The Keepers

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Cycling is a mighty sport with a rich and complex history. Every company, racer, piece of kit, and component has a legend, a story behind it; in many cases it also has a personal and nostalgic connection to our lives.  While this particular sport is steeped in tradition, it is also fiercely modern, a fact that serves only to deepen its complexity.

All these factors combine to provide an unique atmosphere and breeds devoted and loyal disciples of our great sport. We are of a peculiar nature; we seek out the highest mountains and the roughest roads on which to worship at the altar of the Man with the Hammer. Our legs are what propel us; our minds are what drive us. We refer to our shaved legs in the third person – the legs – and speak of distance in kilometres and measure sizes in centimetres regardless of what country we are in.  We adhere strictly to the Canon of Cycling’s Etiquette: The Rules.

A Velominatus is a disciple of the highest order. We spend our days pouring over the very essence of what makes ours such a special sport and how that essence fits into Cycling’s colorful fabric.  This is the Velominati’s raison d’être. This is where the Velominati can be ourselves. This is our agony – our badge of honor – our sin.

I have a unique way of looking at bicycles. A good bicycle and it’s components are beautiful things to me. I’m not just talking about appearance, but also how the frame and components show the dreams of those who made them.

- Gianni Bugno, Hardman and Italian cycling legend

Perhaps we are too wrapped up in the past, but the Velominati don’t believe that to be the case.  After all, the greatest lessons can be learned from the past and those lessons can then be applied to the present and may then allow us to more fully experience the future.

The Keepers:

Frank Strack, Founder and EditorProfile photo of frank

A lifelong Velominatus, the history and culture within cycling fascinates Frank and, if given even the vaguest of excuses, will discuss it to exhuastion. A devoted cycling aesthete, the only thing more important to him than riding a bike well is looking good doing it.

Frank is co-author along with the other Keepers of the popular book, The Rules, The Way of the Cycling Disciple and also writes a monthly column for the magazine, Cyclist.

Email him directly at rouleur at velominati dot com.

Brett Kennedy, Founding Contributor / EditorProfile photo of brett

Whilst Brett hails from the land Down Under, he hates that fucking song. An Aussie now living as a Kiwi, he is at home on the rich dirt of New Zealand’s mountain bike trails as he is on the scorching tarmac of Australia. Despite his geographical disadvantage, the cobblestones and kassien of Belgium and Northern France hold a special place in his heart and it’s where you’ll find him each Spring, either with a bike underneath him or a fine Belgian ale in his hand.

John Andrews, Author and Community Relations ManagerProfile photo of Gianni

Gianni bought a champagne gold Peugeot with sew-up tires in 1976. That was the beginning of the Troubles. Think Magnus Backstead without the big engine or rugged Swedish good looks. He has a small altar in his crawlspace containing smaller photos of Francesco Moser, Eros Poli and Gianni Bugno.

Marko Carlson, Author and Partner Relationship ManagerProfile photo of Marko

Marko lives and rides in the upper midwest of the States, Minnesota specifically. “Cycling territory” and “the midwest” don’t usually end up in the same sentence unless the conversation turns to the roots of LeMond, Hampsten, Heiden and Ochowitz. While the pavé and bergs of Flanders are his preferred places to ride, you can usually find him harvesting gravel along forest and farm roads. He owes a lot to Cycling and his greatest contribution to cycling may forever be coining the term “Rainbow Turd”.

Jim Thomson, Author

Jim rides a bike a lot and hates people.


The Community:

Velominati.com is less about the articles and more about the conversation. Those of you who read more and poster more, become an integral part of the discussion and help carry the momentum forward. There are several levels of Velominatus*:

Level 4 Velominatus: The casual observer and occasional poster.

Level 3 Velominatus: The regular reader and casual poster.

Level 2 Velominatus: The devoted reader and regular poster.

Level 1 Velominatus: The most committed of reader and poster.

Gray, Black, and Orange Order Velominatus: Once having passed Level 1, the inducted among the Order wear three color badges, based on their rank.


Conduct:

We strive to foster an open, fun, critical, and censure-free environment. Any critisism of our writing, spelling, grammar, or intelligence is welcome and nothing said will ever get you suspended from the site. That said, the code of conduct is governed by Rule #43 and the Piti Principle. Members consitently exhibiting behavior that falls outside these parameters will be warned to check themselves; should warnings go unheeded, we may elect to issue a suspention. The first offense will result in a one-week suspension, the second in a two week suspension, and the third in a three week suspension. A fourth offense will result in a lifetime ban.

Velominati reserves the right to edit posts with the express interest to preserve the spirit of the conversation and the community. Regarding posts that address a gramatical or typographical error, Velominati may elect to take their input, correct the error in the articles where appropriate, and editing posts that point them out. This editorial action is not to serve as a censurey entity, but to preserve the sprit of the conversation. That said, we endeavor to only edit those posts that point out a minor issue and only in the event that we make the edit before the post has yeilded further discussion. Furthermore, when possible, we will strive to acknowledge said poster for their correction.

Want to contribute a story to the Velominati? Tell us why.

*Levels are calculated based on the previous year’s activity.

  1. @frank Thanks Frank. I think there were three or four at least – it seemed to happen in two bursts, so I could post, then I couldn’t, then I could, then I couldn’t and now it seems OK.

    This would be where to insert that gif about production bugs, if I had it.

    No worries, whatever you’ve done seems to have wiped the spam, so I guess it’s worth a bit of collateral.

  2. @frank Trying again… ironically my reply last night didn’t appear.

    That’s the weird thing. I can post, then I can’t, then I can, then I can’t.

    This is probably the third time it’s happened now.

    Each time I try a couple of posts before giving up and coming back a few days later to try again.

  3. @ChrisO

    @frank Trying again… ironically my reply last night didn’t appear.

    That’s the weird thing. I can post, then I can’t, then I can, then I can’t.

    This is probably the third time it’s happened now.

    Each time I try a couple of posts before giving up and coming back a few days later to try again.

    Are you logged in on two seperate devices ?

    iPhone and or PC ?

  4. @Barracuda

    @ChrisO

    @frank Trying again… ironically my reply last night didn’t appear.

    That’s the weird thing. I can post, then I can’t, then I can, then I can’t.

    This is probably the third time it’s happened now.

    Each time I try a couple of posts before giving up and coming back a few days later to try again.

    Are you logged in on two seperate devices ?

    iPhone and or PC ?

    No, it’s either my laptop at home or PC at work. But it has happened on both.

    Seems to have been cleared now, as the replies above have now appeared. But I’ve been and gone several times now, like Cadel Evans on a mountain climb.

    Frank thinks it might be to do with my IP address, or maybe it was the ionic phase shift caused by our re-entry from hyperspace, something like that.

  5. @Barracuda

    @ChrisO

    @frank Trying again… ironically my reply last night didn’t appear.

    That’s the weird thing. I can post, then I can’t, then I can, then I can’t.

    This is probably the third time it’s happened now.

    Each time I try a couple of posts before giving up and coming back a few days later to try again.

    Are you logged in on two seperate devices ?

    iPhone and or PC ?

    So this is my second reply to @Barracuda… first one (from home laptop) didn’t appear, this is from work laptop in the office.

    Pretty sure it hasn’t been confined to one or the other though.

    I very occasionally look at the site on mobile but rarely post that way.

  6. Anyone noticing a performance improvement? Site seems to be screamin’ lately, not by accident. Loads of work has gone into getting this fucking thing off its knees, just wondering if its feeling faster to anyone other than the Keepers?

  7. Yes, definitely better for me. I read a bit at work but rarely post from there, and often the posts won’t load, which I put down to the shite IT. Home-wise, it was getting frustratingly slow but is now very good. I love the site and appreciate all the effort that goes into running it, and therefore won’t complain about the performance (see Rule #43)*, but there’s definitely been an improvement which is much appreciated. Chapeau, Sir.

    *well, just one tiny complaint – you gave me a +1 the other day but I never saw the jersey, ….

  8. @Frank does seem a bit faster, it seems more consistent now.

    By the by, I dropped you an email (to all accounts) can you drop me a reply please.

  9. Apart from my home IP issue it is fine, and yes does seem to be much faster.

    Thanks for checking the spam for me after my ‘barking’. I hope you admire the persistence of my belief that anyone might give a shit about whether my comments disappear into the ether or not.

    Oddly enough I’m probably one of the least likely to be sharing my IP with a terrorist – the internet out here is controlled behind a firewall run by the telcos who provide the connections, and it is monitored  as closely as these things can be.

    We can’t access quite a lot of sites and I’m not talking just porn and extremism. For a long time we couldn’t even access Flickr. They also block any VOIP services, but one suspects commercial reasons behind that.

  10. Seems much better by mobile here. All comments are appearing under articles too. Thanks for all the hard work.

  11. @Gianni can you check your email.

    Thanks

  12. and @frank  definitely faster and stays logged in know from any of my devices.

  13. Been lurking for a while now. A ride last night (and reflections thereon) inspired me to join.

    The Ride Starts on Time

    I went for a ride yesterday. Short, but solid and focused on a Category 3 climb (a respectable feat for a relative neophyte). I had planned on going with a friend of mine, but that plan unraveled at the last minute (well, 30 minutes after the last minute).

    Here on the East Coast of the US, it’s getting dark early. Not a big deal, I thought. My companion recently purchase a 180 lumen behemoth, and I had been counting on that to assuage my fears of visibility. When it became apparent that he wouldn’t be able to ride along, I decided to go it alone. Sunset was predicted for 6:01 PM, it was 5:30 and I knew I’d be getting back around 7:00. Dusk, twilight and then nightfall, but I’d be rolling back into the driveway without spending too much time in the true dark of the night. And I was prepared: Two headlights, a taillight and an incredibly Hi-vis Louis Garneau jersey. I would be seen so I set out.

    As the ground under my wheels began to undulate higher and more frequently, the colors of New England autumn started to wash to gray in the fading light. The definition of ‘the gloaming’ I thought to myself. Fear, like the darkness around me, was setting in. But I wasn’t turning back, despite hearing the voice of South Park’s Thumper in my head: “You’re going to have a bad time.”

    Before long, the hill was in front of me; it’s initial 17% pitch so steep my headlight appeared to be illuminating a wall in front of me. Up I went, too focused on my legs to be concerned with the sun’s location relative to the horizon. By the time I’d crested however, the sides of the road were being lost to the shadows and the rest disappeared quickly from there. There are no streetlights out in farm country, and my lights did nothing to illuminate my path. My descents were slow and careful, and my thoughts singularly hoping that each dark patch I rode over was fresh pavement, and not the gaping voids they might be. I was scared. Not of the dark, not of the fact that black bear sitings aren’t unheard of in my literal neck of the woods, and not even of cars. I couldn’t see much of anything at this point. I had no idea where the side of the road was, and in the dark turns are deceptive. The saving grace of all of this was that there really is very little traffic on backwoods roads and I went by more cars coming towards me that passed me from the rear. (This was a mixed blessing though. While I didn’t have to worry about taking up the road or getting flattened, these dark streets necessitate the use of high beams – a blinding occurrence, further obscuring my scant vision.)

    As I rode back into town, the increasing frequency of streetlights eased my mind. “I’m alive and I’m staying that way tonight.” I arrived home, to find my wife on edge about my ride in the dark and relieved to see me. “How was your late-night ride?” she asked. I responded, “That was profoundly fucking stupid.”

  14. @SamV start rides at V:am. That way you finish in day light before traffic starts to build.

  15. New guy here. Hope to be a worthy member. Old school steel is my horse. Pinarello SL Treviso. Campy Chorus

  16. Keepers and Velominati; Have a great Christmas.

  17. I like the website updates, I can login and not have to refresh 6 times for it to take effect

  18. Another new guy here, coinciding with the larmchair of the new site, but in no form whatsoever is that a causal relationship.bern visiting for a while now.

    Aluminium bike here, my first. What I lack in years (not) riding, I hope to compensate in enthusiasm.

  19. Help! Unable to order V gear. Link to PayPal not working also unable to log on.

     

  20. Really not sure where to post this, especially as I didn’t want to post in Rides section with ChrisO’s news but, for those of us, and there will likely be many, who have enjoyed the culture, coffee and camaraderie of Cafe Domestique, here is some unfortunate news about its closing:

    http://m.thespec.com/news-story/5238607-dundas-caf-bids-farewell-with-new-year-s-eve-bash/

  21. @frank

    Keepers, this should be a good year. Realized that we are in the cardinal year XV.

  22. Hi, I’m another new guy here after lurking for 6 or more months and enjoying the articles and community here. I got back on my road bike last year but most of my riding is commuting at the moment. I’m contemplating what I can realistically achieve cycling while balancing family life and a dodgy knee. My bike is a Merckx Strada OS with 9 speed Chorus and other Cinelli bits on it I brought in 1997.

  23. @Kieran

    Welcome to the party!

  24. @Kieran

    Hi, I’m another new guy here after lurking for 6 or more months and enjoying the articles and community here. I got back on my road bike last year but most of my riding is commuting at the moment. I’m contemplating what I can realistically achieve cycling while balancing family life and a dodgy knee. My bike is a Merckx Strada OS with 9 speed Chorus and other Cinelli bits on it I brought in 1997.

    Welcome!  The more the merrier.  IMHO, commuting is the best way to put in the miles.  Every day, solo, bit by bit.

    I had 9 speed Record and Veloce bits for a long, long, time, and they were solid stuff.  You can’t go wrong with that drivetrain.

  25. @frank I cant upload photos from phone or Laptop.   Any clues ?

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