Making the route is always half the fun. Somehow. Anyway opening komoot to try and understand how to put together a nice loop is part of the experience for sure. Someone is a bit more nerdy about it (right, Fede?) and someone likes things already pre cooked.

The second part of the experience is to go riding to check if what you’ve planned is truly rideable or if you put yourself in some trouble. With a bit of experience you can route in komoot with very little surprises – and maybe one day we will share a few tips on that – but anyway unexpected things are always welcome and they’re for sure part of the adventure.

This time for the Flanders bikepacking trip everybody agreed on one point: it needs to be a vacation and we need to relax. Few surprises and a lot of beautiful things. Few miles and very little climbing. Some spots to visit and a lot of different beers to taste in between.

So, how did we make the route?

It’s pretty easy when it comes to Flanders because you can take advantage of nine pre-made routes called Iconic Routes. They follow all the cycling paths avoiding traffic and they connect monuments, breweries, points of interest like parks, rivers and many other things.

If you want to bikepack in Flanders you just need to pick one, download the gpx and go! Or – if you want to work on it a bit – you can tailor made yours linking one to the other. You just use one portion of one and one portion of the other. The true interesting thing is that they are all connected in a “knots system”. They cross each other many times – you just need to decide which way to turn all the times you reach an intersection.

We did just that and the result is a planned course that goes through three of the Iconic Routes. We decided to cycle East, leaving the “classic Flanders” for next time. No muurs, no roads where you’re used to see the pros for this time.

We start In Leuven – the city hosting the 2021 Worlds – and we go around heading south first and then turning East until the border. We put some marks on the map – spots we know we want to visit. We’re sure there’s gonna be many more on the road.

The mood is just vacation. A relaxed one. We don’t sleep on the ground or in a tent, not more than 120km a day. A relaxed and generous setup and nothing epic. Just a lot of beautiful things.

It’s gonna be all on tarmac but we always go with the same bike of course, maybe with 35/40 mm tyres just to be comfortable. Lights are always on the bike, our Garmin on the handlebar and bags with everything we need to ride in the sun or in the rain. But even everything we need to enjoy our nights when we stop.

Here is the full loop. If you happen to be around, just let us know!

If you want to make your own route and plan your bikepacking trip to Flanders you can find tons of info and the Iconic routes here