In RIDE #60 we visited Flanders for the 45th instalment of our Caffeine Culture series. (The complete feature by Jered Gruber is also published on ridemedia.com.au.) Here are the maps for the rides, and a brief summary of each.
Pays des Collines (above)
Difficulty: 1,130m of elevation gain. Maximum gradient — 18.7 per cent.
Notes: Everyone knows about the Flemish Ardennes; not so many know about the hills just over the border in Wallonia. This also includes what I consider to be the toughest cobbled climb in the area: Mont Saint-Laurent. It’s a bastard. It’s a shame it doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
Taste of ‘de Ronde’ (above)
Departs from: Ronde van Vlaanderen museum, Oudenaarde
Difficulty: 1,309m of elevation gain. Max gradient — 14 per cent. It’s as hard as you make it…
Notes: Super nice, famous route with the fantastic trio of the Kwaremont, Paterberg, and Koppenberg to finish the day.
Departs from: The Zwijnaarde Bridge (just outside of Gent)
Difficulty: 516m of elevation gain. Max gradient — six per cent. Ridden at a fast or faster pace.
Notes: The Saturday ride is a morning tradition but there are also evening equivalents — particularly over the summer.