Archive | Keepers Tour

The V-Lion of Flanders

Brush Strokes On The Soul

by / / 70 posts

I dream of painting and then I paint my dream. -Vincent Van Gogh Poor old Vinnie may have been Dutch, mad as a cut snake, riddled with gonorrhea, a romantic in the most insane sense, and a raging alcoholic, but despite these encumbrances he knew a bit about the use of colour. He also spent…

Trouée crushing!

Guest Article: Clean Livin’

by / / 62 posts

Cyclists need the carrot and the stick. It’s all we understand. Do you want to perform well or not be embarrassed? It’s all the same. Either way one needs to train like a bastard to get there. The good news is training means more time on the bike. The bad news is not much else…

Badass. Just...badass.

The Curse of Hell

by / / 57 posts

Northern Europe is supposed to have crap weather in the Spring. By crap, of course, I mean wet. I call bullshit on that, because the last time I saw rain fall in Hell, it was 2002. In 2002, Outdoor Life Network aired an hour-long broadcast on the history of Paris-Roubaix before airing full live coverage of…

That's not a robot right there.

The Torch Song

by / / 151 posts

Live music is better than recorded music. It’s a given. Having that connection, where you’re sharing the same space as the artist is a unique experience that can’t be replicated on a plastic disc. To receive the gift from the giver personally is a moment of intimacy not possible if it arrives in a package in the mail.…

Museeuw wants to get muddy with us in April. Photo: Tim de Waele

Dry Rot

by / / 45 posts

It’s not difficult to understand that climate change, global warming, call it what you will, is real. If you’re still in denial about this fact then you are probably one or more of three things: ignorant, complicit or a complete moron. You can cite all the statistics you want, read the reports, or just stick your…

Respect is a cornerstone of La Vie Velominatus.

The Past and the Future

by / / 112 posts

I’m struggling with how to open this conversation without sounding like what I’m assuming my grandparents did when I was growing up. Maybe it’s because I’m just now clawing my way into some of the wisdom they had, or maybe I’m just less of an idiot than I was when they were moving their lips and…

The stones bring out the best in certain types of riders.

Riding Beautifully Ugly

by / / 17 posts

The cobbles are not for everyone. Peter van Petegem said it best, that you have to really love the stones to be good at them. Much like climbing, they demand that the rider forge a close relationship with a special kind of pain – one that is self-inflicted and inspires you to inflict more. I knew I…

Gimmeeawheel!!!! I have a flat!

On the Road Again: Keepers Tour 2015

by / / 66 posts

We want to look like Pros, sure, but what we’re really after is feeling Pro. All the aesthetics are just a tool we use to fuel the fickle internal combustion engine of Morale. In the end, there is little that will make you feel Pro more than clattering along a stretch of cobbles in a small group;…

Vermont in Autumn. Photo via @LazyJackFlash.

(Re)Discovery

by / / 37 posts

I’ve lost a lot of things that were, at some point or another, dear to me. At times, I’ve even cast them away deliberately, either because of a nurtured indifference or an irrational or impulsive dislike. Regret is an easy emotion to find in reflection, it lays right at the surface and provides us with a quick…

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The Goalden Fleece

by / / 61 posts

Happy living in our stressful lives is all about organization. For instance, I like to sort the tasks first by priority and then group tasks of equal priority into buckets of minor priorities. Software developers creatively call this approach to organization a “bucket sort”. This helps break down what appears to be an insurmountable mess of work…

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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…

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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…

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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.…

The Café Roubaix Arenberg paired to FMB Paris-Roubaix

Cobbles, Carbon, Silk, and Dust

by / / 100 posts

I hadn’t planned to ride them every day. In fact, I had planned to only ride them once and let other people ride them. But, genius that I am, I forgot my ceramic brake pads and had to source some new ones which was a maddeningly difficult process given that Europe observes something in the…

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Keepers Tour: Eat Properly

by / / 33 posts

During last year’s Keepers Tour, the motor was fine for about two or three days until it suddenly sputtered and shut down completely on Wednesday. My basic problem, it appears, lies with my ongoing struggle with body dysmorphia; based on the quantity of calories rolling into the station on the Malteni train, I was loathe…

Baggage check.

Cultural Immersion

by / / 131 posts

I’ve been lucky enough to do quite a bit of travelling in my life. As a family, we travelled all over Europe when I was just a lad, and recently I’ve had the opportunity to visit more exotic places like India and Hawaii. What I’ve learned from my travels is that the key to a great experience…

The Kapelmuur in January. Photo thenews.com

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…

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Cobbled Classics 2013 Forecast: Hardman’s Valmanac

by / / 105 posts

As many of you know, one of my specialties is examining events, imagining trends in them, and then predicting future events by painting with broad strokes based on those findings. I find this approach particularly effective when it pertains to topics of which I know less than nothing. In many ways, this is the same…

Photo via Slipstream Sports

Velominati Super Prestige: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2013

by / / 227 posts

Outside my window, its pouring rain. My bike is leaning agains the wall in my office, covered in grim and grit from the ride in, which was characterized by equal parts cold, wind, and rain. The spot in the locker room where I changed before my shower was marked by sand and mud, and when…

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Reverence: Malteni

by / / 121 posts

Cyclists can (and usually do) go on for hours as to why they ride their bikes, and most of their reasons can sound, well, a bit flakey to anyone not enamored with shaved legs and being done up in lycra. “I do it to keep fit”, “It keeps me slim”, “I’m a competitor, I love…