National Day holiday in Belgium – glorious summer morning bike ride

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National Day public holiday in Belgium. Most of the country is enjoying a late morning in expectation of music and fireworks tonight. Which means the roads are almost deserted, a glorious opportunity to ride almost car-free through summer fields with … Continue reading

Five years of “I do not despair” – revisiting our favourite posts

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On January 1st 2012 I published the first, tentative post on Idonotdespair.com To celebrate my fifth anniversary I have gathered together a small collection of favourite posts. Firstly your top 5 – the posts that have gathered the most visitors,some … Continue reading

Late summer Saturday in Belgium – any excuse for a bike ride will do, but it helps to have several

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On Saturday I was just back from a hectic week at Eurobike – which means an awful lot of talking about cycling and not a lot of doing, followed by 7 hours on the train home from Germany. And I … Continue reading

Turning the commute into special time – a morning cycle tour to Brussels

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It’s been a while. But welcome back. Welcome back to the feeling that today is that day. The day I just have to ride. The temperature is drifting up and forecast to clear 30 degrees for the first time this … Continue reading

Zeeland Cycle Tour day 4 – experiencing the Delta Works

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And so to the final day of our short tour of Zeeland and the chance to ride part of one of the world’s great cycle routes – the North Sea Cycle Route where it snakes across the great sea defences … Continue reading

Cycling in Zeeland. Day 3 – The “Dutchness” checklist

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Only time for a brief gallery from yesterday’s cycling. When I look through the images I realise that this corner of Zeeland provides almost the perfect mini-portrait of what one should expect from a break with bikes in the Netherlands. … Continue reading

Zeeland cycle trip day 2. Zeeland = windland

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I can write about the nice coastal towns of Zeeland, the excellent food and the pleasure of a trip to the seaside. I could even mention the amazing cycle routes once again. But there was only one subject for yesterday’s … Continue reading

Some day all cycle touring destinations could be like this. Day 1 in Zeeland.

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Our first cycling day in Zeeland can be summed up by the scenes around the small harbour town of Veere. Charming streets. Packed with cyclists – not just Dutch, we heard German, French, Belgian and English voices. And everything was … Continue reading

Denmark’s slice of cycling heaven

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I am very lucky that I have cycled in some amazing places – high mountains, cycling cities, passionate cycling fans, stunning tourism routes. To that mix I can add the places that just have “something”. Maybe the attractions are a … Continue reading

A trip down memory lane: The start of a special journey – Riding the Baltic Sea Cycle Route in Lithuania

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Recently my colleagues who manage the wonderful international EuroVelo cycle route network asked us all in the ECF office if we had some EuroVelo memories or trips we could share as part of an occasional series on their web site. … Continue reading

Collective creaking and groaning – must be the start of the cycle touring year

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Yesterday I took my first cycling club ride of the year, breaking into the start of the Belgian cycle touring club season. As usual our club split into two groups, with those who have been riding all winter or who … Continue reading