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Ride Rating System

The BAC has a Ride Rating system that can tell you what to expect while on one of our rides. Learn more...

Ride Info

Ride Overview

Belgium: Cuisine and Culture

  • Arrival
  • 5/8/2021
  • Departure
  • 5/21/2021
  • Ride Director
  • Bridgette DeShields
  • Ride Co-Director
  • Philip Spadaro
  • Driver
  • Jose Martinez
  • Starting Location
  • Bruges, Belgium
  • Finishing Location
  • Leuven, Belgium
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $2900
  • Deposit
  • $600
  • Number of Riders
  • 32 (min. 32 /max. 36)
  • Space Available
  • 4
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 0

Ride Rating

2B  Warning - Read the Description Carefully

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† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.

and you can request to participate in this ride.

Ride Director Comments

Every effort will be made to delay disbursements to vendors (hotels, etc.) until it becomes apparent that COVID-19 situation will not cause the trip to be cancelled. Note that the BAC Board will refund the BAC and credit card processing fees for tours canceled due to COVID-19.

Ride Description

OVERVIEW
The region of Belgium known as Flanders is the setting for this tour, starting in Bruges, then onto Oudenaarde (home to the Tour of Flanders and a cycling museum), Ghent, Mechelen, and finally ending in Leuven. Flanders is both a paradise for cyclists and hallowed ground for the cycling-race enthusiast, home of the legendary Eddy Merck. There are a range of route options in each location, from relatively flat or rolling terrain through picturesque villages and artistic cities to cobbled climbs. You can ride all or part of the Tour of Flanders route or opt for easier rides like the “Brewery Route.” The mandatory rides are relatively flat or rolling, most following the Lange-afstand Fietsroutes ("LF"). In addition to the amazing cycling culture, you will experience scenic canals, historic architecture, abbeys and cathedrals, bustling markets, the art of Flemish masters, and of course food and drink: beer, frites (fries), waffles, and chocolate.

RIDE RATING
This ride is listed as 2B, but ride options will be offered ranging from 1A to 3C or more. The routes on the mandatory riding days (when we move locations) will range from 20 to 50 miles and will be generally flat or rolling. On average, rides will be 45 miles with less than 2,500 ft of elevation. For most rides, the maximum grade is 6% or less, but routes of 11% or greater grade will be available. As we will have multiple fixed locations, riders not only have the option of a variety of rides, but can opt to take a day off the bike and visit local museums/attractions.  There will be options in some locations to take a train to shorten the route or just enjoy a day of sightseeing.  

PRELIMINARY ITINERARY

Sat 5/8: all arrive in Bruges

Sun/Mon 5/9-10: rides to the coast and inland from Bruges

Tue 5/11: ride (~45mi) or take the train (1 hr 15 min) to Oudenaarde

Wed 5/12: rides from Oudenaarde

Thu 5/13: ride to Ghent (~30mi)

Fri/Sat 5/14-15: rides from Ghent

Sun 5/16: ride to Mechelen (50 to 60 mi options)

Mon/Tue 5/17-18: rides from Mechelen (Antwerp ride or train option)

Wed 5/19: ride to Leuven (22mi)

Thu 5/20: rides from Leuven including to the Haspengouw

Fri 5/21: all depart (train to Brussels or elsewhere)

WEATHER
Spring in Belgium is stunning, as most of the countryside will be bursting with blossoms. Weather is typically quite pleasant with an average high temperature of 65°F and an average low temperature of 48 degrees. May is the driest month of the year with average rainfall of less than 2 inches.

LODGING & MEALS
We start the tour at the historic 5-star Duke’s Palace in Bruges, former residence of the Burgundian aristocracy. After that, we stay at the cycling-themed Leopold Hotel in Oudenaarde. In Ghent we will be by the river and in Mechelen and Leuven, the hotels occupy a former church and monastery, respectively. Breakfast will be provided at each hotel. There will be three group dinners. Happy hours will be provided most evenings (at least 10). Restaurants are available within walking distance from each hotel, where you can sample local beers and cuisine. Coffee and lunch stops are available along the routes.

Duke’s Palace (5 star): https://hoteldukespalace.com
Leopold Hotel (4-star): https://gb.leopoldhoteloudenaarde.com
Ghent River Hotel (4-star): https://www.ghent-river-hotel.be/en
Martin’s Patershof (4-star): www.martinashotels.com/en/hotel/martins-patershof
Martin’s Klooster (4-star): https://www.martinshotels.com/en/hotel/klooster-hotel

LOGISTICS

The tour starts in Bruges before dinner on Saturday May 8, 2021 and ends in Leuven after breakfast on Friday May 21, 2021. Ride participants can fly into Brussels, Amsterdam, or Paris and take the train to Bruges. At the end of the tour, you can take the train to Brussels (takes ~30min), which is a major transportation hub; you would fly from there or take a train to another airport or location in Europe.  We will have a van driver whose primary role will be to transport luggage and supplies. While it will be available to assist with any emergencies, it will not serve as a SAG vehicle and participants are expected to complete all mandatory rides. BAC rides are designed for serious cyclists who are able to ride independently.

Transportation of bike boxes for those desiring to bring their own bikes is possible; however, there may be an extra fee for this service. Information on bike rentals will be made available. Rental bikes will be delivered to our first location, and the bikes will be picked up at the completion of the tour. We intend to arrange a group discount with a bike shop and can provide this information to tour participants. Ebikes will be allowed on this ride. If you plan to bring a tandem, please notify the ride leader via email when you apply for the ride.

COST & ADMINISTRATION
Cost estimate is $2,900 per person (in addition to the non-refundable $100 BAC ride registration fee). Cost includes double occupancy for 13 nights; 13 breakfasts; 3 group dinners; happy hour drinks and snacks most afternoons (at least 10); daily route review, maps, cue sheets and sightseeing information; and luggage transfer on 4 days, as well as at least 2 special tours/excursions. GPS tracks will be provided for those who want them, but it is up to the rider to know how to use his or her GPS before the trip begins. The initial deposit is $600, with the second payment of $900 due September 1, 2020, and the final payment of $1,400 due January 1, 2021. The cost is estimated based on $1.25 per Euro. Depending on currency exchange rates, there may be an adjustment in the amount of the final payment.

SINGLES & SOLOS POLICY
It is recommended that singles who want a roommate try to find their own. However, after receipt of the initial deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the ride and given until (October 1, 2020) to find a roommate. If they are unable to find a roommate, they will have the option to receive a full refund (minus the BAC fee and payment processing fee) or pay the $1,450 solo supplement and stay on the ride.  If a single pays the supplement, they may continue to seek a roommate, but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary.  The Ride Leader will assist by attempting to match singles who apply for the ride.  Solo supplement payments need to be sent to the BAC office by October 1, 2020. Checks should be made out to “BAC” with a notation of the tour name included on the check.  They should be mailed to:  Bicycle Adventure Club, PO Box 23998, San Diego, CA 92193.


CANCELLATION POLICY
The BAC ride registration fee and payment processing fee is not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled due to participation below stated minimum requirements.  Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up, and on costs that can be recouped.  The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour’s remaining participants will not incur any additional cost as a result of cancellations.  If the cancelling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time.  If the cancelling participant can't be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed.  If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped the cancelling roommate may also be liable for the solo supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour.  BAC encourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance.

Ride Participant Responsibility
Please remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support.  Participants are expected to come to the ride well trained, in good health and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles.   All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour.  We encourage you to read the ride description carefully and respond to requests from Ride Leader.  While on the ride, support your Ride Leader with offers to help with various tasks such as happy hour preparation and clean-up.  Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour.  Please keep the Ride Leader informed of any special request you may have and respect the Ride Leader’s decisions.

SIGN-UP
To submit a request to join this ride use the "links" displayed above this Ride Description.  When you are accepted, the Ride Leader will move you from the Waitlist to the Pending List.  At this time you will receive an email notification to login to the BAC website to sign the release of liability form and pay the non-refundable BAC ride registration fee and the initial tour deposit ($600) by credit card.  As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List.  To contact the Ride Leader, "click" the name at the top of this Ride Description.


Bicycle Adventure Club
PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510 office@bicycleadventureclub.org

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