Archive | Belgian Affirmations

Michele Bartoli, possibly the pioneer of the small frame and slammed stem.

Style and Fashion

by / / 64 posts

The difference between Style and Fashion is that Fashion changes, but style is something that persists through the ages. You can’t buy it, and you either have it or you don’t. In other words, you can get all the best and expensive kit and still look complete crap if you don’t have Style. Conversely, you can…

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…

Spring comes to Summer

AoP: Never Too Much Muur

by / / 34 posts

You can never have too much Muur. It’s a proven scientific fact that too little Muur can be detrimental to a Cyclist’s state of mind, even if they have never ridden the most iconic climb in Flanders. And if they have, then the withdrawals are something not to be taken lightly. Every so often we…

Hinault keeps the guns clean.

Cover High Before You Cover Low

by / / 102 posts

With the transitions of seasons occurring all over the world as Summer shifts to Fall in the Northern Hemisphere and Winter to Spring in the Southern, we are faced with the seasonal challenge of how to kit up properly for volatile and variable weather conditions. One of the most common mistakes made, apart from overdressing,…

We all know this look. And we all love it.

Wet and Wild

by / / 31 posts

I have been spoiled rotten this summer as I alluded to last week and was evidenced through the flatness of the tires on my Nine Bike. I rode more this summer than I have in recent memory and I rode in the rain exactly one time; @snowgeek wondered if it might rain and I scoffed at the…

The enigmatic Bradley Wiggins

The Curious Case of Bradley Wiggins

by / / 80 posts

Brad Wiggins is an enigma. There is a lot about him that makes him easy to dislike. That mopey, Pete Townshend look on his face and mop hairdo are the low-hanging fruit in this case, with the length of his socks being there to round out the podium in a close third. Also, he dropped Bont…

13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. That's a corncob Popeye would make a pipe of.

In Memoriam: The Straight Block

by / / 150 posts

Disc brakes and 1x drivetrains. These are the sort of things that belong on mountainbikes, are questionable on cross bikes, and should make an immediate trip to the rubbish bin when it comes to road bikes. Change for the sake of change; gimmickry masquerading as innovation. And to make matters worse, the appearance of 11-speed blocks has killed…

The weight of fatigue is taking its pound of flesh

Something from Nothing

by / / 61 posts

If the only kind of wind they have in Belgium is a headwind, then the only kind of flats they have in Northern France are false. In Vlaanderen, they specialize in a delectable combination of the two. (Everything that isn’t a windy false flat, it appears, is a windy cobbled climb.) The most obvious way to get…

The V-Lion of Flanders

Brush Strokes On The Soul

by / / 70 posts

I dream of painting and then I paint my dream. -Vincent Van Gogh Poor old Vinnie may have been Dutch, mad as a cut snake, riddled with gonorrhea, a romantic in the most insane sense, and a raging alcoholic, but despite these encumbrances he knew a bit about the use of colour. He also spent…

Trouée crushing!

Guest Article: Clean Livin’

by / / 62 posts

Cyclists need the carrot and the stick. It’s all we understand. Do you want to perform well or not be embarrassed? It’s all the same. Either way one needs to train like a bastard to get there. The good news is training means more time on the bike. The bad news is not much else…

The stones bring out the best in certain types of riders.

Riding Beautifully Ugly

by / / 17 posts

The cobbles are not for everyone. Peter van Petegem said it best, that you have to really love the stones to be good at them. Much like climbing, they demand that the rider forge a close relationship with a special kind of pain – one that is self-inflicted and inspires you to inflict more. I knew I…

Not for the faint hearted: the Winter Cycling Cap.

Experts Only: The Winter Cycling Cap

by / / 98 posts

We just finished a thorough examination of the Cyclist’s marquee accoutrement, the Cycling Cap. Today’s lesson is about the Cycling Cap’s red-headed step brother, the Winter Cycling Cap. This is a toque born of necessity; the thin cotton cap is nowhere near warm enough for the demands of the Flemish winter training season. Form should follow function,…

Gimmeeawheel!!!! I have a flat!

On the Road Again: Keepers Tour 2015

by / / 66 posts

We want to look like Pros, sure, but what we’re really after is feeling Pro. All the aesthetics are just a tool we use to fuel the fickle internal combustion engine of Morale. In the end, there is little that will make you feel Pro more than clattering along a stretch of cobbles in a small group;…

Yes, indeed

Where Have You Been All My Life?

by / / 87 posts

Life is full of surprises. Some you don’t want, like a funnel web in a shoe, while others are completely unexpected but more than welcome, even if you are then left with figuring out the hows, whys and HOW?s of the serendipitous conundrum now presented to you. This is how I now feel, after fate…

Fabs and Vanmarke make the split on the Kwaremont. Photo: Alexandre Voisine


by / / 78 posts

I had always imagined that de Ronde van Vlaanderen must be hardest race in the world. The way I worked it out – having never ridden the course of either event at the time – was that de Ronde had the same cobbles as Roubaix, but with 20% grades thrown in. It makes enough sense…

merckx pave 2

Raining in My Heart

by / / 37 posts

Not one to subscribe to the slew of text speak or acronyms that permeate the modern vernacular (well, not too much, I guess YJA is one used fairly regularly), I am harbouring a severe case of FOMO right now. And the catalyst for this? The lack of a KT14. Shit, I did it again. WTF?…

LeMan gets jiggy with the V-Locus

LeMaster of the V-Locus

by / / 124 posts

Finding The V-Locus is something of an extension of the Goldilocks Principle; bars set somewhere between Sit Up and Beg and a face-plant, saddle height somewhere between speed skater and Baryshnikov, and reach somewhere between a unicycle and the Batpod. This is art more than it is science, a process of iteration and refinement. And…

There is drafting, and then there's this.

Winter Training

by / / 147 posts

Merckx famously professed that after a night of sinning, the body must be cleansed. He obviously meant this figuratively, not literally, because those mud guards on his bike aren’t going to take a big bite out of whatever that lorry has to offer him by way of a Flandrian facial. Winter is a tough time…


Made By Hand

by / / 170 posts

It wasn’t so long ago that the majority of bicycles were made by hand, from raw materials, in places that aren’t China or Taiwan. While some of these artisans are still around, their wares are increasingly harder to come by, and to procure an example of their work means an outlay of time and money…

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