Belgium

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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dmp
Posts: 374
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 8:31 pm
Location: Seattle

by dmp

Beginning at the end of next week I will be in Belgium for about 9 days, half of which will be for work, the other half for touring with my wife. I will probably not have time or opportunity to rent a bike and do any serious riding, but can anyone suggest (1) some lesurely short bike excursions (more touring oriented) and (2) cycling-related things to see. We will be in Antwerp, Ghent, Brugge, and half the time in Brussels. Any especially good bike shops worth visiting in those places would be good to know about, too- perhaps to bring back a local team jersey.

Thanks!

coriordan
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:30 pm

by coriordan

Brugge is amazing (watch the film - in brugge)
Ghent is the home of the 6 day
Antwerp a bit meh
Brussels no idea.

Think Belgian classics!

by Weenie


liam7020
Posts: 999
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:04 am

by liam7020

Stayed in Brugge quite a few times, absolutely love it, just a pity De Ronde no longer starts in the city. There was something very special about walking into the Grote Markt on the first Sunday in April to see the best Classic riders getting ready for the world's greatest one day race! I 've never found any decent bike shops in the city but haven't been over since 2014. However I can recommend Reubens Sport in Sijsele which is a few kms east of Brugge along the N9. The shop's not big but the owner Hendrik Reubens is an ex pro and a complete character with a few stories to tell. The N9 out from Brugge is busy and fairly nonescript but after visiting the shop you could cycle over to the picturesque village of Damme and then take the bike path along the canal back to Brugge. It's a fairly short round trip but you can take in the bike shop, experience some proper kassien (cobbles) between Sijsele and Damme and maybe get a spot of lunch at one of the nice restaurants in the village! Enjoy.
Last edited by liam7020 on Sat Aug 25, 2018 6:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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kidrob
Posts: 256
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:06 am
Location: Belgium

by kidrob

Hi there, nice to hear you will be in town :)

Well, other than the things already mentioned, regarding Brussels:

Brussels is a very bad city to actually cycle in (cant build proper cyclepaths as city is too old, was never bombed...), so if you want to make a (race bike) tour you always want to leave the city, towards the canal in south-east, through Bois de la Cambre in the east for example.

With your wife (is she a cyclist?) you could book one of these "Brussels on a bike" tours to see all tourist attractions: https://www.expatica.com/be/out-and-abo ... 07054.html

Rapha is new in Brussels, they have some tours online: https://www.rapha.cc/gb/en/stories/rapha-rides-brussels

One of the better shops is Kring:
https://www.facebook.com/kringbike/
http://kring-kring.com/

Well, other than that I can offer you to join me for a ride at the weekend, you could use my Canyon, but its XL...

Can also help you with "non tourist" restaurants and things, and if you want and if I manage to get out of the bed on Sunday we can visit the market for fish/oister/wine/sausage breakfast/early lunch ;)

Leuven is btw a lovely little student town only 20 mins away from Brussels if you dont have so much time to spare to drive to the other "big" cities.

Have a safe journey!

dmp
Posts: 374
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 8:31 pm
Location: Seattle

by dmp

Thank you kidrob!
Thank you so much for the generous offer of the bike loan- yes, it would be quite large for me (I'm on a size 50 Pinarello- I'll bet I might not even be able to get over the toptube on yours!). We are arriving on Wednesday, and leaving early Sunday morning, and I will be in meetings Thursday- Saturday, but perhaps we can meet up briefly at some point. I will pm you my skype contact (I'll get a sim card with a phone number after I arrive). I'll ask my wife about the bike tours- they look like fun. She does ride.

by Weenie


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Roel W
Posts: 711
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:39 am
Location: Belgium

by Roel W

Avoid Brussels by bike.
Take a train to Liège (1h from Brussels) or Welkenraedt-Eupen (1h30) and treat yourself with a beautiful ride in Ardennes and/or national park High Fens.

There was a Rapha pop-up in Brussels but it's closed.
There's Peloton de Paris in Mechelen (half-way between Brussels and Antwerp, about 20min by train from Brussels): small shop but beautiful and unique cycling kits (https://www.pelotondeparis.cc/).
In Antwerp you could visit Bike Project (https://bikeproject.be/) in the city centre, used to be a fixed gear bike shop but now also has road and city bikes.
In Brussels there's a shop to promote Flanders in the middle of the touristic centre, they have some nice cycling jerseys, books, T-shirts,... (https://www.flandersshop.be/)

Leuven is more quiet compared to Bruges or Antwerp and about 25min by train from Brussels.
You could visit Oudenaarde and try some cobbles as well.
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