Velominati Cogal: Welli-Roubaix 2011

Velominati Cogal: Welli-Roubaix 2011

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It’s a call to arms.  No, it’s a call to legs, hearts and minds.

Just as the Illuminati would stage their fabled, and somewhat feared Cabals, we the Velominati will this year stage our own modern-day versions, the Cogals.  A meeting of like-minded misfits brought together by the promise of beer, preceded by a bike ride. Sound like a formula you could enjoy?  Then Welli-Roubaix is just the ticket.

Assembling at Hataitai Velodrome, Wellington on Sunday April 10, the date of the Queen of the Classics, we will share a cocktail of gravel and tarmac (in the place of real cobbles). It’s a ride, not a race, but attacking on the gravé is encouraged, as is banter in between bouts of the V.  Sprinting on the banked concrete at the conclusion of the ride is mandatory, but no ‘winner’ will be crowned, no trophy awarded except that of cold brews and a set of commemorative  V-Cards.

The next morning (Monday), lashings of Chimay, Duvel, mussels and frites en mayo will accompany the live viewing of the the main event at downtown Belgian bar Leuven. We implore the Welliminati to gather en masse, and encourage our Aussieminati to make the jump across the ditch and join in a weekend of V-based activities on and off 700 x 25s.

*In the light of the terrible events in Christchurch, we will dedicate the ride to those unfortunately affected by the earthquake, and donate V dollars (or more) each to a reputable appeal.

Good times, good people, good cause.

// Cogals // Routes

  1. @minion
    Y’all take your beer very seriously. Texans, not so much. We’re more about how cold can you get the beer and how does it taste with either barbeque or Tex-Mex (our version of Mexican food). It pretty much comes down to Lone Star and Shiner Bock.

    We learn early in life that Friday night is high school football, getting drunk, and getting laid. Saturday is college football, getting drunk, and getting in a fight with either your girlfriend or some guy who’s staring at your girlfriend. Sunday is church–mostly Southern Baptist. Real hellfire and brimstone. Makes you feel bad about what you did on Friday and Saturday. By Monday you get over it, and by Friday, you’re ready to go again. What was my point? Oh yeah. We’re not particularly sophisticated, and our beers reflect it.

    One can never accuse Lone Star or Shiner Bock of being great beers. They’re good beers, dependable, consistent, and traditional to Texas.

  2. @G’phant
    Darden Smith–yep. Robert Earl Keen and his college roommate, Lyle Lovett, are from around here. From a little west of Austin, you’ve got Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, and Butch Hancock.

  3. @Steampunk
    Please don’t ever make me responsible for Alanis. On the other hand you are responsible for Ron Sexsmith, who as far as I’m concerned is the mutts nuts.

  4. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    You know, I’ve been a fan of Lyle Lovett for a long time. For me, probably about the coolest modern country music around.
    He finally played in Sydney last year after what must have been about a 20yr wait, and I would have to say it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. Had the punters in the palm of his hand, sublime.

  5. I’m not old enough to drink so this beer conversation is over my head.

  6. @il ciclista medio
    Yup. Weird guy, brilliant (if disturbingly misogynistic) music. Would love to see him live. Bet he rides something odd – recumbent with Campy Chorus, or something.

    Has got me wondering what type of bike other musicians might ride. But I’m not sure we should go there…

  7. @G’phant
    Mmmm, perhaps some of it may be but I was just thinking of something like “North Dakota” which is far from being misogynistic. Quite beautiful and poetic to me. Guessing it’s more of one’s interpretation of the lyric’s plus that cowboy slant he puts on most things.

    Now bikes and musician’s….
    Snoop on a low rider cruiser tandem, blinged to the max, speakers and spliff holder, with some voluptuous bimbo wearing totally inappropriate attire (for a bike that is) on the front, doing the hard work
    Morrisey on a single speed Raleigh, scarf and hounds-tooth jacket with an un-oiled chain giving off just the right whine as he forlornly pedals past
    The Chilli Peppers on BMX’s (too obvious?)
    James Blunt on a tricycle, possibly orange, to allow the continual strumming of guitar while yodelling “You’re beautiful” until unceremoniously being hit by a bus whilst in the cycle lane
    Mariah Carey – solid gold MTB with all of her platinum disc’s melted down to make the bars, some gold CD’s as mirrors, not for traffic but for hair and make-up checks whilst stopping every 10 meters

    I think I could do this all night…..just let me grab another beer……

  8. First, (insufficient) atonement:
    two good posts from yesterday that would benefit from the insight of the cognoscenti herein:
    on the evolution of track gearing over at the Inner Ring.
    the effect of frame geometry on bike handling at Cycling Tips.

    And then the relapse:
    Grimpelder: “He ain’t heavy (he’s my brother)” (The Hollies)

  9. il ciclista medio :
    @Jeff in PetroMetroYou know, I’ve been a fan of Lyle Lovett for a long time. For me, probably about the coolest modern country music around.He finally played in Sydney last year after what must have been about a 20yr wait, and I would have to say it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. Had the punters in the palm of his hand, sublime.

    I’m also a big fan of Lyle Lovett and don’t forget James McMurtry who is another awesome muscian out of Texas (and has anyone mentioned Stevie Ray yet?)

  10. @Buck Rogers
    Until now, nobody has mentioned SRV. But now that you’ve opened the lid just sit back and wait for frank to dive in. He and I are both fans. If Texas is anything, it’s a breeding ground for good music.

  11. @G’phant

    Bet he rides something odd – recumbent with Campy Chorus, or something.

    You mean like this SRAM Red-equipped, Zipp-ladden, Power-Tap enabled, carbon-seated beast?

  12. @Marko
    Ivan Basso: SRV’s Tightrope. Man with stellar talent ruins his life and reputation on drugs, cleans up, and comes back better than he was before.

  13. “Life by the Drop” by SVR for Pantani, not in a judgemental way but in a melancholy way?

  14. One of my biggest regrets is passing up tickets to see SVR in Burlington, VT in summer 1990. My buddies were all going and I had to work so I passed on it as I thought I could see him some time later. Less than two months later, he was dead.

  15. Buck Rogers:
    One of my biggest regrets is passing up tickets to see SVR in Burlington, VT in summer 1990. My buddies were all going and I had to work so I passed on it as I thought I could see him some time later. Less than two months later, he was dead.


    And I’d say it’s Floodin Down in Texas (or about to anyway) for the CoTHO.

  16. @Marko
    Oops, meant to +1 your Life by the Drop Post. It’s NOT good you missed the SRV show. He’s one of the two celebrities that actually made me choke up when they died. The other was John Belushi

  17. @Marko
    Thought you were rubbing a little salt into the wound there for a bit! Yeah, made me realize that I need to see and do the things I dream about whenever the chance presents itself, that’s for sure.

  18. @Buck Rogers
    SRV. Otherwise it’s like saying Campagnoli.

    The Sky is Crying. I was in Oregon on holiday when I heard he died.

  19. @Marko
    Don’t forget John Candy- was he Candian too?

  20. SRV – Texas
    Jimi – Cascadia

    What does this all mean?

  21. @Steampunk
    God Dammint! Acronym Dyslexia! Where’s that edit post function again? :)

  22. God DAMMIT! I even spelled Dammit wrong in the last post!

  23. With regard to music, I wish every Velominati who has a love of blues, progressive country, Texas swing, and straight forward rock and roll could have lived when and where I lived. Read Wikipedia’s history for Stevie Ray Vaughan. I grew up in Dallas and have heard, either recorded or live, every artist listed. I’ve been to most of the venues. Same for Austin. I lived in Austin from ’85 to ’94. The scene was so full of the greatest musicians ever, that it became commonplace to bump into people like Ronnie Lane (I saw at my local hardware store) and Ian McLagan–both from the Small Faces and relocated from England to Austin. Side note: Ian McLagan married Kim Kerrigan, first wife of Keith Moon. I am a huge Who fan. Kim was killed in a car accident down the road from my mom and step-dad’s house in Bastrop, just outside of Austin. Mom, who owned the Old Main Bookstore in Bastrop, was acquainted with Kim (Mom knew or met everyone in and around Bastrop), but didn’t really make the connection to The Who until I told her.

    In Austin, Antone’s was down the street from where I lived. If a huge tour band came through (Rolling Stones, U2, etc.), they’d head to Antone’s after their show to jam until all hours of the morning. There was a pic of the guys from U2 at the counter of Conan’s Pizza where they ate before heading over to Antone’s.

    Now in Houston, I live down the street from Fitzgerald’s. Everyone from SRV to the Ramones played there.

    One cannot throw a rock in Austin/Dallas/Houston without hitting some ridiculously awesome musician or a well respected recording studio, guitar shop, record shop, or venue.

    Oh, before we were married, my wife and I lived next door to Lyle Lovett’s girlfriend. I was cooking dinner one night, looked up out the window, and saw that distinct stovepipe hairstyle walking across my lawn to our neighbor’s house. Listen to the song “I Married Her Just Because She Looks Like You”. My wife and I swear he wrote that about our neighbor who was in Lyle’s life before Julia Roberts. Our neighbor looked just like Julia Roberts. Connect the dots.

    Charlie Sexton. The Fabulous Thunderbirds. Alejandro Escovedo. Eric Johnson. Kelly Willis. Charlie and Bruce Robison–in Austin, just about anytime you stuck your head in the door of a dozen different places, these folks were playing. My wife is sure that, before Natalie Maines joined, the Dixie Chicks played at a picnic where she worked.

    And to bring it back to cycling, Steve Hegg stayed at my apartment for a week in between the Tour of Texas and the Spenco 500. Really good guy. Really, really fast.

    And I witnessed a conversation, standing on Highway 360, in Austin, after a time trial (I think), between Eddie B. and Armstrong (when he was a killer teen triathlete) about giving up triathlon and becoming a bike racer full-time.

    There really is something in the water around here.

  24. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    Amazing stuff!!! But what strikes me most about your post is the chance that you had to STOP The COTHO from becoming a roadie!!!!!! Man, you could have talked him out of it, you were THERE, but you DIDN’T and just look at what happened!!!!!! It’s almost as bad as missing a chance to kill Hitler or something! Maybe Tarantino can make a movie out of it with an alternate ending?

  25. @Buck Rogers
    Nah. He wasn’t very nice, but we were all amazed at his talent. I have old teammates who still work for him. I can’t say too much bad stuff for fear of never working in Texas again. Or maybe succumbing to a mysterious death.

  26. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    Good to know that Omertà is alive and well in Texas! :)

  27. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    My wife and I have given occasional thought to taking a year off to travel North America by RV as a family, before the kids are too old for it to be ok (in terms of their schooling). One of the things we would plan to do is make sure we got to South by Southwest. But maybe we’ll just go to Austin for the whole year. What’s the riding like?

  28. @Buck Rogers
    Well, for me, it’s not Omerta. I know no details, so I wouldn’t have any specifics. What I do know is, when he’s not happy, the close folks put it this way–“That’s just Lance being Lance.” If I were close to a global mega-star, I’d probably learn to accept quirks.

  29. Jeff in PetroMetro :From a little west of Austin, you’ve got Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, and Butch Hancock.

    Put them together, you get Flatlanders. Effin’ brilliant stuff.

  30. @Nate
    Yes you do, and yes it is.

  31. @G’phant
    Riding in Austin: I moved away in ’94, so I don’t know any routes anymore. Real estate development has plowed over a bunch of my old training loops. When I lived there, the Tour of Texas was the first stage race of the global calendar for the amateur scene. All the national teams from all over the world showed up, as well as all the major domestic squads. The weather was usually good, but it could be bad enough to toughen up riders. It was hilly. It could get windy and hot. Point-to-point races were mixed with criteriums. It went all over the state, but it was based out of Austin. I got to train with true global studs: Dutch national team, Canadian national team, domestic gods. It was like the music scene, only on bikes. And it was only for about a month, but it was AWESOME. Pretty cool, successful racers have crashed at my place or, at least, came over for dinner and went out with me on training rides. Races? I was never fast enough to be amongst them.

    Riding now–I hear it’s as good as ever, just farther out. It’s very hilly west of Austin. It’s more rolling and gets flatter east of Austin.

    It’s always beautiful. If I were hi-tech in anyway, I’d move back. Software is the industry that drives the economy.

    Both you and Buck Rogers should get the book “Best Bike Rides–Texas” by Andy White. I don’t know if it’s been updated since ’98, but most of the rides are probably still do-able. It’s helpful if you want to get a feel for what to expect. Most of the rides are in Central Texas, in the Hill Country. The next large grouping is in North Texas. The rest are scattered about. Austin and San Antonio are in the Hill Country. Anything around those two cities is great for cycling.

  32. @frank
    Is that your recumbent, Frank? If it is, I don’t know what to say. It’s like finding out the Pope puts on a shiny suit, fake sideburns, blow dries his hair big, and moonlights as a Protestant TV evangelist.

  33. Fuck’n A

  34. @Marko
    Bwa-ha-ha! A day for the hardmen.

  35. @Marko
    VERY NICE!!! Let the games begin!

  36. @Marko
    I’ve been looking forward to tomorrow morning for quite awhile. This is going to be fun. It’s a good-looking field, too.

  37. I love the Flecha comment here. Cobblestones in his dreams and soul, not just on the bike. Beautiful.

  38. So very soon, all will be right with the world. A-Merckx.

  39. @Jeff in PetroMetro

  40. I am trying something technologically new for me this weekend. I now have mobile internet access on the CLEAR network. Theoretically, if I can get a live feed and I can stay on the CLEAR network, I will go to my daughter’s riding lessons in the morning and not miss a thing. Rule #11 will be mildly enforced. I will not be on my bike, but I will worship at the alter of all things cobbled, cold, and miserably beautiful.

    It’s good to be with you all for 2011.

  41. @Welliminati… Frikkin awesome news, we have secured the Leuven Belgian Beer Cafe in downtown Welli to watch the live coverage of Paris Roubaix on Monday April 11! While checking out their website I came across their cycling club, and emailed them. Todd, who ran the rides said they had folded due to lack of support, but is willing to give us all discounted breakfast and beers while we take in the action. Sweet bros!

  42. @brett
    Fantastic. Something about the phrase ‘discounted breakfast and beers’ just sounds … right.

  43. Did a reconnaissance run today, added about 40km of new route, and upped the gravé sectors from one to six, plus a grass sector. And it will be Hell, today Rigid had a flat and destroyed his front derailleur! If it rains it will be carnage!

  44. Just put the call out to the Augusta, Georgia area that in honor of Milan-Sanremo I am going to ride 150 kms (half the distance the pros will ride) on Saturday. I suppose it should actually be 149 kms as I think MSR is actually 298 kms but I do so love a rounded-off number. I realize it is not a super long ride for a lot of people, but this early in the season it will be a REAL ride for me! Hopefully a few people join in but it might just be a solo jaunt for around 5 hours!

  45. As for my own mini-MSR here at Ft Gordon in Augusta, Georgia I actually had one guy show up and ride one 40 km loop with me before he stopped. I ended up doing 161 kms. First time I have gone that far in a long time. The guy who rode the first loop had an altimeter watch with him (not me, I rode with just time showing on my cyclometer :) and said he will let me know the elevation per lap as it is a HILLY loop!

  46. @frank
    Is your Pre-Flanders ride in Seattle still happening this Saturday? What’s the time and starting location?

  47. Bretto, how long has the ride pushed out to now?
    And are freds allowed?

  48. CJ:
    Bretto, how long has the ride pushed out to now?
    And are freds allowed?

    Only those whose names are not Fred.

    Not entirely sure of the distance, with only a V-Meter to go off. Last year was around 75km from memory, and with the added gravé it’ll be 100 0r so. Or I’m completley wrong and we’ll be out there all day fixing punctures and fashioning chains from fencing wire…

  49. Just settling in to watch Australia-US rugby match from Wellington Regional Stadium. You lot haven’t whored out your stadium names to the corporate shill?
    Oi, already an Oz try in the time it took to type that sentence.

  50. Yes! Finally someone writes about dawson foundation.

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