Hardcore riders can create any bike they want

©Barry Sandland/TIMB -

Barry Sandland/TIMB – 50 kms per day commuting makes any rider hardcore

“I ride every day. I live about 25 kilometres from Brussels but, even at that distance, I spend less time riding than in a car. In a car, the trip is one hour 20 minutes. On the bike, it is 55 minutes, just about the same time as on the train. The bike has been assembled for comfort. I have a carrier so I can transport things like my suit for the day. I bought the wheels in the summer for a good price. And the fenders which are essential in the weather. That is totally Belgian. I do 200 km per week and I am wet almost all the time, either from sweat or rain. But I ride all year, except if there is snow. Most of the route is a bike path so it does not bother me at all. But I do take the R40 highway. It’s not beautiful but it is efficient.”

Note: I spotted this rider taking a quick stop to handle a phone call – and I saw the blend of racing and touring and had to stop. I mean, take a close look. A longer touring style frame with the deep-dish racing wheels. If you can mentally remove the fenders and carrier, you are looking at something in the direction of speed. And then there are the Brooks saddle and the permanent fenders. This is a bike that will ride fast, keep you dry, but likely jars most riders sense of appearance. But try riding 50 kilometre days to and from the office – that makes you hard core – and whatever your bike morphs into over time is simply necessity. And hard core riders can arrange their bikes any way they want.

I had a friend who started a job about 40 kilometres away. For the first month, I want out w him in the morning, just so he could get established in the ride. I would turn and come back immediately, logging 80 kms a day. I needed recovery days every third day. .. The legs came and soon the miles could be done, but do not kid yourself. Anybody doing 50 kilometres a day as a work commute is seriously hardcore.

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