“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”; a catchy phrase, which you hear quite often. But nobody ever tells you about the process of making that lemonade. Nor do they tell you why making that metaphorical lemonade can also enrich your life compared to just owning tons of nasty lemons. I dreamed big. The world was at my feet. Until it wasn’t anymore. I’m Nol van Loon, a Fat Pigeon, and this is my story.
Were it the life lessons during my mom’s last months when I was 16 years old? Or were it the tools I received in rehab at the age of 17? Maybe it was the positive mindset I learned, needed for the multiple brain surgeries at 18.
Anyways, all lessons add up and drop by drop I managed to make enough lemonade to live life to the fullest. Who would have thought that ‘that seemingly messed up kid’ ended up riding 1200 kilometres straight, at minus two degrees Celsius, along all Northern Spring classics?
1.288 km | 4 days | 13.915 m+ | -2 °C | 38.000 kCal
In rehab I learned about the mental and physical strength you can get from believing in a higher power. I found serenity, acceptance and courage in cyclism. Cyclism became my religion. It’s what keeps me on track, what gives me a reason to live, and what makes me rise above and beyond myself.
To prove this to myself, and to share the power of Cyclism, I took on the challenge to ride an ultra called ‘Classics Story, The Northern Way’. From the Omloop to Liege and everything in between.
Over the course of this Spring Classics season we’ll take you through my experience and how serenity, acceptance and courage helped me through this mental challenge.
Expect: snow, Roubaix by night, extreme low’s and unexpected highs.
Let Cyclism inspire you to go out there and be the best version of yourself.Nol van Loon, Fatpigeon.cc
All the bergs, all the cobbles, all the Northern Classics, in deep winter. This route was a beast!Nol van Loon, Fatpigeon.cc
The why, how, what
What is Cyclism?
Cyclism is a personal story with a universal message. It’s tells the story of Nol van Loon, who at a young age had big dreams, lost them, and then was able to rebuild them – bigger – with help of the bike.
Cyclism is a Fatpigeon production in partnership with Ridley and collaboration with Cycling in Flanders.
Why serenity, acceptance, courage?
Serenity, acceptance and courage were the main lessons Nol learned in his life. A cooping mechanism he learned in the three most chaotic years of his life. Losing his mother at 16, getting in and out of rehab at 17 and surviving multiple brain surgeries at 18.
When can I watch the Cyclism documentary?
The Cyclism documentary will premiere end of April 2023. The Cyclism campaign will run over the course of the Spring Classics 2023. Starting in the week before Omloop het Nieuwsblad and finalising after Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Before most Spring Classics we’ll connect its most famous sections with Nol his life story and his route experience while riding his 1200km ultra across the Belgian Classics in January 2023.
Why do we share this?
Sharing experiences is human it can be inspirational, therapeutical, start conversations or initiate actions. By sharing the story of Cyclism, we contribute to the conversation of self actualisation. Life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon, and you cannot overstate your personal power to take matter in own hands. Whether things are great or not great at all they are and will always be subject to how you coop with them. The #1 lesson of Cyclism? Just go out there.
What can you expect from Cyclism?
The Cyclism documentary will feature end of April 2023 is a personal story with a universal message,
The #1 lesson of Cyclism?
The number one lesson of Cilium is: just go out there.
Why is Cyclism in partnership with Ridley?
Cyclism in in partnership with Ridley because Ridley supports the conversation of real people and their relationships to cycling. Ridley didn’t push the Cyclism story in any direction. Upon hearing the story they instantly supported our cause and it’s message.
Nol rode this route on the new Ridley Grifn, a bike you can check out here.
Why is Cyclism in collaboration with Cycling in Flanders?
Cyclism is in collaboration with Cycling in Flanders because from a young age Nol was inspired by riders pushing their limits and Cycling in Flanders is proud of all stories that place their heritage at the center. Plus, the 1200km ultra across the Belgian Classics would not have been possible without the history of Flanders.
Cycling in Flanders made routes and guides for cycling in Flanders, acces it here.