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  1. #1
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    A nice stay in Flanders

    I have not done so many organized bike rides, I just like to ride. However this january I was invited to do the Tour of Flanders Challenge and enlisted for the 259 k real deal. A week after there was a mail telling about the Paris Roubaix Challenge arranged the day before the race as well; I may have imbibed some wine that night and thought why don,t I stay on alone and do that as well ? So here I am in Kortrijk after a wonderful sunny springday in a vast field in France watching Cancelara pull away from the rest. Both Challenges were good riding experiences for me, the Tour of Flanders harder because of the longer ride, the Paris Roubaix being only 170 k. I had my CX set up with 35 mm Vittoria Hyper tires so I was not all that beat up by the pavees. I found riding the pavees to be great fun and a real test of endurance. You really have to push yourself to "float" over the cobbles. With my tires I could choose the side of the road when that was easier going which it often was. In the week between the two events I wanted to test my new touring gear but unfortunately my three season setup did not fit this very cold prolonged winter. Trying to camp in a Big Agnes Seedhouse with a strong northeasterly wind around freezing is not to be recommended. Aside from the smell of pigmanure at this time of the year I found Belgium to be really bikefriendly and great place to cycletour. I spent some memorable days in the museums in Brugge, an amazing city. Both rides strongly recommended.

  2. #2
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Sounds Like a blast! Are photos on the way?

    There is a time to resign oneself
    to old age and infirmity. You first.
    My Cycling Blogspot

  3. #3
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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  4. #4
    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    I am officially in awe of you Plodderlusk, Paris-roubaix is my one single race choice with its history and the famous rider showings when it is in truly bad conditions. Some pics would be nice, did we mention that yet?

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

    "We can't control that we have Parkinson's, but we can control how we live with Parkinson's" Davis Phinney

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    I did not bring a camera on this trip.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plodderslusk View Post
    I did not bring a camera on this trip.
    On purpose!!! That's too bad.
    Please support diabetics like myself, a red rider, by supporting the American Diabetes Association.
    If you see a Tour de Cure event, consider participating or supporting a Red Rider or other participant.

    My nephew's and his two friends' blog about their riding the East Coast, Maine to the Keys:
    http://brobreak.wordpress.com/

    My Strava account

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    no pro racers . but While staying in Ypres, my host , a turf maintenance gardener, for the War Graves Commision,
    took me on a day-trip to Kimmel, to see the abrupt cobbled hill, the Ghent - Wevelgem course loops around to send the

    contestants over, twice.. Kimmelberg.

    only film cameras back then..

  8. #8
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    Here are yours truly hanging on for dear life in the velodrome in Roubaix, (never been in one before). Those banked turns are steep !

  9. #9
    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Plodder,
    That is a very interesting set up on your Focus, looks like a climber and Cyclocross combination. What exactly is your set up and its components?

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

    "We can't control that we have Parkinson's, but we can control how we live with Parkinson's" Davis Phinney

  10. #10
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    Barends, Xtr V-brakes with Tektro 520 long reach levers, XT Rd, Ultegra Fd, Ultegra road triple crankset with 30 as the smallest chainwheel and Xt 11-32cassette. Wheels are 36 spoked Ultegra hubs with Open Pro rims.
    Usually I have used Racing Ralph's in 35mm but for this I put on Vittoria Hyper Slicks also 35mm. Made for gravelgrinding on pretty hilly forrestroads.

  11. #11
    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Thanks for the data, that is an interesting build for your bike. I suppose this is the forerunner of the gravel bikes that are becoming popular here. Yours is similar to the fantastic build that Blues Dawg completed last year, nice bikes, both. Very well thought out and well engineered.

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

    "We can't control that we have Parkinson's, but we can control how we live with Parkinson's" Davis Phinney

  12. #12
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    First....ENVY. Your rig looks like the perfect one for the cobbles.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  13. #13
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Glad you enjoyed my birthplace of Brugge (Bruges to English and French speakers).
    Left there just after WWII in 1947 and moved to the USA.
    Went back for a visit in 1985. Nice to visit, but prefer desert climate in Arizona!
    West Vlaanderen is great fo cycling . . . but the weather can be artrocious!
    Pedal on!
    Rudy/zonatandem

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