Climate Express Fast Lane to Katowice: we are thrilled and ready to roll - departure's in less than 3 weeks! To get in the mood even more, yesterday Jan and me cycled exactly 150 kilometers from Ghent to Ypres and surroundings (150 kilometers a day will also be the average distance to COP24). Rain? Check! Wind? Double check! Sun? Also check! Cold? hmmm ... unfortunately, not yet! No worries, to arm ourselves against the cold-to-be, we'll take some extra clothes with us on our way to Poland (but for what concerns that cold, frankly, we are a little nervous, too...)
Anyway... Que sera, sera!
Summer's gone, at last - but the story about me and my bike never stops. It's a love affair - for this time: an autumn's episode, my life on the road during All Saints Weekend.
It's my hobbyhorse: what's the matter with my disordered country, where did it go wrong? The spatial mayhem seems even more grotesque after one evening and three days and almost 600 km of riding in the cyclists' wonderland commonly known as The Netherlands. The road as an endless string of state-of-the-art cycling infrastructure through the manufactured scenery - every square inch is part of a bigger plan. It's pure relief.
Seasons come, seasons go and winter is coming. Katowice calling!
Together with Jan, Jelle and Lander I will cycle to the Climate Summit in Katowice (COP24) in December!
In 2015 we rode our bikes to COP21 in Paris, see the story here. Last year we cycled to COP23 in Bonn, the story about that ride here. This year we'll hit the road again and we will bring the last COP's promises and agreements all the way to Poland.
Climate Express is the name of the major climate organisation in Belgium – unifying 1000s of people, all of them asking for climate justice and immediate global action. Climate Express is organizing a huge manifestation in Brussels on December 2nd – the aim is to make happen the biggest climate demonstration in Belgium ever.
So… what concerns us, we our proud to call ourselves the Climate Express Fast Lane as we feel we are riding to Katowice for all Belgians! We are cyclists, the world is our playground. All four of us share a passion for the bike, the urge for adventure and the deep concern for our planet’s future. Nature and the wide open air is what inspires and motivates us for physical challenges, the Call of the Road is irresistible. As cyclists, we feel connected, with each other and with the world we are part of. Because of this connection and togetherness we take care both of each other, and of our world. That is the message we want to carry out!
We will start our ride in Bonn on Friday November 30 and arrive in Katowice on Saturday morning December 8 to meet a delegation of the Belgian participants to the Climate Summit. Our journey from Bonn to COP24 will cover 1100 km and more 7000 meters of elevation gain – that is almost 150 km a day in average. We will push hard but enjoy harder for sure anyway!
Today, Jan, Jelle and me did a small training ride in Zeeland, pictures below!
When just returning home from a journey, I always set out to write a little more about it - a kind of summary, the heart of the experience, the essence of the impressions. Though, as soon as I am returning to daily life, somehow the need to write becomes less urgent very quickly - but that's not a negative thing, to the contrary.
The Road to Mont Ventoux? It has been good, everything has been told. I am going through the pictures and they make me smile. I am re-reading what I wrote - it's exactly how it was. The memories are strong and they will remain forever! Bram, as for me, we should do it all over again. Where we going?
To finish for now, you can see the route we took to Mont Ventoux here.
This is it! I guess the endless summer is nearly over, but at least I could finish it in style and with a bang!
Bram and me, we made it today to the Mont Ventoux summit at 12 am precisely. We are back in Bourg-en-Bresse now, going home tomorrow. Some final words about this great, sundrenched, winding journey will follow one of the next days, stay tuned and never stop riding!
Almost there! Today's summer party lasted for 139 km, from Epine to Monteux near Carpentras! Everybody on the floor, Mont Ventoux's in sight! Let's hope tomorrow's catch will be as good as the whole last days' chase down from Arlon (me) or Bourg-en-Bresse (Bram) til here!
Pictures of the day below, more soon!
The Road to Mont-Ventoux: it goes crescendo, mountains all the way for 142 km from Grenoble to L'Epine near Serres (Hautes-Alpes). Bram and me, we are totally in tune, it's amazing. I can tell you, in very short time Bram got rythm, the rythm of the unstoppable touring cyclist I myself pretend to be. I am blessed, it feels truly great to share my passion.
More about that in the next two days, bring them on!
Today's show: 157 km of exquisite roads and vistas between Bourg-en-Bresse and Grenoble, full of summer extravaganza. The last climb towards Col de la Charmette on an abandoned route départementale, now route forestière was a total thrill - the descent towards Grenoble the perfect apotheosis of an already perfect day on the bike. For what concerns the after-bike, thank you so much Bastien and Mailys for hosting us. For Bram, it was his first Warmshowers experience, I guess he knows what it is about now!
Speaking about shows, whereas the opening act of the Road to Mont Ventoux was definetely something like a cheerful bal musette, today was rock 'n roll for sure. And rock 'n roll is here to stay!
Before heading to Mont Ventoux, Bram and me did two one-day tours from Bourg-en-Bresse. Yesterday - the endless summer took a day off - we enjoyed a beautiful ride through the western foothills of Jura.
Today sun was out again. Have you ever heard of the Dombes? That's the region where we were - area of lakes, hedgerows and nearly deserted countryside roads. I didn't expect much of today's ride, but it was all simply surprising. The Dombes turned out to be one of those countless overlooked modest little secrets of France - a bike ride being once again the perfect way to reveal the secret and appreciate its true value.
The opening act of our Road to Mont Ventoux was a good one, let the main show begin. Tomorrow, we are going south!