EXPE SERIES - Gravel 300
Out of the blue, we were invited to ride the Expe series gravel 300 in the region Fagnes-Ardenne. This came as a big surprise as we do not consider ourselves as tough enough for these kind of adventures.
The story changed when we became aware that this was not really a race, but you can do it at your own pace and there was no fixed start date.
We opted for the "beginners" timeframe of 4 days, meaning an average of 75km's and 1300 altitude meters per day.
We took the train to Liege and cycled clockwise via Herve, the Abbey of Val-dDieu, the 3 country point (BE-NL-DE), Eupen, the lake of the Gileppe, Signal de Botrange, Malmedy, Stavelot, Coo, Spa, La cote de la Redoute and back to Liege.
On the 3rd day, we decided to enjoy this trip a little longer, stay in Coo for the night in a nice hotel aside the Ambleve and do the rest of the trip in 2 days. It was really too nice to finish earlier.
We do not think you need to be an expert gravel rider to enjoy this track. It has a nice balance between gravel and paved bicycle tracks. Also, while we are not the youngest and certainly no athletes, we only needed to get off the bike a few times.
What we certainly decided is that next time, we will take less luggage. although that's exactly what we are saying all the time.
In our opinion, riding this on a gravel or mountainbike would give you the best experience. Would not recommend it by city or light trekking bike.
For this trip we are not sharing the GPS track as this is sold by the creator via their website (https://en.expe-series.com)
Somewhere in the middle of the High Fens park, I got a flat tire and when I replaced the inner chamber, I was confronted with a malfunctioning bicycle pump. It was already around 5 pm, we did not see any other cyclists in the last 2 hours and we also had no phone connection to get help in this remote area. The only thing we could do is wait and hope that there would be someone passing by later on. We had our tent and sleeping stuff with us so no real reason to panic. After about an hour, we were saved by 2 riders who were doing the same track as we did.
The tip : if you are riding this with 2, take 2 pumps.
Good coffee : "The coffee ride" in Stavelot
Healthy lunch : "A table" in Spa