Author Archive | brett


Made By Hand

by / / 170 posts

It wasn’t so long ago that the majority of bicycles were made by hand, from raw materials, in places that aren’t China or Taiwan. While some of these artisans are still around, their wares are increasingly harder to come by, and to procure an example of their work means an outlay of time and money…


Blueprint for The Rules

by / / 40 posts

Every other Tuesday night, I put on my tweed jacket with the leather elbow patches, fill a Thermos with Earl Grey and drive the Rover 3500 to the designated home of one of my fellow members of our esteemed Book Group. As a big fan of the brilliant British television show of the same name, I was hoping that…


Full Circle: The ‘Evolution’ of Mountain Biking

by / / 84 posts

Think back to the early days of mountain biking. A bunch of friends, getting to the top of the hill any way they could, not needing to ride up at any great pace, saving themselves for the real buzz, the ride back down. It didn’t matter who got tot the top first, as long as…


Theatres Of Dreams

by / / 30 posts

The home ground of Manchester United Football Club, Old Trafford, is colloquially known around the world as the Theatre of Dreams. It holds a revered place in the hearts of the club’s supporters, and even those of other teams; it’s an icon of football, and sport in general. Millions have gone there to watch their…


Anatomy Of A Photo: Ferdi Brings The Truth

by / / 38 posts

They don’t call it the race of truth for nothing, and Ferdi ain’t no liar. There’s no hiding when your specialist chrono machine is also your specialist road racing machine, and aero headwear is achieved through flipping your leather cap around to face the Jeep loaded with drunk French truffle hunters that’s been tailing you for…


Jan VS Lars

by / / 93 posts

It’s funny what goes through your head at 3am when you’re woken by a cat. Especially if that cat’s name is Lars, and he was named after the Metallica drummer (not by me, he’s my VMH’s cat). I prefer to call him Jan though, as Jan has always been my favourite Ullrich. So last night Lars…


Reverent: Ravito

by / / 31 posts

There are many revered places in Cycling, places that are instantly recognisable, places that command their own special page in history and in our memories for the great battles held upon them. Most likely the names you’ll think of first would be the great mountain climbs of the Grand Tours, l’Alpe d’Huez, Ventoux, Zoncolan, Stelvio.…


Anatomy of a Photo: Rules Pioneer

by / / 119 posts

As surely as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, if you ride a bicycle you can bet your ass against an apple that you are going to get a flat. Not if, but when. Death and taxes, and all that. This could be Pierre or Antonio or Jean-Michel, most likely…


Anatomy Of A Photo: Front Row Seat At The Gun Show

by / / 31 posts

André had spent the last ten years working underground, yet he had only just turned 24. His face, skin hardened and cracked from a cocktail of sweat, coal dust and intense labour, gave him the appearance of a man decades older. He had grown up quickly, but had aged even more rapidly in the physical…

No animals were harmed during this 16okm solo Giro win. Photo Graeme Watson

V to the Vth Degree

by / / 74 posts

La Vie Velominatus isn’t a part-time gig. La Vie means the life, and The V is my life. Otherwise, I’d be Some V Velominatus, some of the time. Even when I’m not riding my bike, like the last two weeks (for reasons which don’t really matter, and offering them only renders them excuses), I live…

My absolution. My altar.

Saved By The Bike

by / / 151 posts

Addiction is typically defined as a bad thing. Addiction to drugs, to alcohol, sex or even work is usually portrayed as a condition to be battled, to overcome. The same sources may recommend a strict regime of regular exercise and healthy living as the perfect antidote to the bad addictions that befall an overwhelming majority of…

welly 016

The Importance of Environment

by / / 41 posts

While all evidence points to the contrary, the 20th century’s greatest twatwaffle LE Gunderson may have got something at least half right after all. Of course it’s about the bike, otherwise we’d be runners. But there are other factors that contribute to what makes us Cyclists which can often be overlooked completely. Not the clothes…


Dirty Romantics

by / / 43 posts

We’re into day three of the Six Days of the Giro series, and it’s time to hit the dirt. If ever a Keepers Tour goes to Italy, then we’re doing this climb. No doubt. Climbing on gravel up a real mountain, what’s not to love? In fact, you could probably do an entire Italian Gravé…

This machine kills cobbles

Riding Ugly: Damien Gaudin

by / / 34 posts

The simple art of riding a bicycle can be undertaken in many ways. Watching the stylish commuters of Amsterdam going about their business in the most Casually Deliberate way makes you wonder if indeed anyone is actually going about any business at all. I don’t know how anything ever gets done in that city; everyone…

The Lion cooks up a helping of V-cakes for Faboo after dishing out the hurt on Le Carrefour de l'Arbre

Velominati Super Prestige: Paris-Roubaix 2013

by / / 347 posts

It looks so easy on the television. Well, no, actually it looks pretty bloody hard. We think we have some understanding of how they suffer, how their bodies can take the continual beating. But we don’t really know. Not even by riding these abominations they call roads twice in the space of a few days…

This is the real Ronde

Velominati Super Prestige: Ronde van Vlaanderen 2013

by / / 276 posts

Imagine a world without the little things we take for granted; a house without a roof, a pub with no beer, a Keepers Tour without any clothes. The last one is a reality for me at the moment, five days in and still no trace of where the hell between Wellington and Paris my bag…

The Kapelmuur in January. Photo

Cold Fact

by / / 108 posts

Wellington isn’t renown for its great summers; a mate is always quick to remind me that if the weather was perfect all the time, everyone would want to live here and we’d be overrun by Aucklanders (just like Aussies but not quite dumb enough to live in Canberra). As our summer goes into its last…

Emily Collins (NZ) has some form going

Velominati Super Prestige: Ronde Van Drenthe 2013

by / / 89 posts

Ok, so you guys and gals don’t miss a trick, but sometimes we do. In fact, we kind of specialize in it. @Bianchi Denti just texted me to point out, as others have done on site, that we have almost missed the next stop on the VVomen’s VSP calendar, the Ronde Van Drenthe. On International…


Anatomy Of A Photo: The Gents Of Wevelgem

by / / 73 posts

If you ever doubted for a minute that the hardmen of yore drafted the blueprint for The Rules, you need only look at these fine examples to be reminded that no matter how limited the resources they had to work with, they still managed to do a better job of Looking Fantastic than we ever could.…


Riding Ugly: Fernando Escartin

by / / 37 posts

Sometimes, getting the job done means doing it by any means necessary. Football coaches, who have just seen their team scrape out a win by a dour defensive effort and a lucky goal, refer to it as “winning ugly”. But any true Velominatus would rather lose photogenically than win ugly. In fact, our credo could…

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