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

We'll be flying the Velominati Keepers Tour Banner at the RVV and P-R Roadside.

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.


[dmalbum path=”/ Galleries/[email protected]/Keepers Tour CC2012/”/]

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437 Replies to “Cobbles, Bergs, Beer, and Legends. Putting the V Back in Vlaanderen.”

  1. 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.

  2. @Tobin

    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.

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

    [dmalbum: path=”/ moment/2012.”/]

  4. 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!

  5. @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.

  6. @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.

  7. 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:

    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.

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

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

    [dmalbum: path=”/”/]

  9. @Chris

    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…

  10. @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.

  11. @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!!!

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. @Deakus

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

    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!

  16. 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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