Cycle tour of Belgium 25.06.16 - 02.07.16

Discussion in 'Belgium' started by MrDell, Feb 21, 2016.

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  1. MrDell

    MrDell Aspirant (271) Nov 20, 2014 Switzerland

    As per the title, I am thinking of doing a cycle tour of the Northern area of Belgium for one week this summer (25.06.16 - 02.07.16) and wondered if any fellow Belgian beer enthusiasts would like to join me!

    I have travelled fairly extensively in the past, both alone and with friends but I feel a beer inspired cycle tour is something that would much more fun to do either as a group or with at least one other, like-minded, person. As my partner certainly does not share an interest in the subject and has already been dragged around more than her fair share of brewery tours and spent plenty of time in beer bars, she is not that keen to join me this time around. All of my friends are also either not interested enough, not allowed, can't get the time off work, have to wash their hair on that day etc etc etc. hence my notice here to try and find somebody / some people to join me on this adventure.

    So, a little bit about me; I'm 35 years old, male, originally British but have lived and worked, as an English teacher, in Switzerland for the last 8 years. I'd like to think I'm pretty laid back, open minded and quite adventurous. Asides from Belgian beer I like traveling, socialising, classic cars and all the usual things that middle aged men like. I'm not particularly fit or in good shape at the moment (have just started playing squash to try and work off my beer tank!) and therefore the cycling would be at a leisurely pace!

    As for the tour, I am really quite flexible as to what it would take in, but one thing I really want to do is visit Westvleteren and St. Bernardus and spend a night here:

    Other things that interest me are; The Kulminator in Antwerp (the place for vintage beer apparently), as I love cellaring and tasting aged beers and also a tour of the Rodenbach brewery. I would rather spend money on the tour on good beer and good food over fancy hotels and am more interested in spending time in Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp over Brussels, having recently spent a week there. Bikes for the tour would need to be rented, and at this very early stage, I haven't looked into this in any great depth.

    I am also quite interested in history and wouldn't mind visiting some of the war sites in Belgium along the way, although the main focus would most definitely be beer and breweries.

    As previously mentoined, I am really flexible and all of the above can be arranged with input from anyone else that may want to join the tour. Unfortunately, due to other commitments, the one thing I cannot be flexible on are the dates - it has to be that week.

    So, if anybody else thinks they maybe seriously interested in joining me on this adventure, just drop me a line or send me a PM on here.

    I also happen to know that there is a huge wealth of knowledge on this forum so if anyone has any tips, I would be extremely grateful for these, having never organised anything like this before!

    Disclaimer: When I say "organise", I am not a tour company, just a guy that would like to have some fun drinking and learning about beer and therefore, I am not going to book everything and send you an itinerary and bill.

    What I am really looking for here are like minded people with which we can make a loose plan, book things (individually) as needed, over the next few months and then go and have some fun.

    Thanks for all of your help with this.

    Cheers! [​IMG]

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  2. Euroglot

    Euroglot Disciple (324) Dec 16, 2015 Belgium

    Sounds like a lot of fun :-). I fear I won't be able to do the whole tour. But I can show you around in Bruges if you want and join you for a day or two.

    If you need any help organising, I can help you from the inside (Belgium) :-)
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  3. atomeyes

    atomeyes Initiate (0) Jul 13, 2011 Canada (ON)

    just so you're aware...
    the distance between Watou and Antwerp is 150 km. if you have a good bike, then sure, 50 km days aren't unreasonable, considering the shape you say you're in.
    i'd suggest that you narrow your focus a bit. the route you're inferring you want to take is almost 200 km. you also have to consider where you're going to get your bike from and if you'll train it back.

    i'll give you 2 suggestions:
    1. Spend 1-2 days in Antwerp. rent bikes in Antwerp. do Antwerp to Ghent for a very long bike day (well, 3 hrs by bike with few breaks. that's decently long). Find a place in Ghent that will let you lock your bikes up inside (theft is big). Ghent for 1 day. bike to Bruges via Damme (it's pretty). Spend a half day to a day in Bruges.
    Now, this is where you have to make decisions. getting from Bruges to Watou will take 4+ hours. I'd stop in Diksmuide. it's a fave of mine. Then you go from Diksmuide to Watou. Train it to Antwerp. That's around 7 days (can stretch it to 10 days)
    2. Antwerp to Ghent to Bruges via Damme. Consider biking along the Belgian coast, which is nice. Diksmuide's a must for me, as is Oostvleteren (Struise) and, while there, Westvleteren. Maybe think about going to Roeselaire after Diksmuide. It's out of your way, but hey, why not. This trip would be 10-14 days
  4. Euroglot

    Euroglot Disciple (324) Dec 16, 2015 Belgium

    If you go from Gent to Brugge you won't be able to cycle along the Belgian coast.

    If you ask me, it will be difficult to cycle the whole distance (Antwerpen - Watou) if you want to combine it with beerrelated things.

    edit: this link should be helpfull
    #4 Euroglot, Feb 22, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
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  5. atomeyes

    atomeyes Initiate (0) Jul 13, 2011 Canada (ON)

    you can do whatever one wants to do. it will just take a hell of a long time :slight_smile:
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  6. MrDell

    MrDell Aspirant (271) Nov 20, 2014 Switzerland

    Thanks for your input, some interesting points here and I would really like to visit Struise as well. After some more reading up on distances etc. narrowing the focus certainly seems wise for a 7 day trip. Cheers.
  7. djhowell

    djhowell Disciple (332) Apr 1, 2009 Wisconsin

    Have any recommendations for Diksmuide? We're visiting De Dolle in April.
  8. atomeyes

    atomeyes Initiate (0) Jul 13, 2011 Canada (ON)

    not sure what you mean re: recommendations. i've only had ice cream and a cookie in Diksmuide. it's a cute little typical West Flanders town. not sure if there's anywhere worthwhile eating or drinking other than De Dolle on Sat and Sun.
    Poperinge's the best place to stay and you can cab or (long) bike to Diksmuide from there. or stay in Oostvleteren/Westvleteren/Lo-Ringe, which will be closer, but with fewer options for places to stay. I'd just stick with Poperinge as a base.
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