Finally had the time to do another ride away from home. Starting point would be “Oostduinkerke” at the Belgian coast. Those who know me are aware of my dislike for busy beaches and crowded areas. Nevertheless my friend @belgianbiker was there and that was the perfect excuse to get out and bring the family along: kids on the beach, boys on the bike. Everybody happy!
Getting there in traffic jams is part of the deal when going to the beach and the fact that I was in sleep deprivation wasn’t doing me any good. But I was focussed on making the best out of it.
Not having great expectations for this coastal ride, but it turned out to be very varied and beautiful. The tracks near the coast are often beach sand, which is very hard to ride with smaller tyres, you really need a wide and softer profile for that. Once you get away from the coast and head inland it gets very beautiful. Flat, windy and wide landscapes without any hide or coverage from wind (and rain) but beautiful.
Lots of asphalt but the view makes up for that. Every once and while you turn into a field to make a long gravel crossing. The longest one is right on the border with France.
We were somewhere halfway our ride and looking for a place to fill up our water bottles when suddenly my shifter broke off while shifting to a higher gear. With my Rohloff you shift up on the the left and shift down on the right. The one on the right gave a big crack and it was done shifting. I was in a very heavy gear and there was no way of changing gears again. After some inspection we discovered that we could shift by turning the gear right on the Rohloff itself. We decided to return via the shortest track, heavy wind head on, stopping every once and while to shift gear and head on.
We treated ourself with some ice cream, joined the kids on the beach for a nice walk (and some more ice 🙃 ) A bit of bad luck that day but that didn’t measure up to the fun and good company!
Hurray for away days!