A spring cycling day in Lasne – Journée du vélo à Lasne

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Some of the fun things about Belgium country life are the local festivals, markets, walks and indeed bike rides that are put on by community groups and local councils. There is always something happening in Lasne and at least twice … Continue reading

Tour de Namur Cyclo 2015 – classic route in the beautiful spring countryside of Wallonia. With added Triple Mur. That’s a lot of Mur.

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© sportograf Last Saturday’s ride was the latest in a casual series where a few of us that work in transport cycling and also enjoy some sporty touring get together for a thrash round the Belgian countryside. This time was … Continue reading

Ahhhh, good to be back in the comfort of the peloton. The club cycle touring season kicks off in Belgium

Photo Kevin Mayne

After its winter break the Belgian cycle touring season kicked off again on the first weekend of March. Unlike the UK where I have done most of my cycling the clubs here don’t ride through the winter.

So this means that the March rides are a bit if a “get to know you” and find out who spent the winter doing the kilometres and who were doing the kilogrammes. And it brings a little trepidation, a slight return of cyclingclubaphobia until I have checked that that I can fit in to the club.

I missed the first two weeks in Taipei so this was my first ride of the year with my ambition to drop into group 2 and hide quietly in the slipstream. With the hazy sunshine I was optimistic that there might be a good few riders out so I could chose my level. And wow – 75 starters resplendent in the new club kit.

There were about 35 in group 2 and my hopes worked out quite well, because in a stiff breeze the enthusiasts that had been riding regularly were happy to take the lead, and the big lads provided what might less politely be called a solid wall of Belgian beef that provided excellent shelter!.

Collegiate Church of Saint Gertrude NivellesWonderful spring day, I could have stopped and taken hundreds of views of blossom and open fields as we skimmed the open countryside. In Nivelles the splendid Church of St Gertrude was ringing out its bells with great energy as if to welcome us, or just to celebrate the day.

Good to have the first club ride under my wheels.

Cycleottignies March 2014

Is this Spring? A cyclists’ plea – please let it be so

Sunday in February 2014

Photo Kevin Mayne

Brabant Wallon La HulpeThe same weekend at the same place last year.

Fondation Felon Solvay Park La Hulpe BelgiumAt this stage of last year’s winter we still had two months to go before the snow stopped. As newcomers to Belgium it was quite a shock to the system. And as a cyclist it meant lots of frustration.

But this weekend we were out in the sunshine, almost without hats and gloves. I had the great pleasure of showing a friend round the area and we ended up soaking up some sum and a small beer at one of my favourite cafes at Chateau Solvay.

Along, so it seems, with many others who got the message that the outdoor season has started. The wildlife certainly thinks so, the birdsong seems to have lifted several decibels in the mornings.

Oh gosh I hope this lasts, my system craves warm riding, not worrying about hitting ice, light mornings, no gloves………………….