Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => Rides and Touring => Topic started by: psyclist on March 26, 2019, 02:47:22 pm

Title: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on March 26, 2019, 02:47:22 pm
In a nutshell
For the last couple of years we've had a gaggle of riders partake in the delights of the Netherlands for a weekend / long weekend / week. The Strangler made an excellent suggestion that this should be an annual event  :facepalm: and so here we are planning the next instalment.

Due to popular demand, riding distances will be kept much shorter this year. Circa 100km per day. That'll surely please a lot of folk, and provide time for more sightseeing, or sampling the local gastronomical delights (by the way, gastronomy covers both food and drink ... you learn something new every day!).

Proposed date
Historically this has been a mid-September event, so I am proposing getting across the channel late on Thursday 12th Sept, and a return late on Sunday 15th Sept (back in Harwich at 6:30am Monday morning). If that is suitable for the majority, then those who wish to make a longer trip can either extend at the start, or at the end.

Proposed route
Now this is where it gets interesting. You see, a ferry from Dover to Dunkirk with bicycle costs just £15. Bargain! Plus there are lots of sailings to choose from.

So the thinking was to do a circuitous route from Dunkirk up to Hook, which is 300km approx. In Belgium there is a network of long distance cycle paths, which would be a good resource to start with. Details are at https://www.groteroutepaden.be/en/pagina/213-256/route-overzicht.html (https://www.groteroutepaden.be/en/pagina/213-256/route-overzicht.html).

Getting to Dover
For those with time on their hands, cycling down to Dover would be an option. With a bit of meandering, a 200km route would be possible from mid-Essex. Then a Thursday evening sailing and lodging somewhere close to Dunkirk for the night.

For those with less time, you can cycle quicker to Dover, or perhaps take the train. A Thursday evening sailing might appeal, but there's also scope to get an early Friday morning crossing and meet up in Dunkirk ... or if you miss the departure of the peloton from Dunkirk, then meet up a bit later in the day.

Thoughts?
Nothing is yet cast in stone, so please do advise if any of these arrangements can be improved upon.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: tedshred on March 26, 2019, 02:56:05 pm
It seems there is a train from Stratford International to Dover.  A 6.30am departure from Witham shows arrival at Dover at 8.39.

Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on March 26, 2019, 03:07:28 pm
It seems there is a train from Stratford International to Dover.  A 6.30am departure from Witham shows arrival at Dover at 8.39.

On the Friday morning there are sailings at 9:10 and 10:00. I would expect the 10:00 crossing to be the feasible one for a 6:30am start from Witham. The crossing takes about 2 hours, plus the hour difference, so in Dunkirk at around 1pm.

If a number of people opt for that, then we might end up with 2 pelotons on the Friday, but we can keep the distances shorter on the first day to help everybody get together a bit later in the day. Or those staying in Dunkirk on the Thursday night could do a longer but more circuitous route to the Friday night destination.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: tedshred on March 26, 2019, 03:27:32 pm
Yes, and there you have the big difference between the Dover and Harwich crossings. 

Mind you, the ferry plus a night near Dunkirk must still be cheaper than the Harwich crossing.

If I can swing the time for the trip, I will probably aim for a leisurely ride to Dover on the Thursday (not necessarily a 200) and then a return on the Monday or Tuesday overnight from Hoek.

I will rely on yours and Jiber's organisational skills to herd the ACME cats once more  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on March 26, 2019, 03:33:44 pm
Mind you, the ferry plus a night near Dunkirk must still be cheaper than the Harwich crossing.

Currently £80 for 1 person with cabin on the return from Hoek on the Sunday night. So not a huge difference if you factor in a cheap hotel in Dunkirk on top of the £15 ferry.

One crazy alternative plan would be to cycle to Dover overnight and get a very early ferry in time for breakfast at the Dunkirk hotel.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: mattc on March 26, 2019, 04:10:03 pm
Last time I used that route (2017?) there was an overnight sailing - worked pretty well for the last train out of London (err ... brain fade ... Charing Cross??) and getting a couple of hours kip in the "lounge" before breakfast in Dunkirk (we had to go to the centre to get our Brevet cards stamped!)

Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: tedshred on March 26, 2019, 04:28:00 pm
Yes, there seem to be ferries every couple of hours overnight.

I am not sure some of the more venerable members would appreciate that sort of timing though.  Their old bones don't cope well with the night.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: quixoticgeek on March 26, 2019, 04:29:31 pm
Just be advised that the ride from the Ferry north predominantly sucks, at least for the first 20k or so.

The first 5-10k is through the harbour area, which is a dump, as well as all the trucks trying to kill you, you may have the joys of the literal French wanker by the side of the road.

You're then going into Belgium. I'm probably biased after being on the receiving end of far to many close passes at the weekend, but ugh, don't want to go back that way any time soon.

When you make it to NL, I can come say hello (assuming I want to get back on a bike so soon after the TCR), if you want some semi local company...

J
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: Deano_44 on March 26, 2019, 04:34:12 pm
Would just like to register my interest in joining this adventure.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: Kim on March 26, 2019, 04:39:01 pm
Just be advised that the ride from the Ferry north predominantly sucks, at least for the first 20k or so.

Seconded, though I vaguely recall nikki OTP coming up with some sort of cunning canal-based route that neatly avoided the worst of it.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: Grey Sheep on March 26, 2019, 04:40:27 pm
I'm interested.

I like the idea of a 200 before we get to the other side :thumbsup:

Mind you, last year a 60k-100k wasn't enough to keep the pounds off, maybe I'll have to eat less???

Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on March 26, 2019, 04:51:01 pm
Just be advised that the ride from the Ferry north predominantly sucks, at least for the first 20k or so.

Thanks for the heads up. Looks like we'll need to be creative in finding a quiet route once outside the harbour area.

Quote
When you make it to NL, I can come say hello (assuming I want to get back on a bike so soon after the TCR), if you want some semi local company...

J

That would be great. We'll have our route published long in advance of the ride, so we can work out a suitable rendez-vous assuming you've still got the love of cycling in September.

Would just like to register my interest in joining this adventure.

 :thumbsup:

... I vaguely recall nikki OTP coming up with some sort of cunning canal-based route that neatly avoided the worst of it.

Sounds promising, thank you for mentioning this potential option.

I'm interested.

I like the idea of a 200 before we get to the other side :thumbsup:

Glad you approve and have registered your interest  :)

Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: jiberjaber on March 26, 2019, 06:40:06 pm
Just be advised that the ride from the Ferry north predominantly sucks, at least for the first 20k or so.

The first 5-10k is through the harbour area, which is a dump, as well as all the trucks trying to kill you, you may have the joys of the literal French wanker by the side of the road.

You're then going into Belgium. I'm probably biased after being on the receiving end of far to many close passes at the weekend, but ugh, don't want to go back that way any time soon.

When you make it to NL, I can come say hello (assuming I want to get back on a bike so soon after the TCR), if you want some semi local company...

J

I have a TheFridays route to Dunkirk which we used on the 2017 tours last time - worked really well :)

Ibis in Dunkirk iirc (I'll have to look back to check - actually I stayed in B&B Hôtel Dunkerque Centre Gare iirc £44 + £5 for breakfast)

ETA (in case anyone wants it) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27774528
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: nikki on March 26, 2019, 07:53:16 pm
Just be advised that the ride from the Ferry north predominantly sucks, at least for the first 20k or so.

Seconded, though I vaguely recall nikki OTP coming up with some sort of cunning canal-based route that neatly avoided the worst of it.

Aye: http://www.gpxeditor.co.uk/routes2/users/nikki/Dunkirk-Veurne
IIRC it's quiet roads as soon as you hang a right off the Route des Dunes. From Veurne you can link up with the LF routes and be on cycle paths in the dunes.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4279/35322161251_8b7691c03b_c.jpg)
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: Kim on March 26, 2019, 09:49:34 pm
You're then going into Belgium. I'm probably biased after being on the receiving end of far to many close passes at the weekend, but ugh, don't want to go back that way any time soon.

Belated thought:  These guys are coming from Essex, so bad driving shouldn't be a problem.  (And if it is, there's always dynamite.)
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: Tomsk on March 27, 2019, 07:39:11 am
I'm up for this  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: mattc on March 27, 2019, 09:22:15 am
Yes, there seem to be ferries every couple of hours overnight.

I am not sure some of the more venerable members would appreciate that sort of timing though.  Their old bones don't cope well with the night.
I did see mention of an overnight ride to the ferry by psyclist!

(The other benefit of a dawn arrival was the nice empty roads on which to get the hell out of Dunkirk.  I remember cycling in from Belgium on a July afternoon, and the last few miles were indeed pretty horrendous. )
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: jiberjaber on March 27, 2019, 09:36:01 am
Absolutely empty that route I rode....

(https://images2.imgbox.com/66/50/tdWx9Na2_o.jpg) (http://imgbox.com/tdWx9Na2)
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: tedshred on March 27, 2019, 09:44:44 am
Ok, so we're out of Dunkirk.  Is it mainly Belgium thereafter with a quick scamper up the coast to reach Hoek ?

Psyclist mentioned hills (he likes hills).  I assume that means heading east ?
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: jiberjaber on March 27, 2019, 09:55:07 am
Ok, so we're out of Dunkirk.  Is it mainly Belgium thereafter with a quick scamper up the coast to reach Hoek ?

Psyclist mentioned hills (he likes hills).  I assume that means heading east ?

Depends - there may be an option for an extended break or not... I'm not sure what I'm doing yet, but was thinking of heading inland then back out... perhaps involving trappist breweries

(Small print - this is not an organised tour, last year wasn't supposed to be either... I am just going to ride my bike in foreign lands between beers....)
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on March 27, 2019, 10:22:33 am
Ok, so we're out of Dunkirk.  Is it mainly Belgium thereafter with a quick scamper up the coast to reach Hoek ?

Psyclist mentioned hills (he likes hills).  I assume that means heading east ?

What I will be plotting is a route and schedule that appeals for the majority. Without looking at the terrain, I noted that a semi-circle that goes inland from Dunkirk, up and round to Hoek was about 300km. That's just a starting point, but gives a rough indication before detailed route planning starts (with the aim to include as many things of interest along the way, with as much use of cycle paths and quiet roads as possible).

Given that some people like to carry a lot on their bikes, I wouldn't be aiming for a hilly route. Mind you, the hills are in the east of Belgium, so it would require an extended trip to feature those delights.

I'm expecting one or two riders like jiberjaber to extend on their own agenda, which is fine. I'll just be focussing on putting a plan together for the majority. Ultimately everybody will be on their own individual excursion (ie its not an organised ride per se), but as in previous years I'll provide a route and suggested eating / drinking / sleeping places, so all the individual excursions can occur simultaneously. I might do a bit of cat herding, but if people want to deviate that is fine. It'll just help if people keep me informed of their plans.

As the dates seem to be agreeable, I'll start to look at accommodation options, places of interest and route options. I'd like to be in a position to confirm enough detail for people to be able to book travel and accommodation options by the middle of April.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: huggy on March 27, 2019, 10:41:14 am
Unfortunately for me the date clashes with the back end of 10 days being out of the country :'(
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: tedshred on March 27, 2019, 10:57:03 am

(Small print - this is not an organised tour, last year wasn't supposed to be either... I am just going to ride my bike in foreign lands between beers....)

Does that mean no spreadsheet ?

If I can go I demand the full Joergen experience; scheduled stops, obscure places of interest en route, grumpy lunches - the works !

Trappist brewery tour sounds interesting...
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: tedshred on March 27, 2019, 11:35:52 am
Unfortunately for me the date clashes with the back end of 10 days being out of the country :'(

Huggy, PBP is during the week beginning the 19th.  Have you miscalculated your dates ?
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: huggy on March 27, 2019, 12:48:25 pm
Unfortunately for me the date clashes with the back end of 10 days being out of the country :'(
Huggy, PBP is during the week beginning the 19th.  Have you miscalculated your dates ?
Nope.  I did have the irrational thought that as many would be toddling off to France in August that another ACME assault on Europe in September would be unlikely, hence arranging other things in early September.
However, if it takes YOU 10 days to complete PBP then something has gone horribly wrong, hope it doesn't!  It will not take me 10 days to complete PBP on account of not starting it in the first place.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: tedshred on March 27, 2019, 02:31:53 pm
You're doing well with this not riding PBP thing.

I think some people even believe you.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: quixoticgeek on March 27, 2019, 02:50:02 pm
What I will be plotting is a route and schedule that appeals for the majority. Without looking at the terrain, I noted that a semi-circle that goes inland from Dunkirk, up and round to Hoek was about 300km. That's just a starting point, but gives a rough indication before detailed route planning starts (with the aim to include as many things of interest along the way, with as much use of cycle paths and quiet roads as possible).

Just be aware, you can greatly improve your enjoyment of riding in Belgium by avoiding Antwerp, and a C shaped route like you suggest is either going to need to be longer, or take the ferry across to Vlissingen.

I did have a play on komoot, you could include the Muur de Geraadsbergen, and it's about 350km...

But longer if you want to avoid Antwerp...

J
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on March 27, 2019, 03:20:17 pm
Thanks for the suggestions.

Last year we touched Antwerp, mostly the industrial bits which provided plenty of cycleways and some rather brutal architecture that contrasted against the windmills, waterways and such like on the rest of the trip. Not necessarily looking to go there again so will look at other options.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: tedshred on March 27, 2019, 03:40:08 pm
It might just have been me but I really enjoyed the Antwerp docks bit.  In fact the whole inland waterway thing there and across Holland was the most interesting part of the whole trip - apart, obviously, from the witty banter of my fellow travellers  :facepalm:
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: farfetched on March 28, 2019, 03:34:54 pm
I lived in Flanders for a few years and often take part in Audax events there, its a mixed bag in terms of bike infrastructure, some parts
are good - sometimes its just plain awful. (compared to NL that is)

Generally speaking i would just recommend to avoid any of the provincial 'N' roads, they often dont have proper segregated
bike paths and if they do the quality is basic to say the least. There are lots of routes next to inland waterways with little or no traffic.
For beer lovers West Vleteren abbey is close to Dunkirk, also Ypres and the surrounding WW1 monuments are impressive ( if thats your thing)
If you want to take in a city Ghent is a good alternative for Antwerp and has less urban/industrial sprawl.

If you get anywhere near North Brabant NL i might come and say hello, last year you went via Best (the famous Macdonalds) but i was on Holiday.

Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: tippers_kiwi on March 29, 2019, 07:04:06 am
Belated thought:  These guys are coming from Essex, so bad driving shouldn't be a problem.  (And if it is, there's always dynamite.)
I'd agree with that. I did a solo tour that took in part of Flanders (Hook > Ypres > Dunkirk) and I have to say I never found any of the roads or driving to be worse than what we deal with in East Anglia.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: TRCexplorer on July 18, 2019, 08:40:43 pm
I'm up for doing this trip

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Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: Nik's Nick on July 19, 2019, 09:56:48 am
Having just done Dunkirk-Ypres-Bruges-Dunkirk, I'd love to go back. Really enjoyed the cycling and the gastronomy.
Unfortunately, I don't think I can get the dates to work (or, indeed, have sufficient leave).
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on July 19, 2019, 04:36:29 pm
The core route will be Fri to Sun, so only 1 day off work for the majority. Some may extend a few extra days.

Now my German adventure is complete, I’ll revisit the route / logistics and post details within the next week.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: Wowbagger on July 19, 2019, 04:47:22 pm
I may well be interested in this. I reckon I can do 100k a day. I am also a bit quicker than I was.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on July 26, 2019, 10:32:46 am
The following is the outline plan for the trip across to Belgium / Netherlands in September. Not quite the 'C' loop I was expecting (in order to cater for a shorter optional route on the Friday). This is documented for feedback before we confirm arrangements. So please don’t book anything just yet. If you have comments on the outline plan, please respond either directly or via this thread by the end of Sunday 28th July. I will then look to solidify the arrangements and post the confirmed details before the end of July (ie early next week).

Thursday 12th Sept

For those able to travel on the Thursday, an outline plan would be:

Train - St Pancras to Dover Priory - 17:20 to 18:39 - £33.80

Ferry - Dover to Dunkirk - 20:00 to 23:00 - £29

Hotel - ibis Dunkerque - £65 (single)

Lots of train options available. Check-in at the ferry terminal closes 45 mins before the sailing, but 60 mins + is recommended as an arrival time.
The ferry takes 2 hours.
The ibis has a 24hr reception and garage parking.


Friday 13th Sept

For those travelling on the Friday morning, an outline plan would be:

Train - London Victoria to Dover Priory - 08:42 to 10:39 - £39.60

Ferry - Dover to Dunkirk - 12:00 to 15:00 - £29

Cycling - Dunkirk to Bruges - 2 routes proposed:

   Route A - 75km - a pleasant and relatively direct route for those catching the ferry on the Friday, and for those wanting a shorter ride.

   Route B - 130km - a longer route taking in the sites around Ypres and other locations.

   Both routes will use the Flanders Cycle Route as a basis, but heading in different directions out of Dunkirk.

Hotel - a few options at https://cyclefriendlyhotels.com


Saturday 14th Sept

Cycling - Bruges to Antwerp - 1 route proposed:

   Route A - 100km - based on the Flanders Cycle Route, via Ghent. Might add one or two optional detours to make the morning or afternoon routes a little longer and with additional points of interest for those wanting more time in the saddle.

Hotel - a few options at https://cyclefriendlyhotels.com


Sunday 15th Sept

Cycling - Antwerp to Hook of Holland - 1 route proposed:

   Route A - 115km - route based on experience from past couple of years

Ferry - Hook of Holland to Harwich - 22:00 to 6:30 - £44.50


Other matters

Based on the above outline, I will put together proposed routes and identify points of interest and places to get food / water along the way. I’ll also check other hotel options, although by using larger cities it does provide the opportunity for people to sort their own arrangements and regroup in the morning.

This isn’t an organised tour. In previous years we have all ridden together, and some riders extended the ride to go further over more days. I would hope we are riding together in one or two groups, but I should emphasise that everybody should be prepared to be self-sufficient, arranging their own travel, accommodation, navigation device, and insurance.

The theme this year is to explore new areas in Belgium, with time to enjoy some nice food and beverages along the way.

Depending on feedback, I will aim to confirm the outline details early next week so that people can book their travel and accommodation. The routes may take a little longer as I expect a few iterations before the precise route is finalised. I would hope to complete that in the next few weeks though.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: tedshred on July 26, 2019, 01:50:03 pm
I am probably out.  I am taking Mrs Shred to a charity ball on the 14th.  If there is a longer trip planned by anyone I might consider joining in on the Saturday but that might be a bit difficult.

Shame, it is shaping up to be a good trip.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on July 26, 2019, 03:19:16 pm
I am probably out ... Shame, it is shaping up to be a good trip.

It is always a good trip  ;D

Pity you're not able to come along this year. Hopefully you'll keep your calendar clear next year, assuming we aim for a 4th year of this end-of-season jolly.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: tedshred on July 26, 2019, 03:46:29 pm
You should think about making it an annual event...
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: huggy on July 26, 2019, 04:43:00 pm
you should definitely make it an annual event!

I'm out this year on account of booking a holiday in September, thinking that the annual running of ACME's raid on Europe would have been satiated by That French Ride.
I shall probably return next year if the annual event is run again....
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: the straggler on July 26, 2019, 05:46:32 pm
Ted, Huggy - stop stealing my catchphrase. Itinerary looks good but I have used up my leave allowance for this year.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: Deano_44 on July 26, 2019, 06:41:16 pm
I'm still up for this.

Will book the days off work once the dates are confirmed  :).
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: Grey Sheep on July 26, 2019, 06:59:29 pm
Looking forward to this one.

Who else is interested in a DIY 200 from Chelmsford(ish) to Dover?
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: TRCexplorer on July 27, 2019, 07:11:00 am
Will join you guys at the entrance to dover harbour on the day

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Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: Tomsk on July 27, 2019, 08:20:58 am
I'm free! :thumbsup: Mrs T is at a conference that weekend.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: Deano_44 on July 27, 2019, 10:16:32 am
Looking forward to this one.

Who else is interested in a DIY 200 from Chelmsford(ish) to Dover?

I’m up for this too.  :)
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on July 27, 2019, 11:37:38 am
Who else is interested in a DIY 200 from Chelmsford(ish) to Dover?

Although I like the idea, at the moment it looks like I’ll be working in London on the Thursday. My current plan is to head straight down to Dover from London for the evening ferry.

If you’re cycling down, you might elect to get an earlier ferry ... I think they depart every 2 hours. As mentioned above i’ll confirm arrangements early next week, but thinking about it an earlier ferry might appeal to others as well. The later ferry was intended for those who will be working on the Thursday.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: quixoticgeek on July 28, 2019, 10:49:49 pm



Sunday 15th Sept

Cycling - Antwerp to Hook of Holland - 1 route proposed:

   Route A - 115km - route based on experience from past couple of years

Ferry - Hook of Holland to Harwich - 22:00 to 6:30 - £44.50


If you're ok with a gatecrasher, I'd like to join some of this leg. If you publish a route I can get a train down to say Rosendaal, and join you once you're in .NL. crossing the border to Belgium drives the train price up too much.

Happy to advise on route if needed.

J
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: Oaky on July 28, 2019, 10:56:07 pm
Still checking if I can make this, but if not, is there any chance we could make this an annual event?
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on July 29, 2019, 07:05:22 am
If you're ok with a gatecrasher

Sure, that would be absolutely fine.

The route details will be available within a couple of weeks, and will be finalised after the inevitable tweaks. The .nl section is the most certain, as we have ridden this section a few times before. We’ll probably stick with a route largely based on those previous rides, to keep the distance down and to re-visit known eating/drinking venues. Happy to hear suggestions though once the draft is out.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: tandemaniac on August 02, 2019, 06:57:34 pm
Looks like I might be able make event. Seems that Mrs Tandemaniac is not going to make an appearance, so could well be riding down to Dover. Looks like being a great tour. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: Wowbagger on August 03, 2019, 11:36:21 pm
This looks rather tempting. Given that my dear wife and I have cancelled a Netherlands tour because of Real Life, I may well be interested. I am rather slow - moving average around 10mph. How much of a problem will this be for others?
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on August 04, 2019, 09:49:51 am
What I’m doing is putting together 2 routes each day. On the Friday there’s the option of a 75km-ish route or 130km-ish option. Given that I’m expecting some nice stops, the pace on the latter is probably going to be 20km+. The 75km route can be much slower.

On the Saturday I’m aiming to have a core route, but with options for route detours for those who want to ride further. The aim is to have common stop points, but a group split on the road. Not sure how this will work out, but hoping in practice it gives everybody the options they need.

My view would be that 10mph would be a bit too slow for some riders, but with the above in place we’d not be looking for everybody to be riding at the same speed all day. So if you’re happy to be a little independent at points during the day (actually most of the Friday), and to meet at stop points and for a good evening meal / drink, then all should be good.

In previous years we have largely stayed together as one group, but especially when trying to fit in a 200km group Brevet, this hasn’t always been easy. So this year the distances are reduced and I’m not looking to take on a role of road captain to keep everybody together. Knowing the people who will be riding, as we do split into groups I’m sure we’ll still be looking out for everybody and making sure nobody is left to their own devices.

I’ll confirm the proposed travel arrangements and stop points later today, and aim to get a first draft of the route out within a week. Then refine the route post-PBP.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: Wowbagger on August 04, 2019, 02:11:18 pm
Cheers! Have lots on my plate at the moment as executor of someone very recently deceased. When do you need to know?
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on August 04, 2019, 04:55:51 pm
Everybody books their own travel and accommodation, so there aren’t really any deadlines.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: huggy on August 05, 2019, 02:59:16 pm
Just a heads up about arriving in Dunkirk.  I've had some info passed to me about a group of UK cyclists arriving there last weekend and riding out of the ferry terminal on the cycle path getting jumped by 'asylum seekers' and losing all of their possessions.  The local police were less than helpful saying it's rife.
At least be aware of the possibility if your plans are taking you that way!
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: Nik's Nick on August 05, 2019, 03:16:56 pm
I'd second this. My er, lovingly planned, route out of Dunkirk earlier this year took us past the camp and it felt less that safe, even with a bunch of the Met's finest in the group.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on August 05, 2019, 07:49:25 pm
Thanks for the heads up. Do you know if there is a safe route out of the terminal in Dunkirk? If not, I’m inclined to amend the plan and go with the Harwich option both ways.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: Nik's Nick on August 06, 2019, 09:55:49 am
Well you can certainly plan a route that doesn't go past the camps - that would be a good start!

But the issue is more the roving gangs of kids. Our route back into Dunkerque avoided the camp, but still had us in the middle of the road at a couple of street corners.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on August 08, 2019, 01:08:54 pm
After a few discussions, I’m not comfortable with the original plan of arriving in Dunkirk in the late evening, no matter which route from the terminal is taken.

There are 2 alternative options. I’m happy with either, but would like some feedback before confirming the outline arrangements. Both options involve ferry travel overnight on Thurs 12th, back overnight on Sun 15th.

Alternative 1: get the overnight ferry from Harwich to Hook. Then explore east from there. With this option I can have 2 routes of different lengths each day, with a common overnight accommodation. The issue with this option is that we’d be covering some ground we’ve experienced before, and we’d miss the sites around Ypres that I was hoping to include.

Alternative 2: get the overnight Newhaven to Dieppe ferry. Leaves at 11pm and takes 4 hours. Cost is £30 per person incl bike, plus optionally cabins are £83 each with 4 beds in each. I would recommend a cabin and not to slum it. A direct-ish route from Dieppe to Hook is circa 390km, so 130km each day. This would take us through Ypres. This is more aligned to the original plan and will involve more variety of terrain. Only 1 route per day would be possible, but with a little careful time management I think we’d still enjoy some nice stops along the way.

Although I’m happy to work with either option, my preference would be to go via Newhaven, and to hope for a nice south-westerly wind.

Comments appreciated. I’m hoping to be in a position on Saturday to confirm the proposed travel and accommodation details, so bookings can be made.

Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: mmmmartin on August 08, 2019, 01:55:01 pm
ETA (in case anyone wants it) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27774528
Jiberjaber is correct: The Fridays have done this a few times and I'm pretty sure there are no camps on that section, at least not when we did it, admittedly a few years back. Nowhere to put a camp as there is no water supply and ISTR the camps are close to the autoroute, a fair way away from the coast.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: Nik's Nick on August 08, 2019, 04:09:16 pm
And this is the (less scenic) route we took in June. https://ridewithgps.com/trips/36502945
Camp was around the 10-12km mark - Gran Synthe, which I though had been cleared out, so perhaps we hit the remnants/new start-up.
Didn't get an idea of the size, but as we rode towards it on the the Met's best said "Oooh, look, a music festival". It became apparent that we wouldn't be popping in for some sounds pretty quickly.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on August 10, 2019, 10:42:57 pm

Firstly, the consensus from those I’ve spoken to is that the decision to avoid Dunkirk is sensible. Secondly, travelling out from and returning to Harwich is the preferred alternative. I have therefore prepared an outline route and can confirm the following details.

Thursday 12th Sept

Ferry - Harwich to Hook of Holland - 23:00 - 8:00
 - Economy price - £44.50
 - Mandatory cabin - £42 (single) or £55 (double)
 - Breakfast buffet - £11 (recommended, otherwise plan to eat something you have carried from England as we won’t plan to stop for at least 2 hours into the ride)

Friday 13th Sept

Riding - largely following the LF Maasroute from Hook of Holland, a scenic long distance route (for more details, see https://www.lfmaasroute.nl/en (https://www.lfmaasroute.nl/en)). There are many cyclist friendly places to stop along the way, and we’ll aim to ride 150km. Assuming 20kph average and 3 hours of stops, from an 8:30am start we should be at the hotel in Nijmegen around 7pm.

Hotel - Hotel Courage, Waalkade
 - Twin room - £101 (including breakfast) … with early payment I got the twin room for £96.
 - Single room - £90 (including breakfast)

This hotel has been flagged by a previous visitor as having secure bicycle facilities. I will check this directly with the hotel. If you book using Booking.com or similar, you get free cancellation if the secure bicycle facilities are not in existence. Walking through the park there are many restaurants within about 200m. There are also a number of other hotel options in that area, some cheaper, some more expensive, if you want to stay somewhere else. As long as we’re relatively close together, can all reach a suitable restaurant, and agree a start time for the Saturday, that wouldn’t be an issue.

Saturday 14th Sept

Riding - continue along the LF Massroute for a while, and then loop back to Tilburg. Approx 120 - 130km, but we can have options to shorten that. The direct route to Tilburg is only 70km, but that’s far too short for even a leisurely cycle tour!

Hotel - ???
 - I’m trying to find somewhere suitable that is reasonably cheap (preferably cheaper than the previous night), has a restaurant or is close to somewhere to eat, and provides a breakfast. Might need to consider other nearby towns.

Sunday 15th Sept

Riding - if we do stay in Tilburg, the direct route back to Hook of Holland is 108km. So plenty of scope either to deviate a little with the route, or have a relaxed final day.

Ferry - Hook of Holland to Harwich - 22:00 - 6:30
 - Economy price - £44.50
 - Mandatory cabin - £35 (single) or £46 (double)
 - Breakfast buffet - £11 (optional, depending on your plans once back in England)


Next steps

Please do book the return ferry and either the Hotel Courage or a suitable alternative close by in Nijmegen.

Can you let me know when you have booked so that I know who is confirmed on the trip?

I will confirm the bicycle storage at Hotel Courage once I hear back, and also the hotel arrangements for the Saturday night.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: jiberjaber on August 11, 2019, 07:43:08 am
Ferry & Hotel booked  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: Deano_44 on August 11, 2019, 08:10:21 am
I have booked a room at the hotel.

Will get the time off work on Monday (hopefully!) and then will book the ferry.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: TRCexplorer on August 11, 2019, 08:22:50 am
Ferry crossings and hotel booked for me and sue.
We will drive up to witham be handy if I could leave my car round one of your houses for the weekend if possible


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Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 11, 2019, 10:26:50 am

I'll try to join for one day of this. Not sure yet which, probably the Saturday.

J
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: farfetched on August 12, 2019, 03:46:28 pm
If you need any help/tips on the route for Saturday let me know. I live in Helmond which is more or less in the middle of the area you plan to cover (Nijmegen/Tilburg). There are lots of small ferries on the Maas which run all the time so crossing is not an issue. The Maasduinen are nice, as is Arcen but thats maybe too far down (lots of cafes/restaurants). If you dont get that far 'veerhuis tantejet' near Blitterswijk is a decent place for a bite to eat. Its next to the ferry.
 
From there you can go via Overloon / Bakel / Aarle Rixtel and pick up the canal path to Tilburg which is a bike friendly relaxed route without any car traffic - it will allow you to avoid the major built up areas Helmond/Eindhoven - unless you want to bike through cities (not my thing usually)

Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on August 12, 2019, 05:09:50 pm
Thank you farfetched for the info and offer of help. Serious route planning for that section will be happening during the week after PBP. I’ll certainly be interested in your thoughts once we have a draft of that day’s route.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on August 12, 2019, 07:29:33 pm
A quick roll call and I believe the following have either confirmed or are in the process:

psyclist (of course!)
grey sheep
jiberjaber
tomsk
Deano_44
TRCexplorer
Sue
+ quixoticgeek (guest appearance for 1 day)

Do let me know if I've missed anybody ... I know others have been thinking about it.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: bhoot on August 12, 2019, 07:39:04 pm
I'm in contemplating/planning mode, it would be just me not fhoot...
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: bhoot on August 12, 2019, 07:43:26 pm
I note that your chosen hotel in Nijmegen is next door to Nationaal Fietsmuseum Velorama... was that intentional or happy coincidence?
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on August 12, 2019, 08:05:18 pm
I note that your chosen hotel in Nijmegen is next door to Nationaal Fietsmuseum Velorama... was that intentional or happy coincidence?

I did notice it. When I checked I saw the museum opened at 10am. If that was of interest, there is scope to visit in the morning of the Saturday and have a shorter ride in the afternoon ... whilst those who would prefer more cycling can stick with the original plan to ride further on the LF Massroute before looping back to the Tilburg area. The direct route was 70km.

I'm happy to prepare 2 routes if there is interest in the museum. People can then decide on the day. We can either have a split group on the day, or we might chose one option over the other.

Be good if you are able to join us. The route itself will be worked on immediately after PBP. Generally the aim will be for cafe or bar stops mid morning and mid afternoon each day, and a lunch stop somewhere appropriate.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: TRCexplorer on August 12, 2019, 08:40:34 pm
Could I park my car up round one of your houses in the witham area for the weekend and ride into Harwich with you guys

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Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: bhoot on August 12, 2019, 08:56:17 pm
Tilburg hotels not looking promising ... anyone found anything?
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on August 12, 2019, 09:48:29 pm
I struggled on Saturday to find somewhere, and not had a chance to properly look again yet. I think we might need to go to one of the surrounding towns. I’m looking again tomorrow ... need to find somewhere large enough for us all, cheap, evening meal options locally or at the hotel, and secure bike parking. Happy to hear suggestions, but otherwise I’ll look again tomorrow.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 12, 2019, 09:52:22 pm
I struggled on Saturday to find somewhere, and not had a chance to properly look again yet. I think we might need to go to one of the surrounding towns. I’m looking again tomorrow ... need to find somewhere large enough for us all, cheap, evening meal options locally or at the hotel, and secure bike parking. Happy to hear suggestions, but otherwise I’ll look again tomorrow.

You may find Breda has more hotels.

J
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: bhoot on August 13, 2019, 08:18:31 pm
I've just booked ferry and one hotel... I found a good deal at the Hotel (In)Credible in Nijmegen, which looks to be all of about 250m from the Courage. They have told me they have a "garage box" close by where bikes can be stored - I submitted it as a question when I booked (booking.com) and they cam back quite quickly with an answer.



Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: Tomsk on August 13, 2019, 08:26:01 pm
Ferrys and Hotel Courage booked  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on August 13, 2019, 08:26:42 pm
Having trawled across the region, I have found what appears to be the perfect hotel for the Saturday night. Reasonable price, nice location, seemingly a nice standard, and hopefully secure bike parking (I'm checking on that).

For the evening meal, the hotel specials are €17.50. Alternatively, the centre of 's-Hertogenbosch is 6 miles away, so there's an option to get a taxi for a night out in town. I've not checked in detail, but there might be somewhere suitable that is closer than the centre.

To keep things simple, I've secured 4 singles and 2 twin rooms. The singles were £66.05 and the twins were £86.29. I can cancel any that are not going to be used, and extra rooms can be obtained if our numbers expand. I have assumed bhoot is able to join us (which looks to be correct, according to the new post above that has appears whilst I've been typing this!). I can take payment on the day, as I expect we'll be charged in euros, so the price may fluctuate a little.

So could all those going please indicate their preference for a single or twin. A PM is fine.

The hotel details can be found at https://www.guldenberg.nl (https://www.guldenberg.nl). Just to be clear, you don't need to book a room yourself. I have already done that  :)

EDIT: and Tomsk I had already added to the list  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 13, 2019, 08:43:04 pm

Funky!

What's your route thinking for Nijmegen to this hotel? They are only about 60km apart...

I'm thinking I may come join on the Saturday from Nijmegen to den bos. What time are you likely to start in the morning ?

J
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: jiberjaber on August 13, 2019, 10:26:13 pm
's-Hertogenbosch

/Dirk Voice: Which literally means "the Duke's forest"

 :thumbsup:

Hopefully Dirk is coming?
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on August 14, 2019, 05:05:26 am
What's your route thinking for Nijmegen to this hotel? They are only about 60km apart...

I'm thinking I may come join on the Saturday from Nijmegen to den bos. What time are you likely to start in the morning?

Original plan was to follow the LF Maasroute for a while, then loop back round. Maybe 120 - 130km. But I will look at an alternative if people are interested in visiting the cycle museum in the morning. So we might have a split group that day, or we might have consensus to one or the other.

We’ll have a better idea on the start time once we know the exact plans for the day. Route planning in detail will happen straight after PBP, so should be able to advise by the end of August.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: tedshred on August 14, 2019, 07:39:16 am
Dirk is not coming.

 :'(

You will have to work the wheels of steel on your own Joergen.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: jiberjaber on August 14, 2019, 08:33:59 am
Dirk is not coming.

 :'(

You will have to work the wheels of steel on your own Joergen.

 :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: bhoot on August 14, 2019, 09:21:58 am
To keep things simple, I've secured 4 singles and 2 twin rooms. The singles were £66.05 and the twins were £86.29.

Nice one, thanks for booking. Looks like that rate also includes breakfast?

Given that it is a conference hotel (hence I guess the relatively high availability of single rooms) it may be possible to put bikes overnight in a conference room?

Unless you have any other single women expressing interest in the tour, I'll take a single please (but note if any are considering joining I am potentially up for a cabin/room share to reduce costs)
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on August 14, 2019, 10:13:58 am
Breakfast is included in the price. Looks like good value compared to other hotels I found, and most importantly they could provide twin rooms as well as singles.

I’m waiting on a response re bike storage. I’ll propose the conference room suggestion if the response is not positive.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: Wowbagger on August 14, 2019, 11:27:03 am
I struggled on Saturday to find somewhere, and not had a chance to properly look again yet. I think we might need to go to one of the surrounding towns. I’m looking again tomorrow ... need to find somewhere large enough for us all, cheap, evening meal options locally or at the hotel, and secure bike parking. Happy to hear suggestions, but otherwise I’ll look again tomorrow.

You may find Breda has more hotels.

J

I misread that at first and thought “What’s she doing over there?’
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: farfetched on August 14, 2019, 03:44:25 pm
You won't have any problems there with your bikes, they offer rental bikes etc.. so they will be equiped to deal with yours
too. Also the hotel is set back in the woods and the helvoirt/cromvoirt area is generally very nice. Good choice!
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 14, 2019, 06:25:25 pm
You won't have any problems there with your bikes, they offer rental bikes etc.. so they will be equiped to deal with yours
too. Also the hotel is set back in the woods and the helvoirt/cromvoirt area is generally very nice. Good choice!

Not necessarily, may a hotel will have a stack of rental bikes, and just park em up out front. Rental bikes are not an indication of having good bike storage.

I'd personally just take the bike in my room. As long as it's dry you should be ok.

J
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on August 14, 2019, 07:25:26 pm
There is a locked area for bikes.

From previous experience, we have found hotels in the Netherlands not at all keen on bicycles being brought into the hotel rooms. I'm sure some are fine, but many are not. It's useful to know in advance what to expect, and book elsewhere if the arrangements for bicycles don't sound too good.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 14, 2019, 07:27:48 pm
There is a locked area for bikes.

From previous experience, we have found hotels in the Netherlands not at all keen on bicycles being brought into the hotel rooms. I'm sure some are fine, but many are not. It's useful to know in advance what to expect, and book elsewhere if the arrangements for bicycles don't sound too good.

This matches my experience. I've managed to argue my bike into rooms in all cases bar 1. But that's me on my own. A dozen of you is harder.

J
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on August 27, 2019, 01:04:34 pm
Quick update.

Thursday 12th
I’ve booked a table for 8 people at the Waterfront in Harwich. 7pm for a 7:30pm meal. No pre-booking of food needed this year. It’ll be good if we can all meet there, and head down to the ferry together.

If anybody doesn’t wish to eat there, can you let me know so I can amend the booking please.

Route planning
I’ve drafted the Friday route. By strictly following the river route the distance was somewhat greater than what I was expecting. I’ve managed to reduce the route by 50km whilst keeping the best bits, including 3 proposed places to stop during the day. Currently I have the route down to 165km.

I’m aiming to work on the Saturday and Sunday routes tonight, and share them all for review by those interested in contributing to the route planning.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: Deano_44 on August 28, 2019, 08:02:22 am
Hey guys.

It looks like this trip clashes with some time someone else in the office has already booked off, so I’m afraid I’m going to have to pull out :-(.

Hopefully next year! Hope you all have a great time.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on August 28, 2019, 06:54:56 pm
Hey guys.

It looks like this trip clashes with some time someone else in the office has already booked off, so I’m afraid I’m going to have to pull out :-(.

Hopefully next year! Hope you all have a great time.

Sorry to hear that. But yes, we’ll hopefully have another tour next year. Maybe aim for something a little different.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 30, 2019, 12:21:54 pm
Route planning
I’ve drafted the Friday route. By strictly following the river route the distance was somewhat greater than what I was expecting. I’ve managed to reduce the route by 50km whilst keeping the best bits, including 3 proposed places to stop during the day. Currently I have the route down to 165km.

I’m aiming to work on the Saturday and Sunday routes tonight, and share them all for review by those interested in contributing to the route planning.

Any luck with the draft routes?

Btw, what sort of average speed are you aiming for?

Do any of you have a spot tracker or similar? I'm wondering how to find you all if I don't start the day with you (Getting to Hoek for your arrival is either going to make for a 200+ day, or arriving at Rotterdam before 0630... )

J

Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: jiberjaber on August 30, 2019, 12:42:49 pm
I suspect there might be a whatsapp group  it appears to be fashionable at the moment  :thumbsup:  Might be a good way of resolving..
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on August 30, 2019, 12:46:58 pm
Friday's route is pretty much there. Saturday's route needs a bit of work, and Sunday's route should be straightforward as it'll be based on previous years.

I ran out of time in the evenings this week, so will finalise the draft and send out tomorrow (Saturday). It'll include details of whereabouts we're likely to stop for food and refreshments.

I have a SpotX, but I use a PAYG model which only gets activated when I'm heading somewhere wilder than the interior of the Netherlands. So would suggest we can either note a rendezvous point at the start of a day, or use WhatsApp. We can discuss once the route is published.

I've been assuming a 20kph moving average, but it'll depend on local conditions. On previous trips we've been slowed by junctions, right angled turns on the cycle paths, weird ramps up stairways, etc. Cycling speed might be up at 22 - 24kph, but it depends on how everyone is feeling, the wind, etc.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 30, 2019, 01:08:26 pm
Friday's route is pretty much there. Saturday's route needs a bit of work, and Sunday's route should be straightforward as it'll be based on previous years.

I ran out of time in the evenings this week, so will finalise the draft and send out tomorrow (Saturday). It'll include details of whereabouts we're likely to stop for food and refreshments.

Excellent.

Quote
I have a SpotX, but I use a PAYG model which only gets activated when I'm heading somewhere wilder than the interior of the Netherlands. So would suggest we can either note a rendezvous point at the start of a day, or use WhatsApp. We can discuss once the route is published.

Am not a whatsapp user, I have too many other chat programs instead (telegram, signal, discord etc...).

I'm sure we can work something out tho.

Quote

I've been assuming a 20kph moving average, but it'll depend on local conditions. On previous trips we've been slowed by junctions, right angled turns on the cycle paths, weird ramps up stairways, etc. Cycling speed might be up at 22 - 24kph, but it depends on how everyone is feeling, the wind, etc.

Excellent. That I should be able to maintain.

J
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: farfetched on August 30, 2019, 04:10:53 pm
Hi all,

If you are looking for a route for saturday i can suggest this ...

   https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30985183 (https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30985183)

Its 120km which might be a little ambitious if you have other plans, it also takes a few lumpy bits around Nijmegen at the start which you could
easily avoid by going through the city. The bit down to Plasmolen is very nice and mostly downhill to the river through the woods. There might be
a bit of light gravel but nothing alarming.

From there it takes the ferry at Afferden (less than €1 and runs every 10min or so), there are other possibilities, from there its Overloon (good place for a stop), Bakel (lots of cafes) and then via the canal (bike path) to Oirschot (Also loads of cafes) . The last part heading North will take you through quiet lanes to your hotel.

(This route is a cut and paste from two other routes that i have, 90% of which i have riden myself)




Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on August 30, 2019, 04:42:43 pm
Thanks farfetched

My route is currently 100km for the Saturday, which I am looking to reduce to less than 80km to allow for the museum visit in the morning. I am also looking at a quick loop for the morning, perhaps in the direction of Arnhem, for anybody who wants some extra cycling instead of the museum visit.

My route is the same as yours for the initial bit out of Nijmegen. I thought the little hill would add interest, and street view suggested the area was all rather pleasant.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on September 01, 2019, 12:08:14 pm
The draft routes are available to view. If you have any comments, please do shout or create a new route version if there’s improvements you’d like to make. Note that these are draft, I would hope any amendments can be made over the next few days, and we’ll have confirmed routes by next weekend.

Fri - https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30951617 (https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30951617)
Sat - https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31000443 (https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31000443)
Sun - https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31001098 (https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31001098)

Friday 13th Sept

Ferry docks at 8am. Disembarkment is usually a rapid process, so we should aim to meet at the bus stops where we have congregated in previous years. I’ll explain to newcomers how to get there beforehand, but we should aim to have somebody with you to ensure nobody gets lost. Hopefully we’ll be cycling by 8:30am.

55km - waterfront at Dordrecht - a few bars to chose from, all with outdoor seating looking out across the water
 - arrive about 11am
 - aim for a 30 minute stop

63km - ferry

83km - ferry

99km - Ons Trefpunt - http://www.onstrefpunt.nl (http://www.onstrefpunt.nl) - old school cafe, looks superb
 - arrive about 1:30pm
 - lunch stop
 - aim for 1 hour stop

114km - ferry

130km - ferry

138km - De Korenmolen, Blauwesluis - https://www.korenmolen.nl (https://www.korenmolen.nl)
 - bar/restaurant next to a windmill
 - arrive about 4:30pm
 - refreshment stop
 - aim for 30 minutes

166km - Hotel Courage, Nijmegen
 - arrive about 6:30pm
 - plenty of restaurants a short walk from the hotel, either just along the river front, or across the park

With 4 ferries during the day, I’m expecting we might finish about 1 - 1.5 hours later.

Saturday 14th Sept

The National Cycle Museum ‘Velorama’ is next door to the Hotel Courage where most of us are staying. Assuming that most wish to visit that, the logistics would be:
 - museum opens at 10am
 - €6 entry fee
 - hotel checkout is 11am, so presume we’ll checkout and be able to keep bikes secure until we finish at the museum
 - aim to start cycling at between 11:30 & 12:00

38km - Bar - Herberg D’n Brouwer Eten in Zeeland
 - housed in a former brewery, this place is now a bar and restaurant with hotel facilities
 - could be a nice place for refreshment stop + lunch
 - bike parking outside church opposite
 - plenty of outdoor seating (or indoors, as weather dictates)

80km -  Hotel Guldenberg 's-Hertogenbosch
 - either
  - relax in the hotel restaurant and bar, or
  - take taxis into ’s-Hertogenbosch

Sunday 15th Sept

39km - De Zevende Hemel, Terheijden
 - cafe, opens at 11am
 - aim to arrive at 11am
 - 30 minute stop

68km - Restaurant Bellevue, Willemstad
 - arrive about 1:00pm
 - lunch stop, maybe 2 hours?

69km - ferry - or bridge diversion if ferry not operating

106km - Smaak & Meer, Maassluis
 - good beer selection, plus food

118km - Torpedoloods, Hoek
 - possible option if arriving at the ferry terminal early
 - beer and nibbles


@quixoticgeek - assuming this is pretty much the final plan, let us know which rendezvous point would work for you
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: quixoticgeek on September 01, 2019, 03:35:51 pm

Fri - https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30951617 (https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30951617)
Friday 13th Sept

Ferry docks at 8am. Disembarkment is usually a rapid process, so we should aim to meet at the bus stops where we have congregated in previous years. I’ll explain to newcomers how to get there beforehand, but we should aim to have somebody with you to ensure nobody gets lost. Hopefully we’ll be cycling by 8:30am.

55km - waterfront at Dordrecht - a few bars to chose from, all with outdoor seating looking out across the water
 - arrive about 11am
 - aim for a 30 minute stop

@quixoticgeek - assuming this is pretty much the final plan, let us know which rendezvous point would work for you

I can be in in Dordrecht for just after 10am. I'll either get the first train I can take my bike on, from Amsterdam, or I'm seriously considering cycling down the night before, bivvying relatively near by (~20km away), and then meeting you all in Dordrecht, depends a bit on the weather.

Day 1 looks most interesting of the 3 from my point of view.

I was wondering how you'd feel about a small diversion from your route at Appeltern:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31002639

It's not any longer, and it would bag me 1 more municipality for the long term challenge...

Am looking forward to this, should be a good day out!

J
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on September 01, 2019, 06:01:21 pm
I was wondering how you'd feel about a small diversion from your route at Appeltern:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31002639

It's not any longer, and it would bag me 1 more municipality for the long term challenge...

That's not a problem ... I've updated the current version of the route. It adds 1.5km to the total distance, but I'm sure we can manage that  :)
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: farfetched on September 02, 2019, 10:36:50 am
Regarding your route for Saturday...

I seriously doubt if the segment Nederasselt - Grave is possible, at least not as its shown.
This is a provincial road N324 without a bike path, the bike path stops at the end of the bridge, you can take right and under the road to Grave or right on
to the pump station and country roads to Velp.

I would suggest the following route ....

    https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31008770 (https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31008770)

Maybe they have downgraded this bit of road and put a bike path in (they were busy doing this in March), who knows.




Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on September 02, 2019, 12:30:40 pm
Thanks for the heads up. I’ll take a closer look at that section this evening
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: farfetched on September 02, 2019, 03:54:09 pm
I forgot to add that its not allowed to ride a bike on most N roads (they are usually 80kmh+) - there will normally be a seperate bike path.
I noticed that google maps routes you correctly for bikes, so does strava. Google sends you to the left and strava takes the road under the bridge down to Grave. Both are valid - mine takes the scenic route and avoids going through the built up area/industrial units.

For what its worth RWGPS seems to think you can ride a bike down this road - as it does at a few other locations in NL where you shouldnt.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: phil w on September 02, 2019, 06:40:10 pm
Cycle.travel shows you where the cycle tracks are around there.  Based on open street map data.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: bhoot on September 02, 2019, 08:01:10 pm
I tried cycle travel for NL routes last year and it was reassuring when it gave me the "right" details for areas that we had already ridden and therefore knew - things like swapping road sides and indicating surfaces, and links between levels.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on September 02, 2019, 08:17:44 pm
.. mine takes the scenic route and avoids going through the built up area/industrial units.

I've updated the route at that location. When I first did the route I saw on StreetView what seemed to be a bike path continuing just after the right hand turn after the bridge. I can't see that path further down the road so suspect it is not what I thought it was. I have now followed your proposed route, and cut across a little as we can continue with the quiet roads a little further rather than going back to the original route closer to Grave.

Thanks again for the heads up about that issue. I think the reroute is going to be much better ... I've tried to avoid the main roads as much as possible, even when cycling along a cycle path alongside the road they are not much fun. Thankfully the majority of the route is small lanes, a few cycle paths where possible, and limited main roads, generally at the river crossings.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on September 02, 2019, 08:57:17 pm
Cycle.travel shows you where the cycle tracks are around there.  Based on open street map data.

I tried cycle travel for NL routes last year and it was reassuring when it gave me the "right" details for areas that we had already ridden and therefore knew - things like swapping road sides and indicating surfaces, and links between levels.

Thanks both. I've taken inspiration and uploaded the routes to Kamoot, which is kindly highlighting some parts of the route which might be troublesome. Using StreetView I can see some of the 'very minor' paths in some locations might not technically be Fietspad. Should only require some minor updates, which I'll aim to do tomorrow.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: farfetched on September 02, 2019, 09:37:41 pm
Saturday looks ok now as far as I can see, wouldn't choose to go through Uden myself but I appreciate you are trying to keep the distance down. Would like to join you for a few km and say hello but it's unsure when my puppy's training session starts.

Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on September 02, 2019, 09:49:52 pm
Saturday looks ok now as far as I can see, wouldn't choose to go through Uden myself but I appreciate you are trying to keep the distance down. Would like to join you for a few km and say hello but it's unsure when my puppy's training session starts.

We're avoiding the centre of Uden, and the StreetView images of our route show tree-lined residential roads. Might be a bit slower than the out of town roads, but should be a nice variation.

Let us know nearer the time if you are able to ride out, even for a short while.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: farfetched on September 03, 2019, 01:23:26 pm
Let us know nearer the time if you are able to ride out, even for a short while.

Yes - thanks for that - will do.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on September 03, 2019, 07:29:08 pm
I've checked each days route in Kamoot, and looked at StreetView for discrepancies. This has led to one or two minor tweaks in each file, just to avoid any issues. The only minor question mark I have is for the ferry at Woudrichem, at 83km on day one. I think I have routed to where the little ferry runs from. I've tried to check but the online resources I can find about the ferry are not very accessible to non-native speakers.

I'm still happy to receive other comments and suggestions. Could I request all feedback by Friday 6th at the latest, and I will then confirm the files as final at the weekend.

Cycle Museum
When I was checking with Hotel Courage about our likely arrival time, I mentioned our intention to visit the cycle museum on the Saturday. They have advised that we can get tickets for the museum from the hotel reception.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: farfetched on September 03, 2019, 09:12:38 pm
Yes, you are taking the small ferry which is only for pedestrians and cyclists.
In September from 10:30 to 17:00... It doesn't look that big so you might not fit on in one go.

The large ferry leaves from waterpoort at the very top of the Village, this goes every half hour.. however in September it doesn't go to castle Loevestein on Fridays ( only weekends) so you're stuck with the small one.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on September 03, 2019, 09:31:08 pm
Yes, you are taking the small ferry which is only for pedestrians and cyclists.
In September from 10:30 to 17:00... It doesn't look that big so you might not fit on in one go.

The large ferry leaves from waterpoort at the very top of the Village, this goes every half hour.. however in September it doesn't go to castle Loevestein on Fridays ( only weekends) so you're stuck with the small one.

Thank you for confirming the details. The small ferry sounds perfect, quite an adventure.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on September 08, 2019, 03:03:53 pm
It looks like we are all set. Weather is showing dry, 18-19 degrees daytime temp, and a gentle NW wind.

Routes can be downloaded from:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30951617 (https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30951617) - 167km - Friday
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31000443 (https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31000443) -   81km - Saturday
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31001098 (https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31001098) - 119km - Sunday

Meeting at the Waterfront, Harwich - http://www.waterfrontharwich.co.uk (http://www.waterfrontharwich.co.uk) - at 7pm on Thursday. Food from 7:30pm.

I have booked the table at the Waterfront, and have provisional bookings for the hotel on Saturday night. The latter will incur the cost of the room if I don't advise any changes in advance. So please do let me know in advance if there are any changes. The full complement of riders I have noted is:

jiberjaber
Grey Sheep
Tomsk
bhoot
psyclist
TRCExplorer
Sue

Plus QG from Dordrecht for the day.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: farfetched on September 09, 2019, 03:48:47 pm

As i remarked earlier, i can join you for around 40km on the saturday leg - from the bridge over the Maas to St Michielsgestel would work OK for me.

I would probably wait at the top of the bridge (John S Thompson Bridge)  near the memorial at km 26 , there is a table and bench (see photo below).
You can see the memorial near the flag poles, in the background the road goes off towards Velp.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48705851681_9e4d8fe3d7.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2hcYdPt)

I wouldnt expect you before 12.30 looking at your agenda - as long as the weather is OK its a nice place to stop.
(without tempting fate it does look ok)
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on September 09, 2019, 05:08:16 pm

As i remarked earlier, i can join you for around 40km on the saturday leg - from the bridge over the Maas to St Michielsgestel would work OK for me.

Oops, missed that, sorry!

That sounds fine. As you say it is safe to assume we’ll not be there before 12:30, although with lunch planned for about 10km further on, I would hope we’ll not be there too much later. We’ll update this thread if there are any changes to the plan.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: jiberjaber on September 09, 2019, 09:14:50 pm
I'm undecided about cycling over to Harwch but if I were to here's the route I would use which is the one we've used most times to Harwich...

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28574925

It starts in Chelmsford, but our traditional meeting point is 'spoons Witham for lunch before the ride over via Wivenhoe for mid-ride refreshments (The Black Buoy) .

Looks like a tailwind to Harwich for Thursday at the moment.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: quixoticgeek on September 11, 2019, 09:42:47 am


A small favour for those of you coming over from the UK, if you have space in your bag, could you bring some cadbury wispa and/or twirl chocolate bars please?

Cadbury's chocolate is really hard to get over here, and I kinda miss it...

J
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: Oscar's dad on September 11, 2019, 10:49:35 am
... The full complement of riders I have noted is:

jiberjaber
Grey Sheep
Tomsk
bhoot
psyclist
TRCExplorer
Sue

Plus QG from Dordrecht for the day.

You seem to have a sensible bunch of companions this year and none who are likely to give you any trouble unlike 2018  ;D
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: tedshred on September 11, 2019, 11:11:08 am
I don't know about that.  If Joergen gets on the disco biscuits it could go off big time.

Let me see those hands !

Have a great time all. 

Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: jiberjaber on September 11, 2019, 12:19:40 pm
I don't know about that.  If Joergen gets on the disco biscuits it could go off big time.

Let me see those hands !

Have a great time all.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on September 12, 2019, 09:11:10 am


A small favour for those of you coming over from the UK, if you have space in your bag, could you bring some cadbury wispa and/or twirl chocolate bars please?

Cadbury's chocolate is really hard to get over here, and I kinda miss it...

J

Acquired some of each, and hopefully they'll survive the journey across intact. I'm surprised you've not succumbed to the far superior continental chocolate though ...
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: quixoticgeek on September 12, 2019, 04:06:14 pm

Acquired some of each, and hopefully they'll survive the journey across intact. I'm surprised you've not succumbed to the far superior continental chocolate though ...

I've yet to find the superior continental stuff. Everything round these parts seem to be milka. :(

J
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: farfetched on September 12, 2019, 09:45:02 pm

 In Amsterdam there are a few ex-pat shops  I know people who go to this one.
Loads of choice with in-store pickup option.

https://www.kellys-expat-shopping.nl/en/british-groceries/

 Also in Bloemendaal Village there is a delicatessent called Rutte who have a selection of cadburys and other British stuff. Ideal if you combine it with a training ride to 'het kopje'  :thumbsup:

There is also one in Amstelveen but I can't find it on line.

Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: jiberjaber on September 12, 2019, 10:35:30 pm
Milka is lovely, far nicer than Cadbury but that's easier to say when we can get Cadbury anytime...

Anyhow, we've on the boat, bit of a delay as it was late due to only having only one engine...

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190912/befbcc0dbbf18a1fc6c2f0acff0629ba.jpg)
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: farfetched on September 15, 2019, 01:37:53 pm
Managed to meet up with the Acme peloton for a short trip through North Brabant on Saturday afternoon including lunch and beer tasting session which I managed to resist.

Hopefully all made it safely to their hotel and onwards to Hoek today.
Enjoyed the company and we were blessed with terrific weather and tailwinds.
If there is a next time I need to take a different bike as they do like a bit of off-road  :D

Thks Acme, maybe see you on one of your audax events next year.
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: Oscar's dad on September 15, 2019, 02:39:31 pm
If there is a next time I need to take a different bike as they do like a bit of off-road

No that’s cheating!  Comedy off-roading must be done on your least suitable bike, it’s the law!
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: farfetched on September 15, 2019, 07:42:48 pm
If there is a next time I need to take a different bike as they do like a bit of off-road

No that’s cheating!  Comedy off-roading must be done on your least suitable bike, it’s the law!

Hmmmm... COR...
I thought the off road was poor planning but it seems to be perfectly normal ACME activity documented under the FAQ section of their website... didn't do my homework. :facepalm:
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: Oscar's dad on September 15, 2019, 07:53:39 pm
Perfectly normal!  Come to Mid-Essex for the full experience including pickled eggs!
Title: Re: ACME goes European
Post by: psyclist on September 16, 2019, 12:51:25 pm
Thks Acme

It was great to have you join us, and quixoticgeek the previous day.

The sections of gravel and sand weren't planned as such, but they added interest.

Our final day featured a headwind for much of the time, but it wasn't too strong. Willemstad was its usual busy self on a sunny Sunday, supplemented by a Shanty taking place in the square and on the quayside.