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Westvleteren - Prelude

This spring I wanted to go on another cycling trip, but Bart didn't have time off. For some reason nobody else wanted to join either, so I decided to go by myself. Our friends Stefan and Bojan were planning to go to Luxembourg, so I had decided to cycle there. However, rain was predicted so they cancelled their trip and I needed to change plans.

During the last few years we had cycled to 5 of the 7 existing trappist breweries. The only ones missing were Westvleteren and Chimay. Westvleteren is the farthest and rarest of the 7. It is only sold at the brewery itself and has recently been chosen as the best beer in the world. I week before departure I decided to go on a solo cycling trip and 1.5 days before leaving that it would be to Westvleteren.

 

The shortest route would be about a 460 km return journey, but this would only take a few days. That's why I decided to not plan the route all too well and just see where I would end up. I had put a ruler from Westerhoven (my home town) to Westvleteren and had written down the major villages along the way.

This would be the first time I would go on cycling vacation with my new bicycle, so I was curious how it would hold up. However, I still needed to do some maintenance, such as putting on a new chain and brake pads. I had ordered those a week before, but they still hadn't arrived the day before I was planning to leave. To be safe, I bought some cheaper variants at a local bike store during my lunch break. After fixing everything in the evening I was still on schedule to leave the next morning. 

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My brand new second hand cycling vacation bike