Author Archives: "Sal Ruibal"

Sal Ruibal’s Dirty Words | Everybody Must Get Stoned

07.05.2013 //

By Sal Ruibal I’ve been a bit stymied in my attempt to ride my bike for an hour a day instead of watching the Tour de France at the crack of dawn. Almost every dawn since the race began, cold rain has been pouring down. For some sick reason, showers reappear about every four hours.

Dirty Words | My Tour de France

06.28.2013 //

By Sal Ruibal The 100th Tour de France begins Saturday on the French island of Corsica. The entire entourage that is the bolus of the Tour will cross the Ligurian Sea on an ocean liner. Suzanne, one of six student journalists who won a spot covering Le Tour, describes her delight at spending the next

Dirty Words | “All Politics is Locomotion”

05.31.2013 //

By Sal Ruibal Living in the Washington, D.C. area can really mess up your grip on reality. When you think of all the trillions of dollars that pour into and out of this medium-sized city on the Potomac River, it can make your own lot in life seem really, truly insignificant. A billion is chump

Waiting for the Giro

04.30.2013 //

By Sal Ruibal | Photo by Veeral Patel You can’t fast-forward the Giro d’Italia. You can’t buy an advance copy before your friends. You have to wait. In the rain and in the cold, you don’t bitch about the weather. It, too, is part of the Giro. You, me and the Stelvio. We wait for

Dirty Words | Fear of the Unknown

04.19.2013 //

By Sal Ruibal I can’t even get angry with humanity anymore. Everywhere you look, somebody or something is blowing up and the TV and the Internets are full of looping video of flames and smoke and body parts. Some people are getting blown up with missiles from our drones. Some people are getting killed or

Dirty Words: The Sky was Born Today

04.12.2013 //

By Sal Ruibal “Oshkosh, Wisconsin, sounds like the squarest city in America. The home of OshKosh B’gosh and Ardy & Ed’s Drive-In is hardly a Portland on Lake Winnebago. But if not for a momentous event that took place here in 1972, the bike world as we know it would not exist. Singlespeeds, fixed-gear track

Dirty Words | The Road to Hell

04.06.2013 //

Good intentions, bad drivers and lots of coffee By Sal Ruibal Sunday, muddy, Sunday. It just turns out that way. Paris-Roubaix is probably the toughest one-day race on the UCI road calendar, with the possible exceptions of the super-sized, full-length seasonal classics of Milan-San Remo and Giro di Lombardia. This season’s MSR was shortened mid-race

Dirty Words | Brother, can you lend me a Hand Job?

03.29.2013 //

By Sal Ruibal Friends, riders and countrymen, lend me your eyes. I come to praise the Ibis Hakkalügi Hand Job, not to bury it. But in the very near future, when humans no longer require cantilever brakes on their cyclocross bikes and demand the demonic screeching device that is the disc-brake, the Handjob will disappear

The Spring Classics: Two’s a rivalry, three’s a crowd

03.26.2013 //

By Sal Ruibal | Photos by Mark Johnson One of the positive things about doing anything for a long time is seeing how patterns form. In the small, but very important, universe of the Spring Classics, we are now witnessing a change in the natural order.

Dirty Words | Faux Roubaix: A Cold Day in Hell

03.22.2013 //

By Sal Ruibal Photo by Rich Hays Those guys in Paris-Roubaix ain’t so tough. The April 7th race doesn’t even start in Paris, so right off the bat there’s a whole slew of road not traveled. The start in Compiegne is like a mini-Bruges, an old courtyard surrounded by a bunch of skinny European riders

Dirty Words: Il Papa needs a brand new bike

03.15.2013 //

By Sal Ruibal I’m not a “lapsed Catholic,” I’m more of an eclipsed Catholic. The whole idea of finding my way in the Church has been eclipsed by riding my way through the wonderful woods and creeks just behind my house on Sunday afternoons. I was an altar boy for many years, as were my

Dirty Words: Note to North Korea—Don’t mess with our “Missile”

03.08.2013 //

By Sal Ruibal Illustration by Ryan LaBar I usually like to keep my politics separate from my fun, but since this was National Bike Summit week in D.C. and one of the goals – before the “Snowquester” blew in – was to influence our elected politicians to do more for cycling by getting some U.S.

Dirty Words: How I got that shot

03.01.2013 //

Words and Photos by Sal Ruibal I know this will come as a surprise to many of you, but some people think I’m a bit weird. That’s not because I ride a rigid, single-speed steel 29er in all conditions. And it is not because I would rather ride in a pair of German Bundeswehr knickers

Dirty Words: Zinn There, Haven’t Done That But I’ll Get Around To It Someday

02.22.2013 //

Photo and words by Sal Ruibal I saw that Lennard Zinn has recently updated his best-selling book “Zinn & the Art of Road Bike Maintenance,” the world’s most helpful and comprehensive guide to bicycle repair and maintenance. I’ve met Lennard Zinn and rode with him in Italy for about two seconds while two Japanese journalists

The Ronde van Onnozelaars

02.20.2013 //

By Sal Ruibal On the face of it, cycling seems to make sense. But it didn’t take long for cyclists to devolve into all sorts of deviant behavior on two wheels, such as racing over roads made of large chunks of stone, smeared with mud, animal waste, ice pellets and, in the case of the

Dirty Words: Why I hate my bike

02.15.2013 //

Photo and words by Sal Ruibal Are we all over the Valentine’s Day lovey glow? Eaten enough of those pink candy hearts and slurped enough overpriced wine to move those bike shorts from L to XL? Is more of you hanging over the waistband than bulging under it? Time to start hating your bike.

Book Report: Merckx 525

02.11.2013 //

That there is no greater cyclist than Eddy Merckx is an established fact. Records are made to be broken, but the man who can exceed his 525 career race wins has yet to be born. His legend is well known and this beautiful book lovingly acknowledges every win. But what makes Merckx 525 so special

A Confederacy of Cycling Dunces

02.07.2013 //

By Sal Ruibal Illustration by Ryan LaBar “I’ve learned a lot in the last couple of months about the effect Lance can have on me in getting me to ride and getting me in shape. I don’t want to let him down. I have a really good reason now, other than winning races, to want

Dirty Words: This is a Lance-Free Zone

01.18.2013 //

All this cable-channel brouhaha is about is money. Oprah money, Lance money, Discovery money, UCI money, money, money, money.

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