This feature originally appeared in Cycling Weekly magazine on 7 March 2024. Subscribe now and never miss an issue.

It is an overcast afternoon in the medieval Belgian city of Ghent, and a racket is beginning to stir. Throngs of people have gathered in Kouter Square, usually a tranquil flower market, for the homecoming of their hero. Suddenly, a wooden cart appears. It trundles past the crowds, who turn to stare. On it, two rows of raucous men face each other, each turning their own set of pedals as they slosh their drinks and sing along. It is a beer bike, a staple stag do activity, and the revellers have just spotted someone important. 

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