ACT-2: my first bikepacking adventure

- Posted in bikepacking vakantietip

A few notes from my first bikepacking adventure.

Setup: from fromt to back. Drybag from diving a few years ago, stuffed with small sleeping bag + small inflatable mat. Strapped to front with a few camping straps. Ortlieb frame bag, Decathlon bike bag on top of that, 2 drinking bottles below. 1 Ortlieb back pannier bag, tent poles on rack. Tent: just a cheap Decathlon Quecha tent in the pannier bag. Bike: Trek L500 carbon drive (a good city bike really)
Front detail. I bought a quad lock to put my phone on. The decatlon bag holds the phone charger to keep the phone charged because riding with GPS all day consumes a lot of battery.
Whoops. Pushing through the sand. The times I wished I had a MTB (I now see the rideable stretch on the left)
Kyoto bamboo forest vibes in Lichtaart
Somewhere in ‘nam. Euh, Mol.

Cross-posting my comment to the ACT-2 bikepacking route.

Thanks for this route Berten!

This was my first bikepacking adventure. I had a lot of fun taking it on this weekend. I started at home in the morning. Left 9:30 in Antwerp, went to Schilde, passed by the Sas4 tower and the nearby bar, then slept at the mentioned camping. I managed to arrive at 17:00. Next time I think I will go a bit further in a single day.

This route combines a lot of small forest roads in a neat way. I especially loved the singletrack MTB parts, through dense forests. One area in Lichtaart reminded me of Kyoto’s bamboo forest and another near Mol of a bridge in Vietnam. Who needs to go far when you’ve got these wonders near home?

So next day ate at Roovertschje Leij around 14:00, popped into the nearby town Albert Heijn to get some new snacks to be able press on. By Sunday evening I got tired of pushing through the wet sand. It was raining on and off.

I think I was close to Breda at the +-175km point. I Google mapped my way to home, with a boring stretch of 50km Bredabaan. Laid on my bike as I pedalled away to get home 9PM. I am not an experienced biker and I really struggled to take the dirt roads in a faster way.

I did this on a city bike with a carbon belt and one pannier bag. I’m happy I did not take two. It’s doable but next time I am taking a MTB :’). Had to absorb a lot of bumps and the loose sand in places had me either pedalling like crazy to keep velocity or sometimes having to step off to push through the sand. All in all worth it for some incredible sights.

Vital stats:

  • Distance: 225km
  • Riding time 13:55 hours
  • Average moving speed: 16,2km/h
  • Max speed: 34km/h
  • Elevation: +453m/-440m
  • Liters of water drunk: at least 7
  • Friendly camping people: 14
  • Most marginality seen in a single kilometer: Brasschaat on a Sunday evening

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