This Winterwarrior ride has the perfect start, mid-way and finish! Start and finish are at the Noir coffee bar in Leuven where Kris and his team are serving the most amazing coffees. There’s even a take-away queue in these Covid times but the 5-10 min wait is absolutely worth it. Hot coffee was not a luxury when we embarked on our 70k ride with just 2 degrees Celsius outside.
After a bit of cruising through Leuven you head towards Korbeek-Dijle and Oud Heverlee where you’ll be wondering why this is officially part of the ‘low countries’. Beautiful hills create an amazing scenery on this cold winter (but sunny!) day. This ride is a perfect fit for a gravel as well as road bike. The latter just has to be a bit more careful on 1 or 2 km of this route.
After 20k we’re crossing the (language) border between Flanders and Wallonia. Our French speaking friends welcome us with a short but steep climb between Pecrot and Nethen. The view on the top is priceless and makes you wonder if you made it to the Ardennes already. Leaving Grez-Doiceau we start a 2km descent which is pure joy and puts a smile on everyone’s face. The view is just stunning.
Our mid-way point is Chaumont-Gistoux, a cosy village with a bunch of bakeries / patissiers that serve delicious cakes and pastries. Perfect lunch stop for a serious calorie refill. Highly recommended is ‘Les tartes de Chaumont-Gistoux’ (https://www.tarteschaumontgistoux.com/). Just make sure you don’t stuff yourself too much. There’s another 35k to go, up and down!
We soon reach the military airport of Beauvechain after which we find a really nice 2km of pure nasty cobbles! Mostly downhill which means I almost thought I was getting pretty good at riding on these tiny devils. And what a reward: there’s some great French fries around the corner! Are we actually adding more calories now than we’re burning?
We can kind of smell Leuven (and fries) but we’re first crossing the beautiful Meerdaal forest. Here’s where a gravel bike comes in handy, but roadies will survive too, no worries.
Back at Noir coffee bar we conclude that this ride is one to remember! And we grab 8 kilos of coffee beans so we can also continue to serve you guys with some great take-away at our shop in Mechelen!