Formed in June 09, Here Come the Belgians is a non-elite anti-team celebrating all things cross, cobbled and Belgian.
Seeking a different experience to the traditional cycling club, its aim is to harness the energy of a vibrant internet cycling community with grass roots racing and riding based around Cyclocross and Spring Classics. There is no race programme in the style of a racing team, more a collection of individual experiences through rides and racing, in whatever location a member may be, that all can share in and contribute toward.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Fred Whitton

After three years of unsuccessful attempts to enter the Fred Whitton it was a bit of a supprise to find myself 'on the list' thanks to Mr Waggetts organisational dilligence.

Unfortunately this success has coincided with probabably my poorest Spring preparation in many a year. In the end there is only myself to blame but there are mitigating circumstances. Firstly the weather. Our recent winter has been a bit of a double whammy; roads too icey for long rides in the Dales and the best ice climbing conditions for decades. As a resurgent ice climber after a twenty year abscence this has been a difficult temptation to resist and unfortunately for my bike fitness I haven't! So with trips to Cogne, the Ben, Lakes and Font (the latter bouldering not ice climbing!) my bike fitness has suffered.

Add to this a fieldtrip with work combined with a cold the week before and things are looking none too promising. Time for some technological assistance in the form of a compact chainset. The idea struck as I churned up the Coal Road at Garsdale Head in the Dales on my 3 Peaks cross bike, that 34 ring was making things a whole lot more pleasant! A hunt round the various interweb vendors turned up a Centaur compact (alloy, it had to be alloy to be fitted to 'Pinkie' no carbon!) at a decent price. A painless fitting, chain shortened, and fully fledged jessiedom beckons.

Just like modern ice axes and pro allows me to climb at a similar level to my younger fitter self I'm hoping the compact will compensate for a lack of 'legs'.

If nothing else I've pre placed my excuse ;-)



  1. Hope it goes well! I was gutted not to get a ride, but am down for the Etape du Dales next weekend. (Also well short on riding.)

  2. I assume if you have a compact you will be using a straight 12-21 block?.......

    I was more than glad of my 34x27 up Hardknott last year as the hailstorm got going properly ;-)

    Bon chance!

  3. Nice Giro colour design. I'm experimenting with a 28 cog for next years Ronde. Although I still have a 2004 Chorus CT Carbon...