The beauty of being a fan of bike racing is that if you have the time and will power you can stand mere inches from the legends of the sport. Or, if you’re slightly over-excited you can grab them by the butt and push them up hills as they sail by.
Rodeo visited Belgium in 2015 and had a blast, so we went back this year with an even bigger group and had an even bigger blast.
Writing up a 10 day trip to cycling’s holy land is a tall order. It could take days to compose. I don’t have days to write words, but I do have photos. Lots of photos.
It’s time to share some photos.
Day one involved chasing one of the most fantastic single day races in the word: De Ronde / Tour Of Flanders. The race is one that crowns the hardest women and men of the sport. The women’s and men’s races are actually held on the same day on the same cobbles so we were treated to the chance to see both dramas playing out right in front of us all day long.
Initially we chased the races in the van piloted by Gregg from The Chain Stay. This is a fantastic way to see the race about a dozen different times because Gregg has The Knowledge about all of the best spots to see the race and all the back roads you need to take to string them together. But if you are fans of watching races AND riding bikes like we are you might feel the strong pull of the cobbles yourself. After three great stops watching the women’s race start and the men’s race roll by we decided to jump out of the van, run back to The Chain Stay, and grab our bikes so that we could ride around AND see the race at the same time. De Ronde is great for watching because the course is so utterly convoluted. It twists and tangles across the Belgian countryside in an effort to hit all of the legendary cobbled climbs and sectors that made it famous. Thus, you can watch the race go by, ride a few miles, and see it pass by again in another location. We saw the race about six times on Sunday and were still able to see the dramatic finish play out on a big screen TV playing in a private back yard party that we just walked up and crashed.
Belgium is magic. Riding in Belgium is magic. Watching bike races in Belgium is magic. You should go!
Day 2 coming soon.
Photos by all of us.