Posted by: Jennifer Sage | August 29, 2008

In Vino Veritas/In Velo Veritas

When I was working for Travent International, the luxury bicycle tour company that was later bought out by Vermont Bicycle Tours (VBT), we were based in a little village outside of Beaune. Our address was officially Meursault, but we were closer to Pommard. I think VBT’s main office is still there, but the guides don’t get to live there. Back in the late 1980’s and early 90’s, it was our home away from home. We’d put money into a food kitty and share cooking and cleaning duties, and we all shared an intense love of great food and wine. When possible we’d buy at the local farmer’s markets and knew which boulangeries had the best whole grain breads. We’d buy our wine directly from some local small vintners, bringing plastic jugs that they’d fill from spigots that would pour directly from the great vats in their cellars.

The bike mechanics who worked there full time were self-taught gourmet cooks, so often our meals were even better than some of the luxury, over-the-top gastronomic meals we’d have while at 4-star hotels on tour. We affectionately called our “home” the Clos du Vélo. (They might still use that moniker, 20 years later).

I tried stopping by there a few years ago, but no one seemed interested in hearing about my past life there, and I got the sense they were wary of me stopping by (hey, I’m a competitor now, but I stopped by in the interest of friendship).

When not on tour back then, we would ride and ride, getting to know some of the best backroads, tiny villages, most out-of-the-way places possible.

I remember one of my very favorite rides. It climbed for 4 kilometers, then turned onto a very small rural road that eventually brought you to the Chateau de Rochepot. There, in the middle of nowhere really, was this incredible sign of Greek figures carrying grapes, with the Latin inscription In Vino Veritas.

In Vino Veritas

In Vino Veritas

I do not know if it’s still there. The last few times I’ve ridden in the region I haven’t taken this road (note to self: don’t miss it next time I’m in Burgundy)!

I remember thinking it would be cool to put these Greek gods on bikes and change the “vino” to “velo”. Ever since then, I’ve always wanted to find a reason to use the phrase In Velo Veritas. In cycling, there is truth!

I finally found it. I have another life as a Spinning Master Instructor. What that means is that I certify indoor cycling instructors, teach continuing education, write Spinning workshops, and present at fitness conferences internationally. I also have a Spinning blog and recently taught a class where I discussed In Velo Veritas. If anyone has ever taken a Spinning class, or other indoor cycling class, you’ll know that often they turn into an “aerobics-on-a-bike” class, or what we like to call “psycho-Spinning”. My goal is to keep indoor cycling true to real road cycling. I am even writing an E-book directed towards road cyclists on how to use indoor cycling to train for outdoor riding. Since I found this photo from that tiny town in Burgundy, I’ve now been inspired with a name for my e-book. In Velo Veritas! In cycling, there is truth!

If you’re interested in the e-book, email me and I’ll let you know when it’s ready. Hopefully sometime this fall.

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