Hammer Weekend

snow on the bike routeThe weather was so good this weekend we didn’t need much persuading we were out Mountain Biking yesterday, then I went out on the tandem with Veda today while Ria was hiking in the nearby countryside.

Veda and I covered 91km and 900m of ascent, which was actually too much for this early in the season and our (my) fitness, but it was a beautiful ride and I don’t regret a second.

An inside look at the wind park, Amel

Wind park Amel

Wind park Amel

Veda and I were out mountain biking on Sunday and we came across 2 rare things.







  1. Frogspawn.  This seems to be a bit early in the year for Frogspawn so let’s hope it survives the cold spell we are going through now.



  2. We got to see the inside of one of the wind generators at the Amel wind park.  The men were servicing one of the turbines and allowed us to have a floor level guided tour.  Interestingly the turbines have no gearbox, produce AC which is transformed to DC in the turbine before descending to the transformer where it is converted back to AC and leaves the mast at 50Hz.  This is the only way to get clean 50Hz power acceding to the engineer who was guiding us. Each tower is 98m high and it takes 7 minutes to reach the top with the lift.  All 5 are synchronised and work together.  The most complicated part is the 3 motor system to adjust the plane of the 3 propellers.

On top of that we had a good ride apart from Veda slipping and falling on a slippery wooden bridge.  Luckily no lasting damage. 🙂


The old railway line to Bernkastel-Kues

Veda admires the old town

Veda admires the old town


Today we went for a ride in Germany with Veda.  We drove to Plein, left the car there and rode down the old railway line to Bernkastel-Kues.

Passing through Wittlich, which isn’t anything special, the rest of the route is beautiful.  3 tunnels on the way quite near the start of the ride where they have found a way of protecting the bat community by placing a false roof between the cyclists and the bats so both can use the tunnel together.  Shame they couldn’t do that on the route from Burg-Reuland to Troisvierges!

It is a gentle descent all the way, about 250m of descent over 27km.  We then rode along the Mosel to Ürzig where we took the road up through the vineyards back to Wittlich and back over the way we came.

The road to Wittlich was not fun with too much traffic but climbing up through the vineyards gave us great view of the Mosel valley.

Good ride and quite an easy one



Apple Jack

Jack at home with MAC

Jack at home with MAC

Anyone who knows us, knows that we are an ‘Apple family’.  There are no PCs in our house.  It now seems that our 14 year old Jack Russell has joined us!

I was at home for New Year’s Eve due to a heavy cold and we, Fop, Veda and I, watched some TV series and a film.  Jack made herself comfortable on the settee behind Veda with there head on Veda’s mac.  It can’t have been very comfortable, but maybe a little warm from the heavy mathematical calculations it has to perform for Veda.

A border control conundrum

A British citizen, a Belgian citizen, a Nepali student studying in Aachen driving a Luxembourg registered car going from France to England. This was a bit complicated for the border control ☺so we got questioned at French customs, British customs and the border control.
Still everyone was polite and satisfied so we are off the Adam & Ying’s wedding

First real snow this winter

Veda discovers the pleasures of snow shoveling

Ria and I were at the Ortis Christmas Party yesterday in Ovivat last night and the we just about had to dig out the car!  nearly 20cm snow fell in just 4 hours!

Of course we had a bit less here at home, but still enough to warrant shoveling it away (there is more forecast for today and tomorrow so we may just take Veda cross country skiing.

Anyway, today Veda got his first taste of shoveling snow!

Center map

Another winter weekend in the saddle

Winter forest

After breaking my pelvis in the Annapurna this summer my plans for 10,000km and 100,000m of ascent are completely out of reach, I’ll be lucky to reach half of my target.  Nonetheless we have been blessed with some cycling weather in November and December; something we didn’t get last year due to all the snow.

Yesterday Ria spent all day cooking for our dinner party so Veda and I were joined by Johan and Brigitta for a ride.  I wanted to see how far the Ravel goes towards Luxembourg.  Every day I drive past where it crosses the N62 and have been curious to see if the tunnel into Luxembourg is open or not.  Of corse we didn’t just follow the Ravel, we are Mountain Bikers after all, so we went cross country to Lengeler Bahnhoff, joining the Ravel at Burg Reuland.  Unfortunately the newly surfaced part was covered in a layer of ice so we turned back.

I’ll find out about the tunnel another day!

Today just Veda and I were out to look for some good downhill trails, Wr found the one I wanted and it was perfect.  Through the beech trees and about 400m long.  400m is not much by Alpine standards, but here in East Belgium, it is quite good.

The only problem was the temperature, around 1°C is quite cold for Veda’s feet so I think he will join Ria in not riding when it is too cold in the future. 😉

Anyway the weekend gave us 2 rides of over 2 hours each and a good chance to be out in the saddle in winter.

Veda’s visa for the UK

11.11.2011 is Remembrance Day for the over 17,000,000 people who lost their lives in the First World War.  It is also a date that Veda won’t forget in a hurry.

We applied for his UK visa on the 3rd November and it was issued on the 7th November so we went to pick it up on Friday 11.11.  It is good to see that the UK consular division work slightly better the Belgian one, who took 6 months to end up refusing his visa because he was studying in Germany and not Belgium.

We will now be able to celebrate Christmas in the traditional English style with my family, quite a big new adventure forVeda and a chance to see another European country during the week between Christmas and New Year.