A very a-typical ride in my perspective. This 120 km ride is about 85% road only. The other 15 % off road is doable with a road bike and in case of doubt you can always found a way around the offroad sections.
I wasn’t in great shape this morning when I left but I decided to leave anyway and see how far we got. The gentle wind pushing me in the back gave me a false feeling of confidence. I paid that in cash on the way back. The winds from Saeftinghe until Antwerp, for about 50km, were very strong, head on and the landscape is unforgivingly flat with nothing to hide against the wind. But hey, part of the game we play. I had to boost myself a couple of times but in the end I made home tired but satisfied.
Now for the fun part, this is a very variably ride. Let me rephrase that, the ride is split up in 3 totally different landscape. You start out in the rural country side, between farmlands, farms with nice curvy roads slicing through the landscape. Not a lot of traffic and the roads are well maintained. It’s smooth riding.
The second part is even more desolated, when you cross the dutch boarder the farmlands widen up and as far as the horizon stretches you will see, corn fields & trees. Arriving at the turning point you look over a natures reserve in front and the wide farmlands in the back. Great spot to have a quick bite.
The third and last part already announces itself when in Saeftinghe. In the far distance you will see the nuclear power plant of Doel. You will dive into the Antwerp harbour maze with long stretches of road with wides views, industrial complexes and a lot of wind… hopefully in the back for you! All tough I’m not a fan of these sites the road is quite worth the effort: You will pass desolated towns, a historical fort and abstract sightings. And very important these are all very safe and well maintained cycle roads.
The harbours ends abruptly and via Antwerp’s Pedestrian tunnels which will set you in the middle of town, like a time machine. Ideal stop for a coffee shot somewhere there!
After that coffee break I took the short way home: energy was low so the main road to my man cave was all I wanted. Sometimes you have to listen to your body.