The Rouleur Longreads Podcast: Notes on Belgium

“There is no place on earth I’d rather be than right here in Belgium.”

The Rouleur Longreads Podcast brings you selected long form articles from the magazine, especially recorded for Rouleur. Don’t stop what you’re doing – do it while listening to the world’s best cycling writing.

The second in this series is ‘Notes on Belgium’ by Morten Okbo, from Rouleur 19.1. Read by George Oliver.

Belgium often gets a bad rap. Not without some justification. Geographically its scenery isn’t much too look at: mile upon mile of totally tamed landscape that barely deserves to be described as that. Culturally, naming ten famous Belgians used to be a popular parlour game (for those of us with parlours). Politically, Belgium is a basket-case: it mostly doesn’t have a government and one of its biggest political parties has advocated for the abolition of the country itself.

But Belgium also does chocolate and beer (see Rouleur 20.2), mussels and fries, and some of the most visually welcoming city centres in the world.

Listen: Rouleur Longreads Podcast – The rise of gravel

More importantly than any of those pros and cons, however, is that Belgium is where the sport of cycling comes alive. Every spring, even as our attention is briefly stolen by exotic, southern locations, our affections are reserved for the racing that dominates the months from March to May. The Monuments may provide the loudest fireworks but even the minor matches go off with a bang. Morten Okbo waits by the side of the road.
PLEASE NOTE: As with anything written by Morten, this episode contains some rather fruity industrial language. Those of a delicate disposition regarding swearing might be offended.

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