Cycling helps keep you healthy

Belgium Trip, September 2020

edited February 15 in General
Hi all

We are going to Belgium this September and you and your friends are all invited.

The trip has three variants – to suit all needs.

The Boonen (3 x Tour of Flanders winner)
Thursday 17 Sept. Riding from Ashwell to Calais, approx. 140 miles.
Friday 18 Sept. Riding Calais to Oudernaarde, approx. 100 miles. Pan-flat and a tailwind, sir? Don't mind if I do.
Saturday 19 Sept. The CCA Tour of Flanders sportive, approx. 100 miles, including 15 famous climbs from the Tour of Flanders and 6 brutal cobbled sections.
Sunday 20 Sept. Ride back to Calais and get a train back from Dover.

The Merckx (2 x Tour of Flanders winner)
All the same as the Boonen, except Sunday will be a short recovery ride before being driven home.

The Gilbert (1 x Tour of Flanders winner)
Friday 18 Sept. Driving out to Oudernaarde early. Riding the Friday Boonen/Merkx route in reverse, to meet the oncoming riders in between Roeselare and Harelbeke for a pastry and beer, before all riding back to Oudernaarde.
Saturday 19 Sept. CCA Tour of Flanders sportive (see above).
Sunday 20 Sept. The same as the Merckx day (see above).

The plan is to stay in the Hotel Leopold in Oudernaarde, one of the best hotels in the town, opposite the Tour of Flanders museum. Much like Diksmuide, Oudernaarde is a pretty Flandrian town with a square peppered with little restaurants, cafes and bars.

Oudernaarde places us in the epicentre of all the famous hills and cobbles from the Classics, allowing us the opportunity to tick off so many within a 100 miles on the inaugural CCA Tour of Flanders. It will be a real challenge but a very rewarding day, including the monuments of Wolvenberg, Molenberg, Leberg, Berendries, Valkenberg, Eikenberg, Koppenberg (cobbles + max 22% gradient), Taaienberg, Kaperij, Kanarieberg, Kruisberg, Hotondberg (Zandstraat), Karnemelkbeekstraat, Oude Kwaremont, Paterberg (final climb of the day, cobbles + 20% climb) and bone-shaking cobbled sections of Ruiterstraat, Kerkgate, Paddestraat, Haaghoek, Mariaborrestraat, Steenbeekdries. Tonnes of fun.

For those riding from Ashwell to Calais. The plan is to travel light and give most of your kit to those driving to Oudernaarde. The Hotel Meurice in Calais is an excellent cyclist-friendly two-star hotel.

The trip will cost a ballpark of £250, depending on which version is taken, how many come along etc.

What happens next?

We need to identify who is coming – and which trip option they are doing. Crucially, we need to identify who wants to drive – so we can coordinate the driving back option: riders and bicycles.

Put your name down here on this forum thread, along with your trip option and if you are doing the 'Gilbert' - let us know if you are prepared to drive. We will take it from there. I suggest in a few weeks, once we know who is coming, we will be able to make a concrete plan and book things up.

Anyone who wants to help on booking and coordinating: let us know.

Cheers

Stef and Martin
«1

Comments

  • Martin L - Merckx
  • Alistair Mc - Merckx
  • Graham - Merckx
  • Stef - Merckx
  • Will S - Boonen (probably)
  • edited February 15
    Skelders - Gilbert

    will drive but bike rack only takes 2 bikes I'm afraid.. but its a start :)

    🙋🏼‍♂️ who still has the original Belgium Tour shirt 😀
  • MC Gilbert ;-)

    Can drive over/back. Suggest max 3 bikes.

    mc
  • Excellent job Martin!
    Dave and Jenny - tentatively Boone/Merckx mash-up, subject to racing commitments/end of season fatigue...
  • Sounds superb....Merckx please and happy to help on bookings etc
  • Yes Martin, buzzing for this! Put me down for the Merckx.
  • edited February 16
    + Andy R
    + Neil R
    Merckx please. Thanks both!
  • Great. Gilbert for me please. Can I bag a lift with you mark?
  • edited February 17
    JeremyP - Boonen (or make my own way back)
  • Matt S - Gilbert... Can take +1 person and +2 bikes

    Would like to do Merckx but unlikely.
  • Great! So far…

    The Boonen
    Will
    Jeremy

    The Merckx
    Martin L
    Alistair
    Graham A
    Stef
    Dave W
    Jenny
    Paul B
    Taff
    Andy R
    Neil R

    The Gilbert
    Skelders
    MC
    Geoff G
    Matt S

    Let's see how many more sign-up in the next few weeks and then plan logistics. Let us know if anyone is prepared to tow the club's 12-bike trailer, perhaps someone who just fancies the trip and a tootle around Flanders, or a non-cycling friend or relative who fancies a trip to Belgium - as that would make a big difference on plans. Thanks.
  • Martin, sign me up for the Boonen (for now!) If it comes to it I can take a car if that affects transportation plans for the positive. Cheers
  • Gilbert please for me and I can drive with space for 3 additional bikes and passengers.

    I do have a Towbar so although I don't love towing if no one else steps up then I would..
  • The Boonen
    Will
    Jeremy
    Chris P

    The Merckx
    Martin L
    Alistair
    Graham A
    Stef
    Dave W
    Jenny
    Paul B
    Taff
    Andy R
    Neil R

    The Gilbert
    Skelders
    MC
    Geoff G
    Matt S
    Andrew R

    Chris - that's kind to offer to go Gilbert, though by my maths, you are able to go full Boonen. With Andrew kindly offering to tow the trailer, and assuming 5 people in MC's and Skelder's cars is doable - that's all current people and bikes covered.

    Yay!

    image
  • My plans are slightly off-piste, but here goes:

    Dave is going to do the conventional Boonen.

    I have no desire to ruin my legs riding 140 miles on British roads to Dover when there are so many beautiful Belgian cobbled climbs to come. So, for logistic purposes I think I'd be classed as a Boonen, but I'll be driving to Dover, ditch the car somewhere and join the others for the ferry crossing by bike. Rest of the trip as per Boonen (ie, no need for a lift back from Oudenaarde), hopefully finding the car in one piece in Dover when we return.

    A tip from our recent day trip to France - booking with P&O ferries by phone led to a much reduced cost for crossing with a bike. Might be worth a try.
  • Merckx please.
    Don’t really have a car that can take bikes in the week as Jane uses it for work.
  • Martin - slight spanner in the works, I won't be driving over I'll be cycling now.
    Catch up on Saturday and will share a slightly different plan.

    mc
  • edited February 27
    We would like to move forward with reserving accommodation and car places on the eurotunnel, so please let us know if you want to join this trip now or in the next few days - thanks.

    In the meantime, we will work out the traveling back logistics somehow. If anyone wants to simply drive over and back to Flanders for a couple of nights, and help with D-Day style evacuation from Europe on return for those doing the Merckx - do let us know here. We will work it out somehow.

    Thanks for the update Jenny. I've now listed you as a Boonen, although technically a Boonen with motorised assistance is called a Cancellara. Allegedly...

    The Boonen
    Will
    Jeremy
    Chris P
    Jenny

    The Merckx
    Martin L
    Alistair
    Graham A
    Stef
    Dave W
    Paul B
    Taff
    Andy R
    Neil R
    MC
    Vince

    The Gilbert
    Skelders
    Geoff G
    Matt S
    Andrew R
  • Hi Martin, I'm also a boonen please! (Unassisted)
  • Will be looking for a £50 deposit to secure your place as Martin and I start to make the bookings. Dont worry for now - will post payment details in a few weeks, just advance warning.
  • @Steve J not fancy it this year?
  • edited February 27
    Good news - the Hotel Leopold have pencilled in our reservations. We will all be in twin rooms. I want to confirm these reservations on Tuesday 10 March - so if anyone else is still thinking about this trip - please let us know if you are coming by then.

    The price is approx £100 per night. So, £200 for Friday and Saturday, inc Breakfast. Not at all bad for a 4-Star hotel in Flanders.

    Note: I will also be booking accommodation at the Hotel Meurice in Calais for those doing the Merckx. That will be around £60 for the night.

    The Boonen
    Will
    Jeremy
    Chris P
    Jenny
    Dave W

    The Merckx
    Martin L
    Alistair
    Graham A
    Stef
    Paul B
    Taff
    Andy R
    Neil R
    MC
    Vince

    The Gilbert
    Skelders
    Geoff G
    Matt S
    Andrew R
  • Shots fired on the Cancelllara joke Martin - chapeau. On the long ride/lights/luggage front - what have people used in previous years? I'm looking at a mid size frame pack as I like the semi self supported idea. How good do lights need to be?
  • Handlebar bag with a pair of jeans and a t shirt, espadrilles and enough euros for several beers worked for me. Normal lights. A front light enough to see ahead but the only night time riding on the last few trips were the couple of miles from the ferry to the hotel in Calais. Fuelled mainly by beer, that bit...
  • Will, don’t forget one bin bag away from dry jeans.

    Martin - Can you put me down for a Boonen.

    Thanks
  • Oh yes. Always put everything inside a WATERPROOF bag inside your handlebar bag. When my girlfriend met me at kings cross after we got the train back from the other side of the ferry she said my lips were blue. It was very cold.
Sign In or Register to comment.