The Kapelmuur in January. Photo thenews.com

Cold Fact

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 death throes of amazingly calm, sunny, cloudless days, the arm warmers and undershirt have only just emerged from their longest hibernation ever. And I probably won’t need them for tomorrow’s ride either.

Come next Monday, however, I’ll be on the other side of the world and months of unzipped jerseys and SPF30 will be but a memory; a cold, wet, distant memory. And I have to say I’m almost looking forward to it with a strange enthusiasm and a hint of romanticism. Almost. No amount of fitness gleaned from training in perfect weather can prepare one for the rigours of a Belgian spring.

We know how the body will react when it is pulled from its warm cocoon and plunged into an icy bath. How the mind will handle it is a bigger concern. We can prepare ourselves physically to the nth degree, but if we’re mentally inept then the sag wagon becomes a likely option. At which point something deep inside takes over, thought processes return to normal and the mere thought of getting off the bike is quickly and methodically banished. Not here, not now.

Let the hardmen be hardmen, let it rain and blow and the cobbles turn to mud when they grace these roads. But Merckx have mercy on a fair-weather soul, even if only for a few selected days. Let our Flandrian Best suffice and our tubulars have sure grip on dry stones. Failing that, at least keep us upright and we will drink a toast to you night after night.

Bring it on.

It’s not too late to book a spot on the Keepers Tour 2013 and make your own history.

// Belgian Affirmations // Keepers Tour

  1. @Buck Rogers

    @Sauterelle

    @Buck Rogers

    Fuck me, it’s going to be epic! Not only the Keepers Tour but the Spring Classics! Should be one hell of a Belgian Spring!

    It’s KILLING me that I can’t move until fall! I would love to be there for the Classics this year!

    You and me and about 1,000 other cashed strapped Velominati!!! But, it is a matter of priorities and I suppose I could sell a kid or two (hell, I have five) to get there if I REAAALLLYY wanted to.

    I need to unload my house then I will be moving to Belgium!  I’ll be able to go on all the KT after that!

  2. exception 'ImagickException' with message 'unable to open image `/nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati//wp-content/plugins/dm-albums/php/image.php?degrees=0&scale=yes&width=600&height=700&quality=85&maintain_aspect=yes&rounding=nearest&image=/home/frankdstrack/velominati.com/wp-content/uploads/readers/Richard/2013.03.20.19.19.45/1/Gatto DDV.jpg': No such file or directory @ error/blob.c/OpenBlob/2638' in /nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati/wp-content/themes/velominati/generics.php:1224 Stack trace: #0 /nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati/wp-content/themes/velominati/generics.php(1224): Imagick->__construct('/nas/wp/www/clu...') #1 [internal function]: dm_replace_image_embeds('

    start_el('?display_element(Object(stdClass), Array, 1, 0, Array, '?@wiscot

    @Bianchi Denti

    Maybe you’ll ride faster if you just stay in your summer kit.

    Check out how little Oscar Gatto needed to wear to win Dwars door Vlaanderen yesterday, and how much unnecessary kit weight all the losers are carrying.

    That is a quality victory salute!

    While we’re on crappy weather, it’s been bloody awful in WI this year. Last year I had fresh tan lines by now. Today, in the second half of March we’re still in the teens with near zero wind chills. Not to mention ice and crap on the roads. I checked #3 yesterday and found I had a rear flat from Sunday. Thank Merckx it didn’t happen on the day as the wind chills on Sunday were in the low teens and switching out tubes would have been a real bugger.

    This is all I see when I look at this…

  3. @wiscot Crappy is being too nice. It was 7 degrees F on my house thermometer this morning, with a high of about 23 F today. As a fellow Wisconsinite, I say this is fucking January weather. While I still intend to hop on my two wheeled steed this weekend with temps in the low to mid 30’s and windchills around 25 F, (bloody ‘ell!) I will do it because any more time spent on the trainer will cause complete and utter despair. By the way, dude that won Dwars Door Vlannderen is about the only hardman that can truly invoke Rule #5 on any level.  Hey Tommke, take note!

  4. As much as I dream of making a KT, this would not be a good year to try such.  After a winter of discontent I’ve finally started to wedge the Selle Italia SLR Carbone between the ol’ arse cheeks on a regular basis now.  However, after a couple of rides sans booties and full finger gloves it seems that winter is doing an encore ’round these parts.  That;s fine though because I actually like riding in cold weather kit more than the “dime a dozen” kits of summer because one definitely looks more PRO when wearing their Flandrian Best.

  5. @frank

    What does the expression, “prepare ourselves physically to the nth degree” try to convey. Is the convention to assume a high value for n? But if n is zero and you prepare to that degree, you’ve not prepared at all.

    Or, are we talking degrees of a sphere or ciricle? If so, depending on your goal, is the assumption that you try to get n to be as close to 180 as possible?

    I’m so confused.

    Could it be conveying that you are giving training 110% yet, don’t want to sound quite as cliched as a woozy headed lineman giving an interview while sporting nothing but a towel?

  6. @Gianni

    @mcsqueak

    Neither, they are self-motivated. They seem to know where to go. My wife saw them as she was driving into town and was so surprised to see men in v-kits that she had to stop find out more information. There are only 5 v-kit owners on Maui, total, me and wife included so to see another pair is big news.

    I’ve never seen a Velominatus in the wild. I wonder when it will happen?

    We need a Lexicon entry to describe the lingering intrigue while aboard one of the n+1’s regarding whether or not today will be the day. Will they have a EMPS? Faux denim bibs with their Zwarte jersey?

  7. @brett

    @frank

    What does the expression, “prepare ourselves physically to the nth degree” try to convey. Is the convention to assume a high value for n? But if n is zero and you prepare to that degree, you’ve not prepared at all.

    Or, are we talking degrees of a sphere or ciricle? If so, depending on your goal, is the assumption that you try to get n to be as close to 180 as possible?

    I’m so confused.

    Correct.

    If the 3rd degree is the most severe grade of metaphorical degrees in common language (3rd degree burns or your mums interrogation to the 3rd degree when you were a nipper), then surely the Velominatus aspires to the 5th degree of preperation?

  8. @Ron

    I’ve never seen a Velominatus in the wild. I wonder when it will happen?

    It would be fun to have a page to post all sightings on. It has to happen more and more. Frank keeps selling the kits to someone! Our numbers grow. 

  9. @ChrisO

    @tessar

    @ChrisO Halloumi! The one place (other than Greece) where this heavenly cheese is actually affordable.

    Now that you mention it, the halloumi sitting in my fridge is from Cyprus, but I can’t say I’ve ever thought it was expensive – we get it pretty easily and cheaply here. I always have some around. Maybe the Arabs are trying to starve you out.

    I do love it – grilled, on manaeesh flatbread with zataar spices. Cypriot food is mostly the same as Lebanese from what I can see.

    Zaatar cheesy bread! One of my all time favourite snacks, though my version features sharp cheddar on whatever ‘good’ bread is in the house. Zaatar is the greatest spice mix ever, toss onto salad, stir into spaghetti sauce, grill on bread…. drool.

  10. @Gianni What are their handles, or are they lurkers?  We must have answers!

    @ChrisO Cyprus Ok, but what is your cash management strategy?

  11. Velominati, havent’ been around these parts for a while – been out riding instead.  

    Although off topic (and I’m not sure if he already mentioned it, – suspect not)  Marcus will be taking part in his first full Ironman this weekend (Sunday morning) in Melbourne, ‘Stralia. 

    For the uneducated that is (a) a fvcking long swim followed by (b) a very fvcking long bike ride (180km) followed by a full marathon (42km).  We have a small wager going which I expect to lose that he wouldn’t make the start line (he will).  Getting to the finish is another matter.

    Although as we all know a bike ride should never be preceded by a swim, this is nevertheless pretty huge.

    You can follow his progress online if you are so inclined here:

    http://www.ironman.com/coverage/athlete-tracker.aspx?race=melbourne&y=2013#axzz2ODT8GYPU

    Last name: O’Callaghan.

  12. @Kiwicyclist get fucked Stu – not sure why you posted that. This is a fucking cycling website. Nothing worse than fuckers getting on here and rabbiting on about other sports (of course the exception to that is any sport that an Australian is winning – which are few and far between at the moment, except for R Porte). 

    In my defence, if you dont count the inadvertent sprint training i receive when running out the back door of kiwicyclist’s house when he gets home from work early and unexpected, I have been doing my best to observe Rule #42 by keeping my running down to a bare minimum. Exactly 10 training runs done, none longer than 16ks.

    I am fucked.

  13. @Kiwicyclist Refreshing that page sounds like a good Saturday night’s entertainment for me!

    i assume you’ll be playing DS and riding ahead of Marcus in a canoe/car/motorbike?

  14. Nah @G’rilla don’t be stupid – I’ll jumping over his back fence as soon as he’s off out the door on Sunday morning….

  15. @Marcus

    @Kiwicyclist get fucked Stu – not sure why you posted that. This is a fucking cycling website. Nothing worse than fuckers getting on here and rabbiting on about other sports (of course the exception to that is any sport that an Australian is winning – which are few and far between at the moment, except for R Porte).

    In my defence, if you dont count the inadvertent sprint training i receive when running out the back door of kiwicyclist’s house when he gets home from work early and unexpected, I have been doing my best to observe Rule #42 by keeping my running down to a bare minimum. Exactly 10 training runs done, none longer than 16ks.

    I am fucked.

    I was wondering about this! I will be down there cheering (in my first ever, or close to, comment I confessed to being one of ‘those’ people so don’t get into a flap about it). Have a blast! We have a few racing on the day so we will be loud. Enjoy every bit of it. It will be hard but one serious achievement!

    But with only ten runs with a max of 16km you may be a little fucked.

    (Comment about sport other than cycling over).

  16. @Buck Rogers

    Not sure where to post this so I will throw it up here (maybe we could have a permanent link at the top of the page for “Current Races” or something that is always open to remarks about stuff going on in the present not related to a thread?)

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/volta-ciclista-a-catalunya-2013/stage-4/results

    How awesome is this?!?!?! Not only does Dan Martin win the stage on snowbanked roads and take the overall lead, Valverde abandons! Now I truly never wish a crash on anyone, not even Piti, but at least they say he is not hurt that badly at all and should be fine.

    I suppose it was all okay as he had so many blood bags available for immediate transfusion.

    I’m seconding this, a page, FRO, for racing only, great coverage here of the finish

    http://www.steephill.tv/volta-a-catalunya/

    These guy’s not only ride up to a ski field at ridiculous speed but they attack and throw in even bigger efforts in bids to escape, and catch the lone leader, great to watch! I dream of riding ski field roads, but race up them?!?

  17. @girl

    @Marcus

    @Kiwicyclist get fucked Stu – not sure why you posted that. This is a fucking cycling website. Nothing worse than fuckers getting on here and rabbiting on about other sports (of course the exception to that is any sport that an Australian is winning – which are few and far between at the moment, except for R Porte).

    In my defence, if you dont count the inadvertent sprint training i receive when running out the back door of kiwicyclist’s house when he gets home from work early and unexpected, I have been doing my best to observe Rule #42 by keeping my running down to a bare minimum. Exactly 10 training runs done, none longer than 16ks.

    I am fucked.

    I was wondering about this! I will be down there cheering

    I’m confused, are you talking about cheering on @Marcus as he parades around in his rubber suit then speedos or @Kiwicyclist as he goes over @Marcus‘s back fence?

  18. @Marcus Actually, that’s one sport that Australians are pretty damn good at. From Whitfield (in his days) and the three Emmas doing short-distance, to Alexander, Jacobs, McCormick at the IM distance – Aussies have this sport nailed.

    Good luck man. 16km is not enough to properly run it, but with the cutoff times being the way they are, run as much as you can and then run-walk whatever’s left. One way or the other, it’s an amazing experience – I just competed in my first Half-Ironman in January after two years of putting up a decent fight at short-distance racing. The levels of pain and preparation required are an order of magnitude bigger…

    The way I interpret Rule #42 is that a bike race shall not be preceded by a swim, but it’s not a bike-race and I’m never calling it such.

  19. @tessar thanks for the advice – did my first half ironman in 1997 – were you born then?

    You forgot Greg Welch Brad Bevan Loretta Harrop Kate Allen (yes she is Australian just like Froome is  Kenyan) Michellie Jones Erin Densham etc etc

  20. And Richie Porte (& Robbo etc etc)

  21. @Chris

    Best I could do. The pictures do appear to be identical or nearly so, but the proportions are slightly different… it is quite possible that they were taken in rapid-fire succession one after the other, or just cropped and edited over time. Who knows.

    I agree through – a full shot including the guns would be fantastic.

  22. @mcsqueak Great work,  although it makes me want the original even more now.

    I’m pretty sure it’s the same photo, theres a small rise on the horizon just in front of his nose that’s in the same distance in both as far as I can tell. I’m pretty sure that they didn’t have motordrives that quick on the cameras back then.

  23. The LBS doesn’t have or even know what embrocation is, and apparently can’t get any from their suppliers?  Bad omen that is.

  24. @tessar

    @gaswepass

    @freddy

    just saw the documentary. good stuff. Do we have any south africans who can vouch for the album being that important in the day?

    I wondered the same after watching the film. According to my girlfriend’s South African dad, it was indeed. He wasn’t quite interested in politics at the time, so he couldn’t say if it indeed was a resistance thing, but he knew half the songs by heart after several decades…

    The first song that comes on in this vid is Crucify Your Mind. That’s the message for you guys on the KT:

    Were you tortured by your own thirst
    In those pleasures that you seek…

    …I’ve seen your self-pity showing
    As the tears rolled down your cheeks

    When the cross comes into view as you round the corner on the Kapelmuur and all thought vapourizes from your mind, just know…that we are with you in spirit.

    -f

     

  25. @Chris Haha I will be cheering the racers.

    I can confirm he has signed on. Racers are you ready.

  26. @Marcus Good form ignoring the run in your training.  How is your transition?

  27. @DerHoggz Demote them to supplier of tubes only or just move on.

  28. Marcus did very well on the bike leg.  Just finished it averaging 32.54 kph.  Swim was decent as well.  Now we all need to say a few prayers for him on the dreaded marathon!

  29. @Buck Rogers

    Great effort considering the 30 – 35kmh North, Nor-wester wind here in Melbourne. The bike leg travels north out, south back. He’d have a head wind out, tail back x2. The marathon run home is pretty much a head wind straight on.

    Now we all need to say a few prayers for him on the dreaded marathon!

    Not too much prayer. Too much might lead to this;

  30. @marcus great effort. For 10 short runs to come in with even 6m km splits topped it off nicely.

    I had you and 1066 going head to head in div 4044 and you’ve bolted in.

    Anybody who completed in those conditions did well.

  31. @sthilzy

    @Buck Rogers

    Great effort considering the 30 – 35kmh North, Nor-wester wind here in Melbourne. The bike leg travels north out, south back. He’d have a head wind out, tail back x2. The marathon run home is pretty much a head wind straight on.

    Now we all need to say a few prayers for him on the dreaded marathon!

    Not too much prayer. Too much might lead to this;

    Now THAT is just a bad fuckin day at the office!

  32. @Marcus What an achievement to finish it on your first try, and a pretty good time!

  33. Strong work Marcus. Personally, I think it’s a little harsh they’ve posted that photo of you. Just remind yourself they didn’t finish.

    BTW, is Brett your separated at birth twin?

  34. @Marcus Well done, big achievement. Bucket list- tick. It’s a long today cheering, can’t imagine how long it seems to racers. Hope we cheered you as you passed.

  35. @all

    Thanks for your well wishes. Looking forward to ridding bike#3 of its aero bidon, it’s rear cage and a not inconsiderable amount of urine – and using it in real TTs.

  36. FMB Paris-Roubaixs are glued up to my new Café Roubaix Arenbergs. Bring that shit on!!

  37. @Marcus

    Holy Shiet! That’s a monster time. Do not come on any Keepers Tours, you too fast.

    @frank

    Holy Shiet again! It’s Tom Boonen’s brother Frank, flying over the cobbles. I guess this means the golden tickets are riding backup? That is a mean looking machine.

  38. exception 'ImagickException' with message 'unable to open image `/nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati//wp-content/plugins/dm-albums/php/image.php?degrees=0&scale=yes&width=600&height=700&quality=85&maintain_aspect=yes&rounding=nearest&image=/home/frankdstrack/velominati.com/wp-content/uploads/readers/frank/2013.03.26.02.00.28/1/IMG_7141.JPG': No such file or directory @ error/blob.c/OpenBlob/2638' in /nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati/wp-content/themes/velominati/generics.php:1224 Stack trace: #0 /nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati/wp-content/themes/velominati/generics.php(1224): Imagick->__construct('/nas/wp/www/clu...') #1 [internal function]: dm_replace_image_embeds('

    start_el('?display_element(Object(stdClass), Array, 1, 0, Array, '?@Marcus  Chapeau mate.

    @frank

    FMB Paris-Roubaixs are glued up to my new Café Roubaix Arenbergs. Bring that shit on!!

    Fuck, first Tommeke gives up on the Golden Tickets, now you?  We may have to mount a coup d’etat while you are out of the country!

  39. Ok frank & Dan, more details on those wheels!  CX model 23x50s on the Café Roubaix site? How about spokes?  Inquiring minds need to know….

  40. @frankI see you have shortened that seat post.

  41. exception 'ImagickException' with message 'unable to open image `/nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati//wp-content/plugins/dm-albums/php/image.php?degrees=0&scale=yes&width=600&height=700&quality=85&maintain_aspect=yes&rounding=nearest&image=/home/frankdstrack/velominati.com/wp-content/uploads/readers/frank/2013.03.26.02.00.28/1/IMG_7141.JPG': No such file or directory @ error/blob.c/OpenBlob/2638' in /nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati/wp-content/themes/velominati/generics.php:1224 Stack trace: #0 /nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati/wp-content/themes/velominati/generics.php(1224): Imagick->__construct('/nas/wp/www/clu...') #1 [internal function]: dm_replace_image_embeds('

    start_el('?display_element(Object(stdClass), Array, 1, 0, Array, '?@frank

    FMB Paris-Roubaixs are glued up to my new Café Roubaix Arenbergs. Bring that shit on!!

    All dressed up and ready to go, Dam those wheels are hot. I need to talk with Dan R.

  42. exception 'ImagickException' with message 'unable to open image `/nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati//wp-content/plugins/dm-albums/php/image.php?degrees=0&scale=yes&width=600&height=700&quality=85&maintain_aspect=yes&rounding=nearest&image=/home/frankdstrack/velominati.com/wp-content/uploads/readers/frank/2013.03.26.02.00.28/1/IMG_7141.JPG': No such file or directory @ error/blob.c/OpenBlob/2638' in /nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati/wp-content/themes/velominati/generics.php:1224 Stack trace: #0 /nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati/wp-content/themes/velominati/generics.php(1224): Imagick->__construct('/nas/wp/www/clu...') #1 [internal function]: dm_replace_image_embeds('

    start_el('?display_element(Object(stdClass), Array, 1, 0, Array, '?@Nate

    @Marcus Chapeau mate.

    @frank

    FMB Paris-Roubaixs are glued up to my new Café Roubaix Arenbergs. Bring that shit on!!

    Fuck, first Tommeke gives up on the Golden Tickets, now you? We may have to mount a coup d’etat while you are out of the country!

    Golden tickets are most certainly coming and will be my primary wheelset, though I expect to ride these on the first Roubaix day simply to send a wheelset built by a company called “Café Roubaix” down the trench. These wheels will be for the group to ride etc. I couldn’t resist the temptation to load them on the #1 though. It looks badass and the wheels are very light.

    By the way, *I’m* calling them the Arenbergs. No idea what @Dan_R is calling them.

  43. Amputating the computer today, by the way. The thrill is gone.

  44. @frank

    Dead sexy Cervelo right there!

  45. @frank

    Amputating the computer today, by the way. The thrill is gone.

    I’m curious why you are ditching the computer, Frank?

    Tired of looking at it? Enjoy riding by feel alone? Just want to get back to basics?

    I’ve had a couple friends do this the last few months as well without much explanation. I am curious why I seem to be running into this more incidents of this lately….

    -Dinan

  46. @frank Very good.

  47. @Dinan He’s heading to Belguim mate: Bikes, bergs, beer, bromance…

  48. @Dinan

    @frank

    Amputating the computer today, by the way. The thrill is gone.

    I’m curious why you are ditching the computer, Frank?

    Tired of looking at it? Enjoy riding by feel alone? Just want to get back to basics?

    I’ve had a couple friends do this the last few months as well without much explanation. I am curious why I seem to be running into this more incidents of this lately….

    -Dinan

    Because it drives you fucking mental being off when its supposed to be on and vice versa – and the stats it produces are frankly depressing

  49. @the Engine

    @Dinan

    @frank

    Amputating the computer today, by the way. The thrill is gone.

    I’m curious why you are ditching the computer, Frank?

    Tired of looking at it? Enjoy riding by feel alone? Just want to get back to basics?

    I’ve had a couple friends do this the last few months as well without much explanation. I am curious why I seem to be running into this more incidents of this lately….

    -Dinan

    Because it drives you fucking mental being off when its supposed to be on and vice versa – and the stats it produces are frankly depressing

    It’s been easy to eliminate a cyclo-computer on my no.1 bike because there’s never been one on my no.1 bike. -Vince

  50. @the Engine @unversio

    Gotcha. If the bike and the ride are not enjoyable, you need to make it so. I understand.

    I often times have to take my Garmin off the stem and put it in my jersey pocket. That way I don’t obsess about it but still maintain a decent log of my riding. I can see a day when I would tire of it though….

    -Dinan

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