Gö Gravel Het Volk – February 4 2023

This was a scouting ride for a – Love of mud – Gö Gravel party ride to be held in February, 2023.

On the ride we celebrate two great Belgian road races both of which signal the commencement proper of the European road race season.

Het Volk Omloop and Gent Wevelgem
Het Volk Omloop and Gent Wevelgem feature cobbles plus climbs, and lots of Betonweg, but few gravel trails. Our Gö Gravel ride uses the gravel sectors as a metaphor to help illustrate the spirit of the event and to stand in for the cobblestones and hills on the parcours although we include three representative sections of the latter.

The weather on this tour was good with sunshine, being cold if above zero making for a nice change from recent weeks and with no rain!

The seemingly constant wet weather of late reminded me of the ´damp´ 1999 edition of the Het Volk race and there was less winter existential angst on this ride!!!!!!

The sun shined – almost a miracle

Straße, Betonweg, Feldweg, Kopfsteinpflaster, and gravel
The track follows public roads (14km), Betonweg, asphalt feldweg, cobblestones, and 18 gravel sectors. The tour features sections of both the Gö Feldweg Omloop and the Gö Strade Bianche although sometimes we ride in the opposite direction.

The route is mostly flat along the Leine Valley and we attempt to avoid the colder higher ground and the worst of the muddy forest tracks or farmers feldweg in the area.

As we pedal we leave Lower Saxony crossing into and out of Hesse and we go up to the Thuringian border at Kirchgandern (and where the Internal Border stood ). There is a cafe at Besenhausen although this day we did not stop.

We next visit Friedland where there is a Michelin Star restaurant and a cool museum telling the story of the Friedland Transit Camp situated adjacent to the train station (Direct link to Gö). Millions of people have sought and continue to seek sanctuary at Friedland since it opened in 1945.

We did get muddy

Het Volk (Flemish – Round of the people)
First titled Omloop van Vlaanderen, then Het Volk in 1947 the race is now called Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and it is held on February 25 in Flanders being first raced in 1945. In the aftermath of the World War Two the organisers wanted to make the point that the established Tour of Flanders had been too closely associated with the Nazi occupation of Belgium.

Gent Wevelgem
Gent Wevelgem dates to the 1930´s and like so many races it was created to promote a newspaper . The race has been heavily revised in recent years to emphasize that the course flows through the Ypres battle fields of WW1 . To mix it up four sectors of Ploegsteert were added, these were gravel communication roads used by the allies and unable to come to terms with Flemish they were called Plug Streets by Commonwealth soldiers.

The race is on March 26.

The Ride
We start at the Göttingen Velodrome, exiting via two early cobbled sectors and end the tour at the P-Café (The GPS was halted at the Gartelbahn near the velodrome).

Please be aware that the area at the start and end can be very busy with walkers and cyclists – so be friendly and patient please.

The P-Café is situated within the medieval city walls of Göttingen in the Nikolai quarter. We are overlooked by the Gothic/Romanesque mix of the St. Nikolai Church.

The Nikolai quarter was known in the medieval period for its connections with Flanders Weavers, and that fits nicely with both Het Volk and Gent Wevelgem.

Gö Gravel Brevet Card
All attending will be given a stamped brevet card as a memento .

Thanks Josh for the company

Total 45km,
18 Gravel Sectors
3 Kopfsteinpflaster Sectors
14km ca/approx. of road open to general motor traffic
31km is Betonweg, asphalt feldweg and gravel
168m elevation

Garmin Connect: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/10443376395
Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/8504412007
Komoot: https://www.komoot.com/tour/1023985693

Ride Pictures
A flavour of the terrain.

Attention/Take Note

The Gö Gravel Het Volk Omloop Ride is a suggested route for a bike tour and not a race or competition. Should you decide to follow our tour description or a GPS of the route described, you do so at your own risk.

You are responsible for cycling as you think you can, according to your ability and fitness level.

Die Gö Het Volk Omloop ist ein Routenvorschlag für eine Fahradtour und kein Rennen oder Wettkampf. Solltest Du Dich dafür entscheiden, unserer Tourbeschreibung oder einem GPS der beschriebenen Route zu folgen, tust Du dies auf eigene Gefahr.

Du bist selbst dafür verantwortlich, entsprechend Deinem Können und Fitness-Niveau, so zu radeln, wie Du es Dir zutraust.


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