My wife and I are pretending we're 25 and spending our vacation on a 2-and-a-half week cycle tour of Belgium and Holland. We were both a bit nervous about it, since neither of us as done very much cycle touring, but we also didn't want to do the same old European vacation. Part of the goal, for me at least, was to go with the flow, follow our noses, and not feel bound by any particular agenda... and not get too stressed out if things weren't going exactly as we had planned.
I'm going to try and keep a bit of a travelogue of this trip, mostly for my own amusement, but I hope my one or two readers might get some entertainment value out of it too.
We landed in Brussels on May 15 at about 11:30 am. Our luggage consisted of our backpacks, stuffed with our paniers, and our two bikes. Getting our bikes over the Atlantic undamaged was one of my main concerns about this trip, but it proved unfounded. After waiting for a 1/2 hour for the oversized bags to come out, our bikes arrived bascally undamaged (my front refector is broken, but that's it). It took a good hour to get the bikes assembled and loaded, but we were ready to hit the road by 2. One concession to doing some actual planning for this trip was that we decided to book the first and last nights within an hour bike ride of Brussels. So we reserved a nice litte B&B in Mechelen, about 20 km north of Brussels. The weather for our first (jetlagged) ride was great, and we arrived without incident. It took us a little longer than we had thought because we were constantly stopping to check our bearings, but the signs are all very clear. The b&b was lovely and Mechelen is a very pretty town.
Today, we cycled 42 km to Antwerp. A beautiful ride, though a little misty and drizzly at times. Nothing really off-putting. We suspected we might have a little trouble findng a place to stay on a Saturday in a big place like Antwerp, and we became even more concerned when we learned that there was a major triathlon in the twon today. But, in keeping with the don't-worry-be-happy theme of this vacation, I decided not to panic. Lo and behold, there was a vacancy at the first hotel I called.
Tomorrrow, we're continuing north toward Roosendaal. Weather looks nice. Should be a really beautiful ride. Watch this page for more!