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Cobbles [RTR Exhibit 1A]
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Please click here before viewing the photoset in Exhibit 1B!

For every sport that is about racing except for maybe running ,Thanks to parkour even some select running events now feature an interesting (if not deadly) course. or “foot racing” the course matters, a lot. In fact it’s maybe the most important aspect of the race outside of the participants. The course is everything!: jumps, corners, twists, inclines, declines, gaps, stairs, doubles, triples, gates, embankments, walls, water, street furniture, ramps, rails and berms are what make the race interesting. They set the pace. They determine the tempo and energy of the race. They force style and grace and intuition. Seriously, ask any race-based sport. Ask Mountain Biking, Skiing, Motocross and BMX. You could even ask Rock Climbing. I mean, Jesus, you could even ask Golf and Golf is neither a sport nor a race and but still Golfers care about the course. But not cycling, cycling, it would seem, is indifferent to the value of course. Cycling, it would seem, is happy to reduce the sport down to its most base element: scientific fitness. Watts per kilo. A physiological value. As such, the only thing that matters is extreme physical duress, i.e. going uphill. Ergo therefore such as, the only course feature that matters is a climb.

Which yeah, dude, we ride bikes. We get it, climbs ARE cool.

We’ve seen the Tour de France. Suffering and pain and endurance and mental fortitude in the face of a 20 mile, 22% average climb in 91 degrees on the side an Alp is remarkable. And exciting even. But that’s just one trick! There are other tricks! We have more tricks!!!!

"Amstel Gold has a ton of flow if you understand it. But if you don't, it's anti-flow. So for a lot of people it's the most confusing, dangerous, awful race all year. You just gotta find the flow. If you find it and you let it take you, it’s flow city."

Alex Howes

Standing on the side of a big, wide, reasonably well-paved road on say Stage 06 of the Tour de San Luis, or Paris–Nice, or the Tour of California, or País Vasco, or whatever—it doesn’t matter, they’re all the same—at like what, mile 67, next to a (closed) gas station and twelve kinda bored-but-picnicking fans, standing there over and over and over again, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that in general, Professional Road Cycling could care less about what the course does or doesn’t do. What it does or does not offer. Clearly, for the promoters and organizers, it’s about which roads they can gain access to, which roads they can close, which towns bid the most to be either a Start or Finish, et cetera et cetera. Like anything else it comes down to capitalism, the free market economy and sponsors. Which, again, we do business (kinda), we have sponsors (thanks Castelli!), we live in America (for now), we get it, that shit matters. It’s what powers the whole deal, money is required.

We’re not suggesting promoter-organizers ignore financial concerns and requirements… but we are saying those issues should be secondary. We ARE saying that a course FOR THE SAKE OF THE COURSE should be the primary concern.

And for so many reasons! Reasons like crowds, accessibility, view-ability, history, tradition, geography, relief, locality, topography, natural beauty and, most importantly, FLOW.

Flow makes a course interesting which makes the race interesting. Without flow Professional Road Racing is a Threshold Contest. Which sounds more interesting than it often is. Flow is the physicality, nature and personality of the race course. It’s the race’s physical and metaphysical features. It’s the course’s COURSE-NESS incarnate. Flow is a metaphor. Flow is a euphemism. Flow is energy, man. Courses need energy. Courses can have flow but so can individual riders. Flow is meditation, it’s one-ness, it’s synchronicity, it’s nirvana and Shirley MacLaine’s Out on a Limb. Flow is unidentifiable, inexplicable, non-physical, formless and inter-dimensional. It’s wormholes, trapdoors and time travel.

More specifically in the case of the Amstel Gold Race, flow is a one-lane outdoor Dutch discotheque full of corners, narrow roads, tight punchy climbs, uneven road surfaces and road furniture—maximum capacity 180 people. In which, or on which, 250 racers have to race for 250 kilometers. Plus the caravan. Plus thousands of scooters, hordes of 4-wheelers, European motorcycle gangs, millions of picnickers, bajillions of cycling chillers on every form of bike headed in every direction all at once, roadside pop-up parties, revelers, flash mob traffic jams, bars along the course, hotels along the course, the little Pink Panther cars zipping across the hillside, the Keystone cop pandemonium, the Benny Hill soundtrack. Flow is all that. Flow is everything. Flow is a course that works. FLOW = COURSE.

No flow, no course. No course, no excitement. No excitement, current state of 90% of stage racing.

A brief list of things that cause flow, are flow, smell like flow, determine flow, reflect flow, symbolize flow, suggest flow, designate flow and relate to flow
  1. Tricks
  2. Dick Punches
  3. Jumps
  4. Features
  5. Aspects
  6. Chaos
  7. Luck
  8. Love
  9. Corners
  10. Overlaps/Underlaps
  11. Danger
  12. Lines
  13. Unexpected Things

#BECAUSENETHERLANDS

once we were young at this machine… drinking smoking typing it was a most splendid miraculous time still is only now instead of moving toward time it moves toward us makes each word drill into the paper clear fast hard feeding a closing space. -bukowski

MAASTRICHT

Traffic and race flow are both important. In European races, men and women with vests and flags help in this regard. In American construction zones, flaggers are employed, and the requirements to hold that position differ by state. In Wyoming, for example, “flaggers must have completed and passed a flagger training program approved by the State Construction Office before flagging. A three-day grace period will be allowed to meet this requirement in an unplanned emergency situation.”
There has been some discussion as of late regarding what a group picture taken by one of the subjects is called. Is it still a selfie if it contains several people? Were it not for the existing meaning of the word “groupie”, that word might be an ideal solution for this photographic quandary.
Okay, who owns this t-shirt?
Boels Rental is an equipment rental company based in Sittard, the Netherlands. The company has 2600 employees in over 340 stores. The company has a presence in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Italy, and Slovakia.

AMSTEL FLOW

VALKENBURG

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