It’s getting to be the time of year, when temps drop and liquid falls the sky. Do you have an Inner Belgian? When the weather moves in do you smirk as you know there will be very few cyclists out today? When you call your riding buddies on a bad weather day and they say they “don’t feel good” or will be riding the trainer, do you tell them they are acting like a Spaniard? (All due respect to Juan Antonio Flecha* - more thoughts on him below). Or do you ask them if they need help booking their trip to Majorca?
Here is a list to let you know if your inner Lion of Flanders is beginning to roar:
1. You will head out in a driving rain storm or don’t turn back as weather rolls in.
2. The trainer is for times when you want to ride at night or snow is getting so deep you can’t ride a road bike in it.
3. You think about other cyclists not riding and feel the only reasonable excuse is a Kidney Stone, a broken C-bone or a Cross Race.
4. You begin to envision the mid-ride hill as the Koppenberg and your final climb as the Bosberg
5. You gain the skill to be able to take the lane as needed from motorists. For Example: Your riding in a bike lane/shoulder when you notice a large volume of broken glass or the body of a wookie blocking your path. As you look over at the person driving the SUV drinking a latte they see your face covered in grime and the water droplets falling from the bill of your cap. They yield the lane to you, they are in awe you riding in the weather. They are still a bit chilly in the car with the heat on wearing a hoodie and their fur lined Crocs. They also respect and realize that if they did not give it to you, you might bridge up and chase them to Arby’s.
6. You can name more Belgian cyclists than Merckx, Boonen and Develoder.
7. You notice and respect the “Belgian” in riders not at the front of the race, but are still racing even though their work is done.
8. You have to think deep on whether you fanaticize about winning the Ronde instead of the Tour during interval sessions.
9. You order Embrocation for the 1st time
10. You show up to a group ride and you are the only one there.
If you have not tested yourself in the elements, we recommend giving it a go and seeing if you have a bit Belgian in you.
* Juan Antonio Flecha, aka "The Spanish Flandarian" - is the exception to the normal "soft" Spanish cyclist. We have heard rumor that Eddie Merckx's 1st cousin Thomas Merckx spent a good amount of time in Spain during 1977 and had a thing for Latin Ladies. We're not sayin'...we're just sayin'.