Monthly Archives: September 2014

Stalen Ros Utrechtse Heuvelrug – ride 2014

Yesterday one of the greatest old bike rides rides this year took place in a small town near Utrecht, Netherlands.

Am I really starting this way? No, I´m not.

After taking part in last year´s Utrechtse Heuvelrug ride I thought that the amount of hospitality, good humour, company and wonderful bikes in one ride could not be topped, but I was wrong.

As a first sentence, this is not much better, either.

Is there a way to adequately describe the hospitality, the atmosphere and the good company encountered in yesterday´s Utrechtse Heuvelrug ride?

Split infinitive, heck. Oh well, I have to get started somehow. So let´s carry on.

My son, an exchange colleague of mine from Austria and myself loaded ourselves and our bikes into my trusty Volvo and set off at a quarter past eight to cover 220 km of motorway in order to take part in a ride which I had been looking forward to all the time since last year´s had ended. We arrived just on time to get the last available parking space within easy cycling distance of the meeting point, Café Buitenlust, assembled our bikes and right away saw a great number of friendly faces.

XABuitenlXAStartvorMy estimate is that there were no fewer than a hundred participants, most on truly great bicycles. We set off a few minutes after the appointed starting time, and it soon became clear that we were on the same route as last year, only the other way round. I didn´t mind that one bit as I had enjoyed last year´s route greatly with its mix of cycleways and onverhard, not tarmacked paths, some slight rises and loads of miles in the woods.

Soon we came up to a feeding station where we were fed cake and Dutch Ontbijtkoek, literally translated breakfast cake, but just as delicious at noon. Despite the sign saying “office”, there was no registering, no fees, no hassle of any kind, with the organizing family once again paying for all the food and undergoing all the work of preparing the ride by themselves.

XAFood1Now there was time to have a good look at the bikes, and what an openlucht museum people had assembled.


Some impressions:

XAdttDelhez XAdttFrisol XAdttGaz XAdttGazChampMond XAdttGios XAdttMercier XAdttMerckx XAdttMiele XAdttMiyata XAdttPeug XAdttPina XAdttPresto XAdttReus XAdttTommas XAdttWimath XAdttZieleman, to mention but a few. To my mind, two bikes stood out of the crowd. One was a L´Express, adorned with much patina and great rear dropouts.


Typical shoddy Nervex workmanship, left untreated in this forkcrown.XAExpressheadlExpressheadl Expressheadtransf Expressmafacs Expressreardo Expressseatcl ExpresstripleStronglAnd look at the non-Nervex seatcluster. I was told by the owner of the Frisol-Zieleman that it´s not his bike, so the Express must be adormed with a mix of lugs.

The other bike that stood out was a Masi Prestige:

XAdttMasiPXAMasibb XAMasiforkcr XAMasiforkleg XAMasiheadtransf XAMasirearbrake XAMasireardo XAMasiseatclHaving regained the road, the group was split by a train at a level crossing, giving me the chance to take a few snaps of the gruppetto.

XAScharnke2 XAschranke1Soon, the next food stop loomed. More wafers with cream, sausages, cookies and Italian Limoncello liquor waited for the none too hungry cyclists, many of which had also partaken of coffee and cake at a cafe stop earlier on.

XAfood2All of the food was very nicely decorated to create an atmosphere of exquisite hospitality, right in the middle of nowhere. Participants were even able to wash their sweaty jerseys.

XAfood2washsnapThey weren´t, of course, the jerseys were part of the decoration.

By then I had given up on taking photos of all of the bikes, there just were too many. I restricted myself to details.

XAbikecrescXAChesOlymp XAChesOlympseatcl XAChromebike XAChromebike2 XAChromebike3 XADelhezheadb XADelhezheadlNervXAPinkJaboOn a more sombre note, we also passed by Grebbeberg Military Cemetary.

XAgrebbenberg1 XAGrebbenberg2Early on in the Second World War, the Dutch Army had tried to resist the invading Wehrmacht in a battle in which 420 Dutch and 250 German soldiers lost their lives. The battle is unconnected with the famous Operation Market Garden which was preceded by the Grebbeberg battle by about four years. It had taken place on 11-13th May 1940 right were the burial place now lies, and the cemetary now is the place where on each 4th May the Dutch national day of remembrance ceremonies are held. There are now about 800 Dutch soldiers buried here.

Back to the ride which did not pass without some technical hitches. There even was talk of a crash, but I couldn´t verify this. Most certainly, though, it was bedevilled by a number of punctures. Several times a sound like a pistol shot would announce another old tubular giving up its ghost. During the procedure to get the bike on the road again, many more conversations would be held, and on one occasion we were even able to watch part of a field hockey game in a location well chosen by the tubular which had blown up.

XAStopflat1XAgroupwoodXAflat2 XAflat3However, the weather was very nice, and so people didn´t mind for the most part, not even watching the game of field hockey. The ride ended considerably later than planned though, but this couldn´t mar the overall phantastic impression it left behind. It´s definitively a “tot volgend jaar”, see you next year.

Can I end the post like this? Guess so.

Guerciotti For Sale



Xfullbeauty lives quite near to me, and its current owner is compelled to sell it for medical reasons. No, it´s not that his heart rate goes up every time he sees it. I took the opportunity to play with it for an hour or so before it goes and as a consequence can share these photos.

If anyone of you is interested, drop me a line via the comments and I´ll pass your email on to the owner. The bike is 55cm c/c, and the asking price is 850 Euros. The bike needs a good service, but the chrome will clean up well.

I usually do not advertise bikes for sale on this blog, but once I had taken the photos I thought I might make an exception from my rule. Let me add that I do not own the bike, I have not fixed the price and I have no financial interests in the sale. Any agreement will be made between the current owner and the prospective buyer. My recompense will be a couple hundred views on the blog, I hope.

So, here we go:

Xbbshell Xbbshellb XbbshellrearXbrakebridgeXcabletoptube Xchainhook XchainstaycablestopXforkcr Xrearder3 XreardoXtubetransfXtttransf1The fly is not supposed to be part of the ointment, but if the buyer insists we might find another one. Now for the stuff hung from the frame.Xfronthub XftderXhandlebars Xheadset

Xrearder2 XrearderXbrakeXbrifterXcrankXrimBack to the frame. The paintwork really is nice, the colours being very subtle. From the distance the frame appears to be silver coloured, approaching it one realizes that there is a sophisticated paint scheme, albeit with a few light scratches.

XdossenaXpaintw1 Xpaintw3 Xpaintw4Xscratches

New Veteran Bike Ride?

I´ve been thinking about staging a veteran bike ride, once again after 17 years, if people will find it interesting. The Iron Leg ride could take place in our moderately hilly Teutoburger Wald which is dotted with loads of touristy and less touristy sights. For the Dutch I could call it Yzeren Been, I´d love that, sounds a bit like a 1920s race in Flanders, although of course it won´t be a race.

Anyone? Drop me a line via the comments.

Still Older Than the Bike

Last week I took my Dürkopp on another shakedown ride. I worked it a little harder than before, so I think I can now say that it rides well; the frame is responsive in spite of it being too small for me and rather stiff, which I like. It goes where you point it even on descents and in sharp bends. The AR feels lovely and smooth and changes well. Let´s hope it stays that way; I wouldn´t want to start hunting for spares for this really rare hub.

I fitted a TA bottle cage to the handlebars and a handlebar bag as a small saddlebag under the saddle rails. I think that with these the long stems don´t look all that lanky anymore.


The light was quite warm, so I took my camera along and made a point to visit some sights near the place where I live. I started off at the Sundermannsteine which are the remains of a 5,000 year old neolithical burial place. They are situated near a road with a speed limit of 70 kph, and when re-mounting my bike after taking the snaps, a car zoomed by at a speed which felt like double that. I was glad not to have been on the road at that moment.

DSteingr3 DSteingr2 Dsteingr

I then went to visit a very old church. It´s named after St. Dionysius and was erected in the middle of the 13th century making use of a still older building. It has been extensively re-built since, but many structural parts are 800 years old.


The cemetary which had been in use since the ninth century was given up in 1922. It was moved a hundred metres down the road.


Here our forebears found their last resting places 800 – 1922

So with nice weather, a fine bike and a well chosen route, even a lowly shakedown ride can become quite an exquisite pleasure.

Lastly, for those of you who wonder where my ride report of  last weekend´s Huissen Tandjeterug ride is: I didn´t go. I was taken in by the horrible weather forecast which proved only partially true, and also I just couldn´t face the motoring. Taking part would have meant nearly 400 km of driving, and I´m afraid I like driving less and less, fast approaching the point where I´ll just reduce it to the bare necessary minimum for my job, which is about 20.000 km per year anyway. Let´s see if I`ll make it to Amerongen.