Muur of Geraardsbergen

And you thought you had it hard today. You don’t know anything. This is the Mur de Grammont. And it will break you.

It is a god damn wall.

Climbing the Muur of Geraardsbergen – Tour of Flanders

I knew it was a tough climb. Hell, we all know it’s a toughie. At only 16k from the finish of the Tour of Flanders, this is the spot to be for fan’s and those aiming for the Big Win. You had better be there, and you had better bring the wood. You’ve heard the phrase “in at the kill”? Well, this is the kill.

To see how mere mortals suffer… I’d need a mountain bike cassette on the back in my current condition. Or, lack thereof. The top pros go up that thing nearly twice as fast as their civilian counterparts. They are flying!

When you a video of that climb in a race, there are people all over the place, three and four deep along the side of the road. Pressed right up against the fence with hardly a space between them. Without the spectators you can see the relentless steepness of the grade through the comparison of the sidewalk and the level lines formed by the of houses. Those houses wall in the suffering . It is unreal in it’s simple brutality. It is a long, narrow corridor of Pain. Of Glory. Of Spring. It is the Mur de Grammont!

I have got to make it over the pond one of these years to see that shit first hand. Think I can bring a cobble back on the plane with me?

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

20 thoughts on “Muur of Geraardsbergen

  1. You make it over here again, I will HELP you take one back.

    No joke, no shit, no explanation necessary.

  2. I’ve been up some serious hills on my fixed gear. They weren’t shit. This makes me hurt just thinking aboot it, eh. “Hard men” indeed. I lift my glass of outstanding Kentucky Bourbon in their general direction.

    That is all.

  3. Come to Portland for a taste, De Ronde van Oeste Portlandia. Did it. Coming back for more. This time with a mountain cassette and a compact crank. Might not be enough.

  4. I’ve ridden the last half of the Ronde twice (there is the most incredible fondo the day before the pro race!). Have to say that the Muur isn’t all THAT bad. The Bosberg afterwards is what really kills. The Paterberg, much earlier on in the route, is much steeper but shorter.

    The BEST place to be on race day is midway up the Muur, where there is a large screen feed of the race and beer stands. I hope to meet you there someday!

  5. Loren— west Portland is a very, very hilly place.

    Anne— I wondered if that “civilian” video up the muur was from the fondo, there were banners and a lot of people just standing around.

  6. The footage of Devolder from this year just reminds me of his performance in the 08 Tour of Flanders. Crushing it while wearing the Belgium National Champion jersey was fucking glorious!

  7. Dave, good choice on the Bourbon, I bid you well with it. Prob one of the smartest post you’ve had in a while. Maybe..depends on what you definition of outstanding is?

  8. 200 pounds for rider, clothes, gear and bike
    90 meters of elevation gain
    5:00 minutes
    about 270 watts power output just for gaining the elevation

    Someone should check my math.

    I bet those cobbles don’t help.

  9. bg, the worst Bourbon I’ve had was killer by about the third glass. Until the next morning…

  10. Dave: oh yes! the ‘civilian’ ride is awesome! Yes, there are thousands of people along the route, staking out there spot for the next day. I will admit to getting a push or two from those ever-helpful belgians. One of my fave stories was stopping on the Kwaremont, hanging on a barricade gasping for breath. A man said something to me in vlaams, I apologised for ‘only speaking English’ and he laughed, amazed some silly american girl would come thousands of miles to ride this. I said, are you kidding? this is the best ride in the world! I continued on my way, up and up the Kwaremont slowly. I suck on hills (chicago…we ain’t got those!). I get to the top, AND THERE HE IS WITH A COKE IN HIS HAND FOR ME: he says “Op den hellige! Vol bek!” (up the hill, now “open mouth” means ‘go fast’). I go back every chance i get.

  11. Anne, you rock. I will probably never leave this Podunk little shithole of a town. Trust me, it is not by choice. Hearing of adventures like yours makes life seem almost tolerable at times. Rock on, little sister.