Vintage trade fairs in cycling-crazy Flanders
Vintage is all the rage right now. And in cycling too, we are seeing an increased interest in the bicycles, clothing and accessories from the days of yore. So it’s only logical that all types of trade fairs are taking place in cycling-crazy Flanders, at which you can find old cycling jerseys and caps, water bottles, traditional race and track cycles, photos, posters, books and other cycling memorabilia from times gone by, when things seemed so much better and more heroic. A paradise for collectors and nostalgic souls. You can wander for hours and be amazed by the international company being kept by the stallholders, and especially by all the things they have on display.
The offer available at such a vintage trade fair is truly impressive. The collector goes in search of that one special jersey, or that one special bicycle about which he or she has dreamed for years. You can discover entire volumes of old cycling magazines, publicity shots in which Rik Van Steenbergen and Rik Van Looy are extolling the virtues of a beer or coffee, an authentic Groene Leeuw/Green Lion bicycle, and the Solo-Superia wool jerseys that Eddy Merckx wore during his debut as a professional cyclist. Very sought after as a collector’s item are the headbadges from back then – when they were still made of steel and had splendid coats of arms belonging to cycling heroes that became cycle manufacturers, such as Cyriel Van Hauwaert, Richard Depoorter and Marcel Kint.
Some of these trade fairs are extremely well known and are definitely worth a visit. In our opinion, the best retro cycling trade fair is without a doubt the “Stalen Ros” (the Metal Steed). This takes place every October in a unique setting, namely the legendary cycling track “het Kuipke” in Ghent.
All year round, you can gaze at the rich collection of cycling memorabilia in the Tour of Flanders experience centre in Oudenaarde. You can look, but you can’t buy. However, twice a year, cycling items and collector’s items do change hands there. The upcoming cycling rummage sale held by the centre will take place on Saturday 14 December 2013.
In addition, in Oudenaarde, on the day before the RetroRonde, you can get those last missing parts for your retro bicycle or the perfect cycling jersey at the RetroRonde Rummage Sale.
There are also many small-scale trade fairs organised in the Flemish cultural centres. Most likely the largest and most international cycling trade fair is the one in Hooglede, which next year will be held on Saturday 5 April 2014 – the day before the Tour of Flanders.
The entrance fee for these trade fairs is usually just 2 or 3 euros.
Come to the cycling trade fair on sunday 27 october in Ghent in the legendary cycling track “het Kuipke”!