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biking in the Belgian Ardennes

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biking in the Belgian Ardennes

Old 04-03-14, 11:06 AM
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biking in the Belgian Ardennes

My husband and I are newbies doing a bike tour through Belgium. While Flanders isn't that hard to figure out, the guidebooks are all silent from Villers-devant-Orval to Roche-en-Ardenne. Though its possible that there's nothing to see there except idyllic countryside, it would still be nice to know what towns and routes are more idyllic than others, if there's a friendly, clean but cheap inn or campground, and what the terrain looks like. If I google "florenville to roche en ardenne", it tells me that it's a 66.2 km ride, and that it should take me 3 hours and 57 minutes if we were to follow what looks like a highway, the E 46. If I was training for the Tour de Ardennes, maybe, but as a person who takes it real easy on hills, this number doesn't feel right. Neither do I want to bike along a highway for four to five hours. A 500 meter hill climb may very well wipe me out for the day, in which case, a midpoint that has a decent inn or campground, and a good brewery would be nice. It would be lovely if someone could give me a hint as to what the cycling is like in that section of the country so I can figure out if two novice bike tourers could reasonably make it from A to B in a day. Thanks!
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Old 04-03-14, 11:25 AM
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Have you checked crazyguyonabike.com? Lots of people have posted tours to unique and beautiful places (I drool over it). You might find something helpful there.


-Edit-
I entered Villers-devant-Orval to Roche-en-Ardenne and got nothing, but four pages of hits for just Roche-en-Ardenne. Hope that helps. Search crazyguyonabike.com

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Old 04-03-14, 11:38 AM
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Early in the trip I was in Flanders, Ypres, Kortrijk, Passendaele war grave sites. big loop to eastern Europe and back,

Re Entered Belgium from Luxembourg.. but it was the pre digital consumer wave of cell phones cameras and laptop computers.

the forests have Chamois running around in there and some hunters try to get them, (it was 1991)**

found myself cycling past the start/finish line of the Belgian F1 race course , Spa .. open roads when not racing there.

**still have the Paper Map..

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Old 04-03-14, 12:36 PM
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The time suggestions retunred with Google maps bike routes have never made any sense to me. I suggest mapping the route on something like MapMyRide or Bikely and looking at the profile.
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Old 04-03-14, 03:15 PM
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I biked through the Ardennes years ago and don't recall any particularly memorable towns. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of towns in the region were destroyed in both WWI & WWII. I think it only took me 1 or 2 days to cross. It's a moderately hilly, wooded region. The landscape is pleasant enough but nothing special. I'd suggest you look at a Michelin map of the area (ViaMichelin: Michelin route planner and maps, restaurants, traffic news and hotel booking) and look for small roads with a green line bordering them, which indicates a picturesque road. Also, if you see a small arrow on a road, that indicates an incline above a certain percentage. It sounds like you want to avoid those as much as possible.

If you go through the city of Liege, make sure you have a look at the spectacular railway station.
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