Stargazing & Bikepacking

Not-so expensive astronomy and some bikepacking stories

Bikepacking my backyard early August

From Thursday the 2nd of August til Saturday the 4th I had the opportunity for a bikepack. I couldn’t go far so it ended up being a sort of backyard bikepack in my local area. Here’s the ride on Strava.

Day One took me from Hoogland to Loenen.  The first half was through farmlands, with a lot of asfalt then some dusty unpaved roads and the second half was mainly forest roads. It was hot. 35 degrees C which is exceptional here in The Netherlands, even more exceptional is the fact that it has been this warm for almost 3 entire weeks now. Something that has never happened before in recorded history. Everything here is dying and it looks like it is autumn already.

Near Radio Kootwijk – home of the radio to the Dutch Indies way way back


Gravel in the Loenermark

I had to soak my head and shirt in water several times just to keep my core and head cool enough. I drank enough but I still got a light head-ache. I really need to use those isotone powders next time…
I left out some sandy roads and replaced them with the cycling lane close-by to it just to prevent overheating. This way it all went fine and I reached the campsite Zegenoord at around 18:00. The trip was about 80 kilometers long. I had a good dinner with stuff I got from the local supermarket.

Camp for the first Night

Day Two took me from Loenen to Renkum. A short leg of about 35km. Long enough because it was warm again. The first part of the trek went through the Loenermark which has awesome riding on gravel roads. Then I went over the highest part of the ride at Signaal Imbosch which is one of the few remaining lookouts for forest fires. It may even be the only one left, I am not sure. It’s not that high at 108 meters but it’s the highest we got over here.

More gravel in the Loenermark


Rare vistas with far horizons

Signaal Imbosch

After that it went back down again to Renkum. I again had to stop several times to cool down, scared off two huge boars, saw butterflies taking shelter in a tunnel under the motorway I was also taking shelter in. Also present there some bats. I passed the site where the Allies landed their gliders during Operation Market Garden. I passed 5,000 yo burial mounds. I rode centuries old roads. Awesome. At the end of all this was campsite Quadenoord near the small town of Renkum, near the Molenbeek (a little stream through an also little but historically important valley). I brought my 10×50 bino for a tour of the heavens after which I hit the sack.

Singletrack near the Molenbeek

Day Three took me back home again to Hoogland. I got up quite early, had a left-over breakfast and bought two small apple pies and a blueberry pie and left the campsite. This last leg was about 60km’s and took me up and over the Utrechtse Heuvelrug, which is a  80 meter high sandy ridge left by the ice in the last Ice Age. But first I drove right past the Rhine river and up to the Grebbeberg, the site of four days of pretty fierce fighting in WWII by the Dutch troops that didn’t have proper weapons to boot.

The Rhine

Grebbeberg (the hill in the back)

The last 20 kilometers were a straight line following an old railroad track which I often use as an offroad speedway to get from the Utrechtse Heuvelrug back home again. Unfortunately some landowners are real d*cks and let hikers over their land but for reasons that no one has yet properly been able to understand bikers are not allowed. Sad, but hey… I had a good ride so whatev’s 🙂

All in al the trip was 178 kilometers long with a little under a 1000 meters of climbing. Next up is a 6 day trip late September or early October.


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