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On the road . August 2010 . Belgium and France

map route Belgium and France

Library in Morez, France, 31-08-10

Londerzeel - Belgium to Paris - France
(4 cycle days; 15 rest days; 347km; 2242m)

Londerzeel to Mons (84km; 462m)
Mons to Saint Quentin - France (97km; 802m)
Saint Quentin to Pont Sainte Maxence (99km; 486m)
Pont Sainte Maxence to Paris (67km; 492m)

Well and truly ready for a day of cycling, we set off towards Brussels along the same route we had ridden yesterday evening taking James to the Eurostar train. The route becomes easier once you know where to cross and which side of the road to travel on. But normally bike paths in Belgium cities can be very confusing. Everything seems so random. Sometimes a red path, sometimes marked as a bicycle route; sometimes just like a plain ol' footpath; and sometimes ending so abruptly with no indication where you should cycle next. Quite often though they are in really poor condition and not signposted. A quick internet stop and bread purchase in the city before we move out of town in the direction of Mons.

By lunchtime the sky is grey and we have had one small five minute downpour...

read on

tip of the month August 2010Tip of the month: split tyre?
So your tyres are wearing dangerously thin and you haven't managed to find any decent replacements yet. Then the inevitable happens: your tyre splits.

No need to panic if you have a square of strong awning cloth (also known as canopy or shade-cloth) in your repair kit. Folded double and placed inside your tyre, it can get you a lot further on your trip. It is lightweight, cheap, doesn't take up much space and is available at most garden centres. It is also advisable to put this tyre on the front of your bike too, thus taking less weight strain from your luggage.


Londerzeel (Belgium) - Morbier (France)
Kilometres: 878 kilometres and 40 metres
Riding days: 11 days this month
Alti meters: 5423 metres up
Weather: changing... more rain than necessary
Best accommodation: Maison Pierre-Yves en Paris !

Special thanks to:
Pierre-Yves for allowing us to stay in his apartment right in the bustling heart of Paris for two weeks and just being such a cool guy. For the fun chats and late night discussions over one or two beers • Tifenn for the great conversations; great cooking; great tips; excellent choice in wine and warm welcome into her world • Laure for all of the above too. Let's hope we can meet in Egypt! • Simone and Celine for the excellent dinner on our last evening in Paris and of course the chance to catch up with Simone again after 3½ years • Sara and Sébastien for visiting us in Paris and then organising to meet up in Morbier. For the insight into French culture in this region and showing us around. And not to forget the amazing fondue and the reminiscent conversations over the American leg of both our cycle trips. Another big thank you for letting us stay a few extra days at the apartment when we discover that the campground in Morbier is closed for the season.

02: flat tyre (Son)
04: right tent flap zipper busted irreparably
25: ripped tyre (Son)
26: new tyres (one each Son + Ali)

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