We got on well with the guys and girls we met on the ferry; there were some dramas as one guys bike quite literally fell to pieces as his panniers bounced against his wheel devouring it spoke by spoke but despite this the mood was good and after camping with some of the group the next day we all met up in Brugge and enjoyed a beer. Which, very kindly, they bought for us as we had cooked dinner for them on our Trangias the previous evening.
After parting Joe and I blazed South East heading straight for the capital Brussels and to take a look at the Atomium building, which I had seen five years earlier, it’s a crazy and impressive structure, and the last time I visited I dined in the top sphere which is, I presume still, a restaurant. The last time was also on a cold and frosty December morning, and although it looks great at any time it really suits a light frosting.
The weather is gradually improving but still chaotic, typically mornings of glorious sunshine followed by wet and stormy evenings or vice versa, I don’t think we’ve have a dry day from start to end yet, but the tents keep us dry and everything on the bikes are waterproofed.
Along with inclement weather there is one other shadow looming over us; Joe has had pain in his knee, and I know from previous experience with another tourer friend of mine that problems with knees can be very persistent. The only thing I can think to do is continually suggest changing his riding position; set the seat a little higher, different shoes and to recommend a higher cadence (faster pedalling in a lower gear) and thus lower pressure on the knee joints.
I guess only time and miles will tell if any of those things are going to help…