Author Archive | brett

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Breaking The Rules: #29

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As we gingerly assembled outside the gite, the Belgian sun shining for the first time in the three days we’d been in the spiritual home of cycling, the conversation was muted; what do you say to a legend of the sport, an apostle in his parish about to hold a sermon on two wheels? I…

"It's a quiche Florentine, I swear..."

Evanescent Riders: L.E. ‘Juan’ Gunderson

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The name Laurence Ernest Gunderson is not one that the general public know too well, at least before the events of the past week. The US cyclist was relatively famous within the sport, but ask Joe Average who he was and you’d be met with a blank stare. But now, he’s back-page news on newspapers…

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The Works: The Official Treasures Of Le Tour de France

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If you’re looking for doping scandals, controversy, or lanky Brits with questionable dress sense calling people wankers, then this book is not for you. If you are looking for a comprehensive collection of memorabilia and interesting tidbits on the history of the world’s largest sporting event, then look no further than this beautifully presented tome.…

From a Fiat to a Ferrari

Evanescent Riders Of The 90s: Bjarne Riis

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I know what you’re thinking. How can one label Bjarne Riis an Evanescent Rider? He was a champion, he won the Tour, and went on to become one of the leading Directors Sportif in cycling. Yeah, well, just because he hung around long enough to get the right program and then jagged a job as…

Reverence: Vittoria Open Pavé CG

Reverence: Vittoria Open Pavé CG

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Normally The Keepers reserve our Reverence articles for products we’ve used for years, or with new stuff that has had at least six months of duty. Riding the cobbles of Belgium and Northern France can put most gear (and bodies) through six months of abuse in just a few weeks, so in this case the…

Copybook under the arm technique. Photo: José Sandoval/Velorazzi

Spitting Image

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When I was but a young Velominatus, my poor mother was often horrified/embarrassed/disgusted by my typical boy’s habit of sucking back the mucous from the back of my throat and swallowing it… yes, I know, now you’re disgusted too. Taking me to seek a cure from the good Dr Edwards, he let her down somewhat…

headwear lbl

Anatomy of a Photo: You Can Leave Your Hat On

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Sometimes, when there’s a job to be done, you just don’t care what you look like. As with gardening, changing the oil or building that new pergola, the best gear for the job is usually the most practical, not the most stylish. In this Cor Vos image from the 1985 Liége-Bastogne-Liége, keeping warm is clearly the…

Kelly, V banks drained as always

La Vie Velominatus: Survive On V

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It’s a beautiful, yet cruel sport, this. It punishes you for being lazy, for being unfit, but it also punishes you when you are at the top of your game. And as for Europe, well it’s sending out all kinds of mixed messages when it comes to cycling. Everyone rides, and a good number of…

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Keepers Tour 2012 Update, Part 2: The Lion Rides Today

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With Keepers Tour: Cobbled Classics 2012 stitched up and in the history books, the challenge of documenting the trip became immediately obvious; how do you take the myriad impressions, experiences, and perspectives and put them down in a meaningful way – let alone in a way that can somehow be digested. Surely, to document even…

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Reverence: Fi’zi:k Aliante

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The saddle has got to be the most important piece of equipment for the cyclist when it comes to comfort and performance. If your ass is rubbing the wrong way, causing chafing and sores, or all circulation is cut off rendering you unable to locate vital organs for nature breaks, then it’s fair to say…

lezyne

Lezyne: Official Keepers Tour Air and Tool supplier

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There’s been so much cool stuff going on this week that we’ve hardly had time to scratch ourselves. Riding Roubaix, watching the Ronde, meeting and riding with The Lion of Flanders, and drinking enough Malteni to keep the brewery solvent well into the next decade isn’t an easy gig, but we’ve done it. On our…

Shouldn't you have sorted this out already?

Look Pro(phetic): Muck Around with Your Seatpost

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I have a friend who is borderline OCD. He’ll sometimes wash his hands dozens of times a day, doesn’t like sticky stuff, cats drive him to antihistamine hell and there is a place for everything, with everything in its place. This can be annoying, not only for those around him, but especially for himself. It’s…

Rigid's gonna be there. Are you?

All Aboard The Keepers Tour: Latest Update

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It’s so close I can almost taste it. The mud. The dust. The heavy Spring air, turning to rain, blown across the fields of Flanders, where many a battle has been fought, in trenches and on wheels. Battles fought against other men, battles fought within each man. My own mind is in battle; am I…

How many Velominati does it take to form a Cogal?

Impromptu Mini-Cogal – Newcastle, Australia 2012

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Riding bicycles brings people together. It forms bonds. Bonds that can last for years, lifetimes, transcending distance and even a total lack of contact and communication. Friendships are forged through a common passion shared only through the medium of the internet, as we experience here on this very site. It’s a unique entity that has…

Twiggo survives in 2009. Photo © Sirotti

Anatomy of a Photo: Sticks and Stones

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It’s no secret that the cobbles are the domain of the big men. Look through the list of winners in Flanders and Roubaix, and you won’t find any flyweights, grimpeurs or probably anyone under 80kg. Ok, maybe lighter than that, but more likely the weight will be compacted in muscle and distributed over a shorter…

For Merckx sake, ride your bike.

La Vie Velominatus: Life Gets in the Way

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There’s no doubt I live La Vie Velominatus. Sometimes I think I live it maybe a little too much, as I’ve been told by independent observers that bicycles and all associated with them dominates my very existence. And it’s true; I work in the industry, dividing my time between editing Spoke magazine, writing (not nearly…

Photo: www.rivieracycles.com.au

Reverence? Tubs

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We can mimic the pros in many ways; kit, bikes, shaving our legs. Even if we’ll never ride like them, we can try (mostly in vain) to look like them. We’ll buy a piece of equipment because our favourite pro endorses it, or even adopt trends that the peloton have, such as alloy classic bend…

Photo: REUTERS / Miguel Vidal

Velominati Super Prestige: 2011 La Vuelta a España

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Spain is an awesome country. It has amazing scenery, culture, cities and chicas… oh, the chicas. Its football competition features the world’s best players, their national team are the reigning World Cup holders, and they boast world champions in tennis, Moto GP, Superbikes and Formula 1. They regularly kick the collective asses of France and…

Legend. Photo: Rueters

Who’s your Poppy?

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You’d think that with such an historical event taking place in France overnight that the Australian newspapers would be a sea of yellow and ‘we are the champions’ headlines this morning. Yet what I saw staring back at me when I visited one of the most respected newspaper websites (ie not a Murdoch tome) was a…

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