Adventure in Belgium!

Hello hello!

Yesterday we arrived in Mons after a very long and exiting day. It was adventure like we had never experienced before. We had left Bruxelles early in the morning and up until Lembeek all went fine. But then suddenly our route descriptions drove us straight into the path of destruction; Margot got a flat tire! After an hour (!) filled with Hanna’s angry muttering, Margot’s infinite efforts to replace the tire and me being completely unable to be of any help, we finally got it done! Heading to Marit for lunch in Ecaussinnes! :)

After lunch, more adventure awaited us. My knee started to hurt pretty bad so Hanna and Margot had to drag me along now and then and we unfortunately discovered that ‘Mons’ is called ‘Mons’ (mountains) for a reason. One very positive thing, though: the sun was shining and it didn’t rain for the entire day! We arrived in Mons around 17:45, ate dinner at an awesome Indian restaurant and had several very good conversations on the market place afterwards!

We’re now trying to create a proper plan for the next few days! :) I’m exited for what’s still to come! We’ll keep you updated!



Home sweet Hostel Home

Cycling far away from home, these days fighting against wind and rain, sometimes makes us long for the tea with a cookie GUTS’ mums would make after our schooldays were done back in the days.

Along the trip many of these cups of tea have been prepared by the warmly welcoming staff members of the hostels who sponsor GUTS on this trip.

AND we have the GUTS tour manager Marit we always look forward to. At the end or half way we are guaranteed to be in good hands.

Today we arrived in Brussels where we stay in Generation Europe (how applicable) and where BTC participant gather round the GUTS bicycle table. Besides talking about NGO’s we talked with Saskia from Leuven about love, which makes her world go round this moment.

Check her video below and in the updated FACES area. Besides Saskia’s video you can now find there a new digital collection of the GUTS archive.




Oh my, look what the tide washed in!

That’s probably what people must have thought when they caught sight of us around 2 o’clock today. We had left Rotterdam early this morning and even though it had been raining for quite some time already we were still pretty optimistic that the weather would eventually change for the better. But suddenly after lunch, just as we were making our way over the Haringvliet  Bridge, the clouds above us unexpectedly exploded and before we could even get a clue of what was happening, it started raining cats and dogs like there was no tomorrow. We got soaked through in less than a minute, but since we were cycling exactly in the middle of the bridge, there was no option of going back, so we had to keep on going. Cars were passing, splashing us with even more water. Ten minutes later we looked like we’d come swimming straight from the ocean, table bikes and all.

Unfortunately we still had to cycle about 30 kms to Bergen op Zoom, so with the use of Hanna’s strong will, Margot’s phenomenal ability to set the pace and Marit’s encouraging text messages about what was awaiting us at the hostel, we kept on going and eventually reached our StayOkay a little past 4 o’clock. Thanks to the great welcome and a long hot shower for every one of us we were back on track in no time, secretly feeling proud of what we had accomplished in spite of the bad weather.

After dinner we had a great conversation with one of the guests, Bianca, a girl from the UK, who contributed a fantastic piece to our table! Apart from her, there were barely any guests in the hostel, though, so fingers crossed on having more conversations in Antwerp tomorrow. Still, we are enjoying ourselves very much in Bergen op Zoom and are really glad with the outcome of the day!





The day started off with the great prospect of 60 to 100 percent chance of rain. Despite this setback we got to Rotterdam in no time :)

After a short break, we set up our tables between the “Kubuswoningen” (cubical buildings). While on a search for some chairs we spotted a group of guys we already saw in The Hague just yesterday. Two of them sat down at our table, spoke about their road trip through Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium and why traveling is important to them.
Besides that conversation we talked to someone with a passion for BMX biking and how he thinks this can be a tool to keep children of the street.

Now we’re preparing for another round of conversations. I’m curious who we will talk to and what they’ll have to tell :)

Margot van den Berg




First encounters The Hague

This first day started rainy, windy and with thunder. But GUTS kept on going and by the time we hit the road the sun arose behind the clouds. And GUTS|1213 took off to France!

We had five special encounters with young people at the Grote Markt in The Hague. We talked about their passions, important things in life and what really enthusiasms them at this very moment.

Also we discovered cycling and talking is kind of an intensive combination. While the young ones are still working on their cycling tables, the oldies are longing for bed. But well…they will survive.

Now: time for some impression pictures. And: don’t forget to check our updated FACES at this website.



Our ‘final dinner’ in Leiden with the Supervisory Board and the moms of Lauren and Margôt. Our table seems really suitable for dinners as well :)

Today we take off.  To the encounters. To the kilometers. And hopefully to sunny weather. We keep you updated during our trip on this website, Facebook and Twitter.


First trip on our table bikes

Yesterday was an exciting day: our first trip on our table bikes. In the morning we got some ‘tricks and tips’ from the boys of De Fietsfabriek. So from now on Lauren knows exactly how to handle the front wheel, Margôt knows all about gears and Hanna keeps track on the brakes.

After the lessons the girls cycled from Leiden to Amsterdam. They got rain, they got wind and they took the wrong turn. But finally in the afternoon they arrived Scheltema in Leiden, where they will prepare their trip. Only two days left…


Bikes arrived!

Today our two special bikes on which the table will be attached arrived at De Fietsfabriek. Not yet finished, but already outlined by the ‘bike-guys’ from De Fietsfabriek. This week, day by day, our special biketable will take shape. Keep track on the website for ‘the making of’ photos.


two bikes
colored red
seven gears on each bike
two ‘mother bicycle stands’
4,20 meter long folding table


48 km fietstraining en 2 uur hoofdtraining

Vandaag weer samen met Maartje op zoek gegaan naar de beste manier van het stellen van een vraag en het voeren van een gesprek. Lauren, Margot en Hanna voerden deze week alle drie oefengesprekken. Het resultaat van een van die gesprekken is te zien in ons Bevlogen Archief. Onder begeleiding van Maartje voerde Hanna een professioneel gesprek over haar ‘leukste vakantie’ en voelde Margot Lauren aan de tand over haar lievelingsgerecht. Kortom, twee zeer leerzame uren op een mooi Utrechts dakterras.

Maar daarna was het tijd voor actie. Een fietstocht van Utrecht, via Maarssen, Breukelen en Oudekerk a/d Amstel naar Amsterdam. Waar de ijssalon wachtte. En wat vond Margot van deze training?


60 km fiets training + 2 uur hoofd training

Vanochtend vroeg begonnen met twee zeer interessante uren. Samen met Maartje Koppen – loopbaancoach – hebben Margôt, Lauren en Hanna gesproken over ‘bevlogenheid’. Wat is dat nu eigenlijk?

Bevlogenheid bleek een ietwat beladen, groots woord te zijn. Samen hebben we elementen benoemd die volgens hen bij bevlogenheid horen:

  • Iets wat je zó waardeert dat je grenzen verlegt;
  • Ergens écht voor gaan;
  • Leuk vinden;
  • Passie;
  • Dat wat je wilt doen, ook echt doen;
  • Doen zonder na te denken over consequenties;
  • Jezelf laten drijven door wat je écht wilt;
  • Met gevoel / liefde;
  • Iets waar je graag aan werkt;
  • Iets waar je 100% voor gaat;
  • Inspiratie;
  • Gaat als vanzelf;
  • Iets waar je altijd al mee bezig was;
  • Enthousiasme wat je overkomt;
  • Je haalt er energie uit;
  • Het is een drijveer / je vindt het belangrijk.

Hierbij werd uiteindelijk duidelijk dat de bevlogenheid die wij bedoelen zonder doel is, niet idealistisch hoeft te zijn en je niet vast pint. Bevlogenheid kan wisselen en je kunt over meerdere thema’s bevlogen zijn.

Na deze onderhoudende ochtend stapten Margôt en Hanna samen op de fiets om de getreinde 60 km terug te fietsen naar Leiden. En natuurlijk was er wind tegen, maar gelukkig scheen de zon. Margôt bikkelde zich als een ware debutant door de kilometers, maar dat ging niet zonder slag en stoot. Maar gelukkig waren er terrasjes!