A ride from across France and Belgium to Dusseldorf. After attending Eurobike I caught the train to Basel. On the train I met a German mother and son who were also going to start a ride in Basel. We rode together at first. After we went different ways and mine took me through Nancy, Reims, Lille, Bruges, Antwerp and finally Dusseldorf.
With young Kai on the Canal du Rhone au Rhin. Heading to Mountbeliard.
Days later I stumble across another canal going my way for nearly three days. The Canal Champagne et Bourgogne. It is superb. This is one of a classic style of bridge to be seen along this canal.
Through the Champagne region.
Perhaps all of France is the same. But I am developing a theory that the north of France is the best. I can’t fault it for bike touring quality.
Reims is a great city for a rest day. I’m not religious but still deeply appreciate the architecture, history of, and culture around cathedrals.
As I move north west I ride with this fellow for a few hours. Same story I hear so much. After decades of work he is following his dreams of adventure, being fit, being free. We love it together.
In North West France they are still digging up bones in the fields. This region saw massive battles.
Googlemaps takes me along Canal la Sensee, a canal from Napoleonic times that links two rivers. On this tour I have not particularly sought out canals at all but have spent several days riding along them.
Ah googlemaps! Now I’m being taken over miles of cobbles in the border region with Belgium. On road bikes apparently, there are techniques for skimming along the tops. But the luggage on a tourer makes it very bumpy.
Brussels sprouts growing near Brussels. Well, not far from there. I’m heading for Bruges.
I have not been in Belgium for long but it already feels quite different. There are lots of houses with sharp lines and clipped hedges. Maybe it is the Dutch influence. This is in Flanders.
I’m loving riding in Belgium.
Cycling is so much a part of culture here. It is Sunday and I have passed several bike races and seen thousands out on their bikes. It is the way to get around in Belgium.
The night before arriving at Dusseldorf airport, on line, I figure I can’t get s carton in the airport. So, I look for bike shops and find there is one on my route just near the airport. I have my carton and can even ride the last km carrying it.