The weather was a bit colder than last saturday, and it was still overcast when I left Blanden for a ride that would take me through Korbeek Dyle and Duisburg towards the Sonian Forest. Crossing this forest from east to west I met up with Guna R. at the Middenhut. We took the Zonienwoudlaan towards Dworp and then made our way towards the Sept Fontaines area.
Here is the start of a very fine local loop, comprising 35K and nearly 700 heightmeters. Guna had been here before with me but she hadn't done this particular loop before. So she was anxious to try it out.
When we started on the loop and entered the Hallerbos from Dworp it soon became obvious that the Bluebells were starting to bloom in their typical blue/violet colors. Giving the sunny slopes of the Hallerbos a beautiful blue tint. The smell of a thousand hyacynts filled our nostrils as we rode along the tracks of the roadbook.
Leaving Hallerbos for Braine L'Alleud the track then moves towards more rural areas but still manages to choose some very nice backtrails and one steep climb after another had us dig into our gears and grind. I felt a lot better than last week, the sun was out now but the average temperature was 14 degrees instead of the balmy 21 from last saturday. When I checked my Polar readouts my average heartrate throughout this ride was only 122 bpm, compared to last weeks 131 that is a major difference. Moreover since the average speed was exactly the same. Guna has grown a lot stronger since last time we rode together. Doing lots of marathons and preparing for this season with long road trainings obviously made her better physically. She was riding an Intense fullsuspension bike with lots of braking power and big suspension front and aft. In short, I could not get her out of my wheels any more. She was as fast as me in the uphills and faster on the downhills should she have bothered to pass me. Well done girl. You are ready for this seasons O2 Bikers Marathon challenge I'm sure.
Into and out of Lembeekbos and we stopped for a little snack before making our way back towards the Hallerbos, after crossing the N28 and A7 again . Coming from the west, the drops into Hallerbos is quite impressive.
The trail then meanders through the forest again, into and out of the different valleys. Before long we reached the Sept Fontaines again. Quite pleased with a great ride into a lovely sunny region. We rode back towards the Sonian Forest again and parted ways just after crossing the N275. I still had some way to go and the northeasterly wind didn't make my last 20K very easy. For those who want to try the loop we did today, I leave you with the link to Garmin Connect where you can download the track.
Ride Stats :112K and 1205/1375 heightmeters (Polar/Garmin) in 5h58mins