RETURN TO VEURNE – Day1June 8, 2016
On Thursday 2nd June a cold and wet morning faced the nine members of the WKRC who had signed up and then showed up for the two day tour of Veurne Belgium.
They were Alex Cooper (AC),Austin Henderson(AH)Andy Floyd(AF)Carl Matheson(CM)Steve Rivett(SR) Mark Morrison(MM)Paul Townley(PT) Little Gary (LG)and finally me! Trevor Benton(TB). I later found out that CM had turned up despite head butting a door at work and not really feeling 100%.
We all met without incident at the Folkestone terminal everyone had remembered their passports, bikes & money the train was on time and so far apart from the weather forecast all was good.
We arrived at Calais and into the rain and in a semi convoy drove the short distance to the Belgium border to our Hotel all of us were hoping the rain would ease off and the sum would come out. We all arrived safely and unpacked and due to the weather we made a relaxed change and assembled the bikes and once again everyone seemed to have brought all the gear they needed.
Off we set on the Veurne- Ostende-Veurne route after a few minutes of pedalling we were on the quiet back cycle paths running alongside farmland and the picturesque canals of Belgium. All the group took turns at the front even LG! (This cannot be confirmed without picture evidence – Ed.) and despite the wind and light rain we were in an upbeat mood, AC organised some group riding practice as the pathways were clear enough and we had the time, but AF took a tumble when he touched the rear wheel of SR and fell down but fortunately escaped serious injury and he was up riding again. We reached the seafront at Ostende without further incident to be faced with a fierce wind from the sea carrying the beach with it!. As we reached the tiled area which makes up the 10 mile beach AF failed to notice a gully and he was off again this time getting some repeat action on his hip. In fairness to him the area was quiet slippery due to the ongoing rain. We then found a nice seafront cafe and after several portions of Spag Bol and frites we all felt ready to tackle the final miles back to the hotel. But first we had to brave the sandstorms, rain and sand dunes along the front which made for some interesting moments. Imagine one side of your face being peppered by thousands of grains of sand and then having to negotiate sand drifts up to six feet deep( ok six inches.)
We arrived back at the hotel about 1600 and we all had time to give the bikes a quick wash down and ourselves a shower and out at 1800 to the town square to taste the many varieties of Belgium beer. We later went to our normal restaurant and had a splendid meal of steak & frites and the customary apple pie & custard/cream.
Some brave souls then went for a walk around the town and another drink but others including me went back to the hotel for a well earned sleep.
Day One –TB verdict
Journey & Train service –