Calais Cologne Ardennes Ride Picture 1
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Best Time of Year: April - October
Calais Cologne Ardennes Ride
Striking out from our nearest continental access point, we're heading into our lesser known neighbour - Belgium first. Passing through scenic villages, Capital Cities, and then the crossing of the Haute Fagnes National Park before dropping down into Germany for a grand finale in historic Cologne.
Our ride covers 3 countries, culminating in possibly the most surprising of our near European neighbours. Germany never fails to surprise and delight in equal measure, with scenic villages, great roads, hearty food, and most excellent evening refreshments. The riding days are around 75 - 80 miles per day - beginning with benign flat riding - but ending with a sting in the tail with a challenging climb over the Ardennes. We shall enjoy Belgian Cuisine, quiet roads, some big Euro Canals - and without doubt, we'll all return knowing a little more about why Europe is such a fantastic place. All this compressed into 4 days of riding, this is one not to miss.
Day 1 - Assemble Dover Train Station 18:00. Ferry 19:30. Overnight in Calais - welcome drinks & briefing
Day 2 - Breakfast 07:00. Depart 08:30. Ride via Brugges - 130km - to Veurne for lunch and overnight in Knesslare.
Day 3 - Breakfast 07:00. Depart 08:30. Ride via Ghent (morning coffee) - total 125km - overnight in Brussels.
Day 4 - Breakfast 07:00. Depart 08:30. Ride via Leuven (morning coffee) - total 135km - overnight in Eupen - in Ardenees.
Day 5 - Breakfast 07:00. Depart 08:30. Ride via Monschau (morning coffee), then Zuplich for lunch - total 120km - overnight in Cologne.
Day 6 - Return Day - Riders take train from Central Cologne to Airport. Adventure Café to return bicycles (leaving early from Cologne - meet at airport or other suitable group venue for bicycle handover.
3 Star hotels - good clean fairly simple - with bar and food within short distance.
What is a Level 3.5 Cycling Challenge Like?
These challenge rides are either longer, with more ascent, or span several days. In the case of single day events, you can expect up to 10 hours cycling. In the case of a multi day ride, you can expect lower daily durations - but of course - the effort is sustained over a longer period. You need to be a keen cyclist for these events, and to enjoy training, and to ride regularly. If the ride is outside the EU, it is likely to be easier in terms of the physical riding, however, you will need to be more resilient - due to more basic living conditions (in the case of Asia / Africa especially)
How Fit Do I need to be to join a Level 3.5 ‘Bike Ride’?
You need to have good endurance for these events. You must be used to doing long rides in the countryside - 6 hours + . You should be doing regular exercise - with some serious cycle training. Your typical comfortable cycling speed will be at least 22-24 km/hr, and you should be able to cycle at high speed for up to 1 hour or 25 km. You may also be concentrating on other types of exercise - but for longer periods of time (ie sessions in excess of 1.5 hrs.) - however cycling is the best preparation (obviously!)
Included In Trip
First Aid provision.
5 nights accommodation.
Excluded From Trip
Lunches are done on a kitty basis - around 5 euros per day.
Personal insurance cover.
Road Bike / Hybrid Bike (with puncture resistant tyres) - please call us for guidance on type of bike on a trip by trip basis
2 X Water Bottles (bladder system/cycle water bottles)
Cycling Gloves, Bike Lock, Neck Scarf, Inner Tubes*, Multi-Tool (with allen keys)*
Day Bag for support vehicle, Small Holdall (for overnight gear)
Bike Lights (front and rear, head torch can be worn)
Saddle Bag (recommended - can be used to carry asterisk* items)
Puncture Repair Kit*, Spare parts for your bike (specialist parts and spokes), Pump (suitable for your valve type)
Personal Medikit Suncream, Plasters, Vaseline, Painkillers, Sunbloc, Insect Repellant
Warm Clothing Medium Weight Softshell, Long sleeve Jersey / insulating layer Lightweight Gloves.
Cycle / Overnight Clothing
Lycra Cycling Shorts, Cotton Shorts, Long Cycling Trousers (Tights/Tracksuit Bottoms)
Cotton T-Shirts for evening
Short Sleeve Cycling T-Shirts (wicking type material) or Cycle Top with rear pockets
Cycling Shoes (approach shoes suitable), Sandals / Spare Shoes for after ride
Casual Evening Wear
1 Outer Fully Waterproof Jacket (gore-tex, e-vent) - comfortable to cycle in
Travel Documents, EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) Credit Cards, Cash, Local Currency, Mobile Phone, Sunglasses
Snacks for Cycling Days (dried fruits, nuts, flapjacks, cereal bars etc)
Travel insurance (not included), Passport
Make sure you do not ‘over pack’ - bring only what is essential for the trip
A final kit list will be provided in your ‘Final Joining Instructions’ pre-departure
You must stay in contact with your leader at each stage of the ride. Briefings will be made each day on the directions, and routecards issued - however, you should never go further ahead than one stop. You must always wear your helmet. Your leader is First Aid Qualified - and will carry a full expedition first aid kit. There will also be a support vehicle available in case of emergency - but this is only useful if you are in contact with the vehicle / leader.
This ride is best done in the summer - when we can reasonably expect weather warmer than the UK - although nothing is guaranteed! Be prepared for both cooler weather and wet weather - just in case!
Notes on Cycling Events
This is our standard range of Cycling Challenges in the UK, Europe and further afield. However, we offer completely tailormade itineraries to your specification. Call us to discuss!
Adventure Cafe Booking Terms and Conditions
By booking an event with Adventure Cafe, you agree to these standard terms of booking. Please ensure that you read the appropriate document for your type of event carefully.
Adventure Cafe Terms & Conditions
- For all types of event