Mr Strack, Mr Merckx and The Rules

Mr Strack, Mr Merckx and The Rules

How Did We Get to Here?

by / / 102 posts

How did we get to here? Here is Frank, the founder of Velominati, standing next to Eddy Merckx. Eddy is looking at The Rules, in Rouleur’s book-zine format. Frank is in his best button down sweater, trying to keep his shit together. And it is not easy for him to do this as Rouleur has invited him to London and now he is showing The Rules to Eddy Merckx.

The first time I met Frank he was wearing a Rouleur cycling cap (in a pre-Rules world, so no foul). The Velominati website is directly inspired by Rouleur magazine. Rouleur is a big, dense tome (or book-zine) of the best cycling writing and photography one can buy. It’s not cheap but why should excellence come cheap?

That Frank (or Velominati-The Rules, his billing on the invite) was invited to London to partake in this festivus is due to his persistence and unfiltered love of all things Cycling. A less persistent person would have told all of us to sod off and stopped paying the site’s hosting bills years ago. That Velominati is still here is because there are enough cycling fanatics out there who participate on the site and are not put off by everyone else’s dickish comments. We are amused by each other’s dickish comments. Personally I live for them. The Rules might be what gets the site notoriety but for those that enjoy the site frequently, it’s the daily surprises and humor that keep us coming back.

We should all take pride and pleasure that Frank is over there, representing all of us, having a laugh with Cipo, Fabian, David Millar and especially Eddy. Viva La Vie Velominatus.

// La Vie Velominatus // The Rules

  1. Chapeau to you @frank and to the rest of the Keepers! What has certainly been a labor of love has surely reaped a plentiful harvest for you folks. I think I can speak for all of us here when I say your work here at Velominati can be described in one word- Priceless. Thanks to you and the boys, this middle-aged Midwestern fat boy is not just another knob riding a bicycle, but is inspired and engaged in cycling at a level above the crowd. Well done, I’m certain you were brimming with pride as well as humbled to be standing next to Merckx while he thumbed through the pages. I know I’d be beside myself if I were in your shoes. Fine Work!

  2. Jeeze ,Not getting any younger are we.

  3. Good talk yesterday Frank. Hope you enjoyed it all as much as I did!

  4. p.s. Is there a rule about not turning up for your slot because you are in bed with a hooker? Not you Frank !

  5. @CycleChick

    @Gianni

    Ah, I hope so. Lovely man, Joshua. It would indeed be a match made in heaven. I would even consider coming to the bridal shower. I warn you though, I may be intoxicated.

    So if Eddy ever makes his way to Winnipeg, here’re some questions you can ask him

    1) What is the correct length for cycling socks?

    2) Where should I go for a cycling holiday?

    3) What is your favourite colour?

  6. @Major VVald

    @frank

    Superb! When meeting the Prophet, one must always dress appropriately keen. Nice tie knot, I’m sure the offering was accepted. Must be the highlight of the year so far. To have been deemed worthy….nice.

    And note the detail: bottom button of the cardigan open. Casually deliberate!

  7. @Teocalli

    Wrong weekend to choose to go to Tenby, still the sun is out here.

    No way, me and Mrs Sandy were in Saundersfoot all weekend. Did you see the weather on Saturday? The rain, cold, wind, hail…yes, we were out riding in that. Had a lovely ride on Sunday though and finished at Wright’s Cafe near Camarthen. Great times.

  8. So, I’ve been exchanging emails with Frank regarding a V-Jersey, in which he was complaining about being ‘busy with work’, and the next thing I know there’s a photographic evidence all he’s been doing is hanging out with the Prophet. Some people.

  9. While @Frank was doing it his way, winter finally arrived in Switzerland, as did the hail storm, unexpectedly.

    I almost felt like Hinault, but while my fingers turned black, my face became green with envy for @Frank. What did Eddy really say about The Rules? “Efkes doorbijten”?

  10. I wasn’t there for this momentous meeting, though did see @Frank on stage on Friday. He did a superb job, despite sporting an egregiously long casual sock.

    SuperMario, who was on before Frank (thus his warmup act, in future anecdote retellings, no doubt), was a veritable cartoon character, complete with waxed chest and unlaced para boots. He was asked “how do you maintain your physique” and replied something along the lines of “I do some cycle … visit the gym … and the sex”. The last phrase delivered with a classic Italian “of course, you know?” expression on his face.

    A singular individual.

  11. @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    Wrong weekend to choose to go to Tenby, still the sun is out here.

    No way, me and Mrs Sandy were in Saundersfoot all weekend. Did you see the weather on Saturday? The rain, cold, wind, hail…yes, we were out riding in that. Had a lovely ride on Sunday though and finished at Wright’s Cafe near Camarthen. Great times.

    You could say we saw the weather……we walked from Tenby round the coast path to Saundersfoot through it. Hit the first coffee cafe we saw in Saundersfoot and left a large puddle on their floor. Went to Pendine, Mumbles and Southerndown on the way home on Sunday.

  12. HOLY FUCK.

  13. That’s just incredibly cool!

    Hope you’re having a great time Frank!!!!

  14. Notes from Saturday: Microphones work better when held near the mouth…

  15. @Barracuda

    @brett

    @frank

    Have you got a semi there?

    Yep, definately wood

    Can you blame me?

    @wilburrox

    A checked shirt, tie and cardigan… smooth, very. And best, not a silly bow tie. Just classic. And the book was possibly autographed? By the author for Eddy yes? Too cool. Cheers @frank

    Funny you mention that; this is roughly the way I dress at work and my sweaters have started a sweater arms race in the office. One must always endeavor to look one’s best. I do admit, however, that over the course of teh event, my attire moved towards nice jeans and V-Shirts in order to shamelessly plug the site a bit.

  16. @CycleChick

    Goodness @frank that is nothing short of Cool as Fuck. You have officially surpassed my meeting with Valentino (crosses self) Campagnolo in Rome. Official girl wood, right here. Chapeau.

    Girl wood. I’m going to have to remember that. Nicely played.

    @Gianni

    @CycleChick

    Goodness @frank that is nothing short of Cool as Fuck. You have officially surpassed my meeting with Valentino (crosses self) Campagnolo in Rome. Official girl wood, right here. Chapeau.

    He may be too bleedin’ high and bloody mighty to hang out with the likes of us now.

    Joshua Riddle, your buddy, was at this event and he and Frank got together so maybe Velominati can do some business with Campagnolo. That would be nice.

    The VMH is making sure my ego gets crushed back down to proper skull size. Waiting for my flight at Heathrow I actually caught myself wondering why no one was asking me for an inscription. Spoiler alert: its because no one gives a flying fuck.

  17. @Tugman

    Chapeau to you @frank and to the rest of the Keepers! What has certainly been a labor of love has surely reaped a plentiful harvest for you folks. I think I can speak for all of us here when I say your work here at Velominati can be described in one word- Priceless. Thanks to you and the boys, this middle-aged Midwestern fat boy is not just another knob riding a bicycle, but is inspired and engaged in cycling at a level above the crowd. Well done, I’m certain you were brimming with pride as well as humbled to be standing next to Merckx while he thumbed through the pages. I know I’d be beside myself if I were in your shoes. Fine Work!

    Brimming with pride doesn’t begin to describe it. Humbling and empowering in a way that might require a therapist to help me reconcile.

    He seemed to like it, he was really flipping through it much longer than I expected. He handed it off to his assistant when we finished up, at which point I figured it would slip into a bag or a rubbish bin. But a few hours later, as he approached the stage, this happened.

  18. @edster99

    Good talk yesterday Frank. Hope you enjoyed it all as much as I did!

    I certainly did!

    @edster99

    p.s. Is there a rule about not turning up for your slot because you are in bed with a hooker? Not you Frank !

    I didn’t hear that as being the reason, but given who it was I would not be terribly shocked. Rumour mills are not to be trusted; I do know more about another appearance that was missed and having heard the reason from the primary source, I do know the word on the street was dramatically different from what reality was.

    That said, in general, I would say not turning up for your slot for any reason other than an absolutely unforeseeable emergency is highly unprofessional. Even then, it would be courteous to offer an official statement of apology to the organizers, who work their fucking asses off behind the scenes to keep that motor humming. Seriously, talk about herding cats. Incredible work to the team behind the scenes; I do not envy them at all.

    @Al__S

    Notes from Saturday: Microphones work better when held near the mouth…

    Were you there? Did we meet? If not, why? (Sorry, translating a online handle to a person without context is a bit impossible. Was looking forward to meeting you.)

  19. He’s bound to flip through it on the plane or back home over Xmas – a wry smile here and there before he nods off in front of the fire remembering various exploits brought back to him by the tome.

  20. @Al__S

    Notes from Saturday: Microphones work better when held near the mouth…

    The sound wasn’t great at times on Friday either. The mic didn’t seem to work particularly well when Frank diverted on of Ned Boultings questions in my direction.

  21. @frank

    Rock star!

  22. @frank

    Well, I heard it from one of the organisers who provided me with my ticket… but as you say, even then i might have just believed it because I wanted to :) All adds to the legend, anyway.

    A great event though, not like a normal bike show.

  23. Wow, That is seriously cool Frank. Hope you caught up with @theEngine!

  24. One day the story of David Millar describing his EPMS to @frank will be told – one day…

  25. @edster99

    @frank

    Well, I heard it from one of the organisers who provided me with my ticket… but as you say, even then i might have just believed it because I wanted to :) All adds to the legend, anyway.

    This has got to be about Cipo then…

  26. Chapeau, Frank. And a humble Thank you to you and to all the Keepers for the community you’ve started and kept. And for The Rules.

  27. @the Engine

    One day the story of David Millar describing his EPMS to @frank will be told – one day…

    That I would have love to have been present for. I take it DM was deliberately trying to wind up @frank?

    I spoke to DM on the Friday, very down to earth. Nice bloke.

  28. Here is a video of Matt Stephens and me speaking on Stage 4 of the Rouleur Classic. Thanks heaps to @the Engine for videoing it and sharing it with me. Although I do observe that the bane of mobile phone videos is people’s irresistible urge to hold the camera upright.

  29. @the Engine

    One day the story of David Millar describing his EPMS to @frank will be told – one day…

    He was describing Ryder’s “MacGyver” pack which he carries in addition to an EPMS which is crammed so full it has a hole cut in it for a pump to be stuffed into…

  30. Well done Frank. Your comittment and dedication to the V is now complete. I would have turned into a babbling fool lamenting “I’m not worthy”

  31. @frank

    This is very, very cool. Great job, Frank.

  32. @frank

    Here is a video of Matt Stephens and me speaking on Stage 4 of the Rouleur Classic. Thanks heaps to @the Engine for videoing it and sharing it with me. Although I do observe that the bane of mobile phone videos is people’s irresistible urge to hold the camera upright.

    In my defence I’d had two glasses of fizz and I’m very old

  33. How cool is the mug shot under the Special Guests section.

    http://rouleurclassic.cc/

    Just rollin with the who’s who eh @frank

    What an experience.

    ENVEious

  34. @frank One would assume that this photo will be getting framed and “going straight to the pool room “

  35. Here Frank, I’ll buy you a digital beer

  36. @Barracuda

    @frank One would assume that this photo will be getting framed and “going straight to the pool room “

    In retrospect, there are loads of photos I should have taken. It was all filled out eventually and I never took a photo of it.

    What the fuck is my name doing on that board?

  37. @edster99

    @frank

    Well, I heard it from one of the organisers who provided me with my ticket… but as you say, even then i might have just believed it because I wanted to :) All adds to the legend, anyway.

    A great event though, not like a normal bike show.

    Definitely adds to the legend…and I was up in the organizational office when that story was concocted; more of a, “…yeah, because I bet he’s in bed with a hooker…” and there you go. Sorry.

    On the other hand, when he did eventually turn up and demand he and I swap spots (was afraid of following me, no doubt) he did say that he says in shape with “the Cycling, the Gym, and the seeeeexxxxxx…”

    Also, apparently he’s not very photogenic. Most good looking man on the planet in person.

    (Have I said all this already? If so, forgive me; I’m still coming down and still jetlagged.)

  38. @frank

    Bloody hell, it just gets better – respect!

    Sounds like it was THE cycling event of the year.

  39. This is all more brilliant. When the Prophet creates his Velominati account in a few days, what do you think his user name will be?

  40. Had to watch it again. “Keith Bontrager says yes to disc brakes on road bikes ” @frank ” Keith Bontrager is a pusher, it’s like asking your coke dealer if you should be doing drugs ”

    that right there is some funny shit !

    Could that somehow weave its way into a future edition? “Keith the pusher”

  41. @Barracuda

    Might not be entirely appropriate but……….

  42. @frank

    @edster99

    @frank

    Well, I heard it from one of the organisers who provided me with my ticket… but as you say, even then i might have just believed it because I wanted to :) All adds to the legend, anyway.

    A great event though, not like a normal bike show.

    Definitely adds to the legend…and I was up in the organizational office when that story was concocted; more of a, “…yeah, because I bet he’s in bed with a hooker…” and there you go. Sorry.

    On the other hand, when he did eventually turn up and demand he and I swap spots (was afraid of following me, no doubt) he did say that he says in shape with “the Cycling, the Gym, and the seeeeexxxxxx…”

    Also, apparently he’s not very photogenic. Most good looking man on the planet in person.

    (Have I said all this already? If so, forgive me; I’m still coming down and still jetlagged.)

    Damn!!

  43. @the Engine

    Five new #Rules in the making! Can’t wait or should we be careful what we wish for, although I’d be OK if disc brakes are banned ;-)

  44. @KogaLover

    @the Engine

    Five new #Rules in the making! Can’t wait or should we be careful what we wish for, although I’d be OK if disc brakes are banned ;-)

    You don’t suppose it’s like a MS upgrade with a host of new features you don’t need just to get you to buy an upgrade? (Just joking @frank. I think)

  45. @KogaLover

    @the Engine

    Five new #Rules in the making! Can’t wait or should we be careful what we wish for, although I’d be OK if disc brakes are banned ;-)

    I’m not about to acquire a new n1 with disc brakes, but to my 1980s Simplex retrofriction-era cycling brain they are less wronger than electronic shifting, which adds a supplementary power source to what had always been an entirely human-powered machine… Just a matter of principle.

  46. Cool As Fuck!

  47. @frank

    I imagine your reaction was somewhere along these lines…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0piKsyQUrqU

  48. Congrats Frank. A well deserved recognition of all the hard work, and sacrifice you have made to us out in the cycling world.

  49. How did we get to here?

    I suppose it all started a long, long time ago…..

    The Cannibal 1957, aged 12

    Thanks to Le Punceur

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