Flanders. If there is a cycling heaven, then surely this is it. Staying in Oudenaarde at the lovely Huize Norman I feel as if I am at the epicentre of cycling itself. The beautiful Flemish Ardennes countryside greats you with its flowing fields, forested hills and… cobbled roads
In France you always received a warm welcome and plenty of space on the road, here they want to introduce you to their families and buy you a drink as well. The Flemish have cycling in their blood and with national heroes such as ‘the cannibal’ Eddy Merckx you begin to understand the obsession. In saying that this is cycling heaven, perhaps there is still some punishment to be dealt to all comers. Call it purgatory if you will but the beloved cobbles of the Ronde van Vlaanderen could only be described (lovingly) as hell on earth. So heaven and hell in one place, with over 140 local beers…did I say I am considering changing nationality?
So I headed out on a ferociously hot and humid day (not normally associated with these parts) and found my way to the Ronde van Vlaanderen museum (see following post). From there I set forth to take one of the Tour of Flanders mapped routes and immerse myself in Flemish culture.
Cycling – Cobbles – Beer.
Does it get any better?