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 Post subject: Uh...Belgium?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:12 pm
Posts: 137
As I learn more and more about road bilking I'm hearing Belgium come up. Belgian tan most recently, spring classics...

Why Belgium, I mean I like Belgium, I've been there once but in the cycling world how does it deserve a mention? I just looked at Wikipedia and it's one of the most crowded countries in the entire world, that Benelux region is super industrialized.

I thought it was like the size of Iowa but its the size of Massachusetts! And with more people. AND it is mostly a flat wet coastal plain and what isnt a city is some reclaimed land farm.

So what am I missing? I think there should be more talk about b.c. Or new Zealand.


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 Post subject: Re: Uh...Belgium?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:56 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Posts: 1978
because cycling is Belgiums national sport.
the pros are well paid, get the hot girls, are local heros.
Local businesses and communities really get behind the local races (usually a choice most days, many within riding distance or a short drive away) entry is cheap, racing is good, prizes are excellent, crowds are huge
You get respect on the roads, and they are good roads ( well, Some of them are )
what more do you want?


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 Post subject: Re: Uh...Belgium?
Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:56 pm 


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 Post subject: Re: Uh...Belgium?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 12:10 am
Posts: 1259
Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Northoceanbeach wrote:
So what am I missing? I think there should be more talk about b.c. Or new Zealand.

1) How many pro races are organized in New Zealand?
2) How many of those are 100+ year old classics?
3) Is cycling the number one sport in New Zealand?
4) Are cyclist among the best payed sporters in New Zealand?
5) Is there a huge fan base for pro cyclists in New Zealand?
6) Does New Zealand television run weekly shows about its past and present cycling heroes?
7) Is cycling daily multiple-page business for New Zealand newspapers?
8) How many weekly and monthsly cycling magazines does New Zealand count?
9) How many riders from New Zealand won world championships, grand tours and classics?
10) Is the biggest New Zealand pro cycling race of the year an almost religeous national event?

A hint, compare:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Belgian_cyclists

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:N ... d_cyclists

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 Post subject: Re: Uh...Belgium?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:15 pm
Posts: 1
mattr wrote:
because cycling is Belgiums national sport.
the pros are well paid, get the hot girls, are local heros.
Local businesses and communities really get behind the local races (usually a choice most days, many within riding distance or a short drive away) entry is cheap, racing is good, prizes are excellent, crowds are huge
You get respect on the roads, and they are good roads ( well, Some of them are )
what more do you want?

Yup thats true i've stayed in belgië for almost two years for my study. I think in belgium that is the best country that appriciate cycling.
The integrated cycling path with nederlands help you to explore the country.
That were awesome i cycled from my city antwerpen to rotterdam with my the guidance of numbers in the cycling path.

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 Post subject: Re: Uh...Belgium?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:25 pm
Posts: 739
Location: Winterpeg
And, IMHO, the roads in the south, meaning some Brabant and entire Wallonie are the best cycling roads in the world. And the things in the above posts.

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 Post subject: Re: Uh...Belgium?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:05 pm
Posts: 132
Location: Barcelona Spain
Some cycling highlights of Belgium -> Eddy Merckx, Lazer, Ronde van Vlaanderen :roll:

It's all about the legends there :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Uh...Belgium?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:26 pm
Posts: 19
Northoceanbeach wrote:
Why Belgium, I mean I like Belgium, I've been there once but in the cycling world how does it deserve a mention? I just looked at Wikipedia and it's one of the most crowded countries in the entire world

Correct. There are large areas where you do not want to end up with your bike. Lots of traffic, lots of (small) roads so constant braking/accelerating, ... .

Northoceanbeach wrote:
that Benelux region is super industrialized.

Here I have to disagree. It really depends on the region. You can do rides in the (Flemish) Ardennes and only meet other cyclists and cows. But you really need a local who knows the region or some good GPS tracks to discover those roads.

Northoceanbeach wrote:
I thought it was like the size of Iowa but its the size of Massachusetts! And with more people. AND it is mostly a flat wet coastal plain and what isnt a city is some reclaimed land farm.

Mostly flat ... nah. Of course we do not have mountains, but ask the pro's who ride Liege-Bastogne-Liege whether it is flat and I am pretty sure they will disagree. I think you can find rides in each province (except Antwerpen and Limburg) which will be considered hilly by all tourists.
Northoceanbeach wrote:
So what am I missing? I think there should be more talk about b.c. Or new Zealand.

What you are missing is the difference between a cycling culture and nice cycling roads. We have the first, and depending on the area where you do your cycling even the latter.

mattr wrote:
You get respect on the roads

That really depends on who you encounter. We have our own share of *ssholes driving cars here
mattr wrote:
and they are good roads ( well, Some of them are )

Really depends on the region, and the season (e.g. when the harvest is up a lot of those good roads turn into asphalt covered in a few cm's of mud)


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 Post subject: Re: Uh...Belgium?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:27 am
Posts: 255
Location: Nu Zild
Timo wrote:
Northoceanbeach wrote:
So what am I missing? I think there should be more talk about b.c. Or new Zealand.

1) How many pro races are organized in New Zealand?
2) How many of those are 100+ year old classics?
3) Is cycling the number one sport in New Zealand?
4) Are cyclist among the best payed sporters in New Zealand?
5) Is there a huge fan base for pro cyclists in New Zealand?
6) Does New Zealand television run weekly shows about its past and present cycling heroes?
7) Is cycling daily multiple-page business for New Zealand newspapers?
8) How many weekly and monthsly cycling magazines does New Zealand count?
9) How many riders from New Zealand won world championships, grand tours and classics?
10) Is the biggest New Zealand pro cycling race of the year an almost religeous national event?

A hint, compare:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Belgian_cyclists" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:N ... d_cyclists" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Timo,
as you know, the answer to 1->10 here in NZ is no. Replace cycling with rugby and you might be closer to the mark.


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 Post subject: Re: Uh...Belgium?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:12 pm
Posts: 137
Ok cool so it's all about the culture and pro scene.

See to me when I'm thinking about riding its mostly by myself and I look for scenery/terrain first second and third. So I think cycling and think soaring alpine mountains or Mediterranean coastal hills, not so much the culture, but I'm learning.

I guess Belgium while I'm sure greater, is kinda like austin. I went there and was like, where are these epic rides, but I think it's more about the groups and races.

Of love to ride Belgium, but I wouldn't put it first on my list. Thats why I said new Zealand, because that's where I want to ride, it has everything from deserts to mountains that rival those anywhere to tropics to penguins.

And while Belgium is the size of Massachusetts and has 12 million people, new Zealand is the size of California and has 4. I like empty roads.


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 Post subject: Re: Uh...Belgium?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 12:10 am
Posts: 1259
Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
thencameyou wrote:
Timo,
as you know, the answer to 1->10 here in NZ is no. Replace cycling with rugby and you might be closer to the mark.

Exactly, but the question wasn't about rugby ;)

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And if I ever meet an aardvark, I'm going to step on its damn protruding nasal implement until it couldn't suck up an insect if its life depended on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Uh...Belgium?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:40 am
Posts: 417
Location: Switzerland
Northoceanbeach wrote:
As I learn more and more about road bilking I'm hearing Belgium come up. Belgian tan most recently, spring classics...

Why Belgium, I mean I like Belgium, I've been there once but in the cycling world how does it deserve a mention? I just looked at Wikipedia and it's one of the most crowded countries in the entire world, that Benelux region is super industrialized.

I thought it was like the size of Iowa but its the size of Massachusetts! And with more people. AND it is mostly a flat wet coastal plain and what isnt a city is some reclaimed land farm.

So what am I missing? I think there should be more talk about b.c. Or new Zealand.


the thing is, in belgium cycling is about bicycle racing, not riding a race bike and explore a country and enjoy the scenery

in belgium the bicycle is about sport, not transport


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 Post subject: Re: Uh...Belgium?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:42 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2006 7:45 pm
Posts: 3334
Location: Natovi Landing
Northoceanbeach wrote:
Ok cool so it's all about the culture and pro scene.

See to me when I'm thinking about riding its mostly by myself and I look for scenery/terrain first second and third. So I think cycling and think soaring alpine mountains or Mediterranean coastal hills, not so much the culture, but I'm learning.

I guess Belgium while I'm sure greater, is kinda like austin. I went there and was like, where are these epic rides, but I think it's more about the groups and races.

Of love to ride Belgium, but I wouldn't put it first on my list. Thats why I said new Zealand, because that's where I want to ride, it has everything from deserts to mountains that rival those anywhere to tropics to penguins.

And while Belgium is the size of Massachusetts and has 12 million people, new Zealand is the size of California and has 4. I like empty roads.



Guess what? Low population density = few roads. And those roads that do exist? Are trunk roads.

Enjoy.


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 Post subject: Re: Uh...Belgium?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:18 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:26 pm
Posts: 251
Location: Norway
It has always been a dream of mine to ride and race in Belgium ever since I started racing. I think I might just have to spend a few weeks there next spring. I can't see any other time the next few years that I will have the possibility.

If you are interested in racing and cycling history, then Belgium will always beat New Zealand :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Uh...Belgium?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:33 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 4:11 pm
Posts: 463
And if you have the money and the possibilities, come to Belgium in April and bring your bike.
The day before every classic, you can ride the same roads as the pro-riders do the day after together with thousands of other cyclist (and I mean thousands like in around 15000 participants for the Tour of Flanders funride).

The day of the pro-race you go to the start in Brugge and look at the race alongside the course or on a hill.
But be aware you will be one of the 100000 people wanting to do that.

Then you go back home, take a beer, sit in your couch, enjoy the warm sun (because in april it will still be rather cold and wet in Belgium) and think again 'why the hell Belgium'...
We are not big, but we have the best cyclists in history and from march until april we are the center of the world.
(as fas as cycling goes)


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 Post subject: Re: Uh...Belgium?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:33 pm
Posts: 167
Went to Belgium to ride and watch Flanders and PR. Truly awesome. You can certainly get a tough workout in if you climb the bergs. They have some traffic, but most drivers are polite. They don't necessarily give a lot of room when passing, but respect your right to be on the roads, both in the country and in the cities.

It wouldn't be my first choice of a place to ride if you don't want to experience the pave or have sense of history for racing. Still not bad but thats a major attraction,


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 Post subject: Re: Uh...Belgium?
Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:50 pm 


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