Ride with Belle on her favorite roads or trails in the beautiful surroundings of her hometown Utrecht, in the heart of The Netherlands. The only city in the world to be the home of all three Grand Tour departures.
Whether you prefer road or gravel, Belle can take you for a hilly ride covering some of the well-known climbs by locals in the area, a countryside ride in between Utrecht and Amsterdam, or a gravel ride on the endless gravel strokes near Hilversum.
What Belle says about her favorite rides; “From Utrecht we can go any direction. One of my favorites is towards the Lek river, passing the Utrechtse Heuvelrug. The area is known for its fruit trees and wide floodplains. It’s fun to cross the river by ferry to the south-side. Via ‘de colls’ of the Utrechtse Heuvelrug we will pass some of my training locations. Here I do my intervals or sprint training. We can add some competition if guests would enjoy that, by setting a PR on the Amerongse Berg or challenging me for a sprint. Of course I would like to tell interested guests about my training sessions, races and physiology! For those interested in history, we will cross the northern frontier of the Roman Empire and the Grebbe Line during this ride, where there was heavy fighting during WW2.
Alternatively we can ride towards Loosdrecht and the ‘green heart’ of The Netherlands. We follow the Vecht river, a popular route for Utrecht based cyclists, and see castles, fortresses and country houses. Towards the Loosdrechts Plassen (lakes), we enter a landscape full of dikes and islands, which were originally peatlands. Halfway there are many coffee shops where I regularly enjoy a cup of coffee during my workouts! This ride is on my list of most beautiful endurance rides. Optionally, we can have a culinary lunch at restaurant Belle van Zuylen, what’s in a name?
To the north of Utrecht, I would love to take guests to the Lage Vuursche and Gooistreek. This is one of my favorite winter workouts but it’s actually nice all year. Through the woods and sand drifts in the Lage Vuursche, we pass a number of the royal estates including Drakensteyn Castle, Soestdijk Palace and Pijnenburg. Finally, we have to eat pancakes in Gerrie Kneteman’s pancake house, one of our national cycling heroes.”