Lee Rodgers’ 2014 European Adventure [Part 1 of 2]

Photos by Lee Rodgers
2014.05.22

Lee never rides without his 720Armour eyewear-
 Lee never rides without his 720Armour eyewear


Racing in England, riding the Belgian cobbles, and watching the Tour of Flanders & Paris-Roubaix. It was a dream come true for our sponsored rider Lee Rodgers, who spent a month in Europe and saw it all through the lens of 720Armour eyewear.

Lee Rodgers riding over the famous cobbles of Paris-Roubaix’
- Lee Rodgers riding over the famous cobbles of Paris-Roubaix


Here he recounts the highlights of his amazing adventure.
 
My last European Adventure was back in 2011 when I was fortunate enough to race in Belgium and Holland and to take part in several post-Tour de France city criteriums against riders like Mark Cavendish, Andy Schleck and Samuel Sanchez. The highlight was the night time criterium in Maastricht, over wet cobbles and under spotlights in front of 20,000 people.

A whole city smelling of beer and french fries, ringing with cheers, the delight in the eyes of the spectators as their stars whizzed by and me being in amongst it all. Everyone was going crazy for a bike race! It was electrifying.

The 2014 Euro Adventure was of another flavor altogether. This time I raced two events in the UK, then headed over to Belgium on the 3rd of April to go work for a world famous cycling website, to report on the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

Lee Rodgers in his 720Armour sunglasses at the start of the famous Arenberg Forest
- Lee Rodgers in his 720Armour sunglasses at the start of the famous Arenberg Forest


To those that don’t know about these races, they are the two biggest one day races in the world, like a one day Tour de France. The history of both these races stretch back well over a hundred years and are run on roads that in many places have been preserved in their original condition from 100 years ago, just for these races.

For cycling fans, Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders are like Wimbledon, the soccer World Cup and the baseball series all on one day. They are huge events, and the winners become instant kings of the sport.

Now living in Taiwan, it has been 7 years since I had been back to the UK, so it was great to go and ride the old roads I used to cycle when I was many years younger. It was very, very cold though, but the sun was out shining most days which meant I had to wear my Rock CRX 720Armour sunglasses daily!

The country roads in the north of England are spectacular whatever the season
- The country roads in the north of England are spectacular whatever the season

On the high hills snow was clearly visible
- On the high hills snow was clearly visible

As ever, they gave me a crystal clear view of the countryside and the traffic. The great thing about these glasses is that they are so comfortable that you forget you are wearing them.

I’d entered two races before I headed to Belgium, both of them one hour criteriums on a course that was the last place I raced in England before I left for Asia, some 20 years ago.

Despite some strong local opposition I came 3rd in the first race, then a week later, on the same course, I won! My 720Armour sunglasses drew some admitting comments too!

And so after that I was off to Belgium, the home of cycling.


To Be Continued...