For many professional cyclists the Spring campaign is the toughest of the season; it means training from October until March in the worst, character-building weather conditions Europe can dish out. This weather and the suffering that is bicycle racing breed characters known as "hardmen".
Select cyclists tackle these conditions in shorts, long sleeve jerseys or short sleeve jerseys with arm warmers, wind vests, and shoe covers. A true hardman opts to forego the knee or leg warmers and instead chooses an embrocation to cover the knees. The liniment provides warmth for the legs and keeps the blood circulating and muscles supple. Embrocation and the sheen created is affectionately known as "Belgium knee warmers". The hardest of cyclists will sport bare legs in the most ruthless of conditions.
Belgium Knee Warmers are indicitive of the many subtleties that make professional cycling so enthralling.
I spent 20 years of my life working in the bicycle industry, turning wrenches and selling bikes for some of the industry's best shops. I have extensive experience designing and constructing frames in both steel and titanium and have performed thousands of bike fits. I am passionate about bicycles in all forms. The bicycle provides me with physical and mental health and taps me into a social pipeline that allows me to share my passion with others. I ride as often as possible and love the flow of a hard group ride. Check back for musings about all things road cycling and, especially, the Spring Classics. The devil is in the details and I am an expert in the useless minutia that makes up our discipline.