Today I had a day off from work and when I saw Roger yesterday after the end of the Meerdaal 2000 organised ride I had told him I would like to ride the furthest loop of the Meerdaal 2000 TT again, with some of the extra bits they had taken out . He agreed to come along so today we met and rode out together. When we arrived at Gottechain we noticed a tree had fallen over the road, and smashed the fence holding in a couple of horses. We decided to do the right thing and rode up to the first house we could find, alarming the inhabitant of the danger of the horses escaping. The - lovely - girl assured us she would call the community and have them clean up the debris and fix the fence. Thus re-assured we rode on.
Starting at Gottechain the loop took us first on a steep and rooty track upwards and then towards Cocrou . Yesterday the ride didn't enter Pietrebais but today I added the extra downhill and uphill to my ride. The leaves were starting to change color and we could both enjoy fantastic views in this very beautiful area. Each time I am riding here I am very grateful to be living where I do, so close to such beautiful forests and landscapes.
From Pietrebais the track now took us to Heze and then all the way up to Longueville. Here I added another left-out section. After plunging down into the valley we took a left turn and then took a very steep climb out of the valley towards Chaumont Gistoux. On the top of the ridge I turned right and we had a very long descent into Bonlez. Here I added a little singletrack next to the river - very wet and muddy at first but then the steep ascent soon left it dryer and we were emerging on the road from Bonlez to Grez. Following this for a while until I turned right and down towards the river Train again. Another secret singletrail - Roger was very pleased to discover these little trails he had never noticed before - brought us to the Royenne region. Right and left and I was at the Gorge du Loup where a long ascent brought us back to the forest edge . A quick zooming descent and we were in downtown Heze. From here I followed the "chemin du Ry de Heze" until past the Royenne farm. A quick right-right and we were on the "Chemin de la Planterie" . To the unwary a dead end but for those in the know it goes on along and between the gardens to end in a very steep climb bringing us into Biez. We stopped briefly at the church to enjoy the beautiful view over Grez Doiceau. The view was made especially beautiful because of the sun breaking though the cloud cover, highlighting the autumn colors. Pity there was a lot of noise here - a screaming radio of the workmen that were renovating the church roof - or we might have stayed there a bit longer. The view is really breathtaking. We rode on and took another narrow singletrack down towards Grez-Doiceau. From here it was only a couple of field tracks and a very steep climb to arrive back at the reststop in Gottechain where our exploration had started. I noticed we already had more than 500 heightmeters, so we rode to Bossut and then down the "Trou des Chiens" trail towards the "Ferme du Grand Royal" . From there we were close to Meerdaal Forest which we entered through Les Claines and the Bois Nicaise. Roger told me it had been a while since he did a particular loop close by so I guided him to that spot and we were zooming along the edge of the valley, down and a bit further grinding our teeth due to a steep ascent bringing us back up the slope. After that we rode down towards the Warande and from there a succesion of big forest roads brought us back to where we started. We said our goodbyes, both very pleased with the ride we had done. The pace had been low but the many hills had taken their toll on our tired legs. Ours is a strange hobby, the more we suffer, the more we seem to enjoy it, in no small amount helped by the beautiful landscapes we cross.
Ride Stats : 47K and 655/705 heightmeters (Polar/Garmin) in 2h54mins
26-10-2009, 18:06 geschreven door Big Bad Wolf