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Saturday, June 22, 2024

FLANDERS: Appreciating the Finer Factors of Belgian Biking Tradition

The Flanders Expertise: Spring has hit Belgium and there’s a pull in the direction of that small north European nation for all lovers of motorbike racing. Ed Hood has barrels stuffed with the Belgian ‘race chase’ expertise, and shares his eager observance of what makes Belgian biking tradition distinctive, and unattainable 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 good friend Ed Hood suffered a severe stroke in February.  We don’t anticipate 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 complete publish right here – and please take into account 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 previous.


The papers shall be stuffed 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 stuffed with element.


What in regards to the stuff you actually need to find out 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 have been married; the service was carried out in French. . . Godverdomme!

That wedding ceremony…

Nonetheless, you’re protected 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 moderately undermined his in style standing regardless of his great palmarès. For those who’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

Gown code:
As my mentor, adviser on all issues Flemish and PEZ soothsayer, Vik as soon as rightly noticed; ‘you possibly can by no means put on the unsuitable factor in Flanders.’

You possibly can by no means put on the unsuitable factor in Flanders…

Horrific 80’s shell-suits? No downside.

shell suit
Take your decide?

White socks along with your go well with? Positive!


‘Basket weave’ topped footwear? Yeah. ‘Kipper’ ties? After all.

shoes tie
The right shoe and tie combo

And burgundy remains to be an enormous color in Flanders, notably for trousers, it reveals up that shine from sitting on bar stools for an excessive amount of of your life simply high-quality. And Crimplene can also be nonetheless large. . .

‘Mmm, fits you sir!’

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

Jupiler with fish choice

The most well-liked model of beer in Belgium is Jupiler, it’s not that tasty however on the plus aspect you possibly can 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 have been initially designed with Belgium’s area program in thoughts as rocket fuels – tread evenly, Dude. However bear 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.

For those who do crave one thing a bit of 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 allow 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 aspect lane; ease off, alter your velocity, point out and execute the manoeuvre? Nee, nee, nee! Ground, it veer throughout to the quick lane then brake onerous, 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. For those who’re of a sure age you’ll bear in mind a movie referred to as, ‘Demise Race 2,000’ – the dudes in that film merely wouldn’t reduce it on the Flemish motorways.

French followers in Flanders – I’d hold 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 just’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 execs. 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 possibly can 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 a must 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 bear in mind Johan when he was bald

The toupee could 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 possibly can 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 a listing 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 unsuitable with them.

The radio alternative

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

Rijsttaart – It’s addictive

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

Keep on with solely watching biking on Flemish TV

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

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

# All the above mentioned, I like the place, it’s folks it’s quirks and there’s no finer factor to do on the earth of a day than dangle 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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