Paceline Podcast #87

Paceline Podcast #87

Phil Gaimon sits in on this edition of the Paceline. He plays along with all our normal antics: The Very Important Question and Paceline Picks. But what he really wants to talk about (and so do we) is his new book, “Draft Animals: Living the Pro Dream.”

You’re going to love this conversation. Gaimon peels back the layers of being on a pro tour team. You’ll find out that like an onion, sometimes the top level of the sport can make your eyes tear.

To kick things off, Phil, Fatty and Patrick answer the week’s very important question: What is the appropriate role of earbuds in cycling?

A. Rock On!
B. One bud in, one ear free
C. It’s OK for mountain biking but not on the road
D. Just say no



This podcast is supported by Health IQ, a life insurance company that celebrates cyclists and other health conscious people.  Visit to learn more & get a free quote, or check out their life insurance FAQ page to get your questions answered.

The Paceline is also supported by Eliel Cycling. Crafted in California, the Eliel brand combines the latest technology with cycling tradition to deliver an experience that is authentically California. View their retail gear and custom program at


Show Links:

All things Phil Gaimon

Kirkland Vitamin C

White Noise Machine

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  1. Nik

    I have to say the “VIQ” segment in recent podcasts has been agonizingly tedious so far. The worst was definitely the seemingly unending talk about who puts which foot forward and why. Totally without insight or consequence. I used to listen to your podcast while driving, and I can’t skip over the boring stuff because I can’t fiddle with my phone while driving. Please make it stop ! If this continues in the same vein, I may have to stop listening to the podcast entirely.
    Also, Mr Hotten, while I used to enjoy your contribution to the podcast, recently I am dreading your “Paceline Pick” at the end since you have decided to turn this into an opportunity to read a long pre-written speech. It feels very stilted, completely unlike the tone of the rest of the podcast. The Paceline Pick about the Dodge Ram pickup truck was very tedious. If you like that truck, you could tell us in less than 10 sentences that you got one as a rental car at Leadville and why you liked it. I forget what your next Paceline Pick was, but again it was a long tedious speech. I think it may have been about some guy who got cancer. That’s very sad for him and his family, but how is that a Paceline Pick, unless Paceline Pick is simply your opportunity to deliver whatever speech you want to a captive audience.
    These pre-written speeches feel a bit like you were assigned an essay topic in school, and you had to fill a specified number of pages. For example, you include sentences about “the coffee was pretty good” in the Leadville/Dodge Ram story, which serves no purpose other than to make an already long essay even longer.
    On the positive side, because the Paceline Pick is a the very end, it’s not so bad since I can just turn off the podcast at that point without missing anything. I can do that without taking my hands off the steering wheel. With the VIQ I don’t have that option.

  2. Nik

    Of course, I am aware that I’m getting your podcast for free and if I don’t like it, I don’t have to listen to it. It’s your podcast and you can do what you want. I have enjoyed much of the first 84 (approximately) episodes so thank you for that.

    1. Author
      Michael Hotten

      You’re welcome. And thanks for listening, all the way through. Yes, I do write my Paceline Picks.

      I have considered shortening the picks, and I may at some point. But for now, they keep me entertained and my wife likes them too. And here’s the thing, The Paceline is not making anyone rich so the three of us look for ways to keep it fun, whether that be the VIQ or the Picks or the goofy drops. We are the hosts but we are also the audience. I guess what I am saying is, pick up trucks, guys who get cancer, guys who suffer from mental illness, moms who let us ride, weather websites, bikes licensed by rock bands and whatever else catches my attention will, for now, continue to be my Paceline Pick.

      P.S. I’m not in this show so your ears will be spared … this time.

  3. Dizzy

    Phil Gaimon for an entire hour…Holy Cookie Monster RKP! What a coup!
    Awesome show, especially getting Phil to read sections of his new book. Rock on!

  4. Quentin

    Please make sure that’s not the last time Phil is on the podcast!

    I can relate to Phil’s idea that almost all of us eventually are forced to confront our limitations. In competitive cycling that came quickly (if not immediately) for me, in other areas of life it came later. There are some who will go through life always being the best, but they are vanishingly few, and I’m not sure I would even want to be one of them.

  5. Kevin

    I’ve never watched any of Phil’s videos because I always just thought it was a hugely uncool move for a pro cyclist to go out of his way to ruin the fun for all us regular guys who are just looking for a way to challenge ourselves through Strava. It almost felt like he was intentionally insulting us for wanting to be better and laughing in our faces, and I didn’t want to support him in any way. This interview helped me to see that there is more to the story. I still don’t really understand his motive, but at least I’m now motivated to try to learn more. The book sounds very interesting too.

    1. Padraig

      Go look for (occasional RKP contributor and former Bicycling Magazine editor) Peter Flax’s feature on Thorfinn Sasquatch on Cyclingtips. That will help you understand why Phil is knocking off all those KOMs. I’d rather Phil have them than some doper who isn’t even good enough to make it in the pro ranks. Peter also did a great piece on Phil that fills even more of this in.

  6. tallswimmmer

    I’m curious – Fatty, does Phil know how hard you rep for JV after your year training with him? Between the lines it seems that you probably got more coaching/advice/contact with him than Phil did while on the team (I’m waiting on my book order to confirm this suspicion).

  7. TomInAlbany

    Padraig didn’t get a Paceline Pick?

    Hottie, Keep’em coming. I usually enjoy your essays.

    Fun to hear Phil tlak about his book. I read his first one and will probably get this one as well.

  8. David

    I’ve been going with the Paceline Podcast for several more months, having come over eventually from with withdrawal effects, and I’m liking them, but #87 was a especially good one.
    The banter / interview with Phil Gaimon was interesting, informative and fun many: it worked really well.
    More like this one, please.
    The VIQ is, I know ironic, but it sometimes leaves me a bit cold, except and especially with this one, if I knew where to vote I’d go and vote.
    “A”, guys, rock on – but go and buy your selves some (After)Shokz. You can hear the traffic, talk to people, hear those curiously disconcerting bike noises, the quality is good enough, (who needs hi-fi on a bike), and best of all for you chaps, they’re American, (website says Syracuse), so you get to solder them up periodically, and find out how they’re made inside (quite nicely as it turns out). Very strongly recommended instead of in-ear buds.
    Proposal for a future VIQ: How ok is it whilst on a solo Sunday ride, for a group of 3 riders to attack you in turn, when you’ve just drifted past them at +0.25mph faster than them, like, was it Movistar who attacked Tom Demoulin at last year’s Vuelta? So that definitely didn’t happen to me today, and I wasn’t left shredded like some Sufferfest Chamois at the roadside.
    Keep up the podcasting.

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