Flanders Cobbles, Bergs & Brews
Adventure price: $1800 per person
Growing up I would visit my local bicycle store and marvel at the amazing photographs of european bike races. The shop had a whole collection of black and white images that featured cobbled climbs and small villages. The one that always struck me was a twisty climb with a church at the top. As my interest in cycling grew I found out this war called the Kapelmuur, Muur-Kapelmuur or simply The Muur.
I then learned that while this climb was truly magical it was not alone and there was a whole collection of these cobbled bergs in Belgium.
To say this adventure has been years in the making would be an understatement. I have been working on this trip for 31 years and am so excited to now share it with you.
We begin in the small medieval town of Ghent. Ghent has a cycling heritage that dates back to the beginnings of cycling. For over 60 years the famous Ronde Van Vlaanderen, Tour of Flanders, begin in the center of town. The start of that race has now moved to Antwerp but our adventure begins in Ghent.
We will spend 7 days and 6 nights rolling through cycling and Flemish history riding as many of the famous cobbles and bergs we can find.
You will ride the roads that cycling legends Eddy Merckx, Tom Boonen, Johan Museeuw, and Fabian Cancellara suffered and rode themselves into cycling lore.
Along the way we will visit the Flemish cycling museum in Roselare, the Ronde museum in Oudenaarde, and many amazing breweries to refresh yourself on the famous “Belgian Gatorade” that makes this part of the country so unique.
Our lodging on this adventure is as some of the same hotels the professional teams use while stationed in Belgium for the spring classics.
While this trip is rich in cycling history you will also learn about the affect two world wars had upon the region. Much of our route is spent cycling though the Flanders Fields.
Day 1 - Gent
We will begin our adventure with a cycle about Ghent. Near the end of our ride we will stop by the Brouwerij Huyghe, makers of Delirium.
Day 2 - Oudenaarde
Depending on your choice of route you will ride our along the Schelde before taking in 13 lucky cobbled bergs and sectors. Along this route you will visit Ronse where the 88 World championships were won in controversial fashion because of an irregular sprint by American Steve Bauer. Finishing in Oudenaarde at the Ronde Van Vlaanderen museum we will walk through history and have a pint before a short, 100m, ride to our hotel for the next two nights.
Day 3 - Oudenaarde
Today the options are a plenty. We have 3 different rides available to sample ranging fro 60 to 130 kilometers depending on how your legs are feeling from yesterdays effort. After the riding for the day we will sower and head over to the Liefmans Brewery for a private tour and tasting.
Day 4 - Watou
Today we will ride out of Oudenaarde on our way to Watou and the St Bernadrus Bed and Breakfast for a couple days cycling through Flanders fields and some of the hidden cobbled sections of Gent-Wevelgem. On our way to Watou we will be stopping in Roselare to visit the Flemish cycling museum and a visit to the Defraeye-Sercu cycling track. The museum and track are must visits for any cyclist. Finishing our ride at the Bar Bernardus we will have a tour and tasting before relaxing at our all you can drink B&B for the evening. For those interested we will also cycle out to a small farm pub where the management of Team Quickstep drink while the team trains on the small farm roads in the area.
Day 5 - Watou Bar Bernardus
Today we continue to ride through the WW1 battlefields and Flanders Fields. The highlights of todays ride include the Kemmelberg, the rebuilt town of Ypres and the In de Verde Cafe, home to the world famous Westvletern beers.
Day 6 - Ride to Brugge
Today is the last day of riding but have no fear it is one of the best. We continue to cycle on small roads over cobbled lanes on our way to the UNESCO city of Brugge. Brugge is famous for many things including being the start town for the Ronde for many years. On the way we will stop for lunch at a cycling cafe and visit a frame building shop that has made record setting and race winning steel frames for three generations before finishing at our cycling themed hotel in Brugge.
Day 7 - Like all good things this trip must come to an end. To be honest your legs will be screaming for a rest. We will part ways after breakfast until our next adventure.
Lodging for 1 night in Ghent
Lodging for 2 nights in Oudenaarde
Lodging for 2 nights in Watou
Lodging for 1 night in Brugge
Breakfast each day
Lunch on Riding days
Snacks and water during each days ride
A pint of beer each day
Entrance fees at museums and beer tastings at the breweries.
Well planned and enjoyable routes to ride and enjoy.
Beer & Bike Cobble and Berg Jersey
Price Does Not Include
Transportation to and from Ghent or Brugge
Bike Rental (Road Bike rental available for $225)
Ability to ride the routes chosen.
Must be of legal drinking age to sample and enjoy beer
Available 2020 Dates
April 15 - 21
September 13 - 20