One of the most important tasks of the moment is to share uplifting moments with friends who are struck in true lockdown in countries like Italy. We know you are missing spring, but we hope you can soon be let … Continue reading →
Is the cycling equivalent of the Buddhist philosophical conundrum “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” This is the question I have been asking myself for a while, a mental discussion triggered by the relatively recent discovery that I … Continue reading →
Are the French coming? A watchful crowd looks south across the rolling fields of Wallonia, just before the road to Brussels enters Waterloo. An invasion is expected soon. It is 18th June 1815 and the French army is about to … Continue reading →
Wow. We needed this, A proper glow in the sky for a bike ride this morning, above cold frosty ground. It seemed so unlikely I had to keep a diary to prove that it was really happening. 7.45 am – … Continue reading →
One of the simple pleasures of living in a foreign country is unexpected public holidays. I have discovered that I have a deeply entrenched internal calendar because I half expect a holiday whenever the UK has a day off, but … Continue reading →
A series of new signs has been catching my eye on the way home from work in recent weeks. Numbers in circles accompanied by arrows means that the long awaited spread of the Dutch-style node point cycle navigation system (Knooppunt) … Continue reading →
I am going to write about a short but wonderful bike ride, a ride that left me buoyed up by the beauty to be found in a familiar landscape. But make me a promise. Before you read this in full … Continue reading →
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 →
Among the most popular events where we live are the twice yearly open days at the former Abbey of Aywiers at Couture St Germain, just a couple of kilometres down the valley from Lasne. Today the former abbey buildings are … Continue reading →
My last Sunday in Belgium before I head off for Australia and New Zealand for Velo-city 2014 and some overdue holiday. So it was fitting that the weather turned on a spectacular day, the Walloon countryside was beautiful and we … Continue reading →
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!.
Wonderful 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.