FNRttK 2015 - Saturday May 2nd

I'm pleased to present the 3rd edition of the Friday Night Ride to the Kust in Belgium.

It's mostly the same format as last year, so I copied the text and made only minor adjustments:

Saturday (not Friday) 2nd May is the night for the 3rd edition of the Flemish Night Ride to the Kust. Having it on the Saturday night allows UK'ers to get there without taking a day off, and allows us to get back in good time for work on Tuesday since we have a May Bank Holiday Monday (although that does not apply to those who lead a @mmmmartin lifestyle).

What do we have?
  • A now tried, tested and approved scenic route from Brussels to Ostend.
  • Middle of the night snacks will be back at 't Hoekske in Gent. After leaving the canal cycle path and crossing the bridge, we'll walk to 't Hoekske, just a few steps away.
  • Breakfast in Ostende at Caruso patisserie. Opens at 7AM.
The detail?
  • Meet at La Chaloupe D'Or (there is charge for using the facilities, bring some euro change - or ask me)
  • We leave at 12 midnight
  • The scenic route is 137km
  • As flat as a pancake except for the odd bridge
  • @mmmmartin is the best person to ask about getting back to UK logistics - he's away doing a Tintin at the moment, be patient for a response.
  • Maximum 14 people. It's the law.
  • GPX file is attached.
The roll call so far:
  1. Swarm_Catcher
  2. @StuAff
  3. @Gordon P
  4. @Flandrienne
  5. Wanda
  6. @mmmmartin
  7. @StuartG
  8. @BalkanExpress leading us out of Brussels
Any questions?

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Last year's thread
My blog post from last year
My photos from last year

This photo still gets me giggling ... us standing in the middle of the road.

IMG_3191.jpg
 

Attachments

  • FNRttK2015 Route 't Hoekske.GPX
    496.7 KB · Views: 69
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StuAff

Silencing his legs regularly
Location
Portsmouth
I meant to remind you about starting a thread, as Eurostar tickets are already on sale (got one for returning from Brussels at the end of May).....
It's a yes please, I'm just going shopping at Eurostar.com....
 

StuAff

Silencing his legs regularly
Location
Portsmouth
And tickets bought. After last year's fun and games I decided to let the train take the strain. Outward, I'm booked on the Eurostar at 1604 (arrive Brussels 1905), and for the return I'm again going for Eurostar (anyone else doing so, you want 'Any Belgian Station' as your starting point), departing Brussels 1452. Ostend trains, fast ones taking under 1hr 20, have Brussels-Midi [Eurostar station] as last stop before Central, so no need to cross town there. UK connections are pretty cheap if added to Eurostar tickets, not sure if I can add them after purchase. As it is, London-Brussels and back was £135. Considering Fratton-Dover returns are £45 via London, ferry tickets £20 each way, riding from Dunkirk to De Panne & train there....not much more for a lot more speed and convenience. OK, a hell of a lot more speed!!
Edit: As last year, Chutney the wonderbike will be the weapon of choice. I'm not paying £55 to take a full-size bike there and back (£25 each way for Eurostar, €5 for a Belgian rail bike ticket)....
 
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StuAff

Silencing his legs regularly
Location
Portsmouth
I am very interested in doing this ride this year! I've had a look at last year's thread and I'd be thinking of the (Dover-Dunkirk?) ferry option as I don't have the Brompton option any more (thank god). Can someone clarify how this option works? There was a brief mention of a car-sharing option with bikes on the roof - I don't have a car to offer, but I might be up for being a sharer.
Splendid...
Going over via Dunkerque, DFDS are pretty bike-friendly, there was no bother getting on and off for me last year, though I was very last off the ferry coming back. There are no rail services between Dunkerque and De Panne (from where you can catch a train to Brussels), so you'll have to get between the two by some means. Last year, @AKA Bob took a car over via the Chunnel and parked it in De Panne. I rode it, which was somewhat eventful (I now know which route to avoid....). It's 23 miles or so, so it'll take a couple of hours at least. Trains from De Panne to Brussels take 2 hours 25 minutes, or about 15 minutes less if you change to an express service in Gent, and it isn't late...which it was for me last year. With a full size bike you'll need to buy a €5 ticket for it.
Coming back from Ostend, there's a coastal tram that runs to De Panne from Ostend (90 mins), then the reverse of the outward.
 
OP
OP
swarm_catcher
I meant to remind you about starting a thread, as Eurostar tickets are already on sale (got one for returning from Brussels at the end of May).....
It's a yes please, I'm just going shopping at Eurostar.com....
I see bookings are open till end of July! It used to be just 3 months ahead. And I thought I was early with my post this year. Thanks for highlighting this Stuart.

If it's any good to anybody, I can offer a one-way lift (I usually return on the Monday) for one Brompton rider, going on the Saturday morning. For the way back from Ostende you could catch a train to Lille for the Eurostar, or cycle to Dunkirk for a ferry.

The car sharing option sounds good. I was going to offer car park/kip space at my parents/sister (Roeselare), but leaving the car in De Panne is probably better.
 

mmmmartin

Random geezer
Els
To take part in your wonderful, inspiring, fun-filled, magical, ethereal ride I would walk 100 miles barefoot over icecold gravel and stand in raw sewage*

OK?

*other words are available.
Those words are as true as they ever were.

Lucky you caught me, I have Wi-Fi in this hostel and am about to set off for a week's wild camping heading southwards to Cochrane. I have four days of food, amazing how heavy it is.
 

StuartG

slower but further
Location
SE London
Megabus have yet to throw their hat into the ring but only ice and ridicule is going to keep me away from the greatest night ride ever for those of us who don't like 'ills. Last year was unforgettable - especially the cobbles of Brugges.
 

Gordon P

There's no Calvados? I'll have a beer or a whisky
Location
London E3
I shall be coming from Shrewsbury (the Radnor Ring in fact) either late on the Friday night or early on Saturday, so no time for the Dover/Dunkirk option. I shall opt for Eurostar on Saturday 2nd, probably the 1900 train arriving 2200. I have to phone them tomorrow as I shall be travelling with a proper bike....
But also I have decided to stay on for a few days afterwards in order to recce the Low Countries Tour route for September, or at least part of it. Martin I hope will stay on for a couple of days - he has to be in London by Tuesday night. Is anyone else interested in a few extra days wandering? Purposefully of course! Either going to Brugge & doing the Dutch section, or if we can get a train down to Dieppe doing the southern part - I haven't decided.... I shall repeat this on the Tour thread & conversation so best respond there please rather than gum up this thread with irrelevancies.... (sorry @swarm_catcher )
 

StuartG

slower but further
Location
SE London
II shall opt for Eurostar on Saturday 2nd, probably the 1900 train arriving 2200.
Before you book check out the DB option to Koln with @redfalo who, I think, dit it last year. AFAIR it is showing £59 changing at Brussels. So you throw away the second part of the ticket and pay less than the eurostar ticket to Brussels for the same train. Sounds crazy.
 

redfalo

known as Olaf in real life
Location
Brexit Boomtown
It's actually 59 euros, but it may be difficult get a bike reservation together with the DB ticket, as the German high speed train from Bussels to Cologne does not accept bikes.
 

Gordon P

There's no Calvados? I'll have a beer or a whisky
Location
London E3
Thanks guys but alas & alack - or perhaps as @redfalo says c'est la vie, my paranoia that I would miss out altogether led me to call Eurostar etc first thing this morning - it is so bloody clunky getting the OK to get a ticket & then going back for a bike place - damn the expense! I'd have had to phone DB too & it all seemed too much!
Now I have to figure out how & when I will get back from Shrewsbury....
 

StuartG

slower but further
Location
SE London
It's actually 59 euros, but it may be difficult get a bike reservation together with the DB ticket, as the German high speed train from Bussels to Cologne does not accept bikes.
But with a Brompton it would be a piece of cake? I might just be tempted to forsake Megapus.
 

StuAff

Silencing his legs regularly
Location
Portsmouth
Forgot that trick when I got my tickets. I think availability depends on DB's ticket allocation for each train- €59 to Köln is available for a 1905 departure, but not the train I'm on three hours earlier. The train won't have sold out. Sadly, no one site seems to have all the deals and all the seats..DB can give you connection options but not always give you a price.
 
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