Velominati Cogal: Welli-Roubaix 2011

Artwork: Richard 'Rigid' Ainsworth.

It’s a call to arms.  No, it’s a call to legs, hearts and minds.

Just as the Illuminati would stage their fabled, and somewhat feared Cabals, we the Velominati will this year stage our own modern-day versions, the Cogals.  A meeting of like-minded misfits brought together by the promise of beer, preceded by a bike ride. Sound like a formula you could enjoy?  Then Welli-Roubaix is just the ticket.

Assembling at Hataitai Velodrome, Wellington on Sunday April 10, the date of the Queen of the Classics, we will share a cocktail of gravel and tarmac (in the place of real cobbles). It’s a ride, not a race, but attacking on the gravé is encouraged, as is banter in between bouts of the V.  Sprinting on the banked concrete at the conclusion of the ride is mandatory, but no ‘winner’ will be crowned, no trophy awarded except that of cold brews and a set of commemorative  V-Cards.

The next morning (Monday), lashings of Chimay, Duvel, mussels and frites en mayo will accompany the live viewing of the the main event at downtown Belgian bar Leuven. We implore the Welliminati to gather en masse, and encourage our Aussieminati to make the jump across the ditch and join in a weekend of V-based activities on and off 700 x 25s.

*In the light of the terrible events in Christchurch, we will dedicate the ride to those unfortunately affected by the earthquake, and donate V dollars (or more) each to a reputable appeal.

Good times, good people, good cause.

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173 Replies to “Velominati Cogal: Welli-Roubaix 2011”

  1. @Buck Rogers
    Well, for me, it’s not Omerta. I know no details, so I wouldn’t have any specifics. What I do know is, when he’s not happy, the close folks put it this way–“That’s just Lance being Lance.” If I were close to a global mega-star, I’d probably learn to accept quirks.

  2. @G’phant
    Riding in Austin: I moved away in ’94, so I don’t know any routes anymore. Real estate development has plowed over a bunch of my old training loops. When I lived there, the Tour of Texas was the first stage race of the global calendar for the amateur scene. All the national teams from all over the world showed up, as well as all the major domestic squads. The weather was usually good, but it could be bad enough to toughen up riders. It was hilly. It could get windy and hot. Point-to-point races were mixed with criteriums. It went all over the state, but it was based out of Austin. I got to train with true global studs: Dutch national team, Canadian national team, domestic gods. It was like the music scene, only on bikes. And it was only for about a month, but it was AWESOME. Pretty cool, successful racers have crashed at my place or, at least, came over for dinner and went out with me on training rides. Races? I was never fast enough to be amongst them.

    Riding now–I hear it’s as good as ever, just farther out. It’s very hilly west of Austin. It’s more rolling and gets flatter east of Austin.

    It’s always beautiful. If I were hi-tech in anyway, I’d move back. Software is the industry that drives the economy.

    Both you and Buck Rogers should get the book “Best Bike Rides–Texas” by Andy White. I don’t know if it’s been updated since ’98, but most of the rides are probably still do-able. It’s helpful if you want to get a feel for what to expect. Most of the rides are in Central Texas, in the Hill Country. The next large grouping is in North Texas. The rest are scattered about. Austin and San Antonio are in the Hill Country. Anything around those two cities is great for cycling.

  3. @frank
    Is that your recumbent, Frank? If it is, I don’t know what to say. It’s like finding out the Pope puts on a shiny suit, fake sideburns, blow dries his hair big, and moonlights as a Protestant TV evangelist.

  4. I am trying something technologically new for me this weekend. I now have mobile internet access on the CLEAR network. Theoretically, if I can get a live feed and I can stay on the CLEAR network, I will go to my daughter’s riding lessons in the morning and not miss a thing. Rule 11 will be mildly enforced. I will not be on my bike, but I will worship at the alter of all things cobbled, cold, and miserably beautiful.

    It’s good to be with you all for 2011.

  5. @Welliminati… Frikkin awesome news, we have secured the Leuven Belgian Beer Cafe in downtown Welli to watch the live coverage of Paris Roubaix on Monday April 11! While checking out their website I came across their cycling club, and emailed them. Todd, who ran the rides said they had folded due to lack of support, but is willing to give us all discounted breakfast and beers while we take in the action. Sweet bros!

  6. Did a reconnaissance run today, added about 40km of new route, and upped the gravé sectors from one to six, plus a grass sector. And it will be Hell, today Rigid had a flat and destroyed his front derailleur! If it rains it will be carnage!

  7. Just put the call out to the Augusta, Georgia area that in honor of Milan-Sanremo I am going to ride 150 kms (half the distance the pros will ride) on Saturday. I suppose it should actually be 149 kms as I think MSR is actually 298 kms but I do so love a rounded-off number. I realize it is not a super long ride for a lot of people, but this early in the season it will be a REAL ride for me! Hopefully a few people join in but it might just be a solo jaunt for around 5 hours!

  8. As for my own mini-MSR here at Ft Gordon in Augusta, Georgia I actually had one guy show up and ride one 40 km loop with me before he stopped. I ended up doing 161 kms. First time I have gone that far in a long time. The guy who rode the first loop had an altimeter watch with him (not me, I rode with just time showing on my cyclometer :) and said he will let me know the elevation per lap as it is a HILLY loop!

  9. CJ:
    Bretto, how long has the ride pushed out to now?
    And are freds allowed?

    Only those whose names are not Fred.

    Not entirely sure of the distance, with only a V-Meter to go off. Last year was around 75km from memory, and with the added gravé it’ll be 100 0r so. Or I’m completley wrong and we’ll be out there all day fixing punctures and fashioning chains from fencing wire…

  10. Just settling in to watch Australia-US rugby match from Wellington Regional Stadium. You lot haven’t whored out your stadium names to the corporate shill?
    Oi, already an Oz try in the time it took to type that sentence.

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