GX – Weert 52km

So today I was planning to do a ride from a fellow gravelist but it turned out that most of the tracks were frequently used mountainbike tracks and due to the recent rainfall and weekend traffic they turned into mud pools. Now, I don’t mind a little mud and some technical passages but not for 90 % of the ride. So after a few kilometres I decided to cancel the track on my GPS and start finding tracks I haven’t ridden before.

I ended up finding som nice roads and some know places as well. When I was riding my race bike these was one of my favourite regions to ride. So came across some well known places but that made it easy to turn right the other way towards I had no idea where i might end up.

The beginning and the end are asphalt next to the river Rupel but once you get past that there is a lot of dust roads to discover on this 52 km track

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Tales from the Seaside

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.

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TC – Saeftinghe

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.

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GX – Douce Bois

This is the first ride that I created completely with the new Strava Routes function. Underground was set to unpaved and distance to about 100 km.
I was a bit sceptic about it because my earlier experiences weren’t that great. But I gave it a new chance and to be honest I was quite surprised by the result. Overall the route was great, it choose unpaved tracks over obvious shorter paved routes nearby. There were often times I wanted to opt for a little detour to get some extra unpaved pieces but I kept to the track.

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GX – Damiano

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.

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Taxandria del Norte

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

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Louvania im Pluvia

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

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GX – Giro di Aeroporto

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.

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GX – Stairway To Heaven

This one is a sweet one!
Usually i’m quite disappointed in the long stretches of concrete between the villages in Flanders. You can drive from one village to another without even getting a glimpse of nature. Although, in the last few rides, ever since I changed my routing preference to gravel and offroad I’ve come to realise there is still a fair but of green behind the concrete wall. And today’s ride surely was one of the a-listers for that reason. I enjoyed every meter of the 121 kilometers in this track!

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