FNRttC The not the Fridays Tour 2016

Gordon P

There's no Calvados? I'll have a beer or a whisky
Location
London E3
This is THE ANNOUNCEMENT you have all been waiting for: it is THE FOUR COUNTRIES TOUR – The Vi(v)a Colonia......

You can’t accuse us of lack of ambition. We’ve ridden to John o'Groats, taken over an entire chateau in Normandy with 50 of us, crossed France from sea to sea, and ridden from Dieppe across Belgium into the Netherlands. And 2016 will also be a cracking ride. There’ll be lovely pretty villages, quiet roads, beer, beautiful countryside, fantastic old cities - this one has the lot. More importantly, it’ll be with The Fridays.

Ride in 4 countries and a variety of landscapes to some wonderful destination towns and cities:
  • Tilburg
  • Venlo
  • Cologne
  • Aachen
  • Leuven
  • Ghent
The places in between, including Maastricht, Mechelen and Bruges, are not at all shabby!

The total distance is 685 km (430 miles) in 7 days (there is a rest day in Cologne) with an average of 340m/1100 feet of climbing each day. It is mostly as flat as the proverbial, but not quite Dutch flat. For comparison, Hellevoetsluis to Bunnik this year had 250 metres ascent, Zaandam to Hook of Holland 400 metres. We’ll follow the same format as the 2015 Tour this year - self-sufficiency, so you’ll carry your own luggage.

And also as in 2015, it's just a bunch of friends going together on a series of rides - and no one is leading it. There will be recce(s) of the route, and we will let you know the dates so if you are free you can come and help. After the recce, those on the ride may, or may not, choose to follow the route found by the recce. You will book and pay for your own accommodation. You will pay for your own food. You can stay in any hotel you wish to.

For all additional information, keep an eye on the website http://fridaynightridetothecoast.blogspot.co.uk/p/the-three-countries-tour-viva-colonia.html

To Sign Up or if you want a private conversation about the dos & don'ts, the ins & outs, email fridaystour2016@gmail.com with your name and a mobile number.

The route outlined below is a draft that will be varied when we recce and can be varied further according to conditions (weather and our collective bodies) on the tour. The recce will aim for enjoyment and interest, finding the most scenic options that get us quickly and smoothly to the places we want to visit. Refreshment stops have not yet been identified. Overnight stops are in bold.

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/11244684

Day 0: Friday 9th September
Arrive Harwich by 9 p.m. for evening sailing. There just might be a short convivial meeting in the bar.

Day 1: Saturday 10th September
From Hook of Holland, skirting Rotterdam and heading south east across the Rhine delta (several big rivers, one ferry) to Tilburg
approx 105 km and pretty flat: 360m climbing.

Day 2: Sunday 11th September
Across the southern Netherlands to the German border at Venlo approx 100 km. Very flat: 285m climbing.

Day 3: Monday 12th September
Into Germany, east to the Rhine and south to Cologne. approx 85 km, mostly flat: total ascent 380m, with a stretch outside Venlo climbing 40m in 5 km.

Day 4: Tuesday 13th September
Cologne to Aachen approx 75 km, with a total of 480m climbing: the first two-thirds flat, then 200m gentle climb over the final 25 km.

Day 5: Wednesday 14th September
Rest day in Aachen with options including riding (e.g. in the Eifel Mountains)/not riding/returning to Cologne by train for the day!

Day 6: Thursday 15th September
Aachen to Leuven: 3 countries in a day! crossing lumpy Netherlands via Maastricht. approx 110 km and 400m climbing, a third of it in the first 20 km.

Day 7: Friday 16th September
Leuven via Mechelen to Ghent approx 95 km Flat! 225m ascent.

Day 8: Saturday 17th September
Ghent via Bruges to Dunkirk approx 120 very flat kms: total climbing 260m.

The final day's ride can be reduced by about 35km by taking the Kusttram (“the longest tram in the world”) for 70 mins from Ostend to De Panne, costing approx €3. It takes only a few bikes at a time but there are trams every 15 mins.
Ghent via Bruges to Ostend is approx 70 km. From De Panne it is then only 20 km to Dunkirk.

If you want to be home all day on the Sunday, then you could ride from Ghent to Bruges (45km) and then
  • Take the train from Bruges to Calais (for the ferry home). The train costs about €50 with the bike and takes 3 1/ hours, or
  • If you have a folder -- hop on a train to Brussels (1 hour) and pick up the Eurostar.
Day 9: Sunday 18th September
Across La Manche to Dover and home.

Sailings from Dunkirk are every four hours - less frequent than from Calais (40 km ride from Dunkirk) where they are almost hourly.

And finally an explanation of The Vi(v)a Colonia! part of the Tour title:
We are going to Cologne and the city's unofficial anthem is a famous song by a local band

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YuRjCvNXLU
The chorus says (in the local dialect): “Da Simmer dabei, dat is prima! Viva Colonia” which translates as:
"So count us in! That’s great! Viva Colonia!"
 
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Why is it "Not the Fridays Tour 2016? Surely it is "The Fridays Tour 2016"? Unless someone's declared a UDI.
 

mmmmartin

Random geezer
it's this business of the ride leader of a club that is affiliated to the CTC not having insurance for leading a ride while outside the UK. Such individuals have insurance via the CTC while leading a ride inside the UK but not insurance to lead a ride that is outside the UK. They do, of course, have third-party liability while on a ride outside the UK. As do all members of the CTC. (which is why you have to be in the CTC to take part in The Tour.)So because the ride leader is not insured to lead a ride outside the UK it's actually not The Fridays' Tour It's Not The Fridays Tour.
Which is why you have to book your own accommodation and transport and pay your own food bills. And why briefings start with "you may wish to....." rather than "todays ride will go to ....."
The route is not ordained by The Ride Leader but suggested by The Grand Routing Officer - some choose not to follow it - and accommodation is suggested and booked by individuals. which is why we finish up staying in hotels etc all over the place.
a similar arrangement was used, I believe, by the northampton CTC when they, with @ianmac62 rode to Germany.

Much fretting and angst went into this and @srw was v helpful. Also @dellzeqq put much thought into this. But in the end we wanted it to happen to just said "feck, it, let's do it" and we did.
sorry for the long tedious explanation.
 
it's this business of the ride leader of a club that is affiliated to the CTC not having insurance for leading a ride while outside the UK. Such individuals have insurance via the CTC while leading a ride inside the UK but not insurance to lead a ride that is outside the UK. They do, of course, have third-party liability while on a ride outside the UK. As do all members of the CTC. (which is why you have to be in the CTC to take part in The Tour.)So because the ride leader is not insured to lead a ride outside the UK it's actually not The Fridays' Tour It's Not The Fridays Tour.
Which is why you have to book your own accommodation and transport and pay your own food bills. And why briefings start with "you may wish to....." rather than "todays ride will go to ....."
The route is not ordained by The Ride Leader but suggested by The Grand Routing Officer - some choose not to follow it - and accommodation is suggested and booked by individuals. which is why we finish up staying in hotels etc all over the place.
a similar arrangement was used, I believe, by the northampton CTC when they, with @ianmac62 rode to Germany.

Much fretting and angst went into this and @srw was v helpful. Also @dellzeqq put much thought into this. But in the end we wanted it to happen to just said "feck, it, let's do it" and we did.
sorry for the long tedious explanation.
I like explanations! And that's a good explanation. :bicycle:
 

GrumpyGregry

Here for rides.
One has requested that one's name be placed upon the little list.

What's the point of being self-employed if I can't decide when to take my holidays?
 

StuartG

slower but further
Location
SE London
Which is why you have to book your own accommodation
Given the partial BeNe(non)Lux nature of the ride would renewal of our 'Friends of the Unspellables' membership reminders we have just received from those wonderful accommodation providers be a good idea?

They covered Brugge. Presumably Ghent and Tilburg? Anywhere else? (Sorry, my copy of the guide has been 'tidied').
 

robgul

Guru
I'm not up for the ride (our club is doing a Belgian beer tour in 2016) BUT this confused me

" ..... The final dy's ride can be reduced by 35km by taking the Kusttram (“the longest tram in the world”) for 70 mins from Ghent to De Panne, costing approx €3. It takes only a few bikes at a time but there are trams every 15 mins. From De Panne it is then only 20 km to Dunkirk. ... "

Does the tram go from Ghent to de Panne as suggested - I thought it just ran along the coast (Kust being coast in the foreign)

I ask because it could be an intersting jaunt for our trip.

Rob
 
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