So there you are: all geared up and ready to go out and explore. That might be a full Overlanding trip for several weeks or just be the first steps into camping and wild camping. Maybe you’re just up for a quick weekend getaway. Expectations are high. For me a good trip is directly linked to the quality of the spots we camp on. I get a lot of questions on how we find those perfect spots. They don’t come served up on a silver plate, good places are hard to find and I’d like to keep it like that. I’d like to give you an insight on how we find them. I’m not going to tell you my hotspots, you will have to find your own. 😉 The definition of a perfect camp spot is also very different from one person to the other.
5.30 am: Early Start of the day for this 85km track. I wanted to be out before the heat got on!This is actually a shortcut on my 120km track to Tielt-Winge: “GX – Stairway to Heaven”. I wanted an option for a shorter ride when I was in short of time or when the legs weren’t that great. The shortcut is a real nice piece of gravel, fits perfectly in my cycling philosophy. But to be honest If you take the 12O km track, the real beauty starts right after where the short cut is. Now you have a choice on the go 😉 On the way back made a detour for a coffee meetup and have some breakfast in Mechelen.
A fair bit of rain last night so I changed my riding plans from a technical gravel ride to a more straight surface. I don’t mind getting dirty and riding some muddy tracks but it had been pouring all night: there’s mud and there’s mud. Anyway, I rode another track that is about 130 km long and I’m still not convinced whether I like it or not.
You see, it has huge amounts of straight roads, asphalt and I don’t like that. But then there were also huge stretches of gravel, old fashioned hard soiled gravel. I’m not a great fan of that either. But still when I got home I was quit satisfied. Instead of doing slow and technical gravel rides this was a speedy gravel ride. I think a lot of my buddies would tag this as favourite. So it wasn’t the best type of ride for me but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy this one. I left at dawn again, with some pancakes on my stomach and the rest of them for the family when they woke up. Once on the bike and out on the dikes close to my home I was already excited to see the great morning light. That is one of the main reasons of leaving so early, having that great morning light! The other reason is that I can ride longer or slower and still be home somewhere in the afternoon. and the clouds today where just stunning! #cloudlover
Since I’ve been doing some longer distances and all day rides, I’ve come to conclude that I needed to change the packing configuration of my bike. I gave it some serious thought and looked into different items that I could or prefer to use. The most important thing was the fact that I want it to be modular. Meaning that I have different options for different rides. I want the bike always to be as less bulky as possible. I also know I’m a gear hauler, I probably take too much with me, especially rain and warm gear. I don’t mind riding in the rain but I do like to stay dry & warm on my body.
The main problem I had during the last couple of rides was shortage of water. I drink a lot during my rides, carrying two bottles of 0,8 litres isn’t enough for me. That ‘ll get me trough half the day maybe three quarters. That’s still a fair amount of the day that needs water. The easiest way is to look for a house or someone outside his house and ask for a refill. That’s how I managed it up till now. But it sometimes took me quit the detour to find someone at home or even someone willing to do so. Corona times didn’t make that any easier.
Since everybody is looking for alternative ways to spend their holidays and I received a ton of mails and phone calls asking for advice on rooftop tents. #corona I decided to write it all down. One of the biggest and most important decisions in building your overlanding rig is the choice of your rooftop tent. There are a wide variety of models and options available, i’m not going to dig in that pile. I’ve done it once when I was out looking for my exact match and it took me quite a while. To write out a guide for every situation and everybody’s needs would take me forever. But what I do want to point out is what the pro’s and con’s are related to traveling with a rooftop tent. << read the full article >>
Another early Monday morning, this time together with Ian for a 101km ride. Got up at 5 to make some pancakes, just to get a good food layer for a lovely ride. At that time the weather looked promising, a bit overcast but dry, but soon after it started raining and pouring. When we left it was still rainy but after a good hour it stopped and besides some occasional heavy shower we had a fine dry ride. Those who now me, know that i’m quite a well prepared man, not today however8 Today I found out that when we started I didn’t load the GPS track om my Garmin. Luckily Ian loaded the file to his GPS so we could start right away. I wasn’t too keen on heading back in and start up the PC at 6am to load the file. So I followed Ian like a good boy all day.
We made a stop along the way to pray for rain, it think way need some more practice praying because it kept raining…
Early rise and started at 5.50 am for this 80km one. I wanted to be out before the temperatures got too hot and before my mailbox would pop with stuff that needed to be done. And oh boy, do I love that morning light! I had little expectations of this route because everything that heads towards the capital or even big cities isn’t much of a reference for free wild nature.
Last week I was out in the field finally working again. One of the first jobs after the Corona mayhem! And I was really happy with my solar powered mobile office! Charging camera’s, drone batteries, laptops on nature’s abundant power source!
Thanks to the guys at Gitrax for the advice and installation.
I’m running: – Wattstunde daylight sun power solar Module 120W – Victron 75/15 controller 15A (MPPT) & Bluetooth dongle (smartphone connection)