The weather forecast for today wasn't very inspiring for long pointed rides. So my original plan to do part of the Haasrode - Huy - Haasrode ride was put into the freezer and I settled for an orbital ride instead. Starting out over Bierbeek and Opvelp I met up with a very experienced veteran roadie and we chatted about riding up difficult and/or nigh impossible mountains in several countries while we rode together towards Beauvechain. Here our roads seperated.
In view of the forecast thunderstorms and rain I took a right towards Tourinnes-la-Grosse , then looped into Nodebais and descended into Hamme Mille. The weather was quite pleasant so far with some clouds obscuring the sun from time to time, but no wind to speak of and temperatures of around 22 degrees C. Still , far away on the southern horizon the first signs of vertical cloud buildup where already visible. As I sped along into Nethen I came upon a biker who was riding a 29 inch orange/black Niner . He was making a good speed and I settled for a couple of moments behind him. I noticed his right elbow was aiming slightly out of true. When I passed him and made a comment about his bike he recognized me. And indeed, as soon as he spoke I recognized him myself. Benno W . It had been a while since we last met - HERE to be exact - and we had a lot of catching up to do. He decided to ride along my way for a while and that was fine by me. Even though he was riding on big mountainbike wheels and I was on fast roadie tyres. Still I remember he always was in a good form and I was sure he would be able to follow my pace. I noticed he wasn't wearing a helmet and I was a bit worried about the speeds we were going to be making. But all turned out fine. I rode towards Pecrot and Florival and then up to Ottenburg. The hills were part of the plan to incorporate some heightmeters and try to stay on the big ring as much as possible, in order to get some power in the legs. I could still feel the aftermath of the Ventoux adventure so I was feeling quite strong. Benno tagged along nicely and I gradually upped the speed as we were descending into Terlanen and then attacked the Holstheide. Careful on the downhill along the Smeysberg. A truck was blocking the roadview mirror so there was no way to tell if any traffic was coming out of the right-of-way side street. Only after passing the truck did I let go of the brakes , netting a maximum speed of "only" 65kph instead of my usual 75kph+ here. Turning right and following the Sint Jansberg Steenweg through Loonbeek, Neerijse and Korbeek-Dyle we could again make good speeds, zooming along on the flawless tarmac. The wind was slightly to our disadvantage. In Egenhoven I turned right towards the Imec site and then along Arenberg and further along towards Oud-Heverlee and the Zoete Waters.
Riding a roadbike soon makes you appreciate a good road, especially since most of the roads in our country are not quite that good. And I'm not even mentioning the condition of most of the bikepaths. They are a serious disaster. I do prefer staying on the main road as much as possible, at least there you can be sure there is no stray glass or other nasties waiting to have a go at my skinny tyres.
A last loop from Vaalbeek towards Heverlee and back along the Expressweg took me into Blanden with a solid 65K on my GPS. Given the circumstances and the threat of rain I was pleased with that, and even more with the average speed. Given the amount of heightmeters 28kph is not half bad. Benno came along for a quick water refill before riding home. He still had 20 minutes or so to go and I'm sure he made it home in time and beat the rain. The dark clouds are upon me as I write this, there is some thunder and lightning but no rain to speak of yet.
Ride Stats : 65K and 585 heightmeters (Garmin) in 2h19mins
12-06-2012, 13:48 geschreven door Big Bad Wolf