Hi, I’m Joe V. The V is for Vadeboncoeur, but no one ever really calls me that (except my business card). That card also calls me the Global Director of Product Development, Marketing and Creative Design for Trek Bicycle. Yep, I am sometimes not really sure what all that means either. I do know that I dig bikes, oatmeal, motorcycles, burritos, the weird things I see along the way, my family and my job. I get to travel the world helping make great bikes, so it’s a pretty great gig.
A Day Spent In The Candy Store!
Eickenberg, Paterberg, Taaienberg, Kwarmont, Koppenberg, Molenberg. OMG, riding in Belgium in April is Heaven...Heaven.
The climbs of East Flanders are tough. They can be impossibly steep and sometime with the absurdity of cobbles thrown in. You will need your smallest gear and it hurts. Your legs scream at you to stop, but do not be tempted. If you do stop, you will never get going. You also cannot stand up, as you bike tire cannot retain traction if you do. So you push a way to big gear and your speed goes down to impossibly slow. You will just not believe how much faster Fabian and Tom can do this climb.
If you have not yet been there yet, you need to go. Get a map, get a bike, get some friends and head out in Flanders. You can follow signs from one of the many races that use these roads. Ride 50 or 60 or 70 miles and you will find you are now in the galactic center of cycling. You will see hundreds of other cyclists along the way. Buckaroo Banzai would approve, because there you are.
We started our day at the restaurant on the Kwaremont, and traced along 105 kilometers of the 2013 E3 route. If ever there was a road to ride segment that the Inner Ring could write about, it is here.
On a beautiful spring day, riding in this part of Belgium is certainly the equivalent of a pilgrimage to Mecca for a cyclist. It is great fun seeing other large groups of cyclists tackling the same hills and routes that you are. All of you experiencing the same elation.
And, there is the lovely squeek of the tires over the road.
This Sunday is going to be an epic day. I have never actually seen Flanders in person. It is my absolute favorite bike race, yet I have always watched it on the internet and never in person. It is the grand daddy of all the races out there, and I will finally get to see it in person. I cannot wait.
Shazbot nanu nanu!
Just what is in that bag? Holy cow it is BIG!
Yep, I am bringing it all. I am heading to Belgium, you know. The land of frites and good beer and cobbled climbs and crosswinds and winding roads and everything good about cycling. I plan to eat frites every day, ride my bike a ton, try not to fall down on the cobbles, drink a lot of good Belgian beer and cheer my head off for the race on Sunday.
I will need a lot of gear for that. As I was packing I thought, "Holy Cow that is a lot of gear." I stood back and took it all in, and sure enough I can verify - that is a lot of gear. I do have a bag big enough to swallow it all up - it even has my name on it (dork).
Without further adieu, her it is, the whole list.
Oakley Racing Jacket glasses – prescription lenses
Shimano Dura Ace pedals
Bontrager Profila Race windshell gloves
Bontrager RL Fusion Gell Foam full finger gloves
2 Bontrager windvests
2 Bontrager long sleeve jerseys
2 Bontrager arm warmers
2 Bontrager knee warmers
1 Bontrager winter bootie
1 Bontrager spring bootie
1 Bontrager RXL winter fitting shoe - I have more than one shoe, and this is the medium last so that I can fit extra socks if I need to.
3 Bontrager RXL short sleeve Jersey
3 Bontrager RXL bib shorts
1 Bontrager RL winter bib short
1 Bontrager hooded base layer
1 Bontrager B3 base layer
1 Bontrager B2 base layer
2 Bontrager B1 base layer
Bontrager Neck gaiter
Bontrager Waterproof Breathable packable jacket - it will not rain
Bontrager Lightweight Packable windjacket - it will rain
Trek Factory racing rain jacket - The surest way to have it race on Flanders race day is to not bring a rain jacket.
Magic sleep aid (This is my combination of Melatonin, Magnesium and Zinc). Works magic for Jetlag induced insomnia.
Various Honey Stinger
Skratch Labs drink mix
Trek Factory Racing wash bag - Don't know if I will do laundry or not, but even if not it is a good bag for the dirty gear.
Gore tex hat for under the helmet
Starbucks Via coffee
Raffa Paris Roubaix challenge cycling cap
TFR Bontrager hooded base layer - if it is cold on race day
Raffa Chamois crème
Bontrager Velocis helmet
Helly Hanson helmet under layer
2 pair levis 514 jeans
2 Prana long sleeve shirts
1 North Face pullover sweater
1 TFR Patagonia hoodie
1 Leather Belt IMBA.com belt buckle
5 pair Bontrager Profila cycling socks (5” minimum – non of those silly short socks)
2 pair of Bontrager Profila compression socks
Nike work out trainers
Work out shorts and shirt
6 pair of underwear
Ok I know you are laughing now. I am laughing as well.
#5days till race day!