Ideas for Renting a Road Bike / Hiking in Europe?

I’m on a plane currently in route to first Montreal and then Brussels, Belgium.

I would really love to rent a ROAD bike (not a city bike) for a weekend, but last time I was there I could never find a “real” bike shop that would rent you anything other than a 40-lb city bike.  I don’t have anything against those as a means of transportation, but I want to get some real miles in!

I brought with me my pedals, road shoes, glasses, and kit.  I didn’t bring na helmet this time because last time it was really inconvenient to carry it around with me on the trains, etc.  It flopped around everywhere.  I figure a bike rental place can probably lend me a helmet as well.  But seriously… anyone have any leads on bike rental around Brussels, or another nearby city that I could ride from?

I am looking into one of the ChainStay’s day trips – still would need to rent a bike, though.  I will probably try to do something that combines me riding and also getting to watch part of the Tour of Flanders or the Paris-Roubaix.  So freaking cool!  I hope I can… I have never seen a pro race before.

On the other hand, I would also be interested in finding a place out of the city for some hiking or other outdoorsy adventure.  I guess I just can’t get too excited about visiting a million churches and buildings in the various European cities… I’m not much of a war/history buff either… Sorry :/  I get a dose of that in Europe without choice anyway since I’m staying in Brussels.  But I’m sure there are some neat areas tucked away that AREN’T manmade… I just haven’t heard about them yet.

Any tips are really appreciated… thanks 🙂

Some pictures from the bike I got a hold of last time when I rode around Oudenaarde (Tour of Flanders route):



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