Gravel – Antitankgracht (anti-tank canal)

This fabolous gravelride starts in Baarle-Hertog (B) / Baarle-Nassau (NL) this unique village is worldwide known because it’s part Belgium and part Dutch. Some of the shops and houses litteraly are located part in Belgium and part in The Netherlands.

Dutch – Belgium border straight through the front door

There are 22 Baarle-Hertog exclaves in Baarle-Nassau and 8 Baarle-Nassau exclaves in Baarle-Hertog. A number of these Dutch exclaves form enclaves within the Belgian enclaves in the Netherlands. This makes you see the border everywhere you look, and before you even realise you’ve crossed it several times.

From here it takes you all the way to the Antitankgracht (anti-tank canal). This canal was constructed between 1937 and 1939 with the intention of stopping enemy (German) tanks and other rolling stock before they could reach Antwerp.[1] The anti-tank ditch played no significant role in Fall Gelb (the Eighteen Days Campaign). In the meantime, the Antitankgracht has evolved into a large nature connection area, connecting various nature reserves and forests and enabling the migration of animals and plants between those areas.

You will cross several beautiful gravel sections, and experience Antwerps best!

You must be hungry when you return. Be sure to visit restaurant La Pergola, probably one of the best Italian (Sardinia) restaurants in the Benelux!

South Limburg (The Netherlands), Voerstreek (Belgium)

Often I tend to build my route based on a perfect coffee stop. This time it was different. It turned out that one of our favourite routes passed it, but we just didn’t know it yet…

Belgian newspaper “Het Nieuwsblad”, world famous for the spring classic “Omloop Het Nieuwsblad”, every year has this competion where all their readers can vote for Belgium’s best bakery. Most people know Belgium isn’t only the home of cycling but also the home of bakeries. Therefor it’s a must to visit Equibrilium in the little village Voeren (58 km from the start). Equibrilium rightfully won the title of best bakery! They serve a nice cup of coffee, and there is a church across the road where you can sit and enjoy your perfect pastry:-)

So back to our all time favorite route that starts at the camping site Mareveld in Schimmert, South Limburg, in The Netherlands. 130 km long and 1.500 m of climbing takes you through South Limburg, well known because of the Amstel Gold Race, to some nice, less known but not less beautiful, backroads in Belgium, back to South Limburg again. Expect some beautiful “hairpin bend climbs”, with highlights such as the three-country point (Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands), the Eyserbosweg (where all the Dutch pros test their legs), and cobble climbs.

Wide views in South Limburg
Known by the Amstel Gold Race
Nice and quiet in South Limburg
Best pastry ever!
Life is perfect!
Our favorite climb in Belgium
Sightseeing at the three-country point

One hand, two levers, two brakes (hydraulic mountainbike)

Looking for a solution to control both brake levers with one hand, so you can control the amount of brake power of front and rear brake yourself? Than the Hope Tech 3 Duo might be what your looking for. The Hope Tech 3 Duo operates 2 calipers individually from a single master cylinder.

2 levers on a single master cylinder

On the bike it looks like this:

Two levers, one master cylinder, two brake hoses

Crank Brothers Speedier Tire Lever – review

Not every cyclist and paracyclist finds it equally easy to replace an inner tube. Believe it or not, there are still many people who therefore prefer not to cycle alone because they are afraid of having a flat tire. I always carry a few standard tire levers with me, and although I can only use one arm as a paracyclist, I have no problem changing a tire.

But if you are hesitant or are looking for an easier way to (dis)assemble an outer tire, the Crankbrothers Speedier Tire Lever might be your solution!

The Speedier has two sides. One for removing the tire and one for putting it back on.

Place the left side on the rim and just gently push along the rim to lift your tire.
Just push the Speedier along the rim. Easy does it:-)
The leftside on the picture is used to mount the tire.
Hook the left side onto the rim flange and simply push the Speedier along the rim flange and the tire will pop back on with ease.

As you can see, you only need one Speedier for both the assembly and disassembly of the tire. The Speedier is also a perfect addition to my bike tools for myself. New tires are often very stiff and the initial installation often takes a lot of effort. With the Speedier this is now a piece of cake and it saves time, painful thumbs and painful hands. It’s still not very big, but it’s a little bigger than a pair of standard tire levers.

BKRS Unbound (NL)

In the province “North-Holland” in The Netherlands, you can’t find much gravel. But this route is really worth the ride and became one of my favorite gravel rides in The Netherlands. Beautiful coast sceneries and some endless perfect gravel roads is what to expect. You even ride along the “Waddenzee” which is on the Unesco World Heritage List!

The route starts at the local bikeshop, Beukers Bike Centre, of a wonderful little village, Petten. When you have some spare time this bikeshop is really worth a visit!

First your ride takes you through the dunes of Sint Maartenszee to Callantsoog, the oldest coastal town of the Netherlands. From there you go on through the famous Dark Dunes, where you find endless flowing turns through this breathtaking coastal landscape. Next lake Amstel is awaiting you, where you find some really nice hidden gravel lanes.

Need I say more?!

When you leave the coastal area, no worries! From there you’ll find yourself in typical “Noord-Hollandsch” landscapes, and you will string together the typical North Holland villages. Back in the west, you ride on through Schoorl, and the unique nature along the Hondsbossche Zeewering, which was caused by a dike breach and the brackish water that resulted from this.

Looking for a coffee- / lunchstop, I can recommend along the old railroad in Opperdoes, run by a German, also a cyclist, who bakes the best Dutch Pancakes! But you can also visit the old windmill in Medemblik which serves some nice sandwiches, apple pie and coffee. It’s run by all volunteers. With the profit they maintain the historic windmill!

Download the gpx below and check out the pics to see what to expect!

Looking for some more backroad fun☼ in North-Holland? Check out his cool collectie from local hero Henk:

Beukers Bike Centre is where the BKRS Unbound starts
Nice countrygravel near lake Amstel
Move over Shaun!
Tropical atmosphere in North Holland
Dutch skyline
Meet and greet with the Waddenzee
This must be gravel heaven!
Old historical windmill in Medemblik, completely run by volunteers

ShoeDry Ozone – shoedryer review

When you ride all year round a shoedryer is an accessory that might enlighten your life.

It’s raining, you’re training, but what about your precious slippers?! That’s when a shoedryer might be a valuable accessory…

Here’s what I do:

1: First rub off excessive dirt with a soft brush.

2: Wash down most of the remaining dirt.

3: Soak in water, add some mild laundry detergent.

4: Clean with an old dish brush.

5: Dry excessive water with a towel.

6: Place your darlings on a shoe dryer .

The ShoeDry has a dry and a ozone function. Ozone would kill all bacteria and therefor make your shoes smell forest fresh, but I doubt this one does;-) I also have my doubts about the lifespan of the ShoeDry Ozone, because after 2 years it starts making funny noises already, that explains my rating for this specific shoedryer.

However, because I have to deal with the Belgian climate, I really like a shoedryer in general.

Cervélo Áspero – long term review

Gravel is hot and here to stay, no doubt about that! Gravel is interpreted different by each individual. Some love endless straight roads of perfect gravel, while others don’t mind riding through dirt all day, while others bring there tarp absolutely everywere. The Cervélo Áspero is the first off-road bike from the company and is a race specific gravelbike. In the design for example, they did not take into account to attach many bags to the bicycle, it’s also very stiff, and reacts on everything. Does that means you can’t use the bike for a bikepacking trip? No, but there are better options.

Despite the racy geometry I’ve enjoyed a lot of amazing bikepacking adventures on the Áspero

I ride my bikes with a fair amount of drop, but that’s not for everyone. This bike is setup with Shimano GRX DI2, has been modified for one-handed operation by applying the Outbraker booster brake splitter and Free Lock mount, and rolls on 700C 9thwave Anath rims with DT Swiss hubs and 45 mm Pirelli Cinturato Gravel tires. 45 mm is bigger than prescribed, so in foul weather sometimes they rub a little, but I love them so much I take that for granted. When you fit 650b rims, you can go bigger, but I think 650b on an Áspero is like swearing in church and I can’t think up a reason why the Áspero is equipped with a clever system where you can affect the geometry a little to make it suitable for this wheelsize. It’s a gravel race monster! Not a mountainbike!

The Áspero is such a nice bike on-road as well as off-road. Don’t think it can replace a roadbike tough. All “big tire bikes” compromise on speed and cornering on tarmac.

All Cervélo bikes come with lifetime warranty for first owners on the frameset. That’s always a requirement for me. Because I’m the kind of gravelist that enjoys endless perfect gravel rather than dirt this bike really suits me.

Perfect endless gravel

Underneath the lower tube you find a big hard plastic shield that protects your frame for rock impact, while the top tube is prepared for a little bolt on top tube bag.

The one thing I really dislike about this bike I’m in love with is that the fork takes a reasonably amount of water when you wash it down. That means I always have to remove the top cap and turn the bike upside down to pour the water out…

Love the huge square downtube
Like the bike is riding on rails on hardpack gravel

Is it likely that I stick with Cervélo? Hell yes!

This bike crosses borders
Perfect finish and details
Love those winter rides on a gravelbike

REVO LOOP Race Ultra – inner tubes review

These babies will make your bike a little lighter! They tipped 23 g on the scale, they are very easy to install and feel a lot stronger than you would expect. And who doesn’t like the black valves?

But they are so f$%#@% expensive!

But wait, maybe you can justify it to yourself, or should I say partner;-) A Schwalbe extra light inner tube for example, weighs 65 grams and costs €12,50. So you save 65 – 23 = 42 g per inner tube. Times 2 = 84 g. This 84 g comes with a cost of (€35,95 – €12,50) * 2 = €46,90. When you want to save 84 g on other parts, wheels or frameset you are likely have to spent more than €46,90…

They are so small, you can save a lot of space (and another 42 g or more) in your back pockets. But that said I prefer to bring a butyl spare inner tube instead. It’s a little more reassuring when you get a puncture and you can still replace it afterwards for a Revo Loop.


I have regularly had a slump, including in full descent and with different inner and outer tires. This also happened to me with the Aerothan.

If I had known this in advance I would never have taken this risk to save a little weight! If you still want a light inner tube, take a look at the Continental Supersonic, these are also super light and nice and compact, but a lot more solid.


In my experience far too risky to even remotely justify the difference in weight.

Kwakzalver Bal-sem – chamois crème review

The Kwakzalver Bal-sem turns out to be the best chamois crème I’ve ever experienced. I love the pump, and wonder why Kwakzalver Sports is the first company to think of this. That shows how much thought they put in their products. Two pumps is enough for a whole day in the saddle. The pump also saves you money because you never use too much, and the bottle therefor lasts longer than other products. It isn’t too sticky and I like the citrus smell. Despite other products I’ve used before, this one does the job until the end of the ride. This one is a keeper!