Another Velo-city first? Man flirting with differential axle. Well you had to be there.


I was just checking through my photographs for a few final shots when I came across a short sequence which caught me by surprise.

Officially this was a session where author Carlton Reid was expanding on his recent book and suggesting that without bicycles the car industry as we know it today would not exist.

To help illustrate the point he brought a prop, which he shared with moderator Connie Czymoch. All perfectly fine, but the body language in the photos just took it down a whole different line.

Edited by Kevin Mayne

At some point the video will be streamed. Then you can check whether the words are exactly as I remember them.

Today’s Belgian cycling conundrum. “What makes one set of cobble stones more special than another?”


The strangest thing.

Somebody has decided to repair a 10 metre stretch of Grand Chemin (the big path)

Grand Chemin Lasne

It is a former roman road that runs through our patch, a mix of cobbles and dirt paths, most of which are unfit for normal car and road bike use. Some of it is almost unusable except for tractors in winter.

I use it all the time as it links loads of useful tracks and trails. Even on road bikes we sometimes ride this way on the grass verge in dry weather, you can just see the worn patch we all use in the picture below.

But repair it? That would be something entirely odd.

These are the stones on the approach.

Lasne Grand Chemin

And these are the stones on the other side.

Belgian cobbles

And justĀ the road there are some much worse sections that look like nobody has replaced a single stone for several centuries. One of the reasons I like it up here is because you can almost visualise the French and Prussian skirmishers who moved through here en route to the Battle of Waterloo, it won’t have changed much.

So why these few distinct stones? Why do they deserve maintenance in a country where the quality of a road surface is a lottery?

Curious indeed. I expect nothing less than a magic carpet ride when the work is done.