Guest beer list – Dr Headgear

Dr Headgear is an expert of many of the things I like in life, cycling, football and beer…

He is also a prominent poster on the BikeRadar forum and takes the honour of being the first guest to share his Belgian beer list with us as part of Beers of Belgium CC.

I tried to cover the main styles, though obviously there’s loads more out there.

Six Belgian beers that are at least worth trying!

Belgium is famed for its brewing, so here are six beers that represent my favourites in their various styles

Duvel – 8.5%
While many Belgian blondes can verge on being cloyingly sweet Duvel is remarkably crisp and refreshing. It’s a little more powerful than most, which tend to be in the 6-7% range, and doesn’t include the occasionally overpowering spices that other blondes sometimes have.

Dubbel/dark beers
Chimay Blue – 9%
The classic Chimay, deep flavours, sweet and spicy. The caramel flavours aren’t as full on as some dubbels, making this a little easier to drink and more rewarding on the palate.

Flanders Red
Rodenbach Grand Cru – 6%
Flanders Red ales are aged in oak barrels that produce a deep rich “balsamic” sour beer. Duchess de Bourgogne is the other leader in this style, a sweeter and slightly less oaky flavour than the Rodenbach.

Giradin 1882 (Black Label) – 5%
Gueuzes are produced by blending traditional lambics – sour beers brewed with spontaneous fermentation, the yeast is the local wind-born strain, not added to the brew. Young and aged lambics are mixed in the bottle, where secondary fermentation occurs. Gueuzes are very, very dry and sour, the typical reaction n first tasting one is pretty much “baby eating lemon for first time video”. The beers are often described as “funky” or having a “farmyard / horse-blanket” flavour. Giradin 1882 Black Label is a good introduction to gueuze, slightly less demanding than those from other great brewers such as Cantillon and 3 Fonteinen.

Cantillon Kriek Lambic – 5%
Krieks are produced by letting lambic ales sit on dark bitter cherries. While there are numerous sweet industrial krieks (produced by adding cherry syrup), traditional krieks are dry and sour, with deep fruit flavours. This is the king of them.

Westmalle Tripel – 9.5%
Sweet and rich and yet hoppy and with some bitterness, Westmalle Tripel is possibly the best balanced of all the strong blondes labeled as tripel. Marvelously complex.

I have to agree with the inclusion of Westmalle Tripel on this list. If you are new to Belgian beer and want to go in at the deep end then that is a great place to start.

Tour of Britain gone for 2020.

Following detailed consultations with British Cycling, regional stakeholders, sponsors and partners of the race, organisers of the Tour of Britain have decided to postpone the forthcoming edition of the Tour of Britain (6-13 September), with all parties in agreement on this course of action.

The exciting route planned for September 2020, featuring a first ever visit to Cornwall and an overall finish in the city of Aberdeen, will instead take place in the race’s September 2021 position.

The decision has been taken in light of the ongoing situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, which makes continuing with the planning and organisation of the 2020 race impractical.

Does my sunglasses history show I have a problem?

ModelYear boughtYear Sold
Bloc Titan (Orange, 4 lens system)2020 (£45 using -20% voucher) 
Bolle Vortex (white, purple all conditions lens)2019 (£10 Ebay find)
2nd hand
Bolle Vortex (red with gold mirrored lens)2019 (£10 Ebay find)
2nd Hand
Galibier Surveillance Optics (Tortoise shell with gold lenses)2019 (£35 full price !!) 
100% Speedcoupe (White with black mirrored lens and additional low light and purple mirrored)2019 (£40 60% off deal on Wiggle2019 – They didn’t quite fit as I wanted.
Oakley Jawbreaker2017 Wiggle (£100 on deal) 
Oakley Radarlock XL2015 (£45 Ebay)
2nd Hand
2019 as retro to a collector
Nike Roadmachine2016 (£30 online)2018 sold
Oakley Fast Jacket X2015 (£35 Ebay)
2nd Hand
2019 as retro to a collector
BBB Select2014 (£35 online)2017 sold
BBB Adapt2014 (£45 from Bristows cycles2017 sold
Oakley Jawbone2010 (free after Oakley website glitch)2012 sold to pay for new helmet after accident
Oakley Radar2008 (£120)2012 sold to pay for new helmet after accident.
Tifosi Q32004 product for reviewnot sure!

So there it is…

Since the turn of the century I have had more pairs of sunglasses for cycling than I have had bikes.

I suppose we all have our weaknesses.

My obsession started as I started watching the sport in the late 1980’s. I saved hard with paper round money for a pair of the original Bolle micro edge. Maybe its part of a mid-life crisis that I am returning to that brand after all this time!

My first Oakley’s came in 1994 with some M-frames that I used up until I had my bad back injury in 1999.

When I started riding seriously again in 2004 I seemed to start regularly collecting glasses whilst trading them online so I could keep my wardrobe looking fresh!

I will try and hide this post from my wife…

Don’t tell her please.

ProcyclingGame launches new version for lockdown

I love a good fantasy cycling game and I have been playing the Procycling Stats prediction game (based on allocating riders in a star system like Hiet Nieuwsblad) for years.

Recently I picked up on their rider trading game, ProcyclingGame which sees you allocated EUR5m to buy and sell riders based on a share price and cumilative prize money. ,

Whilst the races have dried up, you are still able to trade riders and their prices are moving. I made a decent whack on Damien Gaudin of Total/Direct Energie this week so all is good.

However to make sure there is some level of pace to the game there is a new version called History-ProcyclingGame launching.

It’s starting with the 2014 season so whilst you may know the results of the upcoming races, does the budget allow you to get the right people in for short term profit or the long game?

I hope you join in with this venture as it will be taking the developers a lot of time and effort to get up and running.

It’s all free and if you trade riders currently you can just use the same account log in and team name details.

My team is Deeping Dynamoes if you would like to track my progress.

Lockdown week 1 so far

I have long since stopped wondering about what the cycling season 2020 will hold for me and for the pro sport in general.

It’s about keeping fit and motivated in my garage and on the patio on the turbo trainer. Of course, there is still the option to ride outdoors in the UK but so far I have not felt like that would be the best course of action for me personally and have chosen to stay home.

Everyone is counting the cost of risk to health and lost jobs so cycling as a sport can be put into perspective. I have started to miss the sport and am sure that when it does return I will appreciate the racing and the scenery shown on TV even more.

Like many I am looking retrospectively at races from yesteryear using the gift of Youtube.

A lot of websites are doing reviews of old races and that might be something I pursue going forward.

If you are asking here is my favourite race of all time…

2015 Gent Wevelgem

So, enjoy and stay safe.

British Cycling extends suspension period.

Given the ongoing uncertainty around the Corona virus/COVID19 outbreak, and the developing Government advice and guidance, British Cycling has taken the decision to extend its current suspension on sanctioned cycling activities to 30 June.

With all Government guidance pointing towards a period during which the nation is being urged to come together to fight the spread of the virus, and the unprecedented burden currently on our emergency and public services, we felt that this is the most responsible – and only – course of action we could take at this moment.

We are acutely aware of the impact that this situation has had on individuals, communities and businesses within cycling and beyond. We’d like to take this opportunity to reinforce that, while we share in the disappointment of those affected by this extended suspension, we will do absolutely everything within our power to ensure that cycling can return with strength and as soon as possible.

This suspension period will include the dates originally set for several traditional milestones of the competitive cycling calendar. As with the vast majority of sports – while our primary focus will always be health and wellbeing – we will be exploring all options regarding the fulfilment of the racing calendar once sporting events can recommence.

Our recommendation to our clubs remains that no organised activity (including rides, training, coaching, events) should take place during this period, in line with government advice on social gatherings and non-essential travel.

However, riding a bike is a great way to aid your physical and mental health, provided that guidance on social distancing is followed. British Cycling would urge all cyclists to only ride on routes you know well, that are close to home and that are well within your ability level – this is a time for calm recreation, not for challenging yourself.

Now, more than ever, we must ride our bikes responsibly – that means only going out on our own, or with people we live with, and keeping two metres apart from anyone we meet, stopping and waiting for people to pass when necessary. We’re doing this to protect ourselves and others, and to make it safe for everyone to ride.

If the cycling community continues to behave responsibly then we all hope to keep the roads and trails open for use, so that we can all manage our health during the coming weeks and months.