Squadra di Vecchi Tori

Specialized Ad by kiwicyclist
July 16, 2010, 11:51 am
Filed under: Making Fun of Others

I don’t know about you but apart from enjoying the drama and agony of this year’s Tour,  I’m not getting sick of the Specialized Ad featuring Contador and Schleck that is running on the SBS coverage each night which can be found here:


Sure beats that excrutiating jingle ‘I got..I got my bike…I got my bike from ..”

What makes the ad so good it that it captures neatly the type of chest beating and typical baiting that goes on among a bunch of mates who ride together a lot. 

The Squadra are no different and you could say that one or two have PHD’s in trashtalk.  

So, in the spirit of generating some interest in my idea of the “Not the TDF Toro Challenge” mentioned in yesterday’s post I give you my version of the excellent Specialized Ad   (any resemblance to living people, contributers to this blog or real events that may or may not have happened is entirely coincidental…):



Honey I am back from my Ride by marcusoc
June 15, 2010, 2:57 pm
Filed under: Making Fun of Others

Welcome to the next instalment of Thelma and Vincent. Episode II: Honey I Am Back From My Ride.

Our ill-fated star has returned from his ride and he is greeted by his loving companion who is none too pleased that he has retreated to his office.

And so it begins.

You can see Episode I here

Please note that Thelma and Vincent are a COMPLETE FABRICATION and have NO CONNECTION, I repeat, NO CONNECTION with any domestic or other relationship enjoyed by any Squadra member, particularly me.

If you like the adventures of Thelma and Vincent, feel free to leave a comment below. There have been over 15,000 hits on the first cartoon episode and not one comment on this blog. Where is the love?

Honey, can I go riding? by marcusoc
June 7, 2010, 6:23 pm
Filed under: Making Fun of Others

The tori have taken another step along the information superhighway with their first feeble attempt at animation. Click on this link to see a regular household cycling discussion that many of us will be familiar with (to some extent anyway).

The rider in question wants to go for a ride tomorrow. His wife does not want him to. See what you think and please let us know where you think he made his first and subsequent mistakes.

The reason for this post is to see whether anyone has a smarter approach to solving this regular domestic conundrum.

More cartoons to come. You can find Episode II here.

In the meantime, don’t take life too literally – unlike this first time cyclo-cross racer.

Ridewiser Body Temple Program – second update by marcusoc
June 3, 2010, 4:28 pm
Filed under: Making Fun of Others, Tips

Kiwicyclist and I are now in Week 1 of Crowey’s Winter Weight Loss Program or, as it is more formally known, the “Body Temple Program”. My body has been less Temple, more Amusement Park since the Murray to Moyne so I am in ideal “before shot” condition.

For those of you who don’t know him, Rob Crowe is a pro cyclist, Olympian, cycling coach and all round good guy who has forgotten more than most will ever know about “you know what” – and he knows a lot about cycling too. Even though he still dominates A Grade crits around Melbourne, lets just say Crowe aint your average emaciated cyclist. Accordingly he is “part of the program” too.

The program began last Friday with a group “lecture” from Crowey where he laid out the principles we are to follow. These cannot be revealed as they are top secret, available only to Body Temple Grasshoppers. The briefing took place on a Friday night between 5:30 and 7pm. In what I can only guess was a reflection of the intent of this program no beer was served. At a conservative guess, this would make it the first time I have been “dry” during that time period on a Friday in over 12 years. Guess this is serious.

It was good to see a few guys and girls turn up who will no doubt benefit from the program. Some of us were prepared to pose for a couple of before shots on the night.

Check out the rear tyre on Nordic Girl (the tyre on the bike that is).

Crowey has promised that if we stick to our program we will soon end up looking like this.

and this


For those of you wondering (presuming somebody actually has read this far), the purpose of this post was really an excuse to get a few of the above photos up on our blog. The alternative article using these photos, “Big and Burly: Viking Chicks and their Bikes”, probably wasn’t going to get too many hits.

Will report back with a progress update shortly.

Lance Armstrong Tests Positive for Doping? by marcusoc
June 2, 2010, 5:27 pm
Filed under: Making Fun of Others, Pro Cycling

Now for another crazy story in cycling.

There are strong rumours of Fabian Cancellara’s motorised doping along with an equally strong denial published in L’Equipe. Check out the links for the maddest story in cycling in quite a while. And that includes the story of a rider found guilty of doping a few years back who was allowed to keep riding for a few more seasons and was then finally banned. He was allowed to keep some of his post-ban results, but not all – see if you can guess his name. It starts with Alejandro Valverde.

But back to Spartacus – short story is that there is a Youtube video (in Italian with English subtitles) which puts forward the argument that:

1.  Bikes can have a little (and quiet) motor placed inside the seat tube which is completely invisible on an external view. The engine can power a bike at up to 50kph and is operated via a button underneath the brake hood. This video seeks to add some credibility to its name by having a former (and very ordinary) Italian rider, Davide Cassani, explain the workings of the bike.

2. The second part of the video shows “suspicious film” of Cancellara’s winning rides at Roubaix and Flanders where he makes “unnatural accelerations” whilst making odd hand movements around his bars. But it should be noted that the video states upfront that “does not seek to blame anyone”. Just explains how one might cheat then shows a rider who looks like he is employing those measures. For the sake of Cassani and his pals, I am hoping Italian defamation laws are slightly different to ours!

The video is worth watching, if only for background of the Belgian (I believe) commentators’ exclamations of amazement at the Spartacus accelerations. And that footage isn’t getting old any time soon.

In terms of incriminating evidence, I don’t think its time to lock up Cancellara and throw away the key – yet. I personally don’t believe it for a second (April Fools 2 months late?) but the motor has just gone straight to the top of my “Bike Accessory I Am Going to Buy Next” list.

And as for the headline to this post, all I can say is that on seeing the Youtube video, and with Roid Landis’ Lance Drug Allegations in mind, a quick Google search brought me to the latest Trek Madone that Lance is planning on unveiling at this year’s Tour.

Whilst it comfortably exceeds the 6.8kg UCI weight minimum, think it still might raise some eyebrows…

New Cycling Character – RetroBoy by marcusoc
May 27, 2010, 10:24 am
Filed under: Making Fun of Others

Welcome to the latest instalment on cycling characters.

Today it is the turn of RetroBoy, the current Next Big Thing in Cycling given today’s love of all things fixie.

RB is a funny little fellow (think Gollum from Lord of the Rings) who loves, nay worships, steel frames to the exclusion of all else. He waxes lyrical about the “feel” of Columbus Ultrafoco versus Dedaccai 16.5. But the truth is that in a “blind tasting”, RB (like most cyclists) couldn’t tell the difference in ride quality between steel, aluminium or carbon, let alone two different types of steel.

RB takes pride in the fact that his bike is a “classic” and doesn’t mind that it weighs many kilos more than current day bikes. In fact he thinks this is a bonus as riding a heavier bike is “good for training” and makes him a hard man. Well RB, riding a heavier bike doesn’t make you any stronger you misguided fool – you just go slower for the same level of effort…

And the “steel is real” feel you are getting RB, is the extra 3kgs of frame weight.

He also loves telling people he spends a lot of time “on the rollers” because he thinks it makes him sound Old Skool. He neglects to say that he still rides them holding onto a wall.

RB typically searches far and wide for a Local Bike Shop owner that he believes holds the same “Cycling Ideals and Values” as himself (yes, RB actually thinks in these terms – tool). He then becomes “friends” with the LBS owner and spends an unhealthy amount of time in the shop. If in Melbourne, RB usually thinks he is bosom buddies with that Fyxomatosis fella and the Shifter Bikes guy. But really, RB they have to be nice to you because you are a customer.

Given the current proliferation of “vintage” bikes, I suspect that an RB “Classic” may often be any old re-sprayed piece of sh-t frame from the 70s that the LBS has had in a back room gathering dust (except if it is a fyxo or shifter product – they only do classics). Whilst not quite as lucrative to an LBS owner as the SBD, an RB is still a good “john” to have as a customer.

RB favors woollen jerseys and caps of old teams but doesn’t realise that doing things like wearing a Molteni jersey (Eddy Merckx’s team for you ignorami) is surely up there in the top 5 Cycling Style Errors of All Time.

Sometimes he turns up to bunch rides on his fixie or singlespeed and wrecks the rhythm of the bunch by going backwards on every hill because he doesn’t have the legs to motor his gear properly.

RetroBoy can be a source of mirth for his general tool-like tendencies. And he is especially funny in the rain when his wool jersey absorbs 5 kilos of water and he ends up looking like Yoda (think Gollum wearing a really wet oversized footy jumper). Make fun of him whenever you can.

Job outside of cycling: Advertising, architect, anything “designy”. Secretly wants to have sex with a fellow fixie geek and probably has a fetish for guys with tattoos.

Also spends a lot of time of the bike watching “classic” bike gear auctions on ebay.


For inexperienced observers, more advanced RBs have adopted the “Old Skool” look so well that they can easily be confused with an Old Roadie or a Real Trackie – both of these species are not to be messed with under any circumstances!

The Old Roadie and Real Trackie each deserve their own post, but for now here are a few tips for your own safety.

The Old Roadie typically has old gear, lots of scars and baggy skin (string gloves are a giveaway). Upsetting an old roadie (say by mistakenly hanging sh-t on him as an RB or by riding in his rotation without an invitation) can be very dangerous as more than one of them still experience violent mood swings associated with long term amphetamine use (the Cycling Drug Du Jour of the 60s and 70s). Handle with care!

The Real Trackie may also have old gear and lots of scars but carries mental rather than skin baggage – often a legacy of unsupervised steroid abuse (the CDDJ of the 80s). These lunatics have had many years of hard riding at close quarters, and really like fist fighting (especially whilst still on the bike). Therefore they demand more than a modicum of respect.

So take care out there!

Disclaimer: the author owns a steel bike and wears wool jerseys – sometimes. He still lives in fear of Old Roadies and Real Trackies after having the living suitcase punched out of him at a Victorian country velodrome in the late 80s.

New Character – The SBD by marcusoc
May 24, 2010, 7:41 am
Filed under: Making Fun of Others

Welcome to the next instalment of Cycling Characters, the first in a series exploring the Cycling Geek.

There are a number of Geek Sub-Categories – RetroBoy, Weight-Weeny, Aero-Man, and Pro Tragic, just to name a few.

Today we examine a Geek sub-species which has recently multiplied to plague proportions. The growth phase of this Geek Sub-Species commenced with the “perfect storm” of Lance’s 7 Tour victories coinciding with extended bull runs in the property and share markets.

By the time the GFC hit, this Sub-Species had reached such large numbers that the eradication of a few of its members through bankruptcies and job losses did nothing to stem overall growth. The one hope is that no one has ever identified a female version of this particular sub-species,so there is a chance they might be extinct in a generation.

 These are the tools who invented the saying, “Cycling is the New Golf”. Yes, that’s right, our first contestant is “A Suit”. Why is he a Geek you ask? Because he is obsessed with having the most expensive and exotic bike gear, thus he is known as the “Style By Dollars” Geek.

 Key identifiers of the SBD:

– A very expensive Italian frame – typically Colnago or Pinarello but doesn’t mind looking for something a little more exotic if he can find it. This is to impress his fellow SBDs as they can usually be found in homogenous bunches;

– Racing wheels when not racing (typically doesn’t race). Nowadays that is invariably a set of deep dish carbon wheels with clinchers (doesn’t understand the idiocy of this combination), Zipps preferred;

– Assos, Rapha or Capo clothing. But no clashing brands if you don’t mind;

– White Sidis (almost compulsory); and

– Minimal horsepower.

Can handle being dropped out the back of any bunch as his sky-high but baseless self confidence convinces him he is on an easy day and he is always so happy with his appearance that getting dropped is a minor concern.

What does worry him though, is being in a bunch with someone who might have a newer/ better Colnago than him. So he constantly upgrades his steed. Goes without saying that the SBD is universally loved by bike shop owners.

Added bonus of starting cycling was that he could justify his long-held secret desire to start shaving his legs.

Job when not on the bike: law, property development, investment banking or stockbroking. Wife initially disliked all the time hubby spent cycling until she worked out it gives her more time to get porked by the pool cleaner. Consequently, he now enjoys a happy marriage which only adds to his smug but baseless self-satisfaction.

 Favorite pro cyclist: need you ask? Lance of course. And certainly believes there is no way Lance could have ever doped “Because he has done so much for cancer awareness”. However, if SBD has been around cycling for a few years, he also “Believed in Tyler” and donated to the Floyd Fairness Fund.

 Tips on handling them:

– Careful being near them on a windy day. In the lightest breeze, those deep dish rims become spinnaker sails for these pox bike handlers.

– Be near them in the coffee shop. They usually pay for everyone.

– Meet his wife. She plays up.

More than a few appear in the photo in the previous post below.