The Plan

The Plan: Two months of unassisted cycling and camping through Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and wherever else our legs may take us.

The Route: Starting in Brussels and flying out of Berlin are the only given at this point. We plan to cycle parts of the Flanders Cycle Route, Rhine River and the Danube River. We will also be using the EuroVelo and regional cycling routes.

Accommodation: WarmShowers website (like couchsurfing for cyclists). We are also planning on staying at campsites, backyards of friendly locals or in the wilderness.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 2: Leuven to Mechelen -33km

Bart and Griet set off with us in the morning because they were visiting a relative on the way and wanted to make sure we didn't get lost. It was a nice ride down a canal and soon we arrived in Mechelen where we found the only area open on a Sunday: a fish market/beergarden. I was rewarded with the best salad so far on the trip with some killer smoked salmon.

After lunch we wandered around town before trying to find a campsite. De Nekker is half water park, half lake view park and everyone seemed kind of confused when we arrived, but after some conferring, my research was correct and camping was allowed there amongst all the families and kids. Lucky for us, it was the end of the day, so everyone was packing up and headed home; leaving us a whole park to ourselves to camp in. We tried out our camp gear for the first time and settled in for a restful evening.
Bart and Griet are some serious adventure seekers, we could tell even before we met them by the quantity of outdoor gear throughout their house; not to mention two rohloff-equipped beasts of touring bikes. Their first tour was Tajikistan, so our little jaunt around Europe didn't seem to impress them much. One thing they were adamant about regardless of where you are touring are the usefulness of kickstands.

Tip o' the day: if you are traveling with panniers, especially front ones, you really benefit from a kickstand. We spent the first two days looking for places to lean our bikes against every time we stopped. Now with the kickstand we don't even think about it. Just make sure you get a sturdy one that's fitted to your bike with loaded panniers

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