Two means to the same end: Winning. Photo: @Bianchi Denti

Just Add X

by / / 39 posts

Belgium has a host of great names, and not just for Cyclists. Riding past a farm equipment outlet or workshop after Keepers Tour 15 had been consigned to the history books, I was taken by the name Bart Vanacker so much that I commented to William that I was seriously considering changing my own handle to Bart. It’s just more… hard. And the fact that explaining j’mapelle Brett to the French or the Belge is an exercise in vowel movements considerably more tedious and painful than any constipated goings-on at the other end of the spectrum (an anagram of rectums, after all) seemed to make more than a bit of sense.

That would still leave the most un-Belgian surname of Kennedy, which unfortunately doesn’t end in a C or K or a combination thereof. Those letters make up probably 99% of Flandrien monickers, almost always tacked onto the end, just sitting there waiting to be joined and punctuated by an X. It’s a letter that’s more than a little maligned in the English language, but celebrated by the Flemish and in good supply. Sticking an X on an English name will either make it complete, or completely ridiculous.

Among the KT crew were a couple of perfect platforms to awesomise with the 24th letter. @harminator would soon become Rickx, and not just because of his tenacious, numerous and not-entirely futile attacks. He smashed the cobbles and climbed the bergs like Merckx. Frank easily was transformed into Strackx, not so much for his two-wheeled exploits but for the way he piloted the big white van on the motorways like a louder, taller and plainer-looking version of Ickx. International playboy, maybe, but not quite in the same league. Mikey became Micky because William couldn’t quite grasp the concept, so naturally he evolved into Mickx, a serendipitous hybrid of Merckx and Ickx.

Unfortunately, there seems very few avenues to successfully adding an X to my name, and changing it costs more than X amount of dollars. Best to leave Belgian Affirmations to real Belgians.

 

// Belgian Affirmations // Rantings from the V-Bunker

  1. There is no ‘p’ in rectum, although your experience may well differ.




    0
  2. @Oli

    There is no ‘p’ in rectum, although your experience may well differ.

    Wait til tomorrow night mate, you may be proven wrong…




    0
  3. Ickx. Right up there with, well, you know.




    0
  4. Clever article. That must have been a KT of great fun on nostalgic roads.




    0
  5. @brett

    Ooh, saucy!




    0
  6. My last name already ends in an X, so being from the land of Oz, does that mean I can then add another X to enable some Belgium flavour.

    Double X = XX = VVVV




    0
  7. Also, that Rothmans 962 is just begging to be taken out of the room and given a bucket load of right foot.

    What a car !




    0
  8. @Barracuda

    Also, that Rothmans 962 is just begging to be taken out of the room and given a bucket load of right foot.

    What a car !

    Oh man, it was racing geek nirvana in there! @Bianchi Denti and I spent most of the time in the Ickx section talking about the Golden Era of racing!




    0
  9. @Sparty

    Clever article. That must have been a KT of great fun on nostalgic roads.

    Each KT was like that! Ah, nostalgia…




    0
  10. If only the last “er” in my name was replaced with “kx”…




    0
  11. I guess the next best thing as a Belgian is if you name begins with a V. I guess I’m lucky, having my last name, and having Bart Vanacker being practically my neighbour.

    Next time you pass by Bart, make sure to pass by my home in Kemmel and have a coffee stop here. You guys seem to appreciate the Bergen in my area more than most of the locals here. And by the way, although most locals know some French (they’re our neighbours, after all), the French of Bart isn’t that great, you’re better off learning some Vlaams.




    0
  12. Nice one, Brett. And yes, that Rothmans 962… those bikes… Pure seckx.




    0
  13. @Phillip Mercer

    If only the last “er” in my name was replaced with “kx”…

    Merckxer?




    0
  14. @ErikdR

    Pure seckx.

    This. Maybe we need to add that to the Leckxicon.




    0
  15. @brett

    @ErikdR

    Pure seckx.

    This. Maybe we need to add that to the Leckxicon.

    Wow… seriously? I would truly consider that an honor – especially for a non-native speaker like yours truly.

    But can it be defined? “Pure seckx” = a term used to describe an object or performance of such beauty and magnificence that it commands more than mere respect, and transcends into being Belgian” or something along those lines?




    0
  16. @Wietse Verbrugghe

    I guess the next best thing as a Belgian is if you name begins with a V. I guess I’m lucky, having my last name, and having Bart Vanacker being practically my neighbour.

    Next time you pass by Bart, make sure to pass by my home in Kemmel and have a coffee stop here. You guys seem to appreciate the Bergen in my area more than most of the locals here. And by the way, although most locals know some French (they’re our neighbours, after all), the French of Bart isn’t that great, you’re better off learning some Vlaams.

    Welcome Wietse! Now that’s a name…

    When I wrote this article, I wasn’t really sure if there was a Bart Vanacker, but for some reason I had the name in my head. Then I searched the name and there it was! So it must’ve snuck in and stuck.

    I will definitely look you up next time I’m in Kemmel, I love the area and know the roads almost as well as my own now. My favourite place to ride.




    0
  17. @ErikdR

    @brett

    @ErikdR

    Pure seckx.

    This. Maybe we need to add that to the Leckxicon.

    Wow… seriously? I would truly consider that an honor – especially for a non-native speaker like yours truly.

    But can it be defined? “Pure seckx” = a term used to describe an object or performance of such beauty and magnificence that it commands more than mere respect, and transcends into being Belgian” or something along those lines?

    Perfect. You talk good English more better than me does.




    0
  18. @brett

    @ErikdR

    @brett

    @ErikdR

    Pure seckx.

    This. Maybe we need to add that to the Leckxicon.

    Wow… seriously? I would truly consider that an honor – especially for a non-native speaker like yours truly.

    But can it be defined? “Pure seckx” = a term used to describe an object or performance of such beauty and magnificence that it commands more than mere respect, and transcends into being Belgian” or something along those lines?

    Perfect. You talk good English more better than me does.

    Yeah, right… in my dreams I do. Still, in my own defense, I’ll say that I constantly “strive to suck a little less” where the command of foreign languages is concerned (That’s similar to my approach to cycling, then, come to think of it…)

    But you know how it is with really coming to grips with a language that is different from one’s own: puns, irony, wordplay, humour… all that stuff is always going to be ‘the final frontier’ – and the most difficult to master (but also hugely rewarding, once you start ‘getting’ things…)




    0
  19. I don’t have much to add about names, I’ll never pass as a Belgian via nomenclature or looks (when I travel in Europe it’s usually assumed I’m Scandinavian – and having a surname which ends in ‘erson’ I’ll take that).

    I have however, been in a room somewhat like that picture, except in a hotel owned my Nigel Mansell. Got to stand right next to this car.




    0
  20. Verla. People always ask “what is that?” They may go a step further and inquire to their own surprise, “Is that Italian?” They’re surprised because I would be the palest Italian not carved out alabaster, should their assumption be correct. It’s Belgian and I’ve met exactly one person not surprised to learn that (A German, raised in Belgium).

    My Grandfather (first US generation) was a printmaker and etched this plate, which made its way to my possession. It’s always hung above my desk, but will adorn the room which holds the trainer and rollers in my new house.




    0
  21. Hells bells fellas, can’t believe no-one’s posted this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLp8ZGAUP4Q

    Or this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvASPrrwve4

    Damn, F1 was so much cooler in the age of Merckx and Ickx.




    0
  22. Brilliant, if only adding an X to your name would make one faster, there’d be letter doping galor.

    This is like a Flanderian version of the Onion’s piece about an emergency vowel deployment to Bosnia.




    0
  23. Penax … I dunno … just doesn’t seem quite right.




    0
  24. Peñarello, however, does have a bit of a ring to it.




    0
  25. That Ickx / Merckx video. Oh, isn’t it glorious to see the Prophet in the Rainbow Jersey? Such a wonderful moment… only to be spoiled by a blatant violation of Rule #65.

    All is not lost however, so before we get into a big discussion about whether Pro or Prophet transcends The Rules, let me say this: I took note of how the Prophet was having a hard time walking a trade show (aggravating his back and hip injury) and that was 20 years ago. So I’m pretty sure the second violation (#69, as seen in the final shot) wasn’t his choice.

    This seems to affirm my suspicion that the Prophet would never choose to lay the bike down; it must have been some douchebag film director who thought it would “look cool.” And probably did it while the Prophet wasn’t looking. I mean, come on – to lay it down is bad enough. But on its drive side? Such disrespect. It’s saddening.




    0
  26. Well, as a director not only did the douchebag get it horribly wrong, but he missed the killer shot: the Prophet’s bike stood nonchalantly against the side of the race car – buddies or what?!




    0
  27. @Mark Elliott

    And imagine how conflicted the bike’s owner must be (presuming the Prophet didn’t pull one from his own stable). “Holy shit! The Prophet is on my vintage… Holy shit I’mma kill the SOB who laid it down!”




    0
  28. Ickx. Again. Sportscar superstar. Not well thought of amongst his fellow F1 drivers in that period of losing too many compatriots to lack of safety precautions (which have now been carried a bit too far to the point of boredom). While they threatened strike, he fired up his car and prepared to go out for practice. Admirable? In a sense. A warrior, yes. But these were times of horror & needed change. Williamson, Cevert, et al. To this day I’m conflicted. But he was a stud no matter what. On a par with anyone else, no matter the discipline. He was born with the “kx” moniker, but it was well-deserved.




    0
  29. @Joe

    Ickx. Again. Sportscar superstar. Not well thought of amongst his fellow F1 drivers in that period of losing too many compatriots to lack of safety precautions (which have now been carried a bit too far to the point of boredom). While they threatened strike, he fired up his car and prepared to go out for practice. Admirable? In a sense. A warrior, yes. But these were times of horror & needed change. Williamson, Cevert, et al. To this day I’m conflicted. But he was a stud no matter what. On a par with anyone else, no matter the discipline. He was born with the “kx” moniker, but it was well-deserved.

    There was a small, very sobering room in the Ickx side of the exhibition. It had a half burned helmet on a plinth in the centre while the surrounding walls listed, by year, the names of men killed in motor sport accidents. There hundreds every year. I don’t know what the motor sport equivalent of VLVV is but its force must be very strong.




    0
  30. Nice work Brett. But X isn’t the 23rd letter. Its the 10th numeral.




    0
  31. I can’t believe no one has decoded this ancient rune for what it really represents. Look at the form of the figure “X” – it’s clearly a mirror image of the “V” at its bottommost point. A clear projection of hardman virtue and badge of cycling prowess. The Alpha and Omega of the Rules,- Five and Dime. It makes up the Velominati numeral 5 and 10 “V” and “VV”, respectively. If written in Roman fashion it is written as “X”. Certainly this is a sign from the Prophet.

    Want some more proof of the power of “X” in cycling? Here’s this:

    When describing a gear ratio do you commonly see it printed as 53 X 11?

    When abbreviating the word “cyclocross” do you use CX?

    Campagnolo went to a 4-arm spider in the form of a cross, or “X”

    Our machines are commonly regarded as “10 speeds” *(X-speeds) by the heathen unshaved masses.

    Spoke lacing is described as 2-cross and 3-cross. (2X-3X)

    “X’ is the 24th letter in the English alphabet, and wheels are commonly drilled for 24 spokes.

    Brothers and Sisters, the signs have been all around us.




    0
  32. Er, X is the 23rd letter.

    Other than that, awesome.




    0
  33. Er, I’m a fuckwit who can’t count. 24th letter it is indeed, of course. Please, carry on.




    0
  34. @Tugman

    Holy shit. It’s like the Star Wars moment in Human Traffic…




    0
  35. @Joe

    Ickx. Again. Sportscar superstar. Not well thought of amongst his fellow F1 drivers in that period of losing too many compatriots to lack of safety precautions (which have now been carried a bit too far to the point of boredom). While they threatened strike, he fired up his car and prepared to go out for practice. Admirable? In a sense. A warrior, yes. But these were times of horror & needed change. Williamson, Cevert, et al. To this day I’m conflicted. But he was a stud no matter what. On a par with anyone else, no matter the discipline. He was born with the “kx” moniker, but it was well-deserved.

    Another motorsport fan, huh? I just read a Sam Posey article that said Ickx is one of the few drivers that “thrived on danger”. So considering the period that he raced through, he’s probably lucky to be alive!

    I think his 1969 Le mans win in a 4 year old car was amazing, but helped by a lot of DNFs. However, as I’m a kiwi, to me he’ll always be the driver who took advantage of Chris Amon’s development skills to take Ferrari’s first GP win for years in 1968, while Amon retired from race after race with bad luck. Apparently that brought Amon to tears.




    0
  36. Discovered just now How to X your name (http://martingarrixizer.com/ )

    If you try to “garrixize” Eddy’s name, it will become Edgar Mex




    0
  37. @KogaLover

    Brilliant. I’m Brendon Kennex!




    0
  38. I get Ollie Brookex lololol




    0
  39. Eric deRockx, at your service. My legs feel stronger already…




    0

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar