Cobbles, Bergs, Beer, and Legends. Putting the V Back in Vlaanderen.

Cobbles, Bergs, Beer, and Legends. Putting the V Back in Vlaanderen.

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It has been a busy couple of weeks in the Velominati Boardroom as we’ve been scrambling to finalize a few partnerships and get all the products for the Keepers Tour customers designed and produced. Suffice to say, fists and beers were slammed in tandem as we feverishly worked out the final designs.

Producing V-Pints, V-Shirts, and V-Musettes seems a simple enough task; and we also needed a flag and banner to fly at the roadside of the various races we are due to watch from the roadside, including de Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix. There was also a the small matter of getting our hands on musette bags, which aren’t commonly found on the market, as far as we could tell. Fair heart, never worry; Gianni and his VMH took matters into their own hands and made them up from scratch. If their other business ventures fail, musette-sewing may be a good fallback, they Look Fantastic.

The most significant effort due was for the Keepers Tour Cobbled Classics 2012 design; enter our graphic-design mastermind, KRX-10. We tossed a few emails across the net and settled quickly on the notion of using a variation of the Lion of Flanders. “Now we need a public-domain vector graphic. Race you to it”, was the last word from KRX10 on the matter before the design was finalized. Then it was on to deciding on a tag line, with the result being perhaps the best example of what happens when the Keepers argue long enough on such matters.

With that, we proudly present the official artwork for Keepers Tour: Cobbled Classics 2012:

The last two weeks I’ve felt like a kid waiting for Christmas as orders were placed and we entered into the torturous period of time while we waited to lay our hands on the final products and see the fruits of our labor. And I have to say, this round may have produced our finest products yet; the V-Lion and tagline turned out magnificently, as did all the other items. The flag and banner are actually breathtaking – waving in the wind. We hope you like it as much as we do.

A few items of note: Attendees of Keepers Tour will receive a musette packed with their V-Shirt and V-Pint along with a few lovies from our sponsors, and will also have the honor of commenting for the next year with the V-Lion badge. Also of note is the matter that these products are not available for sale and will never be; the only way to get Keepers Tour products is to attend a Keepers Tour, so bear that in mind next time around. Finally, if you’re looking for a real photo of the V-Pint, you’ll have to wait until we arrive in Belgium, as they were shipped ahead while I was away on business and as such they have not yet been seen by anyone, even me.

Please also get yourself acquainted with our Twitter and Tumblr sites if you’ve not done so already – we’ll be reserving the site for major updates, and will be posting minor updates in those to locations throughout our trip, with Twitter being used for small updates, and Tumblr for the ones that are too much for a tweet and too little for the V.

VLVV.

// Keepers Tour

  1. @Tomb

    Rain Predicted For Roubaix

    Oh OH OH!!!!! Our wishes may be granted!

    Some muddy PR action here

    Mud everywhere except on arms and bike! Still the shiny bits shine through!

  2. @Cyclops
    Very nice!

    But shouldn’t there be a diet story? Like…

    “LOSE 16 POUNDS IN UNDER 4 HOURS WITH JOHAN MUSEEUW”

  3. Not sure if anyone caught the end of the GP Scheldeprijs yesterday but it appears there was a pretty nasty crash after the finish line involving the photographers (again). Apparently Rouleur’s photographer Taz Darling got cleaned up & is in a pretty bad way, more here.

    You’ve got to wonder how long it’ll be before the photogs are removed from the finishing straight, I know it means no more of the awesome head on photos of the bunch galloping towards the line but these accidents seem to be happening more & more…

  4. @The Oracle

    @Cyclops


    @RedRanger
    My right arm looks like that…

    And your left arm is skinny? You know what they say about men with one arm that’s disproportionately stronger than the other…
    .
    .
    .
    they do a lot of arm wrestling.

    They row in circles too!

  5. Cyclops mate that was fuckin brilliant + 1000

  6. @Mikael Liddy

    Last Sunday I was quite amazed by the clumps of photographers that were positioned right behind the finish line. The riders really had to swerve around them, and you could see that Boonen only had one fist up, as he had to use the other hand to steer his bike around the groups of photographers. What would have happened if it were an all-out, head down sprint?

  7. @Mikael Liddy

    Not sure if anyone caught the end of the GP Scheldeprijs yesterday but it appears there was a pretty nasty crash after the finish line involving the photographers (again). Apparently Rouleur’s photographer Taz Darling got cleaned up & is in a pretty bad way, more here.

    You’ve got to wonder how long it’ll be before the photogs are removed from the finishing straight, I know it means no more of the awesome head on photos of the bunch galloping towards the line but these accidents seem to be happening more & more…

    Terrible news — the white surface logos are serious trouble. Last years Tour took down a rider coming thru a turnabout as he merged across the fresh white line.

  8. Has anyone heard anything about levi leipheimer’s getting hit by a car in Spain?

  9. @mcsqueak

    @Mikael Liddy

    Last Sunday I was quite amazed by the clumps of photographers that were positioned right behind the finish line. The riders really had to swerve around them, and you could see that Boonen only had one fist up, as he had to use the other hand to steer his bike around the groups of photographers. What would have happened if it were an all-out, head down sprint?

    Well without having seen the footage, only photos, I wonder whether this might be the problem combined with wet weather & the slippery sponsor’s paint @Vin’cenza refers to.

  10. @Mikael Liddy
    Believe me, it was an all-out sprint. But yes, Boonen crashed into some photogs at Gent-Wevelgem a few years back and has some back problems because of it. I’m happy to see him not take chances.

  11. Afew quick picks from the Merckx velodrome session (awesome fun) and the Scheldepriis…

  12. Back in contact with the virtual world after a few days in Paris with my family without any internet connection. What an absolute blast last weekend was. Paris Roubaix was unbelievable, I’ve never been in so much pain on a bike. Watching the Ronde on the Kwaremont, knocking back the Maltenies with the guys was the perfect recovery.
    @fronk, @brett, @gianni and @marko thanks for setting up such an awesome trip. @pave cycling classics, serious nipple lube. I’m gutted that I couldn’t stay the whole week, it looks like it just keeps getting better and better.
    I’ll have dig through my photos this evening and post up anything of note.
    As a post script to our discussion on Saturday evening about my corrupt Garmin file and the 198bpm heart rate, this is the point when it happened:

  13. @VeloVita

    @wiscot
    Shower stall photos…um, no one should be subjected to that

    They would be in the top shelf, plastic-wrapped edition.

  14. @Vin’cenza
    @Mikael Liddy

    another wet white line crash
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmmRd3wbS7Q

    @gaswepass
    indeed, a car hit him, he is out with a broken calf bone. comeback in Tour of California (13-20 May)

  15. Jeez, each set of photos makes me wonder what I was thinking in not selling off a bike or two & making it on this journey! Cobbles, velodromes, Lion of Flanders, wow!

    TGIF everyone! Time to get wound up for Paris-Roubaix. People keep mentioning easter; I keep reminded them that Sunday is far more important for another reason.

  16. Nice mention in Cycling Tips blog – Wade should have just joined the Keepers’ Tour.

    http://www.cyclingtips.com.au/2012/04/the-lion-of-flanders/

  17. @Tobin

    @chiasticon
    C’mon…if you ride in the big ring all the time you could have guns that look like these….

    possibly. but i believe the “big ring” you’re referring to there would be the bigger of the chain ring and the cog, as that’s certainly a track bike.

  18. A few more photos from the first weekend of the keepers tour.

  19. Chris – sweet as photos! Love the shower heads/chain one & the King Kelly plaque. I didn’t realize he won it three times in a row!

    Very nice group shots at the pave markers as well. All of you look to be having the time of your lives!

  20. @Ron

    Chris – sweet as photos! Love the shower heads/chain one & the King Kelly plaque. I didn’t realize he won it three times in a row!

    Very nice group shots at the pave markers as well. All of you look to be having the time of your lives!

    Kelly only won it in ’84 and ’86, Marc Madiot took it in ’85. They just put a dash between each of the years.

  21. @Ron

    @Chris
    Yeah, I think only Moser won it three times in a row.

  22. @Frank
    Are there going to be any more photos from Jessie from the Roubaix ride? You had mentioned those as being a first batch.

    Still so stoked to have been part of the first weekend, then looking at all you guys did after I left, just over the top… Great event.

  23. It seems that the debt cycling owes to beer may be even greater than we had hitherto suspected. For without beer, we might never have had Belgium. That, at least, is the thesis advanced by Koen Deconinck and Johan Swinnen in a recent working paper of the American Association of Wine Economists entitled “War, Taxes, and Borders: How Beer Created Belgium”.

    The full article for those with sufficient time and inclination is available here: http://wine-economics.org/workingpapers/AAWE_WP104.pdf

    Those more time-constrained may find the abstract sufficient: “The present-day border between Belgium and the Netherlands traces back to the separation of the Low Countries after the Dutch Revolt (1566-1648) against Spanish rule. The capacity to finance war expenditures played a central role in the outcome of this conflict. Excise taxes on beer consumption were the single largest income source in Holland, the leading province of the Dutch Republic. Beer taxes thus played a crucial role in financing the Dutch Revolt which led to the separation of the Low Countries and, eventually, the creation of Belgium.”

    So now you know.

  24. Did anyone else gain weight on the Keepers Tour? I’m going to assume it’s all muscle.

  25. @Skip
    Yep, a heap more to come. The first lot was just a taster.

    Here’s a bit from the local paper last Sunday…

  26. @brett
    That’s pretty awesome! You have set the bar exceedingly high for the next KT.

  27. @brett
    That’s awesome, when do we get a full translation? World media domination beckons.

  28. @Chris

    @brett
    That’s awesome, when do we get a full translation? World media domination beckons.

    I think the headline reads “fuck off you stupid Americans”, said in an Irish accent with a French twist…

  29. @Chris
    My only hope is that when the TV contract with Eurosport is signed for the next KT, there’s a clause in there that says, “no reality tv”. Let’s focus on the rides and not the off the bike drama. It might be humorous at first, but all that behind-the-scenes crap jumps the shark pretty quickly.

  30. It says that The Americans have escpaed form what i can make out….?

  31. @brett

    or “when we offered free beer we didn’t realise there would be aussies and brits with the septics”

    @Flying Crowbar

    indeed, there’s only so much bar taping that people will watch.

  32. @brett

    @Chris

    @brett
    That’s awesome, when do we get a full translation? World media domination beckons.

    I think the headline reads “fuck off you stupid Americans”, said in an Irish accent with a French twist…

    Highlight of the trip:

    William in his sing-song voice: Alex, Alex, Alex…Aaaaaalex?

    Alex: Oui?

    William: FOOOK OFF!!!

  33. @paolo
    The Americans on a Nordique escape. The other says “At home with the cobble-eaters.”

  34. That is fucking awesome, an article to yourselves.

  35. Wow, local full-color, double spread coverage. That’s gold right there, pure gold. You guys are celebrities! Next year, wives and girlfriends of pros will be begging Keepers for their picture and autographs!

  36. @wiscot
    What, you don’t think I approached her now, do you?

  37. Well bugger that. The French Postal Service proved its incompetence by (first) holding the KTCC2012 V-Pints in customs for a week before sending @PaveCyclingClassics a letter that they needed proof of payment to approve the package and then (second) receiving proof of payment and then (third) rejecting it nevertheless and sending it back to me at Velominati HQ. Along with a letter in French which explains to me why it was returned (its because I’m an idiot, no doubt).

    On the plus side, the pints are magnificent.

  38. @frank what I love the most is that even your outdoor table is covered in (wooden) cobbles!

  39. @frank
    A shame no Malteni was sampled from those goblets.

  40. Hi Keepers,
    Quick note from all at Pave Cycling (especially Genevieve) to thank you for the kind gift that you guys send for our favourite chef. The french postal service did better that with the V pints.
    Genevieve says ” I can’t wait for the next cobbles Keepers Tour
    Thanks again
    Genevieve, William & Alex

  41. @All KT atendees;

    Who’s got my V Musette?

  42. A little excerpt from what I personally filmed two weeks ago at the Paris-Roubaix Espoirs (the one for the elite category).
    https://vimeo.com/43400707
    Paolo

  43. @thelastkilometer

    A little excerpt from what I personally filmed two weeks ago at the Paris-Roubaix Espoirs (the one for the elite category).
    https://vimeo.com/43400707
    Paolo

    Awesome job! Loved it and looking forward to more.

  44. 9/15 on todays quiz which seems to have a classics theme to it!  My best yet!

    http://www.cyclingrevealed.com/trivia/triviaindex.htm

  45. @Deakus

    9/15 on todays quiz which seems to have a classics theme to it! My best yet!

    http://www.cyclingrevealed.com/trivia/triviaindex.htm

    Yeah, I bounced back last week with a 14 and today with a 13 compared to two weeks ago when I had my ONE pointer showing.  Have you reviewed your answers form November yet?  Fun stuff to read the answers at the end of each month and learn from them!

  46. @Buck Rogers No hadn’t done that yet ill have a look tomorrow and see how I went so badly wrong!

  47. 10/15 here.  My best yet but given the topic I should have done better.

  48. Some familiar faces here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsVilek0OKQ

  49. I have been doing some research.  There are times when you have been eyeballs out on the rivet and laid down so much V that the physical ability to get to your post ride recovery beverage are limited.

    Let’s just say the barrel of the guns has overheated and they won’t work for a short while until they are rested and cooled down.

    This is the solution – Keepers Tour next year?

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