DAY SIX - Brussels to Best

To be riding out of a big city like Brussels at 8am on a quiet Sunday was really cool. The wide streets were empty, so we could ride 5 a breast down the long sloping hills towards the river.

The first shock of the day however, came at the bottom, when the entire road turned into cobbles. Probably 2 miles of cobbles.

Once we got to the river though is was a smooth bike path, where we reached speeds of around 22 mph which was great.

The exit out of Brussels was heavily industrialised. We kept comparing the huge bridges and motorways that hovered above to something from War of the Worlds.

The hard streets inflicted some damage, mainly in the shape of a rusty old nail sticking right out of Andy's tire.
We stopped on the side of the road, changed over the tubes and started rolling once again!

This was to be a bad day for Andy.

We carried on along the well-thought-out Belgian cycle paths, cutting our way through some surreal suburbs and green countryside. We were doing well to avoid oncoming cyclists also using the path, until two roadies came spinning towards riding side by side. The one made a late attempt to duck in behind his friend, but it forced Andy off the cycle path and onto the grass. He tried to get back onto the path but ended up getting his front wheel caught in a small ditch and slammed down on the pavement.

 After some anti-septic wipes and a sit down we were ready to go again. The cyclist who caused the crash had glanced back, but didn't stop.

We stopped for lunch in a small town called Herentals, but being a Sunday, nothing was open. We asked a local woman and she directed us to a bakery which sold bread and pastries as well as sandwich fillers. 

After lunch we were probably only 15 miles from the border with The Netherlands. The sun was out and the roads we nice and flat.

We were riding really well as a group this day, and at one point, kept a speed of 18mph over about 5 or 6 miles, taking it in turns to brave the wind at the front.

The scenery was amazing too, and the campsites we kept passing with lakes and forests were becoming more and more tempting.

Getting to Best was a bit of a chore. We arrived in Eindhoven at around 5pm, and had to negotiate our way through the busy city, onto the ring road and out the other side.

We stopped off at a super market to get some food for the campsite, and Andy's bad day got worse as Jess kicked over and smashed one of his beers!

We reached the suburb of Best at 7pm, struggled to find the right road, but eventually came to the campsite at 7:20pm.

The barking dogs and woman who refused to get out of her chair were not very welcoming. The price was good though, and they had hot showers and a friendly cow in the field.

We cooked up pasta for dinner, with pesto, bread and a beer each. The sun set behind us and we pitched the tents ready for our first night camping.

Total miles: 91
Time in the saddle: 6h 34m
Total time: 11h 30m

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