Uh...Belgium?

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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hna
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by hna

The main reason they sometimes do not give you enough space in cycling countries is because there isn't any on the smaller roads. I feel much safer riding in Italy than in Norway, even though cars sometimes pass a lot closer.

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GonaSovereign
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by GonaSovereign

Seriously, northocean guy, wIth a screenname like that you need to travel to Oostende, race kermeses in the wind until the answer is obvious to you.

In the interm, watch this many times. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ikojh882HJE

I don't know what non-Belgian country you're from, but think about the most popular sport in your country. Your popular sport sucks for popularity in comparison to cycling in Belgium. As a mediocre amateur racer I would get stopped by random people who wanted to know where I was racing, talk about other riders, shoot the breeze, etc. It's not about topography; it's about what's in the blood.

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michel2
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by michel2

I think it was when tom boonen won his second double, the last pope just died and the catholic church had to fill the spot sunday night on the national belgium anouched that belgium had found there new pope tom boonen !
In belgium ( and the south of the netherlands) cycling is for the people, done by the the people and owned by the people
From roughly april till late september you'l be able to find a bike race nearly every day of the week in aera that is smaller than the north or south island !(;

styrrell
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by styrrell

I was in Belgium for the RVV/PR races last year. We were in a small cafe watching one of the smaller races a few days after Cancellara broke his collarbone. The owner of the cafe, a late 50s age woman, commented that the bottle he hit was likely to be a screw top, because hitting that kind is worse than a snap top bottle. When you hit a bottle with a snap top it blows off easier and you are less likely to fall.

Find any waitress in any other country with that depth of knowlege about cycling.

kiserkm
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by kiserkm

i live in Belgium. you can race almost year round, every day if you wanted. Road racing has started for the elites. It's a religion here, and the drivers respect you for the most part. Sometimes when you venture into the french side they dont give a shit, but the flemish are all about it.

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prendrefeu
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by prendrefeu

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?


Just wondering: did you have an opportunity to watch today's race? (Ronde Van Vlaanderen / Tour of Flanders 2013). If anything, this one day will explain why, all in a few hours worth.

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Colonia
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by Colonia

Cycling culture is strong in Belgium, but the roads are terrible. I've ridden a fair amount in Wallonia and you have to watch out a lot.

fdegrove
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by fdegrove

Hi,

WOW....How did I miss this one.

I've ridden a fair amount in Wallonia and you have to watch out a lot


I totally agree with you but you do not actually have to ride those roads at all. There are still hundreds of miles if not thousands, of roads that are basically agricultural roads made of concrete in Limburg and the Northern part of Wallonia alone. You'll be riding across the fields, enjoy some fabulous scenery (if you have an eye for it), won't have to worry about cars or traffic signs, just ride and enjoy.

Then there are the RAVELS, kind of recycled old railway beds turned into to marvellous cycling tracks and so on ad infinitum.
And I'm only just describing my "terrain de jeu". Go ride along the coast line, it's flat as a pancake but mind the wind etc, etc...
Same goes for our neighbours in Holland really.

I think Prendrefeu has nailed it with his usual not to be overlooked post. Belgium is at the heart of cycling. We have quite a few Australians and Kiwi's living and working here and by working I do mean riding a bike for living.

Cycling, and I mean any kind of cycling has been the most popular sport here for a few centuries. Belgium not only breathes cycling, it actually is cycling at its very core.
While I can explain why this has taken on such a dimension it is beyond the scope of the TS question , so I'll refrain.

Nonetheless, if TS should ever come to Belgium to ride his bike I'll happily show him not only Flanders Fields but the Ardennes as well as anything inbetween. I'm sure he'll change his mind after an hour or two.

Belgium is cycling, soccer, beer brewing, probably the best food in the world too, add beer and chocolate as well. We're not chauvinistic about it at all but once you're here you'll notice a small country with a very big heart.

You're welcome, ;)
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HammerTime2
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by HammerTime2

fdegrove wrote:Cycling, and I mean any kind of cycling has been the most popular sport here for a few centuries.
And that's really saying something, considering that cycling was invented less than two centuries ago.

fdegrove
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by fdegrove

Hi,

I am sure you know the exact date and time including the weather forecast for that very day as well?

Thank you once again, Hammertime, for your bright contribution. The troll par excellence.

Small people, he, ;)
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Horze
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by Horze

Well in Belgium it's easy to be hero, cycling or otherwise.

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, that Benelux region is super industrialized.


What do you mean by super-industrialized. If it means getting a job in this day and age it's a good thing.

No matter where you come from, once you arrive in Belgium you'll be amazed at how small the country is.
The time the sport/experience comes into its own is at events: free of traffic and closed off. Akin to the experience you might see on TV. But remember those are quite selective.
But local domestic events are held almost everyday over shorter courses and even then the experience can get a little ho-hum over time.

If you're cycling on your own it's not such a great experience though. Very monotonous, flat terrain in most of Flanders and actually quite windy even on what are pleasant days. Can you ride 48kmh across 50km on your own nonstop after doing 200km :wink: (not in a tail wind :lol:) :?:
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LocoDuck
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by LocoDuck

I've met a few Belgians, really nice guys and definitely enjoy their cycling! Been invited over there this summer for a few beers and bike riding (not at the same time...maybe).

Colonia
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Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:34 am

by Colonia

HammerTime2 wrote:
fdegrove wrote:Cycling, and I mean any kind of cycling has been the most popular sport here for a few centuries.
And that's really saying something, considering that cycling was invented less than two centuries ago.


The Italians might also take issue with Belgium being the "heart" of cycling. :lol:

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ave
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by ave

>probably the best food in the world too

That's Italy, with no contest.
Actually, we were in Belgium for the worlds in 2002 and could hardly eat anything in restaurants. (But I'm not a gourmand, I confess!)

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prendrefeu
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by prendrefeu

I think "best food in the world" is a very, very debatable rating. Certainly some places are worse than others, but the best among the best? Debatable. I can think of several valid candidates and arguments for/against for each of them. Italy is just one candidate. A valid, strong candidate, but just one of many, and they have some great food just like the others.
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by Weenie


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