For those that have never visited Liège in Eastern Belgium you could be forgiven. The historic city on the Meuse River in Belgium’s French-speaking Wallonia region. Its old town is filled with landmarks dating to the medieval era, including the Romanesque Church of St. Bartholomew. The Grand Curtius museum houses archaeological treasures and art within a 17th-century mansion, while Opéra Royal de Wallonie has staged operas since 1820. It is also the home of Liège–Bastogne–Liège a one-day classic cycling race in Belgium. First run in 1892. It is also the home of Gravel Ride 13 which some of you might remember our visit last year. All that being said this visit was part of a whistle stop tour to La Cyclerie and Deroy Frame Builders.
Tucked away down a side street and behind two large black doors you’ll find La Cyclerie. Through the doors you will find Thomas, Yves and Gilles beavering away working on bikes, building wheels and working on custom frames (more on that to follow). Talking to customers about various builds, vintage frames and building the perfect custom frame is a the heart of the shop. ” We desire to offer in the center of Liège, a wide range dedicated to economic and sustainable cycling. The emphasis is on updating second-hand frames and parts from old stocks, as well as making custom steel frames, all combined with the assembly of parts from brands recognized for their quality and durability”. A strong work ethic and a steady flow of customers while I am there clearly demonstrates that sustainable travel is the way forward in a city where it can take almost an hour to drive 3km.
Not only do they work on a variety of bicycles but there is a treasure-trove of parts hidden away in boxes, stacked in corners and a minefield, but once you get to rummage through you’ll find some gems waiting to be discovered. Their love of the bicycle is clear and no matter what you ride they will try to fix it and get you back on the road.
Over a fresh sandwich we talk about some of the amazing retro bikes they have and how hard it has become to find those classic long since forgotten. We joke that there must be hundreds of old cyclo-cross bikes in garages hidden away waiting to be loved again. Belgium’s history for cycling is a deep routed one and having been coming here for a few years now I have only scratched the surface.
If you are ever in Liege then it is well worth stopping by to take a look. It is best to check first as their opening hours are varied but always willing to help. If you are thinking of visiting head over to La Cyclerie.