Paris-Roubaix

If you want to avoid busy traffic in Flanders....drive around during the final of a big cycling spring classic like "De Ronde Van Vlaanderen" (tour of Flanders) or Paris-Roubaix. Deserted roads guaranteed.

And although I am truly not a huge cycling connaisseur or fan, I must admit that there isn't much that beats the finals of these races and in Paris-Roubaix always a bit more. Don't tune in for the first hours of the day, but the last 40 kms...mmm juicy!

With reports commenting faster and faster and louder and more excited in a never-ending commentary where they never seem to need to stop to breath, swallow saliva or check something while giving background information, statistics on the more dead moments and then interrupting their own stories with excited screams when a cycler all of a sudden speeds up and makes a gap by the followers where oh no, there's already seconds in between, aaaah no, the other cyclers managed to jump along so in fact nothing happened and we can go back to the background story where a former cycler explains the pain in your souring muscles after riding for hours on those cobblestone patches up to the moment where...gosh no they fall, who's down, who isn't, who is getting up, who got further in front...we can't tell right now, oh yes, he goes on he goes on, he's up alone in front now, ....

Hey who was thinking cycling was boring huh? Especially not in the spring cobblestone classics in Belgium and France where falling, flat tires, cyclers getting flags in the tires from the too eager Flemish fans that are all over the place and unfortunatley also on the middle of the road (the big advantage of the cycling sport is the accessibility), train crossings that close at a few kms from the finish line, ....And of course the weather and wind that makes the cobblestone patches either extremely dusty or extremely slippery.

Ah and then the finish in Paris-Roubaix is on the velodrome downtown, with very often one sole heroic rider with muddy face arriving under a loud standing ovation of the filled stade. Aaaah cycling can be so heroic and nice. (and at other times so damn boring ;) ).

Anyway, the Belgians ruled the race again today with Tom Boonen's 3rd victory in "the hell of the north" .

Comments

Cobblestones and bikes= bad news.

Had a heck of a fall in Dusseldorf once - it involved tram tracks and hitting lots of uneven stones.

It brings back ouchy memories.

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