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.

VLVV.

[dmalbum path=”/velominati.com/content/Photo 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. @brett
    My favorite is the one with you guys riding up that cobbled street–when I imagine riding in northern Europe, that’s pretty much what it looks like.

  2. My goodness, what incredible photos. Love looking through them. I can only imagine that if the photos are making me this jazzed, the lot of ya are on Cloud 9. Looks incredible, from the museums to the food to the cycling to the…riding with Johan!

    Who got that close to Pipo and Boonen’s bikes?

    Keep up the fun, the cycling, the memory-makin’ guys.

    And I’m going to turn my sadness over not making this one into a positive – between now & the next one, hopefully next year in Italy?, I’m going to put myself in the right position to make sure I’m on it!

    Now back to work so I can get my own Wednesday ride in. Too bad it won’t be over cobbles in Belgium.

  3. It’s like you all died and have gone to cycling heaven. Each day is better than the last eh? Keep it coming chaps!!

  4. Also, want to re-post my request to have a non-“keepers tour” version of that lion graphic on a tee for the rest of us to buy. Such a great logo.

  5. As for this “no food on riders under four hours” – is that no food or no calorie intake? I can ride for four hours with no caloric intake, but my body performs a lot better if I take in some calories, in the form of gels, when I’m going over two hours.

    Two and under, nothing. Over two, I take in calories on the hour mark. But, that’s just what I’ve found to work for me.

  6. @Ron

    As for this “no food on riders under four hours” – is that no food or no calorie intake? I can ride for four hours with no caloric intake, but my body performs a lot better if I take in some calories, in the form of gels, when I’m going over two hours.

    Two and under, nothing. Over two, I take in calories on the hour mark. But, that’s just what I’ve found to work for me.

    I can do 2 hrs on a bottle or two, but four? No way. That’s 100kms for me and I’m sorry, but I’d need something in that time or I’d be so dead by the end. Must be why I’m not a pro. For 4 hours I’d take two gels, an oatmeal to go and go through 3 bottles.

  7. @brett
    Awesome, awesome, awesome. I hope you guys realize what an experience you’re having, from this vantage point it’s positively other-worldly. Have fun and ride safe!

  8. @wiscot

    @Ron

    As for this “no food on riders under four hours” – is that no food or no calorie intake? I can ride for four hours with no caloric intake, but my body performs a lot better if I take in some calories, in the form of gels, when I’m going over two hours.
    Two and under, nothing. Over two, I take in calories on the hour mark. But, that’s just what I’ve found to work for me.

    I can do 2 hrs on a bottle or two, but four? No way. That’s 100kms for me and I’m sorry, but I’d need something in that time or I’d be so dead by the end. Must be why I’m not a pro. For 4 hours I’d take two gels, an oatmeal to go and go through 3 bottles.

    I used to think the same thing. Interestingly rode the RVV sportive (135kms) last Saturday and only got through about a bottle and a half in 5 hours. I was surprised about this. No doubt helped by temps not getting above 10C. The real plus was I didn’t need to stop to pee the whole ride or else I wouldn’t have kept it under 5 hours (4:59:24). As for food, got through 2 Torq gels, a Torq bar, a small yoghurt covered cereal bar collected at a feed and a waffle (the latter eaten in two halves once in the lead up to Kwaremont and then following descent from P’berg). Seemed just about right, although I think I timed the waffle less well than I could have, should probably have got it down a bit sooner. I know a chap who has been out riding with Miller in Girona, he was very surprised at how little water they take with them.

  9. @wiscot
    @Ron

    I’m in agreement. Two hours without eating is my limit. On longer rides I need to eat each hour stating with the second hour. Do I need to eat more pre-ride?

  10. @kyle

    @wiscot
    @Ron

    I’m in agreement. Two hours without eating is my limit. On longer rides I need to eat each hour stating with the second hour. Do I need to eat more pre-ride?

    I’d be interested in what Museeuw eats before a four hour ride, if he eats nothing during it.

  11. @kyle
    +1 for me – I used to do four hour rides on a just a gel or two and water. I did lose a good bit of weight when I was riding like that, but my performance always suffered and increased significantly once I started filling one of my bottles with some sort of calories (either a mixture of Maltrin QD and an electrolyte drink, or some Maltrin mixed with a little soy protein)

  12. this business with no food on rides under four hours… yea, i don’t ever see myself complying with that rule. unless i want to ride VERY slowly for four hours. i generally can get through a two hour ride with no food, but generally i’ll need a snack afterwards. for four hours…like others, i need a bar or something about every hour.

    there is something to be said for approach though. if you’re riding hard all that time, you certainly need the calories in order to keep doing so. if it’s a more casual ride, you need less. i have a riding buddy that eats a ton on rides and complains about his weight. he rides hard frequently thought. i told him to eat less and ride more casually a few times a week, just like he did when he started riding and lost a bunch of weight. i know that a four hour ride may qualify as that same approach for a pro, but not for me.

    also, riding in the big ring all the time… yea, not gonna do that either. not only do i not see myself climbing the local 20% gradients with that, but i also don’t like replacing my chain, cassette and chain rings due to the abnormal wear caused by using a terrible 53×25 chain line. again, pro’s can accomplish those gradients in the big ring (and probably in a 53×19, 53×17 or higher even); they also have a team of mechanics and unlimited, free bike parts. i do not.

  13. @VeloVita

    @kyle
    +1 for me – I used to do four hour rides on a just a gel or two and water. I did lose a good bit of weight when I was riding like that, but my performance always suffered and increased significantly once I started filling one of my bottles with some sort of calories (either a mixture of Maltrin QD and an electrolyte drink, or some Maltrin mixed with a little soy protein)

    Good, good… (Emperor voice) 2 gels, 2 bottles — and FRS chews. FRS (beyond calories) works to keep the legs “fully operational” !!

  14. What are these “Rules”? AMAZING!!! That’s awesome, Cyclops. Nice work.

    I don’t know what would blow me away more – standing a few feet away from the PROs as they blast by, riding with the Lion of Flanders, or riding such historic routes. All would be magnificent.

  15. @chiasticon

    also, riding in the big ring all the time… yea, not gonna do that either. not only do i not see myself climbing the local 20% gradients with that, but i also don’t like replacing my chain, cassette and chain rings due to the abnormal wear caused by using a terrible 53×25 chain line

    You left out “knees”.

  16. @Cyclops

    At news stands everywhere…

    This is beyond gold. Platinum. Titanium. Diamond. Carbon fiber. Merckxian proportions. All of the above.

    I just can’t hear all these comments over the sound of the AWESOME.

  17. @Cyclops

    At news stands everywhere…

    Genius! You’re scary good at the photoshopping! You could have added the headline “Exclusive shower stall photos”

  18. @Cyclops

    @RedRanger
    My right arm looks like that…

    And your left arm is skinny? You know what they say about men with one arm that’s disproportionately stronger than the other…
    .
    .
    .
    they do a lot of arm wrestling.

  19. @Cyclops
    Very nice!

    But shouldn’t there be a diet story? Like…

    “LOSE 16 POUNDS IN UNDER 4 HOURS WITH JOHAN MUSEEUW”

  20. Not sure if anyone caught the end of the GP Scheldeprijs yesterday but it appears there was a pretty nasty crash after the finish line involving the photographers (again). Apparently Rouleur’s photographer Taz Darling got cleaned up & is in a pretty bad way, more here.

    You’ve got to wonder how long it’ll be before the photogs are removed from the finishing straight, I know it means no more of the awesome head on photos of the bunch galloping towards the line but these accidents seem to be happening more & more…

  21. @The Oracle

    @Cyclops

    @RedRanger
    My right arm looks like that…

    And your left arm is skinny? You know what they say about men with one arm that’s disproportionately stronger than the other…
    .
    .
    .
    they do a lot of arm wrestling.

    They row in circles too!

  22. @Mikael Liddy

    Last Sunday I was quite amazed by the clumps of photographers that were positioned right behind the finish line. The riders really had to swerve around them, and you could see that Boonen only had one fist up, as he had to use the other hand to steer his bike around the groups of photographers. What would have happened if it were an all-out, head down sprint?

  23. @Mikael Liddy

    Not sure if anyone caught the end of the GP Scheldeprijs yesterday but it appears there was a pretty nasty crash after the finish line involving the photographers (again). Apparently Rouleur’s photographer Taz Darling got cleaned up & is in a pretty bad way, more here.

    You’ve got to wonder how long it’ll be before the photogs are removed from the finishing straight, I know it means no more of the awesome head on photos of the bunch galloping towards the line but these accidents seem to be happening more & more…

    Terrible news — the white surface logos are serious trouble. Last years Tour took down a rider coming thru a turnabout as he merged across the fresh white line.

  24. Has anyone heard anything about levi leipheimer’s getting hit by a car in Spain?

  25. @mcsqueak

    @Mikael Liddy

    Last Sunday I was quite amazed by the clumps of photographers that were positioned right behind the finish line. The riders really had to swerve around them, and you could see that Boonen only had one fist up, as he had to use the other hand to steer his bike around the groups of photographers. What would have happened if it were an all-out, head down sprint?

    Well without having seen the footage, only photos, I wonder whether this might be the problem combined with wet weather & the slippery sponsor’s paint @Vin’cenza refers to.

  26. @Mikael Liddy
    Believe me, it was an all-out sprint. But yes, Boonen crashed into some photogs at Gent-Wevelgem a few years back and has some back problems because of it. I’m happy to see him not take chances.

  27. Afew quick picks from the Merckx velodrome session (awesome fun) and the Scheldepriis…

    [dmalbum: path=”/velominati.com/wp-content/uploads/readers/brett/2012.04.05.06.51.12/”/]

  28. Back in contact with the virtual world after a few days in Paris with my family without any internet connection. What an absolute blast last weekend was. Paris Roubaix was unbelievable, I’ve never been in so much pain on a bike. Watching the Ronde on the Kwaremont, knocking back the Maltenies with the guys was the perfect recovery.
    @fronk, @brett, @gianni and @marko thanks for setting up such an awesome trip. @pave cycling classics, serious nipple lube. I’m gutted that I couldn’t stay the whole week, it looks like it just keeps getting better and better.
    I’ll have dig through my photos this evening and post up anything of note.
    As a post script to our discussion on Saturday evening about my corrupt Garmin file and the 198bpm heart rate, this is the point when it happened:

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