to Leuven

We packed most of our gear on Saturday, got some new t-shirts etc. and checked the bikes, so on Sunday morning we just need to have breakfast, load up and start cycling. I go to the bakery to get pistolets for a carb-rich start of the day and we try to finish off what’s left in the fridge. We take the local road to Duffel and then start following the fiets-o-strade. We know this stretch, so we don’t need to check the GPS (borrowed from Mom) until we get to Mechelen. The weather is good, we can wear just a thin tshirt. From Mechelen we follow the Stedenroute all the way to Leuven, following the Dijle river and canal. Since it’s a weekend day and sunny, the tow paths are busy with cyclists, fly-fishers and hikers, but they’re usually wide enough to cycle side by side.

We follow the detailed route through Leuven all the way to the center, where we look for and find an Italian restaurant, just so we can have pasta, the ideal food for long trips.

to Geldenaken

After lunch we ride through the old town and university districts to the forest of Heverlee, following the LF6 Vlaanderen Fietsroute. It’s a nice path through the woods, climbing in straight lines up and down the hillsides. Once out of the woods, we follow farmers roads through the fields to Hoegaarden, where Ravel Ligne 145 starts. From there it’s only a couple of kilometers to Geldenaken, along the asphalted old rail road. We’ve brought snacks and stop every hour for a small bite.

We arrive at the B&B around 17h30, enough time to unpack and enjoy a long shower before we leave to Aux Petits Oignons, a restaurant nearby with a Michelin star, where we’ve made reservations. The food is great, though we’re pretty tired so it seems like a long wait between each course. We skip the alcohol, because it’s supposed to be bad for your endurance and we’re back in bed around 22h30.

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