Day 2: From Tienen to Herent

Heuvelroute Hoegaarden

After a good first night’s sleep and a tasty breakfast, we hop on our bikes in good spirits for an iconic day of cycling via the Hilly Route. Summer splutters a little. There are a few drops of rain and the sky looks gloomy, but the temperatures are thankfully mild.

What’s more, the drops offer welcome refreshment. The first part of this stage is quite tough. Via a number of climbs we make our way towards Hoegaarden. And after each climb we stop together to catch our breath.and enjoy the landscape. The beautiful vistas and exquisite region make up for a lot. For the children, we also find a few nice stops along the way. We climb on the Pallox together and stop at the Honsem war site where there is an imaginative installation of a phantom aircraft.   


Of course, all that climbing also makes us hungry so wechoose to eat in Bierbeek.

We use the Bierbeek Water Tower as the landmark on the horizon. In the centre, signs lead us - with one last tough climb - to Bistro Borre: a delightful place with good food, a focus on local sourcing and employment for people with limited access to the labour market.

Brabanste Wouden

Full of energy we start the second part of the stage, with a clear goal in mind: Leuven. The route now changes in character. We swap the vast landscape for the impressive Meerdaal and Heverlee forests. The rolling forest roads provide wonderful variety and they take us via the Arenberg Campus and Park Abbey into the heart of Leuven.

In Leuven, we refuel briefly on a small terrace. The sun has come out and we enjoy the pleasant hustle and bustle of the city and a refreshing iced tea. We then continue on our way to our overnight stop in Herent. We leave the Hilly Route and ride out of town via the Art Cities Route along the canal of the Dyle, which is also known as the Leuvense Vaart.