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The Ardennes offensive (2009)

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

The Ardennes offensive (2009)

Old 04-19-09, 03:40 PM
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The Ardennes offensive (2009)

This weekend was that time of year again. Time to hit the Ardennes, and get my first real dose of elevation in far too many months.



Unlike my previous trip, where the weather was amazing, when I arrived on Friday, it was pouring rain.



It was quickly decided to drink beer, and prepare dinner, rather than get soaked and filthy.

As we worked our way through 3 courses, and far too many bottles of wine, it rained, and rained, and rained. Asa matter of fact, it rained until +/- 6AM.



Much to our surprise, things (kind of) cleared up.

So we set out in overcast, misty conditions, on wet and slippy roads, with the plan to do what has become the standard Saturday ride, the "Route Buissoniere".



I didn't get many chances to take pics, but did my best to snap one of appeared to be Easter Saturday celebrations in one of the towns we rode through.



After 5.5 hours of riding, it was time to kick back, and get Saturdays dinner ready.



When you have a Sommelier in the group, the bubbles follow.



It doesn't hurt when you have a guy who's been in a cooking club for the past 20 years either.

This morning the weather looked better. It was time to break out the bikes, and check out some of the climbs of Liege Bastogne Liege.

Here's a few of the steeds from the group:



Possibly the largest Pinarello made since Indurain retired.



A name synonymous with the Ardennes.



A local LBS branded bike.

Last edited by botto; 04-20-09 at 02:14 AM.
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Old 04-19-09, 03:41 PM
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With tired legs from the day before, we made our way to some of the more historical climbs of L-B-L, such as the Wanne.



One of us, working his way up the Wanne.



The view from the top.

After the Wanne, it's a +/-5 km descent down some sketchy roads to Stavelot.

Thinking of historical climbs, and modern history of the Ardennes, at the bottom of the descent to Stavelot you cross a bridge, and take a right just after you pass this -



After that, you work your way up the Stockeu.



And see this.





After that it's a descent, back to Stavelot, to grab a coffee and crepe.



Then it's back to the biking through open roads, filled with history.



Like this.



To get back in time to watch the Amstel Gold.



Then pack up, and drive back to Amsterdam, like these guys.
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Old 04-19-09, 03:45 PM
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are you European?
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Old 04-19-09, 03:57 PM
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Looks like a great weekend. I'm happy the weather cleared for you.
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Old 04-19-09, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by scr660 View Post
are you European?
why do you ask?
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Old 04-19-09, 03:58 PM
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Great pics, I like the looks of the food and drink as much as the bikes.. On top of that the country side looks awesome.
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Old 04-19-09, 03:59 PM
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That looks like a boring day.


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Old 04-19-09, 04:02 PM
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Great stuff, thanks botto!
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Old 04-19-09, 04:09 PM
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Very nice. I recognize those shoes... and oh yeah, lucky dog.
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Old 04-19-09, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by botto View Post
why do you ask?
Probably because it seems like every month you post about an awesome cycling trip in Europe that doesn't seem to be complicated by a wife, children or not problem afford getting around there. I know I'm jealous..
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Old 04-19-09, 04:20 PM
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Once again, excellent, excellent photos. Sounds like a magnificent place to ride!
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Old 04-19-09, 04:27 PM
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I don't want to be your friend anymore. I'm way too envious and it's causing a bad rift.
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Old 04-19-09, 04:30 PM
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Nice pics, keep them coming. thanks

Which model of Pinarello was that?
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Old 04-19-09, 04:31 PM
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Quality stuff, thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-19-09, 04:31 PM
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Awesome. If coveting is wrong, I don't want to be right.
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Old 04-19-09, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by RoboCheme View Post
Nice pics, keep them coming. thanks

Which model of Pinarello was that?
seat tube.
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Old 04-19-09, 04:34 PM
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I like your jersey
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Old 04-19-09, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by CrimsonKarter21 View Post
I like your jersey
thanks, but i'm not in any of the pics.
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Old 04-19-09, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by botto View Post
why do you ask?
No reason. It seems to have much nicer scenery than in the U.S.A.

But I always thought you were American. Didn't pcad say something about meeting you in a race somewhere?
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Old 04-19-09, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by botto View Post
thanks, but i'm not in any of the pics.
The short shorts, indescript caption, and silver headtube in the first picture of post #2 made me think you made a cameo.
Nevermind then.
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Old 04-19-09, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by CrimsonKarter21 View Post
The short shorts, indescript caption, and silver headtube in the first picture of post #2 made me think you made a cameo.
Nevermind then.


that's the pinarello owner. he's +/- 9" taller than me.
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Old 04-19-09, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by botto View Post


that's the pinarello owner. he's +/- 9" taller than me.
One day botto. One day.


One day I'll unmask you.
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Old 04-19-09, 05:00 PM
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Nice. Very nice.
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Old 04-19-09, 05:16 PM
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Beautiful. I'll second the point that getting to share those meals looks like 1/2 the fun. As always, great pics.
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Old 04-19-09, 05:29 PM
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The scenery looks beautiful as always, one of these days I'll have to ride on the continent. That shot of your group reminded me of riding in Scotland, where my hopes of the mist disappearing to unmask the sun were quickly dashed by a down pour shortly there after. Tenerife had the best cycling weather but those climbs took their toll. Thanks for sharing as always.
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