Beer, Frites and Mayonnaise

Beer, Frites and Mayonnaise

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Riding the stones of Paris-Roubaix, in the Spring, in crap weather (it’s possible) and finishing the ride in the velodrome in Roubaix* should be enough enticement for any right thinking cyclists to jump on to this event. It gets better, watching the race in a scrum of drunken-loud-mad-fans, everyone covered in a sheen of beer, frites and mayonnaise. It’s an experience of a lifetime. Do you still need more? Perhaps riding the last fourteen bergs of the Ronde van Vlaanderen, being your very own Boss of the Bosberg and then spectating this race, again the loud-drunk-fans, the sheen, the madness. Fabian Cancellara shall pass by so close he may wink at you as he drops the hammer on Boonen, again. How about a personal ride with the Lion of Flanders, Johan Museeuw? It does not get better than this, I’m sorry but it can’t.

It can’t yet it does, a tour of the Merckx bike factory and the Ronde van Vlaanderen Museum at Oudenarde. That is correct, we are going to museums, all right, a museum and it’s a museum about bike racing. There is much more fun crammed into this nine day holiday than should be allowed, please regard the original post for all the information.

This is the fantasy camp of a lifetime for cyclists. If not for yourself, dear reader, then bestow the holiday gift to end all gifts on your mate. The Velominati are united in a love and appreciation of cycling and the Spring Classics are a distillation of all things Hardman and beautiful.

Not to belabor the awesome factor, here are just a few more items:

  • Our guides, Pave Cycling Classics, are partnered up with a brewery.
  • We may not be invited back.
  • If you are ever going to break your clavicle crashing on your bike, breaking it on the stones of Paris-Roubaix would get you bragging rights for a lifetime.
  • There is the potential for shaking the hands Johan Museeuw, Eddy Merckx and Freddy Maertens on this trip.
  • Possibly the only chance to meet Frank and Brett at the same time, over Belgian beer, to argue the finer points of all things Velominati. Worlds are colliding and there are still open slots for this Tour. Spread the word to your fanatic friends.

*disclaimer from our legal department: unconfirmed but in the works.

// Cogals // Keepers Tour

  1. @wiscot
    Kelly may well have been to the left of Thatcher (who wasn’t) but I’m not sure he is to the left of Wiggo! You are correct, perspective is everything.

    @roadslave
    Nice wheels. Wow.

  2. @roadslave
    Oh mama mia, that is wheel porno. That is a fine looking set of wheels. Damn, you sew-up guys are making me jealous.

    @sgt
    Beautiful map. Wiggins’ Haircut. hehehee.

  3. @roadslave
    Serious wheel envy here, guys.

    But, what are you all doing about spare tubs for the ride? Actually, you all have a SAG wagon at your disposal, correct?

  4. @wiscot

    I also wouldn’t pick a book with a triple chainring on the cover.

  5. @mcsqueak
    Indeed. To be frank, their curatorial/exhibition skillz leave a great deal to be desired. Mind you, wild horses wouldn’t keep me out of there. It might be wise to leave the credit card at home. That Salvarani jersey looks like it’s for sale . . .

  6. @roadslave

    Managed to stop drooling and actually read your post. I’m considering selling my downhill bike for a set of those from wheelsmith. You’re making it very hard for me not to do so.

    Are you doing the whole tour or just a part of it?

  7. @roadslave
    Those wheels look awesome and thanks for the pictures. I notice the time honoured wheel builders detail that when you look through the valve hole you should see the label on the hub I plan to buy a wheel set from the same builder at some point in my future.

    @sgt
    Hehe.

  8. @snoov nice observation. He is a perfectionist, and everything lines up (Royce label, valve hole, tub label, etc.) You’ll also notice that, whilst all the spokes are stainless steel / silvered, the two either side of the valve hole are black. A nice touch.

    My wife has just yelled at me “why can’t you be normal and use the internet to look at porn?”

    @chris hoping to do all of it… you coming? would be good to meet.

  9. @Buck Rogers

    @roadslave
    Serious wheel envy here, guys.
    But, what are you all doing about spare tubs for the ride? Actually, you all have a SAG wagon at your disposal, correct?

    Fully supported, spare wheels, everything sorted. No worries.

    @roadslave, mate – I have such major wheelbone. My hubs aren’t sorted yet, but I’m hoping Santa brings the same set.

    I ordered my FMB’s – three tires, which gives me one spare. Cool thing about those tires is, they are all handmade to order – I had to get my order in now to beat the rush for the Pro’s orders which go in in January.

    I have to say, though, those Clements look the business and they are also what the Pros ride. Nice choice.

  10. @roadslave
    It just moved a little. Holy moly those are HOT! Ride report to come soon I hope.

  11. @roadslave

    First weekend only for me I’m afraid and doing the low rent accommodation thing with the good @Dr C. We should catch up for a beer sometime in London and talk logistics (or if you bring the wheels, I’ll just whack you over the head and make off with them).

    @frank

    Can you ping me email address over to @roadslave

  12. @roadslave

    My wife has just yelled at me “why can’t you be normal and use the internet to look at porn?”

    Sorry but in my head that well & truly classifies as porn…and I’d dare say I’m not the only one!

  13. So, is anyone thinking of making a super laid-back bike for Keepers Tour?

    Man, I miss the 90’s and the crazy bike design they were doing…

  14. wheelsmith.co.uk lists the rider max weight for Ambrosio Nemesis rims as:

    Rider Max: fat and/or powerful

  15. @frank
    Awesome ride. If the wheels weren’t circular I would think the picture had been stretched in photoshop.

  16. @roadslave
    Drool.

  17. @Nate
    No joke – the mechanic had to add 10 links to his chain, I hear tell.

  18. Haha. Brett thinks he’s buying my nemesis rims off me. Haha. Go to Europe you b**t*rd, I won’t be there. I’ll be at home, crying into my cheap, piss awful NZ lager, eating soggy fish and chips, clinging to hope that one, day, I’ll be worthy. One day.

    Actually nah not really. My Uncle lives in Brussels, been to Belgiom heaps. You’ll love it it’s grouse.

  19. @frank
    Nice detail. That’s a long chain for sure.

  20. @frank
    Don’t a bunch of the pro’s ride longer wheelbase frames for P-R? Seems like I heard that from Phil and Paul on one of the P-R DVD’s I watched. Defintiely a cool photo, though. Love the Merckx. What year is that photo? Looks a little later than my ’92 Merckx but not much. ’94 maybe?

  21. @frank
    The quintessential Canadian hardman! One of my heroes. Love that photo.

  22. @frank

    So, is anyone thinking of making a super laid-back bike for Keepers Tour?

    Man, I miss the 90″²s and the crazy bike design they were doing…

    Man, can’t believe this kind of bike didn’t catch on. I mean, really? That thing is damn near a recumbent and must have handled like shit.

  23. @wiscot, @Buck Rogers
    Yeah, they usually ride a longer wheelbase, mostly to make the bike handle better on the stones, specifically, they’ll extend the wheelbase so the bike is a little more stable (sluggish). This machine, however, wasn’t particularly successfully, possibly because it was too extreme. Bauer finished in 22nd place, as this is the ’93 Roubaix which Duclos-Lassalle won in a photo finish (using a rock sox against Ballerini’s softride stem).

    That’s the Specialized Sub-6 helmet that we were talking about the other day as well.

  24. @frank
    Correction – the photo finish was 1994. Duclos-Lassalle still won in ’93, though…

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/the-classics-most-surprising-winners

  25. @frank
    Sheesh. CyclingNews was wrong – ’93 was the photo finish with Ballerini, as he was on Gan by ’93 and it was still Z in ’92 when he won at age 37. (He was the oldest winner at 38 in 1993 when he beat Franco.)

  26. @frank
    Photo finish in ’94? ’94 was won by Tchmil, wasn’t it?

  27. @Buck Rogers
    Got it. Not trying to sharpshoot you, just getting confused here.

  28. Looking to build up a set of Nemesis or Hed C2 tubulars on Campy compatible hubs. I love the classic look of liver sculpted hubs, and have run White Industries on for Shimano, but am a bit nervous about the DS spacing for Campy and NDS tension being low (L=38.0mm, R=16mm). Since I can’t find a pair of silver Campy hubs looking for other options. The Royce posted above are gorgeous; PMPs look wonderful as well. What would you recommend for Campy? Am I overly concerned about the WI flange spacing?

  29. @roadslave
    I also notice that the manufacturer of these tubulars you’ve fitted have the labels printed in the right place a la Rule #40. Some manufacturers don’t do that! How frustrating for a Velominati seeking complete rule compliance and cycling satori.

  30. @teleguy57
    uh, that would be silver sculpted hubs, not liver sculpted. Sheesh, not even sure to think about what might mean! Where is that “edit post” button….

  31. @roadslave
    Had to come back and look at your wheels again! I like the way the wheelsmith is thinking regarding the black spokes even though I think I’d want mine all silver.

  32. @teleguy57. If you can wait until January, Chris King are finally making an R45 hub that is campy compatible, which would be gorgeous. Alternatively, all my wheels are either Royce or PMPs, both of which I love, and have served me well

    @snoov. I hear you… I have been known to take a Continental GP4000 clincher back to Condor (London LBS) as ‘defective’ because the labels on the tyre weren’t diametrically opposite. Quite frankly, I was surprised by the look of incredulity on the face of the guy who served me… Thought he’d’ve been used to cyclists expecting things ‘just so’. I think he got the message after I made him walk round the showroom with me and pointed out that every single one of the tyres on the display bikes (GP4000s and others) had diametrically opposite labelling, with the main one above the valve… He finally allowed me to swap it out for another, if only to make me go away and leave him alone

  33. @frank
    Yup, that’s what I love about cycling. For all the new-fangled materials and developments (carbon fiber, electronic shifting, etc) the basic shape and angles of bikes hasn’t really changed in decades. And, quite frankly, I don’t think it will. If there was a better design than the current double triangle with fork that would stick, someone would have come up with it. They haven’t. That’s why all the real innovation is on parts and accessories.

    Speaking of which, I have a sub-6 helmet in the garage. It’s the naked one that was just pure polystyrene. No thin plastic cover on that sucker. Basically impossible to get a good fit and sat really high – or at least that was my experience. It keeps my old Giro Air Attack company now . . .

  34. @teleguy57

    Looking to build up a set of Nemesis or Hed C2 tubulars on Campy compatible hubs. I love the classic look of liver sculpted hubs, and have run White Industries on for Shimano, but am a bit nervous about the DS spacing for Campy and NDS tension being low (L=38.0mm, R=16mm). Since I can’t find a pair of silver Campy hubs looking for other options. The Royce posted above are gorgeous; PMPs look wonderful as well. What would you recommend for Campy? Am I overly concerned about the WI flange spacing?

    My set which you can find posted elsewhere in these pages was built at the builder’s recommendation on Alchemy hubs for Campagnolo precisely for the DS/NDS tension reasons you mention. The wheels are super-solid laterally. The hubs come in silver among other colors and the noise from the freehub pawls is classic, not the Chris King angry hornet noise.

  35. @frank

    So, is anyone thinking of making a super laid-back bike for Keepers Tour?

    Man, I miss the 90″²s and the crazy bike design they were doing…

    So, ah, is the rear wheel on that thing smaller than the front? I get the whole further behind the BB thing, to get moar power, lookslike he’s leg pressing the cranks, but to use a smaller wheel? Wouldn’t that F with everything?

  36. The wheels are the same size, it’s just the angle of the photo that makes you think that.

  37. @wiscot

    It keeps my old Giro Air Attack company now . . .

    THE AIR ATTACK! I’ve been trying to remember the name of that helmet for AGES!

  38. @minion
    That bike was hanging in a shop window in Kuurne for a few years. If I remember right, Bauer was having back issues and thought the slack seat tube would be the fix. Funny, as a year or two earlier Grewal had a bike with a steeper seat tube angle as a fix for back pain.

  39. @jimmy
    I had heard it was an effort to get more power out of the pedal stroke, putting the hips further back would make for better leg muscle efficiency. Other riders were joking that it looked like he was on a Harley. Who knows.

  40. @Gianni
    Could be.
    What I know for certain is that the old lady next door has an Electra with a slack seat tube and she thinks it’s the bomb.

  41. Ah, nice change of the background pic Frank.

  42. @jimmy

    @Gianni

    From memory, I think it was a bit of both – partiall to stabilise his dodgy lower back, while theoretically also helping him put out more power than a conventional machine.

  43. Here are the “classics” wheels on my Bianchi. Not tubulars, but not far off…

  44. Shitballs.

  45. Talking of cobbles, I flatted twice in two days on my Cx bike on the way to work – front and back – there are short cobble sections on the riverside path, to facilitate falling on your ass in the cold weather, so maybe that was the cause

    Anyroad, I went to get some new heavier innertubes from my LBS, and when I said I was surprised to flat twice on my Cx bike, having had no flats all year on my Roubaix, the LBS dude said “we’ll you have been riding on rougher terrain on the Cx bike – you wouldn’t be riding that stuff on your Roubaix”

    I left without discussing what I would be doing with my Roubaix on 31st April 2012…..

  46. @frank

    So, is anyone thinking of making a super laid-back bike for Keepers Tour?

    Man, I miss the 90″²s and the crazy bike design they were doing…

    When Sean Kelly speaks of hardmen, he always mentions the two he road against – the Badger and Bauer.

    Thanks Frank!

  47. @roadslave
    Funny, your VMH and mine must be related… She said almost the exact same thing as I drooled all over my iPad looking at those wheels!

  48. I hope this crash doesn’t occur on the Keepers Tour!

    I was going to upload the English commentary, but the commentary in that clip communicates (Tour of Flanders 2008).

  49. Bought my plane ticket. Arriving in Paris on the Friday morning and hope to ride the TGV to Lille. Is anyone else taking that route? Maybe Frank can connect us.

  50. @G’rilla
    Cool, Paris, eh? I was just looking at tickets two minutes ago. I’ll be heading into Amsterdam but probably on the 28th. Soooooo stoked for this.

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