The Kapelmuur in January. Photo thenews.com

Cold Fact

Cold Fact

by / / 108 posts

Wellington isn’t renown for its great summers; a mate is always quick to remind me that if the weather was perfect all the time, everyone would want to live here and we’d be overrun by Aucklanders (just like Aussies but not quite dumb enough to live in Canberra). As our summer goes into its last death throes of amazingly calm, sunny, cloudless days, the arm warmers and undershirt have only just emerged from their longest hibernation ever. And I probably won’t need them for tomorrow’s ride either.

Come next Monday, however, I’ll be on the other side of the world and months of unzipped jerseys and SPF30 will be but a memory; a cold, wet, distant memory. And I have to say I’m almost looking forward to it with a strange enthusiasm and a hint of romanticism. Almost. No amount of fitness gleaned from training in perfect weather can prepare one for the rigours of a Belgian spring.

We know how the body will react when it is pulled from its warm cocoon and plunged into an icy bath. How the mind will handle it is a bigger concern. We can prepare ourselves physically to the nth degree, but if we’re mentally inept then the sag wagon becomes a likely option. At which point something deep inside takes over, thought processes return to normal and the mere thought of getting off the bike is quickly and methodically banished. Not here, not now.

Let the hardmen be hardmen, let it rain and blow and the cobbles turn to mud when they grace these roads. But Merckx have mercy on a fair-weather soul, even if only for a few selected days. Let our Flandrian Best suffice and our tubulars have sure grip on dry stones. Failing that, at least keep us upright and we will drink a toast to you night after night.

Bring it on.

It’s not too late to book a spot on the Keepers Tour 2013 and make your own history.

// Belgian Affirmations // Keepers Tour

  1. @Marcus Good form ignoring the run in your training.  How is your transition?

  2. @DerHoggz Demote them to supplier of tubes only or just move on.

  3. Marcus did very well on the bike leg.  Just finished it averaging 32.54 kph.  Swim was decent as well.  Now we all need to say a few prayers for him on the dreaded marathon!

  4. @Buck Rogers

    Great effort considering the 30 – 35kmh North, Nor-wester wind here in Melbourne. The bike leg travels north out, south back. He’d have a head wind out, tail back x2. The marathon run home is pretty much a head wind straight on.

    Now we all need to say a few prayers for him on the dreaded marathon!

    Not too much prayer. Too much might lead to this;

  5. @marcus great effort. For 10 short runs to come in with even 6m km splits topped it off nicely.

    I had you and 1066 going head to head in div 4044 and you’ve bolted in.

    Anybody who completed in those conditions did well.

  6. @sthilzy

    @Buck Rogers

    Great effort considering the 30 – 35kmh North, Nor-wester wind here in Melbourne. The bike leg travels north out, south back. He’d have a head wind out, tail back x2. The marathon run home is pretty much a head wind straight on.

    Now we all need to say a few prayers for him on the dreaded marathon!

    Not too much prayer. Too much might lead to this;

    Now THAT is just a bad fuckin day at the office!

  7. @Marcus What an achievement to finish it on your first try, and a pretty good time!

  8. Strong work Marcus. Personally, I think it’s a little harsh they’ve posted that photo of you. Just remind yourself they didn’t finish.

    BTW, is Brett your separated at birth twin?

  9. @Marcus Well done, big achievement. Bucket list- tick. It’s a long today cheering, can’t imagine how long it seems to racers. Hope we cheered you as you passed.

  10. @all

    Thanks for your well wishes. Looking forward to ridding bike#3 of its aero bidon, it’s rear cage and a not inconsiderable amount of urine – and using it in real TTs.

  11. FMB Paris-Roubaixs are glued up to my new Café Roubaix Arenbergs. Bring that shit on!!

  12. @Marcus

    Holy Shiet! That’s a monster time. Do not come on any Keepers Tours, you too fast.

    @frank

    Holy Shiet again! It’s Tom Boonen’s brother Frank, flying over the cobbles. I guess this means the golden tickets are riding backup? That is a mean looking machine.

  13. @Marcus  Chapeau mate.

    @frank

    FMB Paris-Roubaixs are glued up to my new Café Roubaix Arenbergs. Bring that shit on!!

    Fuck, first Tommeke gives up on the Golden Tickets, now you?  We may have to mount a coup d’etat while you are out of the country!

  14. Ok frank & Dan, more details on those wheels!  CX model 23x50s on the Café Roubaix site? How about spokes?  Inquiring minds need to know….

  15. @frankI see you have shortened that seat post.

  16. @frank

    FMB Paris-Roubaixs are glued up to my new Café Roubaix Arenbergs. Bring that shit on!!

    All dressed up and ready to go, Dam those wheels are hot. I need to talk with Dan R.

  17. @Nate

    @Marcus Chapeau mate.

    @frank

    FMB Paris-Roubaixs are glued up to my new Café Roubaix Arenbergs. Bring that shit on!!

    Fuck, first Tommeke gives up on the Golden Tickets, now you? We may have to mount a coup d’etat while you are out of the country!

    Golden tickets are most certainly coming and will be my primary wheelset, though I expect to ride these on the first Roubaix day simply to send a wheelset built by a company called “Café Roubaix” down the trench. These wheels will be for the group to ride etc. I couldn’t resist the temptation to load them on the #1 though. It looks badass and the wheels are very light.

    By the way, *I’m* calling them the Arenbergs. No idea what @Dan_R is calling them.

  18. Amputating the computer today, by the way. The thrill is gone.

  19. @frank

    Dead sexy Cervelo right there!

  20. @frank

    Amputating the computer today, by the way. The thrill is gone.

    I’m curious why you are ditching the computer, Frank?

    Tired of looking at it? Enjoy riding by feel alone? Just want to get back to basics?

    I’ve had a couple friends do this the last few months as well without much explanation. I am curious why I seem to be running into this more incidents of this lately….

    -Dinan

  21. @frank Very good.

  22. @Dinan He’s heading to Belguim mate: Bikes, bergs, beer, bromance…

  23. @Dinan

    @frank

    Amputating the computer today, by the way. The thrill is gone.

    I’m curious why you are ditching the computer, Frank?

    Tired of looking at it? Enjoy riding by feel alone? Just want to get back to basics?

    I’ve had a couple friends do this the last few months as well without much explanation. I am curious why I seem to be running into this more incidents of this lately….

    -Dinan

    Because it drives you fucking mental being off when its supposed to be on and vice versa – and the stats it produces are frankly depressing

  24. @the Engine

    @Dinan

    @frank

    Amputating the computer today, by the way. The thrill is gone.

    I’m curious why you are ditching the computer, Frank?

    Tired of looking at it? Enjoy riding by feel alone? Just want to get back to basics?

    I’ve had a couple friends do this the last few months as well without much explanation. I am curious why I seem to be running into this more incidents of this lately….

    -Dinan

    Because it drives you fucking mental being off when its supposed to be on and vice versa – and the stats it produces are frankly depressing

    It’s been easy to eliminate a cyclo-computer on my no.1 bike because there’s never been one on my no.1 bike. -Vince

  25. @the Engine @unversio

    Gotcha. If the bike and the ride are not enjoyable, you need to make it so. I understand.

    I often times have to take my Garmin off the stem and put it in my jersey pocket. That way I don’t obsess about it but still maintain a decent log of my riding. I can see a day when I would tire of it though….

    -Dinan

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