Saturday may 14th 2016, Dries went ahead everybody to ride the French Divide trace.

That’s his thing, riding before the official events, test new traces and have fun without any competition. And we want to thank him for that, by doing this, we will be sure of the quality of the trace and most of all it will be a great help for you guys who will ride it this summer.

Here is Dries’ daily report:

Day 1 : 250km on the first day. kemmelberg. several roubaix cobbles. many flats, so making friends in the middle of nowhere to get spare to proceed. making big and small friends. jumped in to open garage to sleep. small wakeup when the owner arrived in the night to park. but made friends again. nice ride yesterday. cold night. now I lift my ass and proceed.

Day 2 : another 250km today. offroad enough for one day, my god. 4000hm already on the counter. found a hotel in vitry-le-françois with food and most important a shower. yellow field, reims, offroad trough the vineyard, and some canals. nice day was that, maybe I go little to hard… only my legs know that, and they can’t talk.

Day 3:
240km makes 740km.
2500hm makes 7500hm.
the pictures tell you the day, a great one, with hunger.

(Note form the organization: Dries did not know it was a holiday in France this Monday may 16th… be careful FD2016 riders, August 15th will be a holiday in France, it might be hard to find shops and restaurants open.)

Day 4:
165km makes 905km.
9300hm in total.
multiple swim sessions with mtb due to heavy storm last weekend, the locals told me. I met in the forest a 82 year old sister (een nunne), we walked with her for 20 minutes and she told her life and what she was doing now. we shared email and will keep in touch. she liked the selfies. rough day in the Morvan woods. greetings.
tip: good spot for lunch in Saint-Léger-Vauban Restaurant Accueil Vauban

Day 5
165km makes 1.070km.
2400hm makes 11.700hm.
not really a flat day. hard GR route before noon and in the afternoon flat but full against the wind and finishing in the rain. I’m ready for some real mountains and less dirt roads. I passed the Loire today and some unique villages, but france has for sure it’s poverty and small villages are running empty. and I have busted some doing sexual activities in the wood. I friendly gave them a good afternoon.

Day 6
155km makes 1.225km.
3.200hm makes 14.900hm.
what a day was that. started in the rain. 4 times rain today. very nice track today again. I like it. hard offroads again and a less nice experience in Clermont (bike was almost gone… during my shopping) who decided me to go up the puy and find a gite/hostel. 12 euro. I’m single user.. so good night.
tip: nice english and french speaking café in Charroux. drinks and food: Le Petit Café Bleu

Day 7
The last one.
100km makes 1.325km.
1500hm makes 16.400hm.
every thing fine this morning but the physical down moments were getting everyday harder. I went very deep every day to try to make it in 2 weeks. this day has hit me extreme hard. routes closed trough large forest works made me make detours and climbing by keeping my bike up in my arms… an extreme 2 hours. first village I eat, drink and sleep 30 minutes and made my evaluation on this, can I carry in one more week or not.


navad is many uphill. hd560 is many hard routes. french divide was a mix of that and double as long… to much for me.
I feel great now in the train to home. nice experience and for sure a great adventure… I will talk next week with divide organisation what I suggest to change.

enjoy it in august and good luck.
thanks for all great support who followed me. bedankt allemaal, twas mega machtig.


Follow him live:

Thanks to Willi Felix, organizer of the NAVAD race in Switzerland who shared this link with us.