstairs there it was, a gleaming Moss Green, 5 Gear, Claud Butler.  From that day bicycles had a name, identity and purpose – to look great and to go fast.

    After the obligatory period sitting on my bed staring at it, I simply had to take it out for a ride.  It was mine so I couldn’t ask for help and that was nearly my (first) undoing. I was struggling halfway down the stairs and on the verge of loosing it and falling in a tumbling mess, which would have had pretty disastrous results for the bike, the staircase, the door at the bottom and me (in that order in my thoughts), when my Dad appeared through the door in the nick of time and saved the day, just as Dads are meant to do.

    I’m not exactly tall now and I was even smaller for my age in those days, so the setup must have been “dual slammed”, both stem and seat post slammed.  Looking at the bike now I’m surprised I could reach the pedals and/or the bars at that age. I must have had a horizontal back just to reach the hoods.  It was definitely a bike to grow into.

    My next recollection regarding the bike was over the subject of mudguards. It came with full mudguards and according to Dad all bikes must have mudguards, “but Dad, Racing Bikes don’t have mudguards, I’ll be laughed at”.  Compromises have to be made and that is why the bike still has the stubbies that were agreed upon.  Do not quote any Rules at me over those mudguards, they stay in memory of my Dad and that compromise.

    Anyway, from that point I was independent and I could get out and see my friends without needing a lift – and I could also get into trouble in a whole new way by being late home for meals.  It’s only years later that you realise those silent glares and the blunt “Where do you think you have you been?” are a mix of anger and relief when “I’m just going out for a ride” leads to you being gone all day with no food till you come home late for dinner with blissful lack of comprehension as to how worried your parents have been.

    The first rite of passage for a cyclist is starting to clean and service your own machine.  I remember one day not long after getting the bike and not really knowing what I was doing, using my dog bone spanner I had taken apart all the bits that were easy to remove and clean, including removing the brake blocks and sliding the brake blocks out of the carriers to clean them.  On the following ride I applied the brakes, something hit me on the calf and suddenly – no brakes. I’d put the blocks back the wrong way round and they all came out.  40 odd years later I can still picture in fine detail the back end of the low loader (flatbed) lorry I narrowly missed at the road junction.

    At school we had a small cycling club and became proficient in servicing our bikes and every second weekend or so we’d strip them down completely.  Dismantle the hubs etc, clean all the bearings and get them “just so” so that the weight of the valve would turn the wheel to settle at the bottom of it’s own accord.

    After leaving school the bike sat in the garage for some years while I went through the rites of riding motorbikes and my first old banger car and the home servicing that came with motorbikes and old cars in those days.  Cycling was then chiefly for maintaining summer fitness for playing Rugby in the winter  – a game incidentally that also involved the study of copious quantities and types of Fine Malted Recovery Beverage.  The Claud Bulter received an upgrade to 10 Gears with a Huret front mech and Suntour Crankset and rear mech in place of the Campag Gran Sport 5 Gear mech that it came with.   After the early 80s the bike was essentially unused. There are many times I could so easily have got rid of it but somehow I never did.  It became one of those Old Friends that, while you don’t use them, neither can you part with them.

    My return to cycling in the early 90s was via Mountain Biking with a string of bikes from Big S, complemented by a couple of Bianchi Alu Road Bikes (the first was totalled by a car).  I was mainly a mountain biker wandering in the undergrowth of darkness until I upgraded the Bianchi for a Pinarello last spring, came out of the darkness of the undergrowth and saw the light and the path (well the road actually) and discovered the Velominati.

    Throughout all this time the Claud Butler was stuffed in a corner of our garage – or more latterly in my brother’s garden shed when he had an unfulfilled intention to take some exercise and get fit.

    It was on a ride one beautiful evening last summer on the Pinarello that I was doing a typical Rule V evening ride and I was thinking that it would be nice sometime to take it easy and cruise the lanes in a different style. Somehow a Carbon Pinarello demands to be gunned at warp speed at all times.  Around that time I was rooting around my office looking for something when I came across the original sales brochure for 1967 Claud Butler, I didn’t even know I had it.  At that point the plan to renovate it was born.  Thinking back to the school-day cycling club and all those magazine ads we used to browse and plan for upgrades we could not possibly afford, I decided to go for a period Gruppo upgrade that would have been the stuff of dreams for me as a schoolboy.

    Recovering the bike from my brother some of it was in a bit of a sorry state but it was basically solid and, most surprisingly, the wheels would still turn of their own accord to settle the valve at the bottom.

    After many hours mainly searching and biding on eBay and also via a couple of specialist period bicycle outfits, finding a few bargains and probably paying way too much for other items, I collected a box of Nuovo Record and other period components and the frame went off to Mercian cycles for re-spray and re-decal as near per original as possible.  It has been something quite special to have had the bike for so long and to be able to put it back to what would have been the bike of my dreams way back as a schoolboy in that cycling club in the early 70s.  I hope you like the result.  I’m very much looking forward to riding in some vintage events next summer.  It can’t be often one gets a chance to put a boyhood dream into reality in this manner. It has been a special experience for me.

    Since the original publication The Butler has done numerous local rides plus the Wiggle Le Revolution in France, Eroica Britannia twice (one ridden by my riding buddy) and Eroica Limburg.

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  • Strade Bianche October 15, 2018Teocalli1183
    sportograf-90735606_lowres.jpgTaylor 2.pngTaylor 1.pngsportograf-90759847.jpg

    Early season target set to be fit for Strade Bianche. Entry submitted, just have to hope for a nice warm, dusty event. Would have been OK this year for the Sportif on Sunday had it not been that I could not get out of the UK due to snow causing my flight to be cancelled. Despite having a day in hand I could not find another flight at anything like and affordable price. So hoping for better next Spring. Anyone else going? Entries are still open. Plan is to get there a day early to chill out in Siena and then a few days in Florence post event before flying back.

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