The Keepers

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 poring 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:

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1,213 Replies to “The Keepers”

  1. @RobSandy

    @ChrisO

    @mulebeatsdrums

    I’ve always thought that people who say ‘You’ll regret that later’ just don’t understand why people get tattoos.

    I’m sure I’m in the ‘don’t understand’ camp but each to their own.

    Well clearly there are many, many reasons but a common response is that the tattoo is about the time and place and context in which you got it.

    It’s like you don’t look at it in the current context, you look at it as a visual piece of your history – you can’t erase what’s happened to you, just like you can’t erase a tattoo. Maybe the equivalent is a cycling scar – they just tell a story, maybe ine that only you fully understand.

    If you got a tattoo when you were young and fit and strong and now you’re 75 you don’t think “well it doesn’t suit me now”, you look at it and think about when you were young and fit and strong.

    You don’t regret it unless you regret the context in which you got it. But that’s why getting them of people and brands can be a bit of a minefield.

    Not sure if any of that makes sense but it’s the best I can do !

  2. @RobSandy

    @mulebeatsdrums

    I love that The Rules have permeated the pro ranks as well as just we mere mortals (citation: Katy Archibald, who in my mind is a cycling rockstar https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/latest-news/katie-archibald-column-ironman-tattoo-361038)

    We’ll always have that, even if the deeper state of affairs is less pleasant.

    Katy Achibald is one of us, no doubt. She’s a fucking legend.

    World Champion 3 times, Olympic champ, Commonwealth champ and national champ in too many disciplines to count.

    I love it when she turns up at a Road Race and puts the hurt on the whole peloton.

    Agreed. I get the feeling she’d be a good laugh on a club run as well; no need to prove herself when the road goes uphill, you know?

  3. @ChrisO

    @RobSandy

    @ChrisO

    @mulebeatsdrums

    I’ve always thought that people who say ‘You’ll regret that later’ just don’t understand why people get tattoos.

    I’m sure I’m in the ‘don’t understand’ camp but each to their own.

    Well clearly there are many, many reasons but a common response is that the tattoo is about the time and place and context in which you got it.

    It’s like you don’t look at it in the current context, you look at it as a visual piece of your history – you can’t erase what’s happened to you, just like you can’t erase a tattoo. Maybe the equivalent is a cycling scar – they just tell a story, maybe ine that only you fully understand.

    If you got a tattoo when you were young and fit and strong and now you’re 75 you don’t think “well it doesn’t suit me now”, you look at it and think about when you were young and fit and strong.

    Very true. I’ve got a tattoo on my arm that I got less than a decade ago that is almost totally irrelevant from my life now, but it’s a reminder of that time, and I like that. The only regret I have is that I got it so that it’s upright from an “onlooker’s” perspective, rather than my own, but hey-ho! Lesson learned!

    You don’t regret it unless you regret the context in which you got it. But that’s why getting them of people and brands can be a bit of a minefield.

    I don’t think I’d get one of a brand – bit too capitalistic for my sensibilities – but I do have the logo of my favourite band emblazoned on my chest. I hadn’t really thought about that going sour until a couple of weeks ago when a member of another of my favourite bands (not the one I have the tattoo of, thank Merckx) faced a rape allegation. I guess it’s just a matter of faith in the people you represent on your skin not turning out to be COTHOs.

  4. @mulebeatsdrums

    @ChrisO

    @RobSandy

    @ChrisO

    @mulebeatsdrums

    I’ve always thought that people who say ‘You’ll regret that later’ just don’t understand why people get tattoos.

    I’m sure I’m in the ‘don’t understand’ camp but each to their own.

    Well clearly there are many, many reasons but a common response is that the tattoo is about the time and place and context in which you got it.

    It’s like you don’t look at it in the current context, you look at it as a visual piece of your history – you can’t erase what’s happened to you, just like you can’t erase a tattoo. Maybe the equivalent is a cycling scar – they just tell a story, maybe ine that only you fully understand.

    If you got a tattoo when you were young and fit and strong and now you’re 75 you don’t think “well it doesn’t suit me now”, you look at it and think about when you were young and fit and strong.

    Very true. I’ve got a tattoo on my arm that I got less than a decade ago that is almost totally irrelevant from my life now, but it’s a reminder of that time, and I like that. The only regret I have is that I got it so that it’s upright from an “onlooker’s” perspective, rather than my own, but hey-ho! Lesson learned!

    You don’t regret it unless you regret the context in which you got it. But that’s why getting them of people and brands can be a bit of a minefield.

    I don’t think I’d get one of a brand – bit too capitalistic for my sensibilities – but I do have the logo of my favourite band emblazoned on my chest. I hadn’t really thought about that going sour until a couple of weeks ago when a member of another of my favourite bands (not the one I have the tattoo of, thank Merckx) faced a rape allegation. I guess it’s just a matter of faith in the people you represent on your skin not turning out to be COTHOs.

    AC/DC? Poison? Cheap Trick?Nirvana? do tell! ;-)

  5. @wiscot

    @mulebeatsdrums

    @ChrisO

    @RobSandy

    @ChrisO

    @mulebeatsdrums

    I’ve always thought that people who say ‘You’ll regret that later’ just don’t understand why people get tattoos.

    I’m sure I’m in the ‘don’t understand’ camp but each to their own.

    Well clearly there are many, many reasons but a common response is that the tattoo is about the time and place and context in which you got it.

    It’s like you don’t look at it in the current context, you look at it as a visual piece of your history – you can’t erase what’s happened to you, just like you can’t erase a tattoo. Maybe the equivalent is a cycling scar – they just tell a story, maybe ine that only you fully understand.

    If you got a tattoo when you were young and fit and strong and now you’re 75 you don’t think “well it doesn’t suit me now”, you look at it and think about when you were young and fit and strong.

    Very true. I’ve got a tattoo on my arm that I got less than a decade ago that is almost totally irrelevant from my life now, but it’s a reminder of that time, and I like that. The only regret I have is that I got it so that it’s upright from an “onlooker’s” perspective, rather than my own, but hey-ho! Lesson learned!

    You don’t regret it unless you regret the context in which you got it. But that’s why getting them of people and brands can be a bit of a minefield.

    I don’t think I’d get one of a brand – bit too capitalistic for my sensibilities – but I do have the logo of my favourite band emblazoned on my chest. I hadn’t really thought about that going sour until a couple of weeks ago when a member of another of my favourite bands (not the one I have the tattoo of, thank Merckx) faced a rape allegation. I guess it’s just a matter of faith in the people you represent on your skin not turning out to be COTHOs.

    AC/DC? Poison? Cheap Trick?Nirvana? do tell! ;-)

    Hahaha! To make you feel really super-old: Kurt Cobain died when I was three years old.

    The band in question is a little-known band from Sheffield called 65daysofstatic. Their logo looks like this:

    I’ll spare you a photo of the tattoo itself; I’m far too fat to climb at the moment, so topless photographs is a definite no-go, for everyone’s sake!

  6. @mulebeatsdrums

    You were three? Hell’s bells. I just turned the speed Sammy Hagar can’t drive! A young’un like you knows who Sammy Hagar is, right? ;-)

    I’m trying to figure out that logo – a wee guy hugging a much bigger guy?

  7. @wiscot

    @mulebeatsdrums

    You were three? Hell’s bells. I just turned the speed Sammy Hagar can’t drive! A young’un like you knows who Sammy Hagar is, right? ;-)

    I’m trying to figure out that logo – a wee guy hugging a much bigger guy?

    I know who Sammy Hagar is, but I did have to Google “Van Halen Can’t Drive” to decipher that joke. I’m 28 now, but also drink tea and do cryptic crosswords, so I’m definitely older at heart.

    I think the logo is dubbed “girl-boy-kiss” (presumably the girl is the one with the foot popping up backwards) but I figure they’re progressive enough that it could be two figures of indeterminate gender. I first heard them when I was a socially-awkward 13/14-year-old, so the scratchy doodle of an adolescent couple and somewhat inaccessible musical style was very appealing to me.

    I could (and frequently do) wax lyrical about 65dos, so I’ll shut up and let you get on with your day.

  8. New, and old. Heavy Metal and tattoos:

    New to Velominati. Funny to me how I lived by the Rules when I was a Hardman runner, without knowing a thing about The Rules.

    Old & Heavy Metal as in being too old to have listened to Sammy Hagar, Van Halen and Kurt Cobain. But had a running friend that played drums for one of the early bands of that era. He had a kid and dropped out of the band, and the band stopped playing, but he kept running.

    Have 17 Tats. And yes each has a story that is part of who I am. Most can’t be seen, none are regretted. Six that can be seen when I’m dressed: I wing on the outside of my right ankle and a lightning bolt on each calf (riding I often get told “hey you’re bleeding!” as people pass me). Those were done when I was a fast runner. The other two that can be seen are a star and cloud with a lighting bolt on each forearm – that I can see while cycling. Funny thing about those two, I asked for them to be “Red, White and Blue” just because. When I awoke (I’ve fallen asleep while getting each tattoo) I noticed they were “Red, blank and Blue”. When I asked about the “White” I was told :you’re white, so I didn’t put ink there.” Hey, I’m PINK not white. Never when back to have “White” added. Great argument killer when called “White”. Nope, I’m pink.

  9. I had to Wiki him, but I remember Yes from the 90’s…probably just what was on the radio and didn’t know they went that far back or that they were still going.

    Since we’re talking bands…I’m seeing Metallica on Monday evening. 4th time..bit of a fan.

     

  10. Pokes head in door, flips on the lights, wonders what that funky smell is.  Turns out the lights and shuts the door.

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