Sunday, 17 August 2008

First reconnaissance for the Nachtrit

A few weeks ago I took a day off from work to help out René with the first reconnaissance for this year’s edition of the Nachtrit. René had done his homework well, having worked out the complete route on the computer. So we only had to drive it to see if theory and practice were the same, they weren’t! As could be expected quite a few roads which looked great on the map turned out to be closed for through traffic. But luckily in all cases a good alternative was available without too much detours.

As it is the 20th edition this year, René decided to try to put a route together with some of the highlights from previous years. Like the road running along the bank of the River Molignee, frequently crossing a railway track, running along the valley, by means of small tunnels.

Also lots of small and twisty country lanes, most of them even have rather decent tarmac.

But being Belgium there are a few stretches that could do with a resurface. And since the Nachtrit is driven in November, there is a fair chance that the roads will be muddy. So we thought it a good idea to incorporate some washing facilities for the cars;

As a result of several roads being closed for through traffic in the first leg, we lost quite a bit of time searching decent alternatives. So it was fairly late in the afternoon that we were more or less on the halfway point. Here we turned lucky in that the first pub/restaurant we encountered, would happily function as the midway halt. They even have a terrace with a fine view;

Sadly it will be dark and cold in November, so no views then. Luckily they do serve some proper beer;

The second leg turned out to be just as good as the first. So looking back on the day I think that I can safely say that René succeeded again in coming up with a brilliant route, with a nice variety of great driving roads.

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