Dutch Mountains spent last weekend in Malmedy, Belgium, cycling up and down the hilly Ardennes. It was the first members’ weekend of the new academic year, allowing old and new members to get to know each other on and off the bike.
On Friday afternoon, members headed south from Maastricht on their bikes against a strong headwind. Most managed to get to the hostel in Chôdes before nightfall, with a few arriving slightly later. A delicious Nasi Goreng was served at dinner, after which new members were asked to introduce themselves. While some cyclists went to bed early to recharge for Saturday, a fair number stayed in the main hall, playing card games and telling tall tales past midnight.
Saturday started off a little cloudy, prompting members to wear warm clothing on their rides. All in all, there were five groups; the MTB group, and the 60 km, 100 km 140 km, and 200 km road-cycling groups. While the distances varied, all groups encountered steep climbs and had to push themselves to reach the hilltops. After conquering each summit, they were rewarded with breathtaking views of the Ardennes. After a tasty pasta dinner that evening, most members went bowling in Malmedy, whilst a few others stayed at the hostel and played board games. One of these games took considerably more time to explain than to actually play. Similarly to the night before, some people stayed up late and sang songs together.
On Sunday, while some members were still in bed, a small group walked down the hill from Chôdes to Malmedy after breakfast and had coffee in the morning sun. After all members had eaten breakfast, everybody packed their belongings and helped clean up. The weather (25 °C and sunny with a small tailwind) was perfect for the trip back to Maastricht, allowing people to reach new speed averages on Strava.
Owing to the fantastic weather and with no reported accidents, this members’ weekend was a definite success and a lot of fun!