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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:35 pm 
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Location: Poland/Cracow
Guys,

In the first week of October I'll be visiting Brussels for 9 days. I'm going there by car from Cracow, so taking a bike with me is a no brainer's choice. I have a couple of questions to you who live in Belgium (especially in Brussels as this will be my hub) to help me a bit:

1. Where is the best place to park a car? I don't want to pay too much, around 10E for a day would be fine to park a car somewhere in the city centre. I know there are some P+R free parking spaces, but is it same to leave a car there for overnight? Probably I will travel by car each day (Brugge, Antwerpen, Oudenaarde etc.), but it's better to know where not to park.

2. I'm planning to visit the most iconic routes of Flanders around Oudenaarde and maybe I'll drop by to the Roubaix velodrome as well . I've read in another thread that in Oudenaarde I can find some maps of cycling routes and that routes are properly signed. I have no GPS unfortunately. Is there anything else I should know before hitting the roads there?

Any piece of advice appreciated, one of my dreams will come true after this visit on the Belgium bergs and pave.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 9:56 pm 
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Had a couple of days in Brussels this spring, while riding a few kermesse races. That city is a nightmare when travelling by car. Came back one week later, and stayed with some very nice people just off the top of Kluisberg. (12 km South west from Oudenaare) There are marked routes starting in Oudenaare. Where exactly I don't know, but a saw the signs everywhere when training on the "bergs". When coming on the bigger road from Oudenaare, you can see some of them on your left. (Koppenberg, Paterberg and Oude kwaremont.) The BMC Conceptstore/service course is also worth a visit. It's also placed in Oudenaare.


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Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 9:56 pm 


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:41 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 2:44 pm
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Location: Belgium
I moved to Brussels in June and have been exploring the country by bike.

In terms of parking - no idea I'm afraid, I don't have a car here.

The bike routes in Flanders are particularly well marked with each route having a number. Use this website: http://www.fietsroute.org/indexuk.php to plan your route, then all you have to do is follow the numbers of your route - really easy.

I would also recommend Geeradsburgen and the Muur, you can then also go up the Bossberg - cobbled climbs are interesting to say the least! Drivers are really good in terms of giving you space etc., some of the road conditions are poor but nothing a road bike can't handle.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:42 pm 
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I have visited Flanders twice now. Both times I have started my ride from the CRVV (Centrum Ronde van Vlaanderen) which is the museum for the tour of flanders but also has a number of routes to cycle the classic climbs. The website is http://www.crvv.be/en/295-home with links to the routes you can follow. The routes are also very well sign posted all the way round so no worries of riding without GPS, I would however perhaps buy the map of the routes (from the museum shop) as you can make a diversion easier from that if you don't want to follow all of the route. The cafe at the top of the Muur does good frites!

Parking wise there is parking outside the centre, both right out front and also just over the road from it. I can't recall how much it was to park there I'm afraid but I don't recall it being too expensive.

Also I lived in Brussels as a kid, the drivers in the city are mad!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:20 pm 
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Thank you for all interesting and useful hints. I will be in Belgium from 4th October to 11th October. I don't know however when exactly I'll visit Oudenaarde and its neighbourhood, but it'll fall in between Monday and Friday unfortunately. If any of you weenies is willing to share the road with me - please feel free to drop me a PM and we can arrange a meeting!

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:59 am
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I will leave "lurk" mode to chime in here. I was in Oudenaarde last weekend for two days and did what the poster above suggested, which is to start the rides at the CRVV. On the first day I did a short loop taking in part of the blue CRVV route/Eddy Merckx route (and Koppenberg, Paterberg and Oude Kwaremont) and on the second day I did the red route to Geraardsbergen with a second go at Kppenberg tagged on at the beginning.

I would say:

- Definitely buy the map (I think they are €4 for the CRVV routes and €2 for other maps, like the Merckx route). The CRVV map has all three CRVV routes on it and shows the entire area around Oudenaarde, so it will definitely come in handy. It also tells you exactly where the climbs and cobbled segments are (with grades, profiles etc.), which can be useful if you want to make sure you hit as many of them as possible.

- You will be ok without GPS, but if you are following the CRVV signs I would suggest that you follow the routes in the direction indicated on the map (I am not sure there are signs in the opposite direction at all). While signage is generally good, sometimes signs would come way in advance before a turn, so look out for them before coming to crossroads. I did get lost a few times when trying to string two different routes together and a map did help.

- Bigger roads like the N8 are busy, but tend to have a dedicated cycle path on the tarmac (as opposed to the pavement), so they are not that unpleasant to ride. They will also get you from A to B surprisingly quickly in case you are running out of time and need to get back.

- If you want to go the CRVV/Tour of Flanders museum you might want to take the audio guide, since most of the descriptions are in Flemish (assuming you don't speak Flemish).


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:04 pm 
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Dear wimmy,

thanks a lot for useful feedback! I hope to visit Oudenaarde twice (once is a minimum), but it'll all depend on the weather and other sightseeing plans with my wife and friends. Regardless of a number of my visits there, I'll try to squeeze as much as I can from my visit, hence even if I'll make only one ride, it'll definitely be quite long.

Once again thanks for help! :) BTW, my offer is still valid - it would be nice to meet you weenies there and share the road!

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Posted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:04 pm 


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