Velocio says ...

Seven Commandments of Cycling by Velocio (1853 - 1930)

  1. Make your stops short and infrequent, so as not to lose your drive.

  2. Eat lightly and often. Eat before you’re hungry, drink before you’re thirsty.

  3. Never ride until you are so tired that you cannot eat or sleep.

  4. Put on extra clothing before you’re cold, and take it off before you’re hot. Don’t be afraid of exposing your skin to the sun, air and rain.

  5. Don’t drink wine, eat meat, or smoke, or at any rate while in the saddle.

  6. Never rush things. Ride within yourself, particularly during the first few hours of a ride when you feel strong and are tempted to force the pace.

  7. Never pedal out of vanity.

“Every cyclist between twenty and sixty in good health can ride 130 miles in a day with 600 feet of climbing, provided he eats properly and provided he has the proper bicycle.”

“…people do not realize that vigorous riding impels the senses. Perception is sharpened, impressions are heightened, blood circulates faster, and the brain functions better. I can still vividly remember the smallest details of tours of many years ago. Hypnotized? It is the traveler in a train or car who is hypnotized.’

“After a long day on my bicycle, I feel refreshed, cleansed, purified. I feel that I have established contact with my environment and that I am at peace. On days like that I am permeated with a profound gratitude for my bicycle.”

“There were two of us on a fine day in May. We started in the sunshine and stripped to the waist. Halfway, clouds enveloped us and the temperature tumbled. Gradually it got colder and wetter, but we did not notice it. In fact, it heightened our pleasure. We did not bother to put on our jackets or our capes, and we arrived at the little hotel at the top with rivulets of rain and sweat running down our sides. I tingled from top to bottom.”

Paul de Vivie - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Great reading Spirito. What a dude!

Just realised the Wiki page explains the origin of that well-known Henri Desgrange quote.

So what was Viv’s theory about smaller wheel sizes?

“There were two of us on a fine day in May. We started in the sunshine and stripped to the waist. Halfway, clouds enveloped us and the temperature tumbled. Gradually it got colder and wetter, but we did not notice it. In fact, it heightened our pleasure. We did not bother to put on our jackets or our capes, and we arrived at the little hotel at the top with rivulets of rain and sweat running down our sides. I tingled from top to bottom.”

yeh, i bet he got real sick after that ride but.

The fully story of the Desgrange quote …

Incredible as it seems today, Velocio actually had to fight for the adoption of his derailleur gear. The cyclists of the period resented this marvelous invention as a stigma of weakness. They stoutly maintained that only a fixed gear could lead to smooth pedaling. Even Henri Desgrange, the originator of the Tour de France, attacked Velocio. To defend himself, Velocio wrote dozens of articles, answered hundreds of letters, cycled thousands of miles (average, 12,000 a year). At his suggestion the Touring Club de France organized a test in 1902. Competitors were to ride a mountainous course of 150 miles with a total climb of 12,000 feet. The champion of the day, Edouard Fischer, on a single-speed was pitched against Marthe Hesse on a Gauloise with a three-speed derailleur. The Gauloise won hands down. The newspapers were ecstatic because “the winner never set foot to the ground over the entire course.” Still Desgrange would not concede. Wrote he in his influential magazine, L’Equipe:

“I applaud this test, but I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn’t it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailleur? We are getting soft. Come on fellows. Let’s say that the test was a fine demonstration-for our grandparents! As for me, give me a fixed gear!”

Said Velocio with admirable restraint: “No comment.”

The battle of the derailleur dragged on for a full thirty years. It was not until the 1920’s that it was finally won. Velocio himself advocated wide-ratio gears for touring: from 35 to 85. His normal riding gear was 72.

Not too sure about his theory’s on why small wheels were better, but I liked the way he argued …

“That universal agreement has fixed on 70 centimetres as the proper size for wheels does not in any way prove that this diameter is best; it simply proves that cyclists follow each other like sheep… Make no mistake, uniformity is leading us directly towards boredom and towards routine, whilst diversity, even though it distracts us, holds our attention, our interest and the spirit of enquiry always on the watch. To change is not always to perfect, and I know that better than any others newly come to cyclo-technology. But to stand still, to sink into a rut, that is the worst of things for industries and for men.”

More reading on Velocio by Clifford Graves who is considered the godfather of touring for the Yanks …
Velocio, Grand Seigneur

That last one… wasn’t that Gary Fisher…?

Up too late, both of us. The early touring cyclists’ adaptation and modification of derailleur gears for touring was pretty cool, there were some huge gear ranges going on there. Racing bikes was not, at the time, where the big money was at, which I think is great.

  • Joel

Horatio? Was that you?

Ha !!!

Horatio- great grandson of Velocio !!!

Better get the six pack going