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Belgium Knee Warmers.

I don’t usually write about other websites I like. I am generally busy critiquing them.

Good writing and style is few and far between, I am certainly guilty of poor writing and bad taste myself.

I discovered Belgium Knee Warmers a bunch of months ago during cyclocross season. I’ve got a customer/friend that brought me a course marker from the 2006 Paris – Roubaix race. Turns out he was in one of the Discovery support cars when George Hincapie’s aluminium steerer snapped. There is a HUP United, Cascade Bicycle studio tie in here somewhere.

I don’t remember exactly how I stumbled upon the site but, I was impressed with the writing immediately. I related to the respect for the PRO style: glazed legs, huge Briko glasses, absurd hair, races won and lost with panache and guts. I found myself thinking: “Radio Freddy is reading my mind and putting to words the lifeblood that flows through my veins.”

Inside jokes I share with my housemate about PRO cycling were reflected in the writing. It is eloquent, poetic. BKW is like the friend who lives on the east coast that I feel really close to but, maybe see once a year. We keep tabs via the internet and we may run into each other at a cx race or something when I am traveling.

I get heckled for the bad haircut and leg glaze, choosing the gravel roads over the paved ones. The first book on racing I read was Eddy B’s. While I do not ride with ham sandwiches in my jersey pockets and making my own “vitamin-drink” was a bitter disaster, I keep the traditions and rules close to my heart. I’ll give the win to a racer if they are riding stronger and doing more work than me in the break, I’ll make sure to zip up my jersey and wipe the dirt off of my sponsors logo, even when I am off the back; I will also clean your plate if you are dumb enough to let me.

As I was warming up for my first race of the year last Saturday. The weather was uncertain. “Legwarmers or embrocation?” I pondered. The race flyer announced: “A rolling course, suitable for the hardman or woman”. I am no hardman.

“Leg creme it is!”

I realised that, I looked forward to the suffering, I have never finished a road race longer than 50 miles (c’mon! I’ve been a trackie for years and cx is little more than an hour!) and I just wanted to finish the 75 mile course hiding in the peloton and in somewhat good shape.Field sprint for 9th.

So, I don’t know how this happened. I’ve got no teammates in the 1-2 race.

There is no glory in taking the field sprint for 9th but, it was surprising, going into a race with absolutely no expectations beyond hoping for zero knee pain and not getting dropped.

I hope this bodes well for the 07-08 cross season.

So, I finish this post, one coffee and one espresso down. Gossiping with Matt Hall about racing, Paris – Roubaix, fancy cellphones and good living. Watching the rainy Portland street scene.

Muddy single speed mountain bike, busted cruiser with no brakes.

Add Belgium Knee Warmers to your list of good reading.

Thanks to Ed Norton, Oregonvelo and Billseyephotography for the pics, give them some business.

Discussion

5 comments for “Belgium Knee Warmers.”

  1. Great find! I’ve only read 2 posts and I’m totally hooked.

    Posted by JeremyS | April 18, 2007, 10:08 am
  2. Total vanity question: what is that frame? Obviously a raleigh, it’s 2007, it’s carbon. But they don’t make that color scheme, right? That is, it’s not yellow. Do special people get special bikes? Did you trade your picture in the raleigh catalog for a frameset? Congratulations on the long road finish.

    Posted by Sasha | April 20, 2007, 9:44 am
  3. No special deals from Raleigh.

    I’ll let you in on a secret. The carbon frame Raleigh makes is exactly the same from the Tiagra equipped bike up through to the “team” frame. The Supercourse is the only one without a paint scheme. Black is so much hotter than “Spike” yellow.

    So, I bought the cheap bike, put a sweet fork and group on it.

    Voila!

    Top secret, not so sponsored, bike shop owning race bike!

    PS: the Supercourse complete is like $1200.00. My 55cm was 1100 grams and the complete bike is 15.5 pounds! No joke! Basic DA build with clinchers! Stiff too!

    Posted by Molly | April 20, 2007, 3:16 pm
  4. But what happened to your Scott?

    Posted by Cogswell | April 20, 2007, 4:54 pm
  5. Hey Molly,

    Congrats on the KVRR. You look quite relaxed in that finish photo!

    K-

    Posted by K-Man | April 24, 2007, 6:06 pm

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