Last weekend a friend and I decided to jump in the car, jump on a ferry and hop across to Merelbeke, just south of Gent in Belgium. Of course we were not there to sample the beers, the mussels or the frites, we were there to ride a Kermesse, in other words one of the toughest amateur bike races in the world!!
At £30 between two for the ferry and 10 euros to enter (of which you get 5 Euros back when you return your race number) it really is close to the same price as a local race except for some key differences:
It is sooooooo fast, finishing one of these 120 km, 27 mph races is my lifetime goal!
Closed roads – Police as well as Marshalls.
242 Elite riders, who all looked no older than 20 (I’m 40 this year son!)
No lane switching, no crashes, just hard clean racing.
242 riders in single file is quite a sight, I’m sure the leaders were in a different town to me at some stages!
Riding in a country that loves bike racing this much in front of so many people (all drinking and smoking!) is something I plan on doing a lot more, drop me a line if you’d like to come…..
To read my full beginner’s guide to racing in Belgium see this link: