Day 11, 28th May 2011, Vollezelle to Kortrijk

Late yesterday afternoon we visited Gaasbeek Kasteel.  It is set in a beautiful landscaped park. The castle, more of a large banorial home, has at various times been attacked and rebuilt in a variety of styles which gives it a wonderful eccentric appearance. 

The bike route deliberately takes you past this monument, and is typical of such routes.  That is, the route designers place the route so that you meander past the interesting features of the region. That is why we follow the meandering route the designers have chosen.  As this blog is primarily about the experience of bicycle touring, I have not included the major interesting features, but you can take it as written that following a route such as the LF6 will incorporate as many of the features as possible that make Europe such a stunning destination.

I received an email from Koen last night, he of the fabulous Brussels bike shop, to say that, coincidentally, he had had a visit from the Taiwanese manufacturers of the bike chain that I had left in his rubbish bin.  They told Koen that the chain was completely inappropriate as it was a kind of “funky BMX chain”.  The point is that I prepare our bikes meticulously. I bought this chain from a well-reputed Canberra bike shop who claimed that it was a superior product for my needs.  They were clearly as clueless as I was.  This is hardly surprising as they rarely if ever have to deal with a touring bike.   Their suggestions were entirely similar to another highly-reputed bike shop that I deal with. It is hard to overestimate the demands that our sort of touring places on a bike, and the need to use precisely the right equipment.

We started late this morning, as breakfast was late.  This is the weekend and the owner of the establishment wanted just a little slack in her hours.  Breakfast was as nicely done as everything else.  Butter was put on a plate and jam in little bowls.  I hate “portion control” packets and think that it is not such a big deal to avoid those annoying little packages.

We rode against a strong headwind all day, but due to the twists and turns in the route, it was quite tolerable.  The route ran through gently rolling hills and very attractive country before rising to a beautiful forested ridge, not accessible by car.  This forest park seems to be a major tourist attraction.


We rode a steep descent down to a canal, which we then followed to the town of Kortrijk.  By the time we got here the weather had deteriorated, and we had a brief rain show.  While riding along the canal we could only manage around 19kmh, instead of our usual 25kmh, due to the wind.  That made 88km for the day.  We normally expect to do around 100km, but there seems to be a reason on most days on this trip why it doesn’t happen.  It really doesn’t matter at all.

We arrived in Kortrijk at around 6.00pm, too late for the information centre, so used TomTom to find a hotel. 


The TomTom database is far from complete, but we found a good hotel easily, then went to a local delicatessan and loaded up on cheese, meats and beer for dinner.  Another day that worked as planned.

View 28 5 2011 Vollezele to Kortrijk in a larger map

On to Day 12                           Back to the diary page