It was a sticky, damp day in Belgium and the first official event from Wildhood Adventure Cycling aptly named “Dirty Blessings” which did not disappoint.
As per usual Belgium events start with groups of like minded people coming together over a coffee and breakfast before heading out into the outdoors for some glorious muddy fun!
Starting at Manuvèl a rather fantastic coffee shop dedicated to cycling the atmosphere was buzzing even for a cold and wet Sunday although the sun did shine from time to time. Like a lot of Europe the recent weather has been terrible and most days it has rained. With riders setting off when they were ready, having made last minute adjustments and dosed up on caffeine the route was a typical Flemish affair off gravel, cobbles, single-track and forest paths.
But why call it Dirty Blessings I hear you ask….
Well at around 42km you will arrive at the Cycling Church of Klein-Sinaai where traditionally on the 1st of march you can get yourself and your bike blessed by the priest who is an avid cyclist. It’s a novelty that potentially all bike lovers might like, even if you are agnostic. It’s up to you to do that though. Mind you there are only two cycling churches in the world the famous one Madonna Del Ghisallo and this one in Klein-Sinaai, Flanders. A quick visit inside to get a glimpse of all the cycling jerseys is recommended. as it has an overwhelming dedication to the sport.
From there on the 100km ride continues through the Flemish countryside darting through the various landscapes that the area is known for. This is one of the many reasons we love attending events groups like Wildhood have created and will do so far as long as we can.
With the weather setting in we pushed on back towards Manuvèl where a beer and hot soup would be waiting. Talking to friends along the way and making new ones when ever we passed another group of cyclists. This is one thing that Wildhood Adventure Cycling are very keen to achieve. For them it is the spirit of the event and not trying to be a huge corporate entity just about making money and how many riders they can sign up.
Rolling back in slowly, cold and rather damp our enthusiasm and love of Belgium continued to grow. With events like this it is hard not to want come back for more.
If you are thinking of heading to Belgium to ride your bike and attend an event of some sort we couldn’t think of a better introduction than one of Wildhood’s events. For more information head over to Wildhood Adventure Cycling.