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Old 04-07-13, 01:48 PM   #1
plodderslusk
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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.
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Old 04-07-13, 03:05 PM   #2
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Sounds Like a blast! Are photos on the way?
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Old 04-07-13, 05:51 PM   #3
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Old 04-08-13, 06:20 AM   #4
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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?

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Old 04-08-13, 10:03 AM   #5
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I did not bring a camera on this trip.
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Old 04-08-13, 02:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by plodderslusk View Post
I did not bring a camera on this trip.
On purpose!!! That's too bad.
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Old 04-08-13, 03:20 PM   #7
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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..
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Old 04-09-13, 10:46 AM   #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 !
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Old 04-09-13, 07:30 PM   #9
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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?

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Old 04-09-13, 11:00 PM   #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.
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Old 04-10-13, 05:22 AM   #11
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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.

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Old 04-10-13, 05:57 AM   #12
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First....ENVY. Your rig looks like the perfect one for the cobbles.
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Old 04-13-13, 06:08 PM   #13
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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!
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