It came to me in a moment of absolute clarity, the kind of clarity which only arrives to one in an oxygen-depleted state and at high speed – usually down a steep descent. It would be awfully nice to justify wearing my Molteni jersey, rather than having it hanging in my workshop all the time.
It had been suggested a few times already by the time the notion came to me last winter, that Velominati should organize an international Cogal on which all of us around the world would climb aboard our bicycles in honor of each other, and devote the day to riding. It is, after all, what we do; we ride our bikes. The rest is detail.
While the idea is simple enough, the selection of a date has proven positively futile. Summer on the Upper Half of the planet (you know the one – the one that matters) means VVinter for the Lower Half. When the Lower Half (you know the one, the one with all the convicts and Aztecs) is in summer, the important side is snowed in or sopping wet. You simply can’t choose a day that works for everyone.
The solution, of course, is simple: I unilaterally pick a date for the entire community and shove it down everyone’s throat by the virtue of being louder than almost anyone else (with the exception of the bloke sitting just behind me and to my left at the café; that is one loud-mouthed bastard, that.)
Being the type of person I am, with all the personality defects I have at my disposal, I was still perplexed by the selection of a date that holds significant meaning for all our community. January first, so we may ride off our hangovers. October 3rd, to celebrate Leiden’s liberty from the Spanish. Then the epiphany as I flew down Lighthouse Hill towards the shore of Puget Sound, where Pearl Jam and Sound Garden once rocked out in the weeds: the Velominati International Cogal will be held every year in honor of The Prophet‘s birthday, June 17.
Every Velominatus is free to observe this day however they like. Take a holiday from work; declare an exemption due to your specific religious requirements. Ride on the day, in a way that helps you honor the way Eddy rode himself. Ride lots, was his sage training advice. I like to surprise my rivals, was his explanation attacking 70 or 80 or 90 or 100km from the finish. However you ride, on Festum Prophetae each year, we will honor The Prophet. We may also choose, as is customary with other holidays, to arrange within our immediate community to designate the nearest convenient day to observe the holiday. If taking the day to honor him is impractical on the 17th, designate a nearby day that works better for you.
Mark your calendars for June 17, Festum Prophetae*. Personally, I will climb aboard my steel Bike #2 fitted with tubular tires, don my wool Molteni Jersey and head out with only a bit of food in my jersey pocket and water in my bidon with the express intent to meet the Man with the Hammer. No mean feat, considering the Seattle Summer Cogal will have taken place only the day before. Two Cogals in one weekend: I can’t think of a better way to honor him.
Vive la Vie Velominatus.
*A special thanks to @ChrisO for helping determine the “correct” latin phrase.