Yellow loop (103 km)
Molenberg or Caildenberg: it's up to you
After this well-filled cobblestone menu there was a short intermezzo to let the eaten cobblestones lower for a while. The asphalt slopes Flame (700 m downhill, avg. 5%, max. 10%) and Hostellerie (1200 m downhill, avg. 3%, max. 10%) going downhill were the perfect opportunity to boost that average on Strava. Although there is still the Kortendries (2200m, avg 3%, max 10%). These challenges soon faded when I started talking about the famous one Molenberg (460 m, avg. 7%, max. 14%). I warned Tom about the poor state of the cobblestones and the fact that there is a slope (Caildenberg: 800 m, avg. 4%, max. 7%) which also led to the end of the Molenberg. Conclusion: our paths parted for a moment and he took his money before I realized it.
Throw ourselves to the wolves
Then there was cobbles again. Hunting mill (730 m) was a warm-up for the cobblestone mastodont Kerkgate. Kerkgate (2500 m) starts with very clean cobblestones that give the cycling citizen courage. Already after 500 meters that courage is diminished because the condition of the cobblestones deteriorates visibly. A physical, but also a mental issue. The strip seems endless when you do it for the first time. Then followed the Volkegemberg (1000 m, avg. 5%, max. 12%) downhill. After the cobbled final there was now also the last asphalt slope uphill. The steepest passage of the Wolvenberg (800 m, avg. 4%, max. 17%) hurt after all that climbing and docking. We knew in advance that we were going to throw ourselves and especially our legs to the wolves. I made it to the top, but Tom exploded and lost his leg muscles somewhere along the way. The honest finder receives a reward from us. Please return to Markt 43 in Oudenaarde.
Road surface in bad condition: to avoid or a matter of honor?
To get it off, there was a short cobble stone section in the Ruiterstraat (800 m), where a road sign “road surface in bad condition” made us laugh green. Motorists would avoid such a road surface at all costs, while cyclists make it a point of honor to brave those cobblestone sections. The Kattenberg (600 m, average 6%, max. 8%) downhill with the mosaic cobblestones are very comfortable. You would almost forget that there are also such cobblestones. Make sure during the descent that your alertness does not weaken, especially after so much effort.
After 5 hours of cycling, Tom and I passed the beautiful, Gothic town hall of Oudenaarde again. Bathed in the light of the evening sun. It is a scene that my colleague and I see again every working day. It has never been so beautiful.
My unvarnished opinion about the yellow loop? The countless cobblestones linked to the altimeters ensure that this is not inferior to the red and blue loop. Ok, there are less roaring names such as the Muur, the Paterberg or the Koppenberg. The yellow loop will take you to places in the Flemish Ardennes where you would otherwise never come. For that reason alone you must have cycled this loop. You are of course for or against cobblestones. In my case, that famous brick in the stomach can be replaced by a cobblestone. This yellow loop is recommended for every cycling tourist who likes to eat cobblestones and loves beautiful nature.
Enjoy the ride and keep it safe!
Would you like to ride the yellow loop yourself? You can find more info on our page about different cycling routes in the Flemish Ardennes.