bendybikes on Nearly off again RICHARD MORTIMER LEE on Nearly off again Jaffer Lokhandvala on Nearly off again Paul Broom on Nearly off again teambenfucci on Day 1
It is Monday evening and we have today ridden 49 miles. Set off early today so we could get to Dunkirk to watch a flotilla of small boats leave to cross the channel as part of the 75 anniversary of the great evacuation. We arrived just after 10:00am, ….the flotilla had left at 9:00! Never mind it was a good trip, the sun was out and we set off for St Omer after a short look around. Logis Hotel in St Omer and a wonderful meal, despite it being one of our least expensive.. Bumped into Karen Flack in the restaurant, who is well known to our many Lewes Hockey Club, blog followers. We were tired after our long hot ride and retired early(ish). My turn to have my own room and slept like a log, away from the snoring!
Tuesday. Just got on the ferry having had a short 31 mile trip to Calais. Sun been out all morning and we had some tough hills to conquer along the way.
Has been a good trip 325 miles in total, loads of laughs, some tough rides but despite the forecasts, the weather has been amazing. Belgium has been a great place to visit, with very pretty towns, and lots of cycle friendly routes. Beats France for me, although don’t like their beer.
Poor Bendy dropped his phone twice during the week and the screen is well and truly shattered. Seems to be an expectation now, but we couldn’t have done without his google maps. Whilst cycling he also dropped his pannier bag (three times), his helmet and his fruit pastilles. RicDic was always there to pick up the pieces!
My thanks to them both for making it so enjoyable, for me and to all you followers for the many texts and emails of support, we have received. Mike x
Today is Sunday. Haven’t blogged since Friday and had two good rides since then. Saturday saw us arrive in beautiful beautiful Bruges. Amazing City, full of life, loads of tourists, so many bars and restaurants and some fairly keen prices! Our navigators told me the journey would be about 30 miles but for some reason it ended up being over 40. Lots of canal tow paths which although flat, lacked an interest factor so we rode hard and arrived by lunch time. Few beers, and a baguette before a couple of ZZZs and then out into the City. Lots of stag and hen parties so very noisy and we found an interesting Italien to eat in before retiring to an Irish bar with buckets of Guinness. Hotel was very good and it was Bendy’s turn to have the bridal suite while I cuddled up to RicDic. He snored all night!
Left Bruges this morning with only a short 25 mile journey. Turned out to be 38 miles. I think I am being naive when I believe the navigators when they tell me it is the maps that are wrong rather than their incompetence. Actually today was a wonderful ride, the sun was out, great scenery, some canals, but lots to occupy us and bars and cafes whenever we needed. Just arrived in Verne. Never heard of it before but actually really pretty. Hotel good and we have our own apartment with a very narrow staircase and low beam. Have no doubt bendy will damage himself tonight. Just had our first Belgian beer as have been sticking to the international brands. Very strong and won’t be doing it again. No idea what is planned for tomorrow as the Dunkirk celebrations have interrupted our original route planning, as we want to try to get there to see it all. Planning meeting scheduled for 6:30pm!
Thanks to all our readers, and the numerous comments from you it is appreciated. Mike x
Double update. Last couple of days either been a bit of a rush or internet unreliable. Left Ypres on Thursday morning via one final battle site I wanted to see. HILL 62- hundreds of thousands slaughtered here for only several hundreds of KM. fortunately the farmer decided not to dig in the trenches and leave the site untouched so it was a scene that was still very real. We left the site just before midday with a 40 mile ride to do, but turned out to be 53 in four hours which was a bit of a slog. Bendy had a puncture which slowed us a bit further.. We finally arrived in Ronse and we had a whip round and upgraded RicDic to his own room so we could get some respite from his snoring. Big town, we ate in an authentic Italien.
We we set off again on Friday morning and rode about 34 miles into Ghent. Amazing place. So many old and beautiful buildings, the sun was out, University City so lots of youngsters and a real buzz about the place. If you have never been here put it on your list. We had a late lunch in the market square and checked in to an old monastery. My turn for a room on my own but could still hear the snoring. Twice during the night bendy had to chuck pillows at RicDic. Steaks all round for supper and they were really good, but expensive. Our most expensive meal yet.
Saturday. Just woken and are heading for Brugges today short 25 mile ride, and mainly flat. Have just heard about the Dunkirk 75 year anniversary on Monday so are thinking about re routing to catch come of the celebrations.
Well over half way through now. Good trip and the same formula for the three of us. We all get on well and and no grief just good pi** take. For me the sense of achievement is not the same as for last year but nevertheless it has been well worth every second. Thanks for reading. Mike x
day two, and we have stayed in Ypres. We have only covered about 22 miles on a circular route, but covered just about every battlefield and cemetery in the area. My poor attention to history at school was a bad thing and in any case could not have prepared me for what we have seen. Some very sobering moments and I have found a real hunger for more. It took us all day with all the cemetery stops and museums but well worth it. Tomorrow we move away from the area and I think about 40 miles is planned. Both Benoy and RicDic are fast asleep and both snoring so I can’t check with them. We had a great meal tonight at a table next to two couples ( average age 70) who were so far up their own arses that they had no idea the whole restaurant was listening to their sh*t. Good fun. We then found a late bar and did some proper preparation for tomorrow’s early start. Will load up pictures tomorrow. I cannot describe how loud their join snoring volume is. Certainly up among serious decibel levels. Mike x