The Rides

by / 2593 posts

The Ride. It is the cathedral of our sport, where we worship at the altar of the Man with the Hammer. It is the end to our means. Indeed, The Bike may be the central tool to our sport, but to turn the pedals is to experience the sensation of freedom, of flight. It is all for The Ride.

The world is overflowing with small, twisty roads that capture our collective imagination as cyclists. We spend our lifetimes searching out the best routes and rides; we pore over maps, we share with our fellow disciples, we talk to non-cycling locals all in pursuit of the Perfect Ride.

The Rides is devoted entirely to the best routes and rides around the world. Some are races or cyclosportives, others feature in the Classics and stages of The Great Races, while others still are little-known gems, discovered through careful meditation on The V. Be warned: these rides are not your average Sunday Afternoon spin; these rides are the best and most difficult rides in the word – they represent the rites of passage into La Vie Velominatus. It is to be taken for granted that these rides require loads of Rule #5, many of them Rule #10, and all of them are best enjoyed in Rule #9 conditions. They have been shared by you, the community. The Rides also features articles devoted to the greatest rides and providess a forum for sharing other rides for discussion.

If you’d like to submit a ride or an article about your own favorite ride, please feel free to send it to us and we’ll do our best to work with you to include it.

Haleakala

Category: Grimpeur / Distance: 56km / Location: Paia, Maui, Hawaii, USA

haleakala

Haleakala is simultaneously the longest paved continuous climb in the world as well as the shortest ascent from sea level to 10,000 feet in the world. Though not terribly steep, this is a long, grinding climb that will reduce a strong rider to a whimpering lump.

To put the effort in perspective, this climb is 60km long a an average of 6% with two pitches as steep as 17%. That translates to somewhere between 3 or more hours of nonstop climbing, usually in Maui’s direct heat and often into a whipping headwind that spins around into a headwind no matter which direction the switchbacks take you.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/50412514

Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Category: Rouleur / Distance: 265 / Location: Liege, Belgium

lbl

Liege-Bastogne-Liege is not only La Doyenne, the oldest of the Classics, but also represents perhaps the most demanding course in cycling. The 280 km, 3000m vertical route starts with an easy ride out from Liege to Bastogne which lulls riders into a false sense of security; the hills are frequent, but none of them terribly demanding. Into Bastogne, and the story changes on the way back to Liege with 9 categorized climbs in the second half, including the fearsome Côte de la Redoute and the Côte de Saint-Nicolas.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/58053308/

Paris-Roubaix

Category: Hardman / Distance: 265 / Location: Compiégne, France

paris-roubaix

L’enfur du Nord. The Hell of The North. The Queen of the Classics. This isn’t a ride over the stones from your local brick-paved roads. You think climbs are what make a ride tough? We’ve got news for you: this is the hardest ride on the planet and it boasts a maximum elevation of 55 meters. These are vicious, brutal stones; the kind that will stretch each kilometer to their full length, the kind of stones that you will feel long after the rattling of the bars has stopped. These stones will change you. Forever.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/58052610/

Guide: Pavé Cycling Classics

Mortirolo/Gavia Loop

Category: Grimpeur / Distance: 115km / Location: Bormio, Italy / Contributor: Joe

The Mortirolo is perhaps the most feared pass in Western Europe, and the Gavia the most storied. Given their proximity to each other, its a wonder why this isn’t the most talked-about ride in Italy. Maybe it is; its impossible to say without being Italian. The loop nature of this ride makes it feasible as a solo escapade, but any ride with the kind of stats this one bears – 3200 meters ascended in 115 kilometers including the viscously steep Mortirolo – is best enjoyed with a riding partner or support car.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/59027020/

200 on 100

Category: Grimpeur / Distance: 330km / Location: Vernon, VT / Contributor: cdelinks

“Dumptruck of Awesome” has become the catch-phrase associated with this brutally hard, yet strikingly beautiful 330 kilometer (200 mile) ride down Vermont Route 100.  This ride was made popular during the summer of 2011 when Ted King, Tim Johnson, and a local amateur cyclist, Ryan Kelly, documented this ride on film. The ride starts on the Canadian border and finishes on the Massachusetts border.  With over 2500 meters of climbing on this 330 kilometer ride, you will need to pack a few lunches to get through this one.  Do this ride in the Fall, and the foliage might be beautiful enough to distract you from the horrible pain you will most certainly suffer.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/58052808/

De Ronde Van West Portlandia

Category: Grimpeur / Distance: 76km / Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

A ride that officially “never happens” each spring, this 76 km route charts a course through Portland’s West Hills, paying homage to the European Spring Classics. Approximately 1,800 meters of paved and unpaved climbs are spread throughout the course, with several sections reaching grades of over 20%. More information can be found at Ronde PDX.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/15276210

Seattle Master Urban Ride

Category: Rouleur / Distance: 130km / Location: Seattle, Washington, USA

seattleronde

This is perhaps the most challenging urban route in Seattle, hitting three of the big hills that define Seattle’s topography. The route starts and ends on Phinney Ridge, but hits the climbs of Interlaken and Alder Street/Lake Dell Drive on its way to Mercer Island, before coming back to hit Queen Anne and Magnolia, weaving its way up each of these hills as many times as possible via the steepest route available before the finale to the north via Golden Gardens, Blue Ridge Drive, and Carkeek Park. Panoramic views of the Cascades, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, The Olympic Penninsula and Puget Sound makes this a standout Urban ride.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/57732282

  1. @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @chris

    Ha Ha – it’s always interesting buying rags in other countries.

    You wouldn’t have thought people needed such prescriptive advice on what to wear when out cycling – but every time I go out for a ride and see other cyclists I realise that a hell of a lot of people do.

    It never ceases to amaze me how much clothing some folk wear. I constantly find myself thinking “How can you wear that much without boiling”.

  2. @universo

    @Randy C

    @universo

    Interesting preparation for an allroad recon ride when you are obliged to drive out to talk to landowner about his amazing gravel section that feeds into an absolutely hidden roadbed — Google and RideWithGPS has even lost track of this section. Route crosses a creek spot { hidden } to then intersect with another known road to get back on course — 0.5 mile unknown roadbed on an incredible 53.5 mi. race route. Recon this month with race director on starting South Carolina April allroad race. Hoping to lure more experienced and willing riders in as more starts to happen with this — January.

    That sounds like a good time ! Like ol’ Elvis sang, True love travels down a gravel road… Cheers

    April 23 – South Carolina, 90km mixed surface, allroad race happening – 25mm to 28mm.

    One great effort by David Hall Coaching – and many others that support this. And that 0.8km unknown roadbed section that was mentioned before – totally out.

    I could just about make that distance I think, given that I have a stinking cold. I may even be up for the longer one……..

  3. @KogaLover

    @Teocalli

    Toecovers only below 5°C for me.

    I am a wimp. Once the temps start dipping towards 50F/10C, I put on shoe covers to at least block the wind chill. At 5C/41F and below, I’m wearing full on thermal shoe covers. Just call me Mr. Popsicle Toes!

  4. @Teocalli

    It never ceases to amaze me how much clo

    @Teocalli


    It never ceases to amaze me how much clothing some folk wear. I constantly find myself thinking “How can you wear that much without boiling”.

    For me, it’s a matter of ethnic heritage and body fat. As in tropical (my familial line is from the Philippines) and while I don’t have the same single digit body fat I had when I was racing, I still don’t have a lot. So I get cold very easily and lose a lot of energy trying to stay warm if I’m not bundled up appropriately. Thankfully, modern cycling clothing is such that that doesn’t mean becoming the Michelin Man. Hands and feet are the hardest parts to keep from being bone chilling cold. Of course, if it’s cold enough there’s always the option of just not riding. :-)

  5. @universo

    @Randy C

    @universo

    Interesting preparation for an allroad recon ride when you are obliged to drive out to talk to landowner about his amazing gravel section that feeds into an absolutely hidden roadbed — Google and RideWithGPS has even lost track of this section. Route crosses a creek spot { hidden } to then intersect with another known road to get back on course — 0.5 mile unknown roadbed on an incredible 53.5 mi. race route. Recon this month with race director on starting South Carolina April allroad race. Hoping to lure more experienced and willing riders in as more starts to happen with this — January.

    That sounds like a good time ! Like ol’ Elvis sang, True love travels down a gravel road… Cheers

    April 23 – South Carolina, 90km mixed surface, allroad race happening – 25mm to 28mm.

    One great effort by David Hall Coaching – and many others that support this. And that 0.8km unknown roadbed section that was mentioned before – totally out.

    I love this kinda race! And April 22nd is the Shake ‘N Brake in Talladega Nat’l Forest. Imagine an epic two fer weekend! There was a time I’d be all over that kinda thing. My all time fave is the Rouge Roubaix in LA and also big fan of the Southern Cross in GA.

    Alas… I’m busy prep’ing a race loop and a team of HS kids for upcoming Mtn Bike NICA season and early stages of planning a Summer Short Track Race Series. Well, all that and WORKING ! And while my local buds are all zwifting away during week and hitting long rides on the occasional sunny Sat and ready to rip legs off before first spring training race I’m still gaining some winter pounds. BUT, having much cycling fun.

    Still… I wanna race on some dirt roads… And that is a good weekend.

    Cheers!

  6. @chuckp

    @Teocalli

    It never ceases to amaze me how much clo

    @Teocalli


    It never ceases to amaze me how much clothing some folk wear. I constantly find myself thinking “How can you wear that much without boiling”.

    For me, it’s a matter of ethnic heritage and body fat. As in tropical (my familial line is from the Philippines) and while I don’t have the same single digit body fat I had when I was racing, I still don’t have a lot. So I get cold very easily and lose a lot of energy trying to stay warm if I’m not bundled up appropriately. Thankfully, modern cycling clothing is such that that doesn’t mean becoming the Michelin Man. Hands and feet are the hardest parts to keep from being bone chilling cold. Of course, if it’s cold enough there’s always the option of just not riding. :-)

    I’m a big fatty and my hands and feet still get cold. I often wear overshoes but that’s because I live in Wales and thus am almost always being soaked from above or below. Still no excuse for toe covers.

    I saw someone out the other day RUNNING in FULL WATERPROOFS. The illogic of that blew my mind.

  7. @Randy C

    @universo

    @Randy C

    @universo

    Interesting preparation for an allroad recon ride when you are obliged to drive out to talk to landowner about his amazing gravel section that feeds into an absolutely hidden roadbed — Google and RideWithGPS has even lost track of this section. Route crosses a creek spot { hidden } to then intersect with another known road to get back on course — 0.5 mile unknown roadbed on an incredible 53.5 mi. race route. Recon this month with race director on starting South Carolina April allroad race. Hoping to lure more experienced and willing riders in as more starts to happen with this — January.

    That sounds like a good time ! Like ol’ Elvis sang, True love travels down a gravel road… Cheers

    April 23 – South Carolina, 90km mixed surface, allroad race happening – 25mm to 28mm.

    One great effort by David Hall Coaching – and many others that support this. And that 0.8km unknown roadbed section that was mentioned before – totally out.

    I love this kinda race! And April 22nd is the Shake ‘N Brake in Talladega Nat’l Forest. Imagine an epic two fer weekend! There was a time I’d be all over that kinda thing. My all time fave is the Rouge Roubaix in LA and also big fan of the Southern Cross in GA.

    Alas… I’m busy prep’ing a race loop and a team of HS kids for upcoming Mtn Bike NICA season and early stages of planning a Summer Short Track Race Series. Well, all that and WORKING ! And while my local buds are all zwifting away during week and hitting long rides on the occasional sunny Sat and ready to rip legs off before first spring training race I’m still gaining some winter pounds. BUT, having much cycling fun.

    Still… I wanna race on some dirt roads… And that is a good weekend.

    Cheers!

    And I’ve gotta give a shout out to Dave Hanrahan here in WI who organizes the Cheesehead Roubaix. 100 kms on WI backroads including a bunch of gravel and one muddy, washed out, rutted farm track. Fantastic event. April 30th this year.

  8. @chuckp

    @Teocalli

    For me, it’s a matter of ethnic heritage and body fat. As in tropical (my familial line is from the Philippines) and while I don’t have the same single digit body fat I had when I was racing, I still don’t have a lot.

    You’re not a wimp, wish I was as dedicated as you are!

    Guess that explains why I do not easily get cold, as my BMI is above 25. When skiing, my kids need handwarmers or get cold toes. I have tight racing boots with the thinnest of socks for better performance.

  9. Tour of Cambridge adds a Classic Category. Hmmm I could be up for that.

  10. @Randy C

    @universo

    @Randy C

    @universo

    Interesting preparation for an allroad recon ride when you are obliged to drive out to talk to landowner about his amazing gravel section that feeds into an absolutely hidden roadbed — Google and RideWithGPS has even lost track of this section. Route crosses a creek spot { hidden } to then intersect with another known road to get back on course — 0.5 mile unknown roadbed on an incredible 53.5 mi. race route. Recon this month with race director on starting South Carolina April allroad race. Hoping to lure more experienced and willing riders in as more starts to happen with this — January.

    That sounds like a good time ! Like ol’ Elvis sang, True love travels down a gravel road… Cheers

    April 23 – South Carolina, 90km mixed surface, allroad race happening – 25mm to 28mm.

    One great effort by David Hall Coaching – and many others that support this. And that 0.8km unknown roadbed section that was mentioned before – totally out.

    I love this kinda race! And April 22nd is the Shake ‘N Brake in Talladega Nat’l Forest. Imagine an epic two fer weekend! There was a time I’d be all over that kinda thing. My all time fave is the Rouge Roubaix in LA and also big fan of the Southern Cross in GA.

    Alas… I’m busy prep’ing a race loop and a team of HS kids for upcoming Mtn Bike NICA season and early stages of planning a Summer Short Track Race Series. Well, all that and WORKING ! And while my local buds are all zwifting away during week and hitting long rides on the occasional sunny Sat and ready to rip legs off before first spring training race I’m still gaining some winter pounds. BUT, having much cycling fun.

    Still… I wanna race on some dirt roads… And that is a good weekend.

    Cheers!

    David Hall offers free Saluda Roubaix race entry to those already committed to ride Bootlegger 100 event on April 22 — bring your number and finish results. 1500.00 SR56 purse too

  11. @universo

    @Randy C

    @universo

    @Randy C

    @universo

    Interesting preparation for an allroad recon ride when you are obliged to drive out to talk to landowner about his amazing gravel section that feeds into an absolutely hidden roadbed — Google and RideWithGPS has even lost track of this section. Route crosses a creek spot { hidden } to then intersect with another known road to get back on course — 0.5 mile unknown roadbed on an incredible 53.5 mi. race route. Recon this month with race director on starting South Carolina April allroad race. Hoping to lure more experienced and willing riders in as more starts to happen with this — January.

    That sounds like a good time ! Like ol’ Elvis sang, True love travels down a gravel road… Cheers

    April 23 – South Carolina, 90km mixed surface, allroad race happening – 25mm to 28mm.

    One great effort by David Hall Coaching – and many others that support this. And that 0.8km unknown roadbed section that was mentioned before – totally out.

    I love this kinda race! And April 22nd is the Shake ‘N Brake in Talladega Nat’l Forest. Imagine an epic two fer weekend! There was a time I’d be all over that kinda thing. My all time fave is the Rouge Roubaix in LA and also big fan of the Southern Cross in GA.

    Alas… I’m busy prep’ing a race loop and a team of HS kids for upcoming Mtn Bike NICA season and early stages of planning a Summer Short Track Race Series. Well, all that and WORKING ! And while my local buds are all zwifting away during week and hitting long rides on the occasional sunny Sat and ready to rip legs off before first spring training race I’m still gaining some winter pounds. BUT, having much cycling fun.

    Still… I wanna race on some dirt roads… And that is a good weekend.

    Cheers!

    David Hall offers free Saluda Roubaix race entry to those already committed to ride Bootlegger 100 event on April 22 — bring your number and finish results. 1500.00 SR56 purse too

    Y’all need to come up here to Yankee-land for gravel Holy week: the Rhodekill Spring Classic is on May 13, followed by the Plymouth Gravel Grinder the next day (you can go an see Plymouth Rock afterwards) then the mother of them all: Battenkill Roubaix is the next weekend. Heaven on freakin’ earth.

  12. @Ccos

    Y’all need to come up here to Yankee-land for gravel Holy week: the Rhodekill Spring Classic is on May 13, followed by the Plymouth Gravel Grinder the next day (you can go an see Plymouth Rock afterwards) then the mother of them all: Battenkill Roubaix is the next weekend. Heaven on freakin’ earth.

    Perhaps this year – certainly next year – and will be completely amped to meet you for a ride. Chapeau!

  13. @chuckp

    @Teocalli


    It never ceases to amaze me how much clothing some folk wear. I constantly find myself thinking “How can you wear that much without boiling”.

    For me, it’s a matter of ethnic heritage and body fat. As in tropical (my familial line is from the Philippines) and while I don’t have the same single digit body fat I had when I was racing, I still don’t have a lot. So I get cold very easily and lose a lot of energy trying to stay warm if I’m not bundled up appropriately. Thankfully, modern cycling clothing is such that that doesn’t mean becoming the Michelin Man. Hands and feet are the hardest parts to keep from being bone chilling cold. Of course, if it’s cold enough there’s always the option of just not riding. :-)

    This part carries some interest for me, being 50/50 Danish & Aussie, but having lived in Aus for all but the first 3 years of my life, I’m still much more comfortable in the cold of winter than the summer heat. You would have thought 30 years would have been enough for some form of acclimatisation!

  14. My 20-year old son Pete recently decided that he wants to see if he actually likes allroad cycling. No.2 Merckx Alu Sprint was built this year, so he’s riding to own my #2 one day. Day 2 { today } he confirms that he wants to start road race training — aiming for Saluda Roubaix in April. Pete looks good here — this is his day 1 foto!

  15. @universo

    What a great snapshot and sure looks like spring with the greenery ! Super fun riding with the kiddos. Cheers

  16. Two new old sections added to Paris Roubaix http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/even-more-cobbles-for-2017-paris-roubaix/?utm_content=buffer4a357&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

  17. Alex Howes blog on Cycling Tips. An Avvesome read.

    https://cyclingtips.com/2017/02/alex-howes-diary-marginal-pains/

    I LIKE THIS MAN HE IS ONE OF US

  18. So, a bloke that I work with and whom I’m happy to say I introduced to Cycling some 10 years ago when I told him to get off the fkn couch and come for a ride on one weekend with me, is now part of a select few single minded individuals who are attempting to race unsupported across Australia from Perth ( West Coast ) to Sydney ( East Coast )

    Whilst Rule #29 will well and truly be ignored, this “event” will have loads of #5, #9 and #10

    Link on following the race below if at all interested.

    https://www.indianpacificwheelrace.com/

  19. Strade Bianche – A Grand Fondo Day Out…….

  20. @Teocalli

    Great photos!

  21. @Teocalli

    chapeau good man, would appear that you had a fair serve of Rule #9 conditions!

  22. Outstanding!

  23. @Teocalli

    Look like a lotta up up up up ! Very cool, Cheers

  24. I detect a smile…well done!!

  25. @Teocalli

    Strade Bianche – A Grand Fondo Day Out…….

    What I would do to have some photos like these, chapeau

  26. It was the cool cat climbing in the drops that won stage five at Tirreno-Adriatico today. Watch the finish and the rest of the group. Only one in the drops and powering to the finish ?? Very cool. And with the NBC Sports Gold package here in US watching the last two stages of the Paris-Nice race was much fun. All of this inspires me to wanna lean up a little and go uphill fast. Cheers all

  27. In Slovak language BOH = GOD.

    Thus Sagan will be very hard to beat this year.

  28. @Teocalli

    Just brilliant! Chapeau to you and your amazing ride!

  29. I guess RVV could be a bit crowded in parts – my bib number is 12646.

  30. Hopefully there will be some dust next year……found this on t’net……

  31. So who else got out on the weekend in bibs and short sleeves for the first time this year?

  32. @RobSandy

    So who else got out on the weekend in bibs and short sleeves for the first time this year?

    Errrr . . . not me. Two weeks ago I wiped out on the fat bike and did something bad to my MCL. (Bike went out from under me to the right, left leg goes out instinctively, and pain is the result.) So yesterday was 45 minutes on the rollers (Weather outside was totally shit anyway). The good news is that the knee felt fine after two weeks of a brace, ice, and more ibuprofenm than I’ve ever taken. Hopefully I’ll get some gentle rides in over the next few weeks.

  33. @RobSandy

    So who else got out on the weekend in bibs and short sleeves for the first time this year?

    Yup, however bibs were 3/4 and I went with the arm warmers under the short sleeved jersey…

    For running there seems to be some guidance that says that you should dress as if temperature were (Idunno) 10 degrees warmer. Struggle to find the cycling equivalent temperature-delta.

  34. @RobSandy

    Mother’s Day duties so spent a good chunk of it on the M40/M42/M6. Not complaining though in terms of the overall debt I owe my Mum!

  35. @KogaLover

    @RobSandy

    So who else got out on the weekend in bibs and short sleeves for the first time this year?

    Yup, however bibs were 3/4 and I went with the arm warmers under the short sleeved jersey…

    For running there seems to be some guidance that says that you should dress as if temperature were (Idunno) 10 degrees warmer. Struggle to find the cycling equivalent temperature-delta.

    I think finding that cycling delta is difficult. It is dependent on a much larger set of variables due to the constant 30kph wind in a rider’s face.

    I always tend to overdress when cycling. Unzipping or removing is much preferable to freezing due to under dressing.

  36. @wiscot

    Get well soon mate.

  37. @Rick

    @KogaLover

    So who else got out on the weekend in bibs and short sleeves for the first time this year?

    Yup, however bibs were 3/4 and I went with the arm warmers under the short sleeved jersey…

    For running there seems to be some guidance that says that you should dress as if temperature were (Idunno) 10 degrees warmer. Struggle to find the cycling equivalent temperature-delta.

    I think finding that cycling delta is difficult. It is dependent on a much larger set of variables due to the constant 30kph wind in a rider’s face.

    I always tend to overdress when cycling. Unzipping or removing is much preferable to freezing due to under dressing.

    I tend to underdress and HTFU.

    Mind you, it was perfect riding weather around my way this weekend apart from the insistent and unusual easterly wind.

  38. @RobSandy

    You are a total Rule #9 baddass……Chapeau!

    I, on the other hand, cannot train properly unless I am dressed properly.

  39. While waiting for @Gianni to sort out the VSP window for the Ronde I thought I’d read an article about something other than Wiggins/TUEs on the BBC. Then found myself getting angry again.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/wales/39438171

    Check the caption on the photograph.

  40. @RobSandy

    Thanks! Rode on the rollers on Sunday for 45 minutes and then on the road Monday and Tuesday with no issues. Still a bit tetchy walking, but it doesn’t hurt on the bike and that’s what really matters!

  41. @RobSandy

    So who else got out on the weekend in bibs and short sleeves for the first time this year?

    It’s been short sleeves weather for a long time here. I did two weekends in a row of imperial centuries this month with temperatures around 95F (35C). It’s only going to get hotter over the next few months.

  42. Just posting up a bit from the facebook page as I had a fellow V member wondering how my RVV cyclo went.

    Stayed with the most amazing William a la Pave Classics Boys the night before and drank a bit too much Sauternes (is that possible???) and got about 4-5 hours of sleep before driving myself to the bus to catch a one hour bus ride to the start in Antwerp. Raining on the drive over and I was praying that it would stop by the start. The Flandrien Gods heard my prayers and made sure that it started to FUCKING downpour on us at the start in Antwerp and continue for the first two hours to punish me for praying for no rain instead of praying for more rain. Everyone was so fucking cold. Teeth chattering, hands going numb over and over again. Finally, after two plus hours it completely stopped raining and we started to dry out.

    I rode the full 237 kilometer RVV route with 15 climbs. Over nine hours in the saddle. After 112 kilometers we hit the first of the 15 climbs, the Leberg. I have read and dreamt about this route and these climbs since I started cycling in the late ’80’s. To be able to ride them was unbelievable. To hit the Valkenberg with over 100 miles in my legs (and having done the Muir 13 miles before), followed by the Eikenberg and the Koppenberg in quick succession was mind blowing. And then to do the Oude Kwaremont at mile 137 and the Paterberg at mile 141 was just unimaginable. I watched the last 25 years of each RVV video on youtube starting in December while on the rollers and I thought I had an idea of how hard it would be. I was not even close. The group that I had settled in with was like a zombie cycling club as we were totally and completely wrecked after each climb and we would struggle to the base of the next climb and somehow struggle up that and just kept repeating that for the final 3 hours of climb after climb. I totally fucked up the Paterberg (which came at 141 miles) as I was so fucking zoned out that I did not recognise the right hander and hit it in the 53/17. Not being Museeuw and not having 3 gallons of EPO and Testo in my system, I promptly went NOWHERE. I actually dismounted, switched it into the little ring and rode it up to the top. I was able to ride all 15 climbs, even with the other cyclo riders, without it being too crowded– except for the Koppenberg where the Dude in front of me just collapsed on the climb right in front of me. I unclipped, went over to the side and looked up and thought, “Well, FUCK.” Then I felt some big spectator dude along the sdie grab me and steady my bike while I clipped in and then he gave me a HUGE push and yelled this Flandrien God-like ROAR and I was off, to complete the climb. Must have ben the Gods forgiving me for my earlier blasphemy about the rain. Super cool moment. Also had a super cool moment when I crested the Muur earlier in the day and right beside me was a Bloke in full Vemlominati kit, just like me! We chatted a bit and he is a German fellow who does not post but frequents the site regularly (Where-ever you are Mate–Congrats on the ride! )

    Overall, Nothing like it. Harder than the full Paris-Roubiax cyclo 5 years ago, in my opinion. And to add to my fuck-all state at the end, I forgot where I had parked my car and had to ride a bunch more k to find it–ended the day with 245.1 k’s. A right proper ride, if I do say so myself!

    Next year I am going to do the 274km L-B-L full cyclo if anyone wants to start to plan for that one! That will give me the 240 km P-R full cyclo in 2012, this 245 km RVV and the full L-B-L–something to fucking bore the eyeballs out of my future grandchildren while I sit around drinking some good whiskey in 25 years.

  43. @Buck Rogers

    Chapeau

  44. @Buck Rogers

    Chapeau indeed!

    Shame we didn’t meet up on the Kwaremont on Sunday, we were down the hill from you by the village square. A spot on the fence in line of sight of a big screen was too go to miss.

    I completely fucked up the Paterberg as well; head down and big ringing it, not realising how tight that corner was, concentrating on getting round rather than little rings and big cogs. Then there was agonising moment filled with the sound of a rear derailleur at it limits. I just manage to keep enough forward momentum and made it to the top.

    There were butterflies.

    The rubber speed bump protecting the timing kit at the top was almost one incline too much.

    I “only” did the 141 km route but what an awesome day. I’ve suggested that, if it lines up with school holidays next year, we might make a week of it and do PR as well. So far the suggestion hasn’t been shot down in flames.

  45. @chris

    @Buck Rogers

    Well the Paterberg was about the only thing I did not screw up at the weekend – so I guess I have that going for me!

  46. @Buck Rogers

    This Epic Tale makes me very happy. Outstanding work, Buckaroo.

  47. @Buck Rogers

    Great excite. Chapeau. Much jealous.

  48. @Buck Rogers

    Fantastic! Thanks for the report. Crazy jealous and also amazed – there’s no way at this time of the year I could be in adequate shape to do that many kms.How much adrenaline was sloshing around in your system? Must have been loads to be riding those climbs with spectators cheering you on. Chapeau!

  49. @Buck Rogers

    Top man! My legs ache just reading……..

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar