Arnhem’s finest climbs

As the capitol of Gelderland, the biggest province of the Netherlands, Arnhem is a pretty well-known city. But the true beauty of this city is vastly underrated. Built on the rolling hills next to the river Rhine, filled with lush green parks and amazing views, it’s a city worth visiting, on and off the bike.

The rolling hills are really the city’s character. The old neighbourhoods are built against these hills and the streets go up and down, making you feel like you’re not in the Netherlands but somewhere in France. The best part about this might be that it is really nice to ride a bike within the city limits of Arnhem. Sure, you can go to the Veluwe or Posbank to get some climbing in, but the rural aspect of climbing in Arnhem is amazing as well and definitely worth the visit. LEMAR’s ambassador Merlijn knows all about these climbs and these are his favourite ones:

Zijpendaalseweg

The Zijpendaalseweg is a real beauty. It starts right in the city centre and goes all the way up to the north-west border, making it over 2,5km long. It’s an easy climb but the views are amazing. On your left there’s the old ‘Burgemeesterswijk’ neighbourhood, filled with beautiful Dutch mansions. On your right you have amazing views over park Sonsbeek and park Zypendaal, some of the biggest and most beautiful parks of the city. Once you hit the final 500 meters the gradient goes up and almost hits 10% for a moment, but with a final push you’ll reach the top!

https://climbfinder.com/nl/beklimmingen/menthenberg

Steenen tafel/Bosweg

When you’re riding up the Bosweg for the first time, you wouldn’t expect it to be in a city. As the road slowly rises you’ll pass and old farm on your left, and on your right there’s a big grassy hill with some ‘volkstuintjes’ (allotments) on it. As you get near an intersection the road get pretty steep, and there’s three ways to go from here. You can go straight ahead and follow the Bosweg, take a right and follow the Hommelseweg, but the best option is a hard right and follow the old brick road to the ‘Steenen Tafel, a famous restaurant. The views on your right are spectacular as you rise above the treeline and get an amazing view of Arnhem.

https://climbfinder.com/nl/beklimmingen/steenen-tafel

Geitenkamp

This climb is something else. Geitenkamp is an old working-class neighbourhood, and most of it is public housing. It’s a bit less green but still a must-do when you’re in Arnhem. You’ll pass some bars and shops that are usually filled with locals, and if the weather is nice they’ll sit in front of their house too, cheering you on as you go up!

https://climbfinder.com/nl/beklimmingen/geitenkamp

Mariëndaal

Right on the outskirts of the city you’ll find park Mariëndaal, another one of the amazing lush and green parks Arnhem has. After passing underneath the railroad you take a hard right and the road starts to rise immediately. The first part is well over 10% but after a short while it flattens out a little. Take little time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings before the road starts to climb again. When you hit the intersection take a left turn and you can ride all the way up to the Amsterdamseweg and get over 2 kilometers of climbing done!

https://climbfinder.com/nl/beklimmingen/heijenoordseweg

LEMAR at de Waalse Pijl

LEMAR is landing in cycling hotspots. With the South Limburg region covered with Fixed Gear Coffee, we land in the hilly terrains of Arnhem in De Waalse Pijl. De Waalse Pijl, located in the culture hotspot of Arnhem, is this distinctive store you really want to visit. Here you can enjoy coffee and food in an atmosphere of heroic vintage bikes.

Shop your favorite LEMAR item in the best coffee x cycling shops. De Waalse Pijl Arnhem.
And be sure to visit the brand new Fixed Gear Coffee Maastricht and Fixed Gear Coffee Valkenburg

#rideyouradventure

#standoutfromthecrowd

Pop-up store LEMAR during Backroads

On Saturday April 13th, and only that day, the entire LEMAR collection can be purchased at the De Proloog cycling café in Amerongen. On that day the first edition of Backroads, the new cycling classic of the Heuvelrug, will be ridden. LEMAR is event partner of Backroads and will launching its collection in the central Netherlands during this event.

Until now, LEMAR was only available in our online brandstore and at cycle hotspot Fixed Gear Coffee in Valkenburg. On the 13th of April, you can touch and try LEMAR apparel in the physical surroundings of the Proloog. For just 1 day.

De Proloog is located at the bottom of the Amerongse Berg, a favourite mid-country cycling ascent. The Berg is a significant part of the Utrechtse Heuvelrug and will feature in the Backroads route. Backroads is also called an ‘Ode to the Spring Classics’ as it will take the peloton over 120km of beautiful country roads with 25 unpaved sections. Subscribe to this event here: https://backroads.cc/inschrijven/. Participants and visitors to Backroads will receive a 10% discount on all apparel after subscribing to the LEMAR Cycling Club.

www.backroads.cc

LEMAR Cycling Club membership

The LEMAR Cycling Club is a club of keen cyclists from around the world who enjoying creating great cycling experiences together. LEMAR designed this club so cyclists can find each other in their shared passion. Members enjoy unique discounts, they are the first to receive LEMAR news and get prime access to LEMAR events. Become a member now, it’s free.

LEMAR CC Member benefits

Discount
Exclusive deals on LEMAR apparel and accessories, plus an extra 10% discount on all items, always.
Members receive further discounts on offers from industry partners. Also, club members are invited to annual stock sales and product launches.

Club Kit
Ride in our LEMAR Club Kit! Members can buy the complete kit at a 30% discount, only available to members.

Club rides
LEMAR Club members are invited to all our club rides and include an awesome route and pre-ride coffee.
The LEMAR Amateur team will host regular local rides, taking members along for a great cycling experience on their home turf.

Cycling holidays
Priority access and discount on cycling trips and event offered by our international partners.

Newsletter
Stay up to date through our LEMAR newsletter and receive exclusive behind-the-scenes reports straight to your inbox.

JOIN THE LEMAR CYCLING CLUB NOW

Exploring Girona

We rattled down the cobblestone streets in the half light, our free hubs whirring, as we dodged around delivery vans and groups of students. My shoulders tensed to stop myself from shivering, as I savoured the sweet, bitter warmth of my last coffee. Overhead, flags and banners flapped. Strings of lights flickered over the alleyways.

As we passed the last news stand and turned to sprint over the river Onyar, I glanced back through the fog, just as the sun rose over the cathedral’s spire. Girona lit up—all red, blue, and yellow. What a colourful jumble of people and buildings.

Our plan for the day was to ride the Hincapie Loop, a local favourite first set out by Lance Armstrong’s former domestique and training partner, George Hincapie.

Hincapie, Armstrong, Tyler Hamilton, Levi Leipheimer, Tom Danielson, Floyd Landis—nearly all of US Postal’s American contingent moved to Girona in the early 2000s, drawn to the Catalan university city’s easy way of life, hundreds and hundreds of kilometres of smooth, hilly roads, proximity to the mountains, mild climate, local airport, and Spain’s (then) lax doping laws. It has since become a hub for professional cyclists. Nearly 90 top-class riders live in the city, and plenty more visit. You will see them in its bike shops and cafés, and out on the road, racing past you.

Hidden in those hills are the roads that make the region a cycling playground.

After a couple of kilometres of single-file riding on a busy highway, we found the roundabout we were looking for and the start of the first climb: Els Angels. The guys attacked it. My heart whacked against my chest, as I tried to gulp enough oxygen, and stood and sat and stood and sat and tried to turn the pedals over quickly enough to stay on their wheels. My sleepy mood shattered. Salty, winy sweat poured down my cheeks and onto my handlebars. My body just wasn’t ready to work through the epicurean adventure I had finished a few hours before. But the guys had no time to ease into a rhythm. They were going for Strava records. Personal ones that is.

For Els Angels is the climb where local pros test their fitness, and the KOM is as hard-fought-for as a victory in a minor tour’s mountain stage. If you crack the top 100, you are doing damn well. If you don’t bother about all that, it’s a beautiful road. Never very steep, with wide sweeping corners and a few rollers midway, it soars through a pine forest for ten kilometres to a monastery, where you can see out over all the green hills.

Hidden in those hills are the roads that make the region a cycling playground. They roll and twist in and out of the trees, crossing fast-moving rivers and circling lakes, every once in a while passing through a village, where nothing ever seems to be open but the odd petrol station or ramshackle bar.

To the east lies the Costa Brava, with its scrubby, ochre knolls and views out over the blue, blue sea. To the north and the west are the Pyrenees. The high mountains of the range are within riding distance. But proper climbs can be found much closer afield.

Perhaps the most famous is Rocacorba. Neither so steep nor so long nor so beautiful as the grand tours’ grandest climbs, it is nevertheless steep and long and beautiful and just about an hour’s ride from the old town of Girona, so it is one of the pros’ best-loved training grounds. Before their most important races, they will try to get up its gritty pitches in less than half an hour. However fast you go, the views from the top are worth it, as is the way down.

There are dozens and dozens of lesser known ascents in the region too. You could spend months—even years—exploring the terrain around Girona.

Our route took us down a swooping, perfectly pitched descent, through the mediaeval-walled towns of Madrenya and Monells, to the base of the Santa Pellaia, better known as the Hincapie climb, which rises at a gentle, steady gradient for six kilometres. The sun was out. A warm breeze ruffled the leaves and brushed the open fields. We stuck together. My legs started to feel better. The way down was fun. All that was left then was an easy jaunt over quiet, country roads back to lunch in Girona.

The sun was out. A warm breeze ruffled the leaves and brushed the open fields. We stuck together. My legs started to feel better. The way down was fun. All that was left then was an easy jaunt over quiet, country roads back to lunch in Girona.

Lunch in Girona is no pedestrian affair. From the simplest sandwich—crusty bread smeared with tomato and olive oil with Iberian ham and Manchego—to roasted chestnuts from the stands on the Plaça de la Independència to fine meals at the city’s most renowned restaurants, the food in Girona is best suited to hard days of riding. Rarely pretentious, it comes in portions so generous they would satisfy the hardiest farm hand or domestique. The wine is good and cheap.

After an hour with my family at the table, I went for a wander around the city’s old walls.

A sunny haze hung over the tiled rooftops and yellow-stone buildings. The cathedral soared skywards. People walked from shop to shop below. They hurried to appointments, wandered into museums. A couple of pretty girls read their books on a bench.
People dined in colourful gardens.

The clinking of cutlery and tinkling of glasses floated up through the silence.

Living well, I thought, was the best revenge.

WORDS BY KEIR PLAICE
PHOTOS BY CHAD CHEVERIER AND KEIR PLAICE

Fixed Gear Coffee

IT IS HAPPENING!!!

I am super stoked to announce that we are opening ‘Fixed Gear Coffee’, a place where the best of fixed, road, and track cycling (and more) meet. We want to create a place where cyclists come together to experience the best of cycling, drink the best coffee, meet other riders which all share the passion for cycling, watch races together and go out for bike rides! Several special bikes (including the Red Hook Crit Brooklyn No.10 prize bike) will be displayed, we will have cycling art & photography from various artists and photographers, and of course the coolest cycling apparel from the best brands can be bought directly in the store! We are talking with several brands at the moment but which brand do you think we definitely need in the business? The location is absolutely insane, the exact location will be announced later this week but it will be on one of the most historical cycling spots in Northern-Europe! As we really hope for your support we will invite all of our followers to follow Fixed Gear Coffee on Instagram to stay updated!