Archive for the ‘Transformations by Cycle’ Category

Although the newest trend on Mountain Bikes are tubeless tires, the standard remains wheels with innertubes. At first bicycles came with solid rubber or wooden tires, later on John Boyd Dunlop developed the pneumatic tire and its valve, also named after him: the Dunlopvalve. Until the late ’80’s it was the standard valve used in bicycles in the Netherlands. For that reason we called them Dutch valves. The other ones were called French or Belgium valves.

Dunlop Valve

Dutch Valve

Presta Valve

French Valve

Dunlop invented the airtube because his son got headaches riding his bicycles on the bumpy roads of Scotland.

Couple years later Édouard Michelin invented the detachable tire. It was held on the rim with clamps, instead of glue, and could be removed to replace or patch the separate inner tube.

In the entire history of tires, these were big inventions. Charles Goodyear invented vulcanized rubber in 1839.

Until today, these are big names in Tire Industry.

To me Vredestein Tires are my favourite.

Vredestein took over Hevea, its biggest concurent inside the Netherlands.

Hevea means ‘rubber’, before Goodyears invention it was the only thing one could do with the natural material; to rub pencil lines away.

In 1915 Hevea started his company and builded a complete village named after the fabric. And so Heveatown was born. The blocks were named after Islands of Indonesia: SumatraJava and Borneo. That’s were we had our plantations. The houses were build in English landscape style with thatched roofs.



Airphoto Heveadorp 1925

Airphoto Heveadorp

The Fabric was build on a hill, which was not very practical. The first thing Vredestein did was move the factory towards Renkum’s industrial area.

The same area which recently was transformed back to nature.

Bicycle tires are now manufactered in the far East. Giving ‘Indian Rubber’ a complete different new meaning, the other name for Ficus Elastica.

Somewhere in the eighties all houses were renovated, since they did not belong to the factory anymore, no one felt responsible. Builded together with 199 new houses this project was done.

Rubber Tree

Rubber Tree – Living Bridge

Airborne Van Gogh-style

Airborne Cycles By Van Gogh

Since this blog is about Cycling, History and Nature, I searched the Internet on the words ‘Airborne’ and ‘Bicycles’.

Airborne Badge

from the skies

Unto my big suprise I found out there’s a company in Ohio U.S.A. who’s got the name Airborne Bicycles.

Made contact with them and asked them they could send me a couple pictures to spice up the article with.


World Champion 4X 2013

Funny thing is, looking on their Facebook Photo Wall, I found out the next thing: recent 4Cross World Champion [Leogang 2013] Caroline Buchanan rides with their bikes. So they must have done something right.


walk on

It was the same final in which Anneke Beerten crashed.  Outside the scope of Red Bull TV  she fainted, got up again, completely bruised and battered she did finish by foot! Next day she couldn’t even walk … 4 weeks later she ended place 7 on the Enduro World Series

Gladly Dutchie Joost ‘the Boost’ Wichman won the World Trophee 4X for men. It was the Crown on his racing career. He quit cross. [Just got word he goes on to defend his title]

One wonders how a country without mountains makes winners like these? It must be our national trainingcentre Papendal which is situated in the heart of MTB Track Oosterbeek. We all admire the total dedication and focus of our top athlethes. Overcoming one self and the desire to go faster and becoming better each time isn’t something we all like to do. One needs a good team too, people who know the ropes and want you to excel and accelerate.

But why ‘Airborne’ one would ask?

Airborne Bicycles. Pathogen Frameset

Pathogen Frameset

It could be what the print on their bicycles says: ‘choose your path wisely’.

With Airborne Bicycles this path goes up in the air a lot …

And … what goes uphill, comes downhill.



Paratrooper Airdrop wide 300dpi

Paratrooper Airdrop

Close to Oosterbeek’s Mountain Bike Track are our Dutch Air Devisions Headquarters. Every year at the Battle of Arnhem’s remembrance ceremony these guys skydive unto Ginkels Heath.

Only recently they stopped tandem jumping with Veterans. Most likely their medical staff forbade them to jump out of airplanes any more. So we just have to do it with the young guns of the Air Mobile Brigade. They were new to the scene of modern warfare back in the ’90’s and because they constanly jumped out of airplanes they were nicknamed Slight Moron Brigade.

Forest, Forest Gump

Gump, Forest Gump

Our national Forrest Gumpers.

Nothing proofed otherwise, until…

Years passed since the nineties, 9-11 came and, in the midst of chaos, we were ready for Afghanistan and Iraq. These guys we mocked were the first who gone there. And all of a sudden, although KTM Motor Bikes were standard, they started cycling again!

Legerfietsen in Nederland (3)

folded bicycles early version

But … they did not use the folding bikes like back in the old days:

cycle patrouille

cheer em up!

Tour de Afghançe did it’s first stage, a time trial through the streets of Tarin Kowt!!! 

It took 69 years until bicycles returned to the combat scenerio. 19 oktober 2009, the first official Cycle Patrol took place in Uruzgan, Afghanistan. Eyes popped out of old men’s skulls, children cheered an ran after our guys.

Like Mountain Biking was invented in the USA in the ’70, Cyclo Cross came out of Flanders in 1900.  

Again a time lap of 70+ years. 

But … the European Armed Forces used 29″ bicycles from the beginning as a standard.

But … fair enough: back in ’09, the 26″MT-Bike was standard and we took over the idea from the American Army…

But … look at these pictures of Montague-Bikes : it is the folded bike again!!!


capture the flag

PARATROOPER Folded 300dpi

Paratrooper Folded