Ask Nina

20130304pier angeli_50s-cycologist

Here at lovely Quarterly Bicycle we are proud to introduce Dr. Nina Burkhardt and her new advice column, “Ask Nina” in which she will provide answers to questions submitted by our readers.

Dr. Burkhardt was born in Glendale, CA in 1932, oldest of three sisters. She is a practicing clinical cycologist, licensed in California. While her parents always put a strong emphasis on education, it was the Randonneurs USA Members’ Handbook that inspired her interest in psychology.

20130304RUSA Handbook-RUSA

Co-founder of the Mellow-Vélo Institute, home of Postmodern Cycle-Therapy (PCT) and a prolific author, Nina’s recent books include Collaborative Cyclo-Therapy: Relationships and Conversations with Bicycles (co-editor Dr. Deborah Chang); Innovations in the Reflecting Process: The Inspiration of Jack Holmgren;  and Interpreting Hallucinations: A Definitive Guide for the Super Randonneur (co-editors Diego Garcia and Guillaume Apollinaire).

Kindly submit questions to “Dear Nina” c/o lovely Quarterly Bicycle


14 thoughts on “Ask Nina

  1. Richard P. Schwinng

    Dear Nina,

    What shade of blue will make me feel best about my randonneuse and myself? Herse or Singer?

    My friends all say full chrome is the only way to feel good about yourself but I am not comfortable with all the attention a full chrome randonneuse garners and I do not think it flatters my complexion.

    Please help.

    1. quarterlybicycle Post author

      Dear Rich,

      A poor choice in bicycle color mimics a number of other poor life choices which, in turn can lead to a downward spiral of stress and depression. The choice of bicycle color can be a symptom of an underlying personality disorder. Color preferences can indicate the cyclist’s cyclo-social pecking order on the bike paths, with the owners of red, black and chromed bicycles struggling for dominant position. The riders of pastel colored bicycles might be seen as retiring and non-confrontational. The blues used by Herse and Singer are safe, classic choices.

      A second consideration is the color of your cycling shoes. Are you a fashion victim following the red pumps trend that has been so popular lately? If the answer is yes, then by all means do choose a shade of blue that doesn’t clash with your pumps. But don’t be fooled into believing that the red pumps trend will last forever.

      Above all else, good communication is the key to every successful relationship. Consider how your randonneuse feels about color. Go out for a ride together in the countryside following your favorite backroad route, just the two of you, and when the moment is right, broach the topic with your bicycle. Does a safe, classic blue really suit the needs of both of you? Hopefully the answer is yes, otherwise be prepared for some work which might require a few sessions of joint cyclo-therapy.

      Good luck to you both!

      Yours Truly,

  2. Glen in Galveston

    Dear Nina,

    My wife is an intelligent and emotionally supportive partner, yet she still has trouble reconciling herself with my need to go on long bicycle rides that take me out of the home most of the day. Now, I’m not as intelligent nor emotionally perceptive as my wife, but it has become enough of an issue that I’m now thinking about switching to high-volume, low-pressure tires–for instance, something like 584x41mm. I guess my question to you is: red or black?

    1. quarterlybicycle Post author

      Dear Glen,

      It’s obvious that you and your wife have a very healthy marriage.
      Your question is probably the most common one we receive from randonneurs. It can be a difficult problem, even for the healthiest of relationships. In this case the answer is simple: go with black! Otherwise the colors will be too similar with red tires and red pumps.

      Yours Truly,

      1. Keith 'Rock' Burkhardt

        Nina’s Better Half here – Keith Burkhardt (aka Rock) is the name.

        White is the best tire color for manly men. Personally, it matches my sunglasses, my reeboks and my belt. Proper color coordination sends the right messages to the randonneuses on the byways and in the bars.

        Black is wishy washy and sends the broads mixed messages. Be a man – ride white.

  3. Sheldon Beige - bicycle mechanic

    Dear Nina

    I am worried about my first Fleche and being expected to be cheerful and full of high spirits for 24 hours. Will I be asked to share bag balm and is it ok to refuse? Will there be singing? I am very self conscious of my singing voice.

    Thank You Nina.

  4. Lance Armstrong


    when me and my buddies pass the can of bag balm around, is it permissible to double dip?

  5. quarterlybicycle Post author

    Dear Sheldon,

    Fear not my freewheeling friend. Your first Flèche is a rite of passage, something you will always remember. Why not bring along a kazoo to accompany the chanteurs on your team?

    With Kind Regards,

  6. Pingback: Don’t Ask Nina | Quarterly Bicycle

    1. randonneur-poet gazette Post author

      Nina has requested you stop stalking her. She wishes to take her showers and enjoy her breakfast melon filled with cottage cheese in peace.

      Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated

      Fausto Coppi, Public Relations Information Officer intern


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