European nostalgia - Touring from Lille to Strasbourg with paniers
4 people attending
2 places left
6 days of cycling, 4 countries, 2 capital cities, two European parliaments, loads of cycling paths, rolling hills and more serious mountains. The trip will follow roughly the EuroVelo Route 5 to discover some of Europe's most famous cities, but also the more remote countryside. This will be a route of contrasts and culinary pleasures. With plenty for the legs.
We will all gather in Lille on Saturday and head towards Brussels. After a night there, we will head South, staying overnight at Namur, Roche en Ardennes, and Luxembourg, where we will spend two nights, with a rest day to recover and explore the city. We will then have two days of cycling, stopping at Sarreguemines in the middle, to arrive in Strasbourg on Saturday. We will stay there overnight to have the opportunity to explore this border city, and we can then head off home.
The total distance is around 650 km. We will average approximately 100km per day. The idea is to start early so that we can arrive at our destination around 2/3pm, thus giving us time to explore. This is a touring trip: you will be responsible for your bike, the paniers, and the kit you bring (see list below). However, we will not be camping, so no need to bring tent and sleeping bag.
Accommodation is in a mixture of hostels, holiday apprtments, B&Bs and hotels. This means there will be a mixture of single and double beds, arrangements on the lucky ones to be made on the night (I will bring non-plastic straws).
Transport wise: see the dedicated section :-)
I would highly recommend spending a couple more days around: Colmar and the Rhine valley offer beautiful sceneries, culture, and wines.
The finalised routes for each day are here:
If there is a demand, I can put together a leisurely route for the rest day in Luxembourg: we can then cycle without paniers.
We will be staying at:
Lille: Ibis Budget Lille centre - 10 Rue de Courtrai
Brussels: Meininger Hotel - Henegouwenkaai 33
Namur: Namur's Youth Hostel - Avenue Félicien Rops
La Roche En Ardenne: B&B Le Marronnier - 2 Rue du Marronnier, Beausaint
Luxembourg (2 nights): Youth Hostel Luxembourg City - 2 Rue du Fort Olisy
Sarreguemines: Hotel Union - 28 Rue Alexandre De Geiger
Strasbourg: Fabrice Luthin - 26 Rue Kuhn
Lille (return trip): Ibis Budget Lille Centre
What to bring
Travelling abroad: Your passport, plug adapters, ear plugs, emergency contact and medical details (incl. your blood type and any medications you may be taking for emergency services).
Bike: a bike suitable for touring and endurance riding. Note that I WILL carry out the M safety check on your bike in Lille and will ask you to fix any security-related issues before we depart.
Helmet: OutdoorLads requires you to wear one. I WILL check that your helmet fits properly and is adequately fastened in Lille
Clothing: the tricky bit. Please bring lightweight clothing for the daily riding. I will personally bring a pair of bib shorts which I will wash / rinse in the evenings to save weight. You will need waterproof layers in case of downpours. It can get warm in June though, altough weather can be variable. Please check the weather before departure to choose sensible clothing, but overall allow for a range of weathers in your planning. Bring some casual clothes for the evenings and visits.
You may want to bring your favourite chamois cream to prevent / reduce chafing.
Footwear: suitable for your bike and pedals. Bring overshoes for rainy days and to prevent your feet from freezing. Neoprene is great for these situations.
Gloves: your favorite cycling gloves. Bring a warm pair as well just in case.
Punctures: this is a (strongly...) advised list: 2x spare inner tubes, mini bike tyre pump, 2x tyre levers (in case you break one), CO2 cartridges (x2 minimum). I will have spare chain links and a chain breaker for heavier repairs if needed.
Tools: any special tools that your bike needs. In particular, don't forget any special hex key you may have for your wheels.
Small snacks: depending on your diet and requirements. Please let me know of any medical requirements, so that if you collapse I don't end up sticking sugar in you if you're diabetic! If you are on LCHF, there'll be plenty of cheese in Lille!
Hydration: even more important than food. Bring bottle/s on your bike or in a daysack/bladder and hydration tablets if you use them.
Medicines: if you have hay fever, diabetes, minor ailments etc.
Eye protection: I would highly recommend you bring cycling sunglasses. Orange teinted is the most versatile.
Sun cream: you will need some!
Bike lights: be seen and safe
Storage: as many paniers as you need, but be aware of weight and of the daily distance (100km). Plastic bags in your paniers if they are not waterproof. Of course you are free to do that on a rucksack (doable) but be aware that all additional weight has to go through the only point of contact with the saddle...
Mobile Phone: bring a waterproof bag for it. Also check with your carrier before that it will operate in foreign countries.
Food & drink
You will be responsible for your own food and snacks. We will stop for lunch either at local places or make sandwiches in the mornings. We will eat out in the evenings or use the kitchens if we want when staying in an apartment. This is all left to the group's decision during the trip.
The food in these regions is filling and hearty. Prices may vary but I expect we will be able to find good value for money. Please allow some spare cash if you want to try some Belgium sausages, waffles, baeckeoffe, etc.