Bloody Belgium II

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Blackbert, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. Blackbert

    Blackbert Factory Rambler

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,068
    Location:
    Belgium, wrong side of the river
    Well, as long as it isn't finished, it still exists. Belgium that is. I'm not going to explain how it works, but this is a good introduction. You will understand why it isn't finished, yet. :D

    Anyway, as long as it's here, we can have some good weekends with friends, called "Bloody Belgium". Maybe someday we have to find another name but for now: rock on.

    I still have to upload my pictures, but others can start this thread.
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. diskeletlietje

    diskeletlietje n00b

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1
    Finally a sign of life.:wings<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    I almost called rescue services.<o:p></o:p>
    Bring it on :evil
    #2
  3. Aleph

    Aleph Strider

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Belgium, somewhere between Blackbert and Trooper
    A long long time ago Blackbert asked me if I would like to come to BB2. I didn't need much time to find the one and only correct answer and said in a loud and clear voice : YES !

    Days and weeks went by untill Friday the 21th of October arrived. I woke up full of nerves and didn't want to go at all. I was in a bad mood, looked at my beautifull shiny KTM 950 Adventure and thought of the horrible mud it would have to conquer. And all what I wanted was a nice and cosy happy doing nothing weekend! I sent a text message to Bert, telling him how nervous I was. He responded dryly: "yeah, and how am I feeling right now, do you think?" Which kind of helped me to put things into perspective. :-)

    So I packed all my gear, prepared myself for an artic night, took my best sleeping bag, two thermarests to sleep comfortably, several sets of insulating underwear and so on. At about five in the afternoon I went to the campsite, it took about an hour to get there. Sun was shining, it was a perfect time to put up the tent, arrange my temporary sleeping room and finally join the rest of the people. Names were long forgotten, but lots of faces were getting familiar. And in lots of eyes I saw a sparkle of recognition too. :-) (Yup, I was in Wales in March and yes I was on the first edition of the Bloody Belgians Weekend but I couldn't make it to the trip through Portugal.)

    After shaking hands and exchanging the latest news, we went to the so-called "Brasserie" situated at the entrance of the camping, but in reality it was more a "Friterie de Luxe".
    #3
  4. Aleph

    Aleph Strider

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Belgium, somewhere between Blackbert and Trooper
    The food in the Friterie/Brasserie was allright and the waitress too, but the organisation was kinda nonexistent. At first we all ordered our food and drinks. Almost nobody ordered the same food, mostly because the menu was elaborate. But after half an hour the boss came along and told us he was missing two people in the kitchen and he couldn't prepare all the dishes. If we could harmonise our dishes? So three of us took an omelete, with mushrooms and cheese, and about seven of us took a steak. But some liked it rare, and others liked it well done.... and a few wanted peppersauce and some sauce with mushrooms and some others roquefort sauce... and he didn't write down who wanted what .... so the guy leaves and goes to his kitchen. After half an hour he arrives with the first plate : an omelete nature somebody???? Yeah, right ....
    But in the end all was well, and the steak was great, and the sauce was good and the Belgian Fries (not french!) were simply delicious.
    The day ended around the campfire, at around midnight, and the feeling was good.
    #4
  5. Nilzz

    Nilzz Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    11
    #5
  6. Blackbert

    Blackbert Factory Rambler

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,068
    Location:
    Belgium, wrong side of the river
    Not (yet). All excited about what Loz told you at the campfire then? :evil
    #6
  7. Tom Diesel

    Tom Diesel Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    53
    Location:
    Belgium
    It was Bloody Belgium: it's a about riding bikes, meeting nice people and drinking Belgian beer. :deal (Ok, the restaurant could have been better) :D
    For me it was great fun. It started already with preparing the tracks together with Blackbert and Trooper [​IMG] and some nice meetings to organise everything. :freaky
    Friday night there was the campfire and the beer to keep us warm and the bikes were ready to leave the next morning so by then I realised we had everything we need to have a good time! :1drink
    #7
  8. jan.van.gent

    jan.van.gent Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Oddometer:
    116
    Cool, "belgians" on this forum :D
    #8
  9. laouen

    laouen Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Belgium
    I had one hell of a weekend! :wings:wings:wings

    And yes, I was nervous too, since I would be the rookie of the gang :shog but after seeing all those big smiles coming back after a days trail riding in March earlier this year, I knew I wouldn't want to miss it!

    With just 3 small very dry and dusty rides before, I knew it would be tough. Luckily Tom Diesel took us along for a test ride last weekend so I could get a taste of the mud (not literally luckily :D ) and I loved it :rayof That reassured me a little bit, but not enough though... :shog


    So we packed our gear on Thursday night and drove off to the camp site Friday afternoon. The tent was set, and the bikes unloaded, all clean and shiny... Then it was time to meet quite a lot of new faces.

    After a typically Belgian french fries dinner and some time at the camp fire, we dove into our sleeping bags for a very cold night. I didn't manage to get much sleep and I'm not sure if it was just the first night in the tent or nerves for what was to come the next day. By 7 O'Clock I was wide awake and ready to get going. But first a hearty breakfast to fuel up. I knew I would need all the energy I could get..

    And then, about 20 past 9, all the bikes were fired up and off we went. It took me some time to get into the pace but after a while I got the hang of it and I saw I wasn't that slow compared to the other riders in our group. I had a few 'ow shit' moments and a few times I just stopped thinking of what I was doing, just hanging on to the bike hoping I would get through. Luckily I did :D
    So by lunch time I had the biggest smile ever on my face :D

    After lunch we had to get back to the campsite and head home. My boss decided to get married this very weekend we we were invited for the party. Seems that we missed the best part of the day though. Ah well, I had a very nice dinner and warm bed instead. Not too bad either, I would think.

    The next morning by 8 O'Clock, we were back at the campsite, ready for the second day. It would be 'lazy sunday' and indeed, everyone seemed to have a hard time getting up... I heard stories about beer and whiskey and legs giving out. So this would be an interesting ride...

    This time, the route took us mainly over hard and dusty roads, which I didn't mind, since I wasn't as fresh as the day before... After lunch, the route became more technical with some ruts and mud. But still I was doing ok. Had some more 'oh shit' moments though but all went well until I got to a muddy part downhill with deep ruts. Lost controll of the bike and down we went. Luckily I didn't get stuck under the bike, so before any cameras got out, the bike was upright again ( I hope).

    Back at the campsite, we were greeted by Leen, Blackbert's sister, who made us some hot soup! We packed everything back in the van and then it was time to say goodbye to everyone. Except for Pumpy, Possu and Matt, who were staying another night. Since it would be a cold evening again, we just couldn't leave them all alone, so duibhceK and I invited them, together with Blackbert and Tom Diesel, for dinner in Leuven. Thanks guys for the lovely evening and great ending to a fantastic weekend!

    Also a big thanks to Blackbert, Tom Diesel and IamTRooPeR for getting this all organized!

    When can we go again? :ear:clap
    #9
  10. Windy

    Windy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Cumbria UK
    I set off Friday morning for the chunnel. As it's only 30 miles away and I didn't fancy the motorway during rush hour I set the sat nav to 'No sense of direction' mode and hit the road.
    After a fun ride on narrow twisty Kent back roads I arrived in Folkstone an hour after my train booking :D

    Luckily I didn't have to hang around as there was room on the next train.
    Bike parked up I had a nice chat with the other bikers on the train and a short time later arrived in a chilly Calais.
    I didn't bother with any sight-seeing on the way, but headed straight to the camp site arriving about 4 in the afternoon.

    I caught up with a lot of familiar faces from last year, met some new ones and sent Possu off to the shops to buy me some beer (thanks Steve!) and settled down in front of the campfire for the night.

    Having learnt my lesson in March I left my summer gear at home and brought an extra pair of socks just in case... which was lucky, as we woke up to a very frosty and cold morning.
    [​IMG]

    Breakfast was already on the go courtesy of Bert and Tom, fuelled up and ready to go it was time to fire up the bike.

    Unfortunately the bike started up without any problems :D, so there was nothing for it but to switch on the heated grips and head off to the trails.

    [​IMG]

    Led by BlackBert and chaperoned by Pumpy we had a good morning on the trails which were mostly dry but now and then there were patches of very slippery mud. This was no problem for most of the group but the GSA and my 990 had a bit of trouble with traction, leading to the days only 'Off' as the GSA tipped over on a muddy turn... I must have forgotten my training, as my first instinct was to rush to help instead of getting the camera out :rofl
    So no pictures of this (I'm sure our official photographer Pumpy will have captured the evidence though).

    Bikes all upright again we stopped off at the Horst Castle for lunch.

    [​IMG]

    After a Horstburger (or was that Horseburger :D) and fries it was time to head back to the trails, parting company with Duibhcek and Laouen who had to leave us to attend a wedding.

    It wasn't long before we came across a trail I recognised. Last year I came off twice coming down this trail which finished me off for the day.
    No pictures form me, but this is one from last year (sorry Loz :D)

    [​IMG]
    (pic by Beer)

    At least this time we were heading up it... surely it's got to be easier that way?
    Everyone else powered up the slippery trail but The GSA and the 990 didn't have it so easy. The tyres turned slick as they filled up with mud, and we were reduced to pushing, pulling and roosting our way to the top.

    [​IMG]
    look.. no tread!

    That turned out to be the trickiest section of the day.. for most of us anyway - not long afterwards BlackBert hit a particularly nasty bit of straight, flat and smooth road (don't you just hate those) and promptly rode into a ditch :rofl

    [​IMG]

    At this point Pumpy and I were seperated from the rest of the group, as it was fairly late, going dark and cold we decided to head back to the campsite, arriving just before the others.

    All back safe and sound and no harm done we got changed and left for the Brasseire around the corner. Plenty of fries and mayonaise later we adjourned to the camp fire and a gallant attempt to finish the rest of the beer.

    Sunday morning arrived far too quickly, although it was much warmer than Saturday and after lots of coffee and another good breakfast we headed off for the 'Lazy Sunday' ride.

    We took the trails at a relaxed pace (at least I did - Saturday had worn me out) unlike the previous day the route was fairly busy, with lots of mountain bike groups to negotiate and a few other Trail bikes passing in the opposite direction.
    After a lunch stop in Hoegaarden time was getting on so I left the gang and went back to the campsite to pack up and head for home.

    I made good time to Calais and after a short wait got the train home, a quick blast down the M20 (I ignored the sat nav this time:) ) I finally collapsed in front of the TV amazed I had made it through the whole weekend without falling off, and no recovery trucks required!:clap

    Thanks to Bert, Tom, Kurt and everyone else for organising another great weekend, Pumpy and Duibhcek for not getting too bored trundling along behind me and everyone else for a good laugh.
    Looking forward to seeing you all at the next one:freaky

    Windy
    #10
  11. Blackbert

    Blackbert Factory Rambler

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,068
    Location:
    Belgium, wrong side of the river
    After the first edition last year, we met some new people at the WYOA ride in Portugal, managed to put a few more loops together, talked someone in to share his knowledge. So we could invite more people to the second edition.
    Campsite was no problem, last year's restaurant went broke though, so we had to look for an alternative. The Friterie deluxe was, well, ok. But that's details, the most important: fun was had by all in good spirit, so a big thank you to all for making it happen, that's why we do it. :clap

    Fridaynight. It looks like we should have poked up the campfire a little.
    [​IMG]

    Saturday, 7.45. In dire need of coffee.
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    After the bacon & eggs, the white stuff was more or less gone. Time to go riding.
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    Easy Company, aka the
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    That's me, staff sergeant "Grandpa", 3 big bikes, 3 novices on thumpers and the legendary Pumpy on her well travelled DRZ covering our tail. Along the way, we picked up StevenD, who got separated from his group.
    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. Timpo

    Timpo NORTH WALES TRF.

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,110
    Location:
    Downtown Wombatislava, England.
    Tom, Bert and crew...... a great weekend for me, thanks for all your efforts. :thumb
    #12
  13. strobingred

    strobingred Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    164
    Location:
    Benson, Oxfordshire
    Thanks Bert and Tom et all for a brilliant weekend.

    We were so lucky with the weather even though a touch of frost on friday night caught the lightweights.

    Tom led us a merry dance on saturday with no major offs and just one puncture on Muddy mats new 690.

    On Sunday I left to meander my way back to Calais via lille and St Omer. GPS on "no autoroutes" made for a very pleasant trip, with the appropriate stops for sandwiches and coffee.

    Back home to Oxford at 7.30 with a sore arse and 650 more miles on the bike.

    Thanks to everyone for a comradely weekend which has such a good feeling

    cheers

    clive
    #13
  14. Blackbert

    Blackbert Factory Rambler

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,068
    Location:
    Belgium, wrong side of the river
    Timpo, thanks for being there mate, and for bringing the Big Numpty with you. :D
    Cheers Clive, see you on the next one.

    You saw the Husa in the first post? Brand spanking new, this was his first ride. Didn't like the licenceplate though, so it got airborne crossing this field. Attitude.
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    To keep the troops sharp, one has to trow in some more challenging bits now and then.
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    Sorry for the quality, some were real longshots. And I need to clean the lens:shog
    #14
  15. Blackbert

    Blackbert Factory Rambler

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,068
    Location:
    Belgium, wrong side of the river
    Johan Tentman. BIG bike, TKC's. Rather new to this kind of riding. He did very well. :clap
    [​IMG]
    As did Windy
    [​IMG]
    Now this we can not tollerate. Pushing Dirty Girls in the nettles and then do a runner. :deal
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    Pumpy cornering Dakar style. :D
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    Windy hypnotising his front wheel
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    The bridge is for MTB's! Well, nevermind.
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    He had no choice. Bridge too narrow :wink:
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    Back in the open again
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    But not for long.
    Zappa conquers the mud. She's got it, just needs to get a little more aware of that. :thumb
    [​IMG]

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    Pumpy shows how it's done.
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    Tentman needed a little push
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    The daylight started to fade
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    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. laouen

    laouen Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Belgium
    that's the most amazing pic :thumb
    #16
  17. muddymatt

    muddymatt Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    152
    Big thanks to Bert, Kurt and Tom for a cracking weekend. Just getting used to a house with central heating after a few chilly starts.

    Being a numpty and not having mastered my Blackberry I managed to arrive at the gates to work at 0545 this morning a full hour earlier than normal due to having adjusted to Belgian time and not transferred back when I arrived in Blighty. :doh

    Not many pics but a few to post.

    [​IMG]

    This is much how my tent looked all weekend as I failed to master the door shutting when gone to bed. Luckily the anti freezing qualities of red wine helped keep me safe.

    [​IMG]

    I managed to capture this picture of Tom going blackberry picking in the bushes. Notice Loz rushing to his aid. :D

    [​IMG]

    Wilfred was just glad it wasn't his KTM that had broken down.

    [​IMG]

    Luckily this guy loves repairing them and spends his holidays doing so.

    I even managed a night of culture in Leuven with a very good meal thanks folks for your hospitality.

    In big trouble at work for not bringing any chocolate back for the ladies. Hopefully going to get out of it as been to Sainsbury's and bought a box of those multi coloured shells with Belgian on the front of the box.

    Until the next time.

    Matt
    #17
  18. Pumpy

    Pumpy Exiled Pumpernickel

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,147
    Location:
    Oxford, UK
    I agree - so let's have a more appropriate size... :D

    [​IMG]

    We're still in Germany but every now and then managing to sneak into Advrider to enjoy your reports and pics. :thumb

    Thanks everyone for a fantastic weekend - especially Bert, Tom and Kurt for organising it! :clap

    Will add to the stories and provide more photographic evidence when we're back in Oxford. Keep it coming.

    :lurk
    #18
  19. duibhceK

    duibhceK duibhce Kaelann

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    444
    Location:
    Chapel of the Well
    It started back in March all th eway in Wales, when Bert announced that he was planning to organize another edition of Bloody Belgium. From then on it was marked in big red letters in our calendar.

    Unfortunately somewhere along the way my weapon of choice, a 660 Tenere, was brutally taken from me and I had to look out for a replacement. Along came a Versys. Nice road bike, bike not quite ideal for off-roading. But, a couple of weeks after we bought a DRZ for laouen I came across another DRZ which I bought at a nice price, mainly for spare parts and improving my own tinkering skills. At the time I still had the XTZ.
    After the Ten was stole I turned my attention to the second DRZ and managed to get the engine running back like clockwork. But there still was some work to be done new clutch plates required, a cooling fluid leak that needs to be addressed, throttle cable is missing and some electrics that needs some attention. I wasn't sure whether I would be able to get it in an acceptable state for BBII. Fortunately, around the same time I got my hands on a nice second hand WR250. At least now I had something to ride the trails.

    A couple of weeks before the event Bert and Tom invited us to a bar in Aarschot. According to them they wanted to discuss a couple of practical things, but I'm pretty sure they were just looking for an excuse to go out for a drink. :freaky
    Anyway, a big army tent was arranged just in case the weather would be bad. The weather would turn out to be so good we didn't even need to load it in the van though.

    Last weekend we already had some practice during the recce of one of the tours. It was cut short by Tom's 3rd puncture in as many days of trail riding though. After the first 2 the spare inner tubes were down to 0 and with an inner tube that is just ripped in 2 the puncture repair kit was not much use either.

    And then, finally, it' s Friday. We arrive at the camp site quite early. There's already a few tents and campers, but no signs of life. It appears some impatient are already out for a ride. So we put up our tent and prepare for a cold evening and night.

    Slowly more people start trickling in.
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    Matt's KTM already hides in the bushes.
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    And some more familiar faces turn up as well. Pumpy and her Possu.
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    with Windy in tow
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    We have already pulled the bikes out of the van. Even with a big lawn for them to graze on they seem to prefer staying close to each other. Love is in the air.
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    Meanwhile the impatient bunch also returns to the roost.
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    looking at Timpo's bike they already had some fun today
    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. duibhceK

    duibhceK duibhce Kaelann

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    444
    Location:
    Chapel of the Well
    The GS crowd is represented as well. And as you know big bike means big...
    ...tent, you perverts!
    [​IMG]

    From now on Johan will be known as TentMan.

    The evening is cold, but the camp fire provides some cosy heat. The night is even colder and we wake up to frost covered bikes.
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    Even Blackduck is feeling a bit frosty
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    But with the help of Tom's bacon and eggs we manage to get warmed up a bit and ready for the ride!
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    Today's ride will be short for us as laouen's boss decided to get married and we were invited to the feast. We make the best out of the trails until the castle of Horst, where the famous (big in Belgium style) red knight lives. When I see the Big TentGS and Windy's Katie struggle a bit on the slippery parts I decide to join Pumpy at the back of the group. I can't let her have all the laughs on her own now, can I. :evil
    #20