Brooks at the 2011 Retro Ronde.

21 Jun 2011  |  Posted by GARETH  |  Categories: Events, Friends, Heritage


He talks the talk. Does he walk the walk? Or is it the other way round?

Instead of the antipasti and vino rosso of Siena’s L’Eroica, it’ll be moules frites and lashings of heavily fortified beer this coming Sunday, when devotees of that exotic and near-extinct breed of cyclist, The Flemish Hardman gather in Oudenaarde, Belgium to pay rolling hommage over the potentially (but hopefully not) slippery cobblestones of the Flandrian countryside.

The Retro Ronde has been going since 2007, and Brooks is once again an enthusiatic sponsor of the event. Participants ride their choice out of two routes; the 40km “Jaunt”, or the slightly more taxing 70km “Cold, Wet Hell on Two Wheels”. Though maybe those could be translated differently; our Flemish is a little rusty.


Two Flemish Hardmen outpacing a support vehicle.

Anyhow, leather hairnets, woollen tricots and the finest in English leather craftsmanship are verplicht, and gear levers (assuming you go in for such newfangled nonsense) need to be on the down tube. And of course, it’s not the Retro Ronde if you’re not sporting the classic Spare-Tube-Hooked-Under-The-Armpits look.


You know what they put on French Fries in Europe?

That said, the true Retro Rondeur tends to frown upon this final flourish, implying, as it does, that the wearer doesn’t “run solids”.

But should the unthinkable happen and one of your vintage tubes prove a little too vintage, mechanics in support cars (also vintage) are on hand with period tools to help get you moving again.


The vintage support vehicle arrives to deal with the latest round of “technicals”.

At any rate, if you’re running low on anything vintage, make sure to get there by Saturday. The organisers are also running a swap meet, and that first generation Campa Gran Sport you “need” might conceivably be nestling patiently in somebody’s box. Just bring something to swap it for. Like money.

And yet more good news, for the gentleman below, at least, is that this year’s route will be bypassing the notorious Koppenberg, setting for messy, steel-meets-meat mayhem whenever cyclists attempt to ascend it en masse.


That pouch on the front is full of thumb tacks and broken glass.

Incidentally, if you’re wondering why his face might seem familiar…

Retro Ronde 2011

Sunday 26th June
Oudenaarde, Belgium
Click here for more details


 

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3 Comments

  1. peter v 
    Posted 7:33 am
    22 Jun 2011

    very much looking forward to it! bike is almost done, now, which outfit to choose…. :)

  2. Brooks: Retro Ronde | Culture Cycles 
    Posted 2:31 pm
    22 Jun 2011

    [...] The Brooks folks headed out to the Retro Ronde this year again and have some great coverage over at their blog; not to mention excellent photos. Have a look here. [...]

  3. Brooks: Retro Ronde | Headset Press 
    Posted 3:27 pm
    22 Jun 2011

    [...] Brooks coverage of the Retro Ronde, via our friends at Culture [...]