14 Jul Road to Ropes 2015 – The Spin
Road to Ropes Van Tour
The Spin, Belgium
As I was preparing my venue to The Spin, in Belgium, I was talking with Ian Curry-Lindahl, Slingshot rider and friend, who is a local team rider for that cable. I was talking to him about dates and such, and he told me everyone was so excited for the Road to Ropes tour to stop at The Spin that it wouldn’t have been different if it has been Daniel Grant coming for a couple days. It made me laugh a lot, because even though we do have the same initials, we are far from having the same “aura” (and let’s not even talk about riding level, please!)
Anyhow, one thing was for sure, I would have a nice warm welcome and I sure did. I arrived at one of the busiest time of the season, in the high-activity level of a hot day at the cable park (yes, the heat wave even made it to Belgium) and just in time for the Monthly Garden Party, which would happen on the following day.
I was welcomed by Julien Bonnet, local rider and boat shredder, and brother of one of the owners, and Aurélien Dolhet, long time JOBE boat rider. Julien seems like a quiet guy, easy going and mellow, and just all around nice. Aurélien is the type of guy you wonder if his energy levels ever go down at all – he can be riding all day and say he’s tired, he still is high on energy!
First thing we did was to go for a tour of the local lakes, and I couldn’t have asked for a better guide! Growing up in the area, Julien knew everything there is to know about the lake system (because yes, it is a system). The Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure are 5 lakes linked together by a system of dams. The biggest of dams controls the water levels of the lakes, using the water flow to create renewable energy, powering the whole region (and even a part of Brussels). Some of the lake, like the one where the cable is, doesn’t change much throughout a day – may be a couple feet max. But the lake used for boating can change by 8m (that is almost 25 ft!) throughout the course of a day!
That is the other particularity of the lake system – every lake has its own purpose. There is the cable lake (where you can also paddleboard on a different part), the boat lake (as in motor boats), the sailing lake for sailboats and windsurfing, the jetski area and the fishing lake. Add to that a driving range on the lake (the balls are biodegradable and filled with fish food), a nice restaurant and spa compound, a amphibious bus, a zip line… and a ton more stuff. The location is also the home of many sport competitions (triathlons, contests, runs, races of all sorts) and is just an overall beautiful and great location to enjoy lakeside life.
Back to the cable park!
The lake is located just down the hill of a small village in an agricultural zone. The cable parks includes a full-size cable as well as a 2.0 system, that can be reserved by groups for parties of for beginners, for example.
The fullsize cable turns clockwise, which will please the regular footed riders. The obstacles, pretty much all Unit, have a nice range of difficulty: there is something for everyone, ranging from the flat box to the Felix Georgii and Steffen Vollert pro model rails. The local riding level is on the rise, and we can see people on the water coming from all backgrounds.
As I mentioned before, the Saturday I was at The Spin was the monthly Garden Party event. Party lovers, take note! The Garden Parties take place every second Saturday of the summer months, starts at 2PM and ends at midnight. The day is filled with music (plenty of DJ come a play a set), beers (it’s Belgium after all!), wakeboarding and beach activities. BeerPong lovers, delight: the local crew love it and have the table ready, so don’t be shy to ask to play a game! If you don’t play, well… good luck to you.
There is also a lodging option right on the premises – you can rent a room in a flat on the second floor of the solar powered building, or pitch a tent near the parking lot. If you want to stay overnight on weekends, we strongly recommend calling ahead as it books quickly!
Overall, the stop at the Spin felt like I was going to a cool family reunion, because that’s the vibe over there: it feels (and it is, to a certain point!) like a big family! Definitely worth a stop on you next trip to Belgium!
More info about The Spin: