After many years as an informal jaunt, this Saturday Night Ride to the Kust ["Coast" in Flemish] joins the fold on our FNRttC Calendar. It's your chance for a mini-adventure riding from Brussels to Ostend -- in the company of friends.
Previous ride reports by Els, who organises and leads this ride, can be enjoyed over on her blog.
The Flemish Night Ride to the Kust is the longest (145km) and the flattest of the night rides. The only hill is in Brussels, the Koekelberg, on which the Art Deco Basilica of the Sacred Heart stands. From then on, it’s downhill to the coast.
We start at 11pm (note an hour earlier than the normal midnight) from the lit-up Grand Place, the trendy central square in Brussels, and slowly make our way out into the countryside. The countryside consists of deserted roads and canal paths. Just as you might think it gets a bit sleepy, we hit Aalst where you might get "Allez Froome" shouted at you.
Then on to the wonderful middle of the night stop hosted by family friends. We take away a few goodies for the road and ride into Bruges where we have another pick-me-up stop at dawn. It’s wonderful to cycle through traffic-free Bruges.
The last section is a sailing into Ostend. The 2016 route has been altered to lead us south-west and back north-east so as to enjoy a stretch on the promenade.
We celebrate our efforts at Patisserie Caruso where the "Petit déjeuner copieux" is highly recommended.
A few of us even enjoyed a glass of Cava last year. Travel is only slightly more complicated than for a Hyde Park start -- train to Dover, ferry to Dunkirk, ride to De Panne station in Belgium, train to Brussels. Afterwards take the tram from Ostend to De Panne and cycle back to the Dunkirk ferry.
Some say this is their favourite night ride of all. And that's saying something!
|Photo credit: swarm_catcher 2014.|