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.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Mostly Mary Townley

Here's the juice on mine and Mark's mid week adaption of the classic off road Mary Townley Loop, part of the Pennine Bridleway and traversing around East Lancashire and Calderdale's finest hills:

7 hours out and about - 6 1/2 riding time

Temperature - 24 degrees, wind - nah. It felt hot. Damn hot.

Liquid intake - insufficient leading to a begging at nearest house water incident.

Chips and mayo? Oh yes.

Leffe on draught? Passed up, just.

Getting lost and having an inadvertant but pleasant adventure? De riguer for this sort of thing.

Suitability of cross bike for a mostly off road and rocky 50 miler? Adequate but a little harsh on long stretches of uneven packhorse sets with 65psi.

Longest stretch of cobbles ever ridden outside of Flanders? Up from Watergrove Reservoir, near Whitworth, nearly a mile long, in the middle of nowhere and going nowhere. Bizarre.

Tan/dust lines and salt stains on clothing? Guaranteed.


  1. Hot yesterday, wasn't it! We were out getting cooked around Kettlewell. Too much sweat to be able to hang onto the bars going up Park Rash...

  2. I've been thinking of trying the MTL on my cross bike, nice to see it is doable!

  3. I've been wondering about adding this to my palmarès, and now this only serves me to want even more...chapeau!

  4. This is a stunning ride made even better with the weather.
    Al's double bar tape is a very good idea as after several hours on these tracks really hits the wrists, forearms and shoulders.
    Two water bottles would be a good idea if the weather is warm as you are pretty exposed - chapeau to the old lady who provided a much needed refill and chatted about her trip to Garda where there were lots and lots of bikes.
    fantastic day on the bike