HomeCyclingFLANDERS: Appreciating the Finer Factors of Belgian Biking Tradition

FLANDERS: Appreciating the Finer Factors of Belgian Biking Tradition

FLANDERS: Appreciating the Finer Factors of Belgian Biking Tradition

The Flanders Expertise: Spring has hit Belgium and there’s a pull in direction of that small north European nation for all lovers of motorcycle racing. Ed Hood has barrels filled with the Belgian ‘race chase’ expertise, and shares his eager observance of what makes Belgian biking tradition distinctive, and inconceivable to withstand.

# See the ‘2024 PEZ Flanders Race Preview’ HERE.#

“I’m by no means happier than once I’m writing.”
~ Ed Hood, as spoken to Martin Williamson from the passenger seat, driving alongside a stage route on the Tour de France.

Expensive Readers – Our beloved colleague and buddy Ed Hood suffered a severe stroke in February.  We don’t count on Ed will make it again into our bunch, so we’ve began a GoFundMe web page to assist Ed together with his future.  Learn the total put up right here – and please think about donating.

** Click on this hyperlink to donate to the GoFundMe web page to assist Ed **

We’ll be posting a number of Ed’s work from the previous 16 years, as a result of nice story-telling by no means will get outdated.


The papers will probably be filled with ‘Wielersport’

You’re going to Flanders for the E3, or is it De Ronde? The parcours and begin lists are a cinch, the papers are filled with element.


What concerning the stuff you really want to learn about The Flatlands? Learn on. . .

No.1 – Eddy!

Sure, Eddy Merckx is a Diety – BUT he’s not Flemish. It was headline information when Eddy and Claudine had been married; the service was carried out in French. . . Godverdomme!

That wedding ceremony…

Nonetheless, you’re secure with Tom Boonen, Peter Van Petegem, Johan Museeuw and naturally, Freddy and the late, nice ‘Franky Boy.’ Roger De Vlaeminck’s current criticisms of Tommeke, WVA, Remco and nearly everybody else bar himself have relatively undermined his in style standing regardless of his fantastic palmarès. In the event you’re speaking to older dudes then Rik Van Looy, Ward Sels and even additional again, Briek Schotte will get you approving nods.

The unique Flandrien

Keep away from! As John Wayne would possibly say; ‘tastes prefer it ran offa somebody’s boots!’ Cappuccino? Nee, nee, nee! It’s the above talked about brake fluid with that horrible pressurised cream stuff skooshed on high.

We hope Greg is aware of learn how to make a correct cappuccino

Costume code:
As my mentor, adviser on all issues Flemish and PEZ soothsayer, Vik as soon as rightly noticed; ‘you’ll be able to by no means put on the incorrect factor in Flanders.’

You may by no means put on the incorrect factor in Flanders…

Horrific 80’s shell-suits? No drawback.

shell suit
Take your decide?

White socks along with your go well with? Certain!


‘Basket weave’ topped footwear? Yeah. ‘Kipper’ ties? In fact.

shoes tie
The proper shoe and tie combo

And burgundy continues to be an enormous color in Flanders, significantly for trousers, it exhibits up that shine from sitting on bar stools for an excessive amount of of your life simply nice. And Crimplene can be nonetheless large. . .

‘Mmm, fits you sir!’

The fellows and me are in Sersekamp for a kermis, I fancy a brandy. The barman seems to be at me as if there’s one thing incorrect with me – pils it’s then. . .

Jupiler with fish possibility

The most well-liked model of beer in Belgium is Jupiler, it’s not that tasty however on the plus facet you’ll be able to eat litres of the stuff with out getting too buckled.

Typically you want a beer

Trappistes and the likes of Duvel and Orvelo look nice, style nice however had been initially designed with Belgium’s house program in thoughts as rocket fuels – tread calmly, Dude. However keep in mind, it’s by no means too early for a beer in Belgium.

The big bonus of winning the Carrefour Market Heistse Pijl is the giant glass of Kwaremont beer on the podium. Not sure about the Napoleon Games hat, though. Pic:CorVos/PezCyclingNews.

In the event you do crave one thing a little bit stronger then go for Genever, – ‘Juniper.’ Genever is a transparent, botanically wealthy, malted grain-based spirit that may solely be made in Holland or Belgium. It’s a mix of two or extra distillates: first, a whiskey-like triple distillate product of corn, wheat, and rye (so-called malt wine). Second, a juniper-infused distillate.

The Vivaldi Bar – By no means too late

Closing time?
Talking for the Vivaldi, our favorite watering gap in Gent, I can’t enable you to; irrespective of how far into the wee small hours we’ve stumbled out into the chilly November air, the tunes are nonetheless coming and the regulars are nonetheless, ‘partying on’ behind us. Respect.

de karper
De Karper, one other favorite

You’re approaching a slip highway, you’re within the close to facet lane; ease off, regulate your velocity, point out and execute the manoeuvre? Nee, nee, nee! Flooring, it veer throughout to the quick lane then brake arduous, dive again throughout the lanes and thrash it into the slip – job carried out.

Point out? Neen, neen, neen.

death race 2000
Demise Race 2000 – Common day on a Belgian motorway

Stopping distance? What’s that?

Regardless of the Monday morning papers being full of images of the weekend motorway carnage it makes not a little bit of distinction, the driving continues to be loopy. In the event you’re of a sure age you’ll keep in mind a movie known as, ‘Demise Race 2,000’ – the dudes in that film merely wouldn’t lower it on the Flemish motorways.

French followers in Flanders – I’d preserve that quiet

Not a good suggestion to attempt to converse in that language in Flanders.

One of many many joys of Flanders

One of many many joys of Flanders is that you simply’re by no means removed from a frituur. Parts: ‘Klein’ is for amateurs, ‘Grooten’ about proper for many and a ‘Tremendous’ is just for the true professionals. Mayonnaise is the selection of many however I’m an Andalouse man myself. There are few issues extra satisfying than the sound of the commercial sized sauce pump ‘splatting’ that tangy gloop onto your frites. And, as with pils, it’s by no means too early for frites in Flanders.

Ed’s favorite – Frites met Andalouse saus

Hair kinds:
The mullet by no means died in Belgium, you’ll be able to see them in every single place and ex-pro and Ronde, Roubaix, E3 and Gent-Wevelgem winner, Eric Vanderaerden could also be 60 years-of-age now however nonetheless sports activities his mullet – albeit it’s not as luxurious because it as soon as was.

Eric’s Mullet

‘Comb overs’ are nonetheless in style, my hair has lengthy gone however it’s important to respect any man who grows what’s left of his hair lengthy on the again then scrapes it ahead over his bald pate, making use of a wholesome dose of hairspray to maintain it in place. . .

I keep in mind Johan when he was bald

The toupee might have all however vanished in many of the civilised world however not in Flanders, normally within the color your hair was a decade in the past, the joint resembling a geological fault. You may normally nonetheless purchase a ‘man’s hair piece’ in a ironmongers/ironmongery store.

The higher Belgian wigs

Juke Field:
No self-respecting bar is with out it’s juke field, when confronted with an inventory of artists you’ve by no means heard of, go to ‘ABBA’ – they’ll be in there for positive and you may by no means go incorrect with them.

The radio alternative

While you’re within the rent automobile and want some sounds seek for NRJ or Nostalgi, you may be subjected to grim ballads and Europop maybe each three or 4 songs however keep it up, they do play a fantastic number of 60’s and 70’s Oldies. There’s additionally Studio Brussel or ‘Stu Bru’ which might be fascinating.

Rijsttaart – It’s addictive

Rice tart:
‘Rijsttaart,’ observe them down in any respectable bakers, you’ll thank us – however they’re addictive.

Follow solely watching biking on Flemish TV

Other than the sports activities programmes and sports activities information, finest prevented.

Belgium, beer and a motorcycle race – What extra would you like?

# The entire above mentioned, I like the place, it’s individuals it’s quirks and there’s no finer factor to do on the earth of a day than hold over the barrier at a kermis along with your pils. And certainly it’s no coincidence that one lap corresponds completely with the time it takes to empty your ‘pintje’ – that’s a 250 cl. glass of pils. . . #

beer chips

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