The first time we visited Brussels we took a speed train and missed the full experience of crossing the country border. Wanting to find a fun way to literally cross the border, we found a dedicated bike route to Brussels on the map. It would be the longest we had ever biked: 112 miles! Is it possible??! Another couple we hung out with had a 2 yr old daughter that loved the bike as well, so we thought it would be a double/triple date weekend! 4 bikes, and one with a toddler & her teddy bear. It’s not crazy if other people will do it with you… right?
Since our use of the bicycle was to commute for work and errands, we needed to get serious practice to determine if this was realistic. Our practice rides started with 40km one-way & train back, while you’re still pumped for your destination meal celebration. Once the beach distance got comfortable, then we jumped it to 100km one-way: Amsterdam.
Then the time came for the big test: Brussels, Belgium.
We drank water from screw top water bottles. No helmets needed since it was all dedicated bike path. Regular clothes and shoes since we’d sight-see in Brussels, and hit up a nice lounge before taking the train back. All-terrain mountain bikes. Thankfully no flats because the roads are that clean.
It took 2 days, we stayed at a hotel. Day 1: 120 km. Day 2: 58 km to Brussels + 8km from the train stop back home. (112 miles) in total!!
The last time I had ridden a bicycle was when I was 7, until I moved out to Holland. Jumping from “re-learning” how to ride, to a group distance trip like this was very outside my comfort zone. Cycling as transport, leisure and races has really improved my health & freedom from the trap of “needing” a car to get from place to place.
Everything is biking distance, if you have the time.