Belgium (Plum) Shorts - 13 May 2016

  Gilbert Van de Wiele (Plume Vainqueur Pro Team)

Gilbert Van de Wiele (Plume Vainqueur Pro Team)

In 1910 Pol Desnerk opened a tiny bike shop in Ghent. Originally the shop was called La Plume as everything that sounded French stood for quality (even in Flanders). The name changed to Plume Vainqueur, and finally it became Plum. Plum started sponsoring riders and teams and had a full pro team from 1949 until 1961. The shop soon started taking upstairs tenants including numerous Australians (Alf Strom, Reg Arnold, & Alan Peiper) and several Englishman (Gary Wiggins & Tom Simpson). Tom Simpson was the 1965 World RR Champion and died of a drug overdose in the 1967 Tour De France.  Mike O'Reilly last visited the shop in 1987 and nothing has much changed since he visited yesterday (everything just seems to have got older or is that 'retro'). The antique bike museum in the basement of the Plum shop is a bit chaotic (understatement) but the Gios bike of Fons De Wolf was worth a look. 

The Plum Gent website is www.plum-gent.be

  1980 Gios (in team blue) of Fons De Wolf with full Campagnolo groupset including Delta brakes

1980 Gios (in team blue) of Fons De Wolf with full Campagnolo groupset including Delta brakes

  Mildly chaotic but plenty of nice retro steel

Mildly chaotic but plenty of nice retro steel

 ... n ot exactly Shimano Di2 and the front changer had a hand operated lever (no cables) ...

... not exactly Shimano Di2 and the front changer had a hand operated lever (no cables) ...