Thursday, September 21, 2006


I started cycling when I started High school, age 13 in this country. Have done a lot of it since then. Never in races, mostly just for myself and every now and again a longer tour with some other people. At age 30 I considered myself experienced enough to try and ride a tour on the parcours of Liege-Bastogne-Liege, one of the spring classic races in Belgium. And it definitely is a race parcours. You start with about 100 km going up and down not too steep hills to Bastogne, continue doing that for another 60 km and then start the grand 'finale'. Which is close to 80 km of roads up the steepest hills they have found in all of the Ardennes. I think there are 8 of them and the steepest one is, of course, La Redoute, starting in Remouchamps.
At the time I thought it was a tough ride, those 240 km. But I did not know then that I would ride LBL another 8 times during the last 17 years or so. And I did not train well for all of them. Definitely not. I now know that the first one was one of the easy ones. Nevertheless, I finished all of them.
If you ever are in the neighbourhood, here are some things you may want to know about the race. And this is a GPS route of a 235 km variant. The site is in Dutch but GPS is international if you have the right kind of hard- and software.

This is me, in this years La Marmotte on the first climb of the day; Col de la Glandon. If you want to ride La Marmotte; look for the roadbook link on this page. Or wait about a year, there will be another edition early july 2007.

Monday, September 11, 2006

End of season

Last saturday I had what I think will be my last longer cycle tour for this year. Only 150km near where I live all in typical Dutch flat country. Beautiful, but flat. For anyone interested, this is the ride I did. Not very special, just fun to do a ride with a lot of other people (1200, 500 for 100km and 700 for 150km) in the places I use for training. And see if they have found roads I did not know yet. Unfortunately, I knew all of them.
I have done longer distances this year in a day. Just for showing off here is what I registered using my Polar cycling heartrate/ distance/ speed/ cadence monitor:

# Exercises 160,
Duration 309.33 hours,
Distance 6747.9 km,
Calories 238071.

Weekly averages:
# Exercises 3,
Duration 5.57 hours,
Distance 129.767 km,
Calories 4578.

The longest ride I did was one day in the 'hills' of Limburg, the 250km version. The hardest one, and the reason I started cycling again about 2 years ago is La Marmotte 170km of climbing four cols with a total of almost 5000m to climb. I'll save the events of that day for a separate post. For now I am just content that I still can ride some respectable distance on my bicycle and not be totally wasted afterwards.