Been having a PM discussion about the Merckx homage idea with Bugloss.
We discussed doing a ride on Friday so people can then go over to Oudernaarde on Saturday for the pre-Ronde stuff.
I've had two ideas for routes so far, both on Friday:
1) We start in Leuven, ride over to the village where Merckx was born, then from there ride south of Brussels via Geraadsbergen to Oudernaarde. This would let us ride the Muur, maybe the Bosberg, and some other climbs that don't appear on the RRVV route. It would be 180km so it would take all day.
2) We do a route that starts and ends in Leuven, taking in Merckx's village, plus some local pubs and breweries, and some of the local climbs and other sights. This could be a more leisurely affair and I could adapt the distance to suit people.
If people want to ride on Saturday, we could do a shorter route round Leuven and then head to Oudernaarde in the afternoon. But the Friday alternatives seem a bit easier if people can make it then.
Ok I'll start, I'm up for route 1 depending on train times etc. and wether I can get a lift to Oudernaarde for my bag.