Velominati: You Must Obey

Velominati: You Must Obey

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What motivates a Velominatus?  It seems a simple question, but the answer is complicated and gets into various issues that are neither interesting nor compelling.

For me, cycling has been a life-long obsession.  I enjoy any kind of riding.  I enjoy technical, single-track mountain biking, I enjoy riding on dirt roads or wide trails.  I enjoy commuting by bike, and I enjoy riding my bike to the local markets. I love riding an old clunker bike around a city like Amsterdam.  But my heart has always belonged to road cycling.

When I was a kid, my dream was to start a frame-building business.  In my free time, I sketched bicycles – anything from standard road bikes to exotic time trial machines.  I even designed logos for my imagined company, humbly named Strack Cycles.  When not designing frames, the next priority was to dream up the names and kits for the teams Strack Cycles would invariably sponsor.

When time allowed during the Summer months, I would go for multiple training rides per day, some on the road, and some off. Officially a Nordic ski racer, I realized that I had become a cyclist when the shortening of the days as Fall approached was met with dread that the cycling season was coming to a close rather than excitement for the imminent ski season.

Long hours on the road bike were filled with fantasies of being in day-long solo breakaways at the Tour de France; motivation to climb aboard my bike in the rain was eased by imagining I was racing in a Belgian Spring classic.

Such are the motivations of this particular Velominatus.

Then came Velominati.  We’ve carried on long conversations.  We’ve established our own vernacular. Most of us are probably on some psychiatric “People of Interest” list.  And, we have our own kit. In addition to bearing the Velominati colors and logos, the kit bears various details that only those of us in the know will appreciate:  the “Obey the Rules” emblem appears in various places, and the right leg of the bibs bear three Rules, referred to only by number and oriented such that they are legible for the wearer.  We modestly believe it to be the most awesomest kit on the planet, ever.

A non-nondescript box greeted me upon my arrival home from work yesterday.  The box bore a simple, handwritten note: “Velominati – You Must Obey”, signalling the arrival of the first order of the Velominati Kit (which leads me to believe the folks at Castelli subscribe to Rules Holism).   My hands were shaking as I opened the box and gazed in at the oblique realization of a lifelong dream.

With that, I present the Velominati kit, made by Castelli and designed by KRX-10. We’ll be placing more orders throughout the year, so just drop us a line if you’d like to put the whole Rule #17 issue to bed and fly the Velominati colors.

UPDATE: I have updated the set of photos in the post to more accurately reflect the colors of the actual kit.  The kit is black, and in no way brownish or purple, as some of the photos appear to be.

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// Accessories and Gear // Kit // Nostalgia // The Rules

  1. @Marko
    Thanks for making me feel better and to top it off I misquoted myself:

    “New term in the lexicon for now you will be “climbing like an eagle” to completely confuse the competition?”

    Should have read:
    “New term in the lexicon: You will be climbing like a “frozen potato!” for you will be “climbing like an eagle” to completely confuse the competition?”

    On the card thing if the committees approve how about just “Obey the Rules” and a web address?

  2. @Rob, @Marko
    I took the box inside, unpacked it, put on one of the kits, had Michelle photograph me, packed and shipped all the kits, wrote the article, and posted the photos all without ever, once, noticing the frozen potatoes.

    Not until Timo made the comment did I notice.

    So none of you feel bad on that.

  3. @frank See above – I think my plan when I wear the kit (by the way never on “Sweet Pea”) is to bury the competition so there are no Questions!

  4. @frank

    @Rob

    I figured since Rob got his today mine would be here when I got home. None such luck. I anticipate manana.

  5. @Marko
    Well, it probably takes a couple extra days for the sled dogs to make it up there to your place.

  6. Rethink on the card thing while the adds are on…

    VELOMINATI
    -Keepers of the Cog-
    “OBEY THE RULES”

    http://www.velominati.com
    Rule #1 Obey the Rules, Rule #5 HTFU, Rule #10 It never gets easier you just go faster.

  7. It HAS arrived. Gorgeous, badass looking kit. Going for a ride.

  8. @Rob
    Love it.

    @Marko
    Awesome!!

  9. Okay, so I’ve been mulling over this card idea. It’s pretty important to me because of this new v-cog tattoo of mine. I’ve gotten a couple questions on it and have realized that telling people it’s a cycling blog I contribute to just isn’t enough. I ,of course, know it’s much more than that as do you all. We are not a blog or just a group of cyclists. We are the velominati. So to this end, I’ve decided I will give the following the answer when asked about the new tat. Of course, it’ll work well for the kit too:

    A velominatus is a cycling disciple of the highest order. We spend our days pouring over the very essence of what makes cycling such a special sport and how that essence fits into cycling’s colorful fabric. This is the Velominati’s raison d’être. This is our agony – our badge of honor – our sin. There is a blog but the road is where the Velominati can be themselves.

  10. @Marko
    Amen to that. I would only suggest adding an optional final sentence, to be used only where it appears needed, along the lines of “Now – HTFU and ride.”

  11. @frank
    Jesus, I’m not that hardcore am I? Anyone the business card idea, load of toss. The Rules are something that you have to find out about gradually, you have to immerse, soak yourself in them. They are a viking feast, not a pot noodle (how about that for a tag-line?).

    Besides, handing out business cards is a bit city-boy-soft and would open us up to ridicule as we; as being patronising to others and potentially putting them off ever wanting to discover more about the sport. However, if someone sees a stylish rider cruising past silently them on a perfectly fitted bike, then it should leave them wanting to be that rider, admiring the skill and dedication that it takes to look that good on a bike. They will want to be a Velominati.

    The tattoo – hard as fuck – that is your business card. Marko at comment #49 nails it to the rafters.

  12. Agreed Jarvis… are we in danger of disappearing up our own asses? I mean, business cards? It’s enough that Marko got a tattoo that suspiciously looks like it’s not a temporary one!

  13. @Jarvis

    @brett

    To fucking right. I knew that common sense to all this would be forth coming and you are both right. The card thing was a wimpy attempt to try to explain what should be obvious by my riding/form on the bike in the Kit. Anyway the Kit has it all.

    I am back in HTFU land and if there are any questions in the pace line I will just drop the bastards.

    I leave now for the first group ride in Kit – Thanks.

  14. I’m a little on the fence re. the cards, but I get the criticisms. What you really need is a website where you can post illuminating guidelines and commandments and the like. Oh, wait a minute. Never mind.

  15. @Rob

    Right on.

  16. @brett You are the voice of “get realness” and I do drift toward the girlie “what ifyness” side of things, so again thanks.

    To all –
    Just back and the new Kit has been very well received by the group. It is supremely comfortable fit wise and in the details like the padding, it is just right. (I am so glad that the thick padding stage is over it felt like you were sitting on a Maxi pad all day.) The cut was in complete agreement with Rule #7 and it felt like a second skin.

    The guys all liked the design and were definitely curious about the rules. There was a very short questioning about if the Kit was made in Australia?? Something about the pouch in the front of the jersey but that’s when I slammed it in the big ring and put some hurt on.

    @Steampunk +1

  17. Got my kit! Awesome, definitely not browny/purple as it seems to appear in the pics above; it’s black and badass! Nice work Frank and KRX…

  18. Just went to order my kit, but wasn’t sure how to ensure I get the right sizing. I dare not describer myself as “skinny”, lest I get something that would fit Gesink but would struggle to cope with a 46 year old midriff which is stubbornly less taut than once it was. However, if I describe myself as “reasonably normal for a 46 year old recreational cyclist” I run the distinct risk of conjuring a mental picture of a lardass, which would also be inaccurate. It’s a bit like trying to order a curry. I dare not say “medium” in case I get what the Indian restrauteur would consider medium (i.e. something that scorches my lips off from three paces). But then I get pissed off when I say “mild” and the restaurateur assumes I want whhat a curry virgin would regard as mild (i.e. something which requires steamed rice to give it flavour). In NZ, this issue is often resolved by proprietors of relevant restaurants asking whether, by “medium”, one means “Kiwi medium” or “Indian medium”. I thought that perhaps there would be a role for a similar methodology in cycling sizing – I would be “cyclist average” but “normal skinny”. And a whole bunch of entertaining additions to the Lexicon might follow.

    But then I remembered that internet purchases are evil and banned (with the exception of Velominati kit), so it would be wrong for us to be involved in anything which makes them easier. So I’ll just email Frank my height and hope for the best …

  19. You’ll need XL mate. I got L and it’s too small.

  20. I am 5’11”, 170 lbs with pouch (planning to get to 160-5 ish to loose the pouch) and large is perfect.

  21. I’m 5’10”, 195 lbs without much pouch (wishing I could harness shoulders and chest on the bike) and fit XL comfortably in other Castelli products. Submitted my order the other day: looking forward to the second generation kit…

  22. @all
    I would say, trust the size chart here to give you a very snug fit. The kit is extremely comfortable, however, and despite feeling snug off the bike, it is like a second skin when riding.

    http://www.serviziocorse.com/sizingchart.html

  23. Here’s a video of the some of the exchanges that have gone on while deciding on kit size:

  24. Nice one! Sums up the Kit sizing dilemma and touches on all the issues of peaking.

  25. @all
    I have updated the set of photos in the post to more accurately reflect the colors of the actual kit. I’ll restate that the kit is black, and in no way brownish or purple, as some of the photos appear to be.

    Also, additional photos of Brett’s kit can be found here.

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