Belgium is not flat.
Liege-Bastogne-Liege is much harder than Flanders.
You know you're in trouble when that first over 5km long hill doesn't even count as a climb on the route map.
Your typical Belgian granny knows more about cycling than your average British sports journalist.
Belgian schoolchildren will always jump up and down and shout encouragement when they see more than 1 cyclist together.
Belgian beer is a fantastic pain killer.
Belgians have their priorities spot on: They can't organise a government for toffee but they can put on perfect cycle events, both amateur and pro.
Belgian motorists are very tolerant and patient with cyclists, even when a recce ride gone a bit wrong means the cyclist is about to go down a motorway slip road.
271km is a very long way but nothing can beat the magical feeling of riding over (up) bits of cycling history like La Redoute and the Cote St Nicolas.
I love cycling and I love my bike.
P.S. How long did it take? Well lets just say it was dark when I started and dark when I finished but hey at least I finished, unlike some (say hello Messrs Chavanel, Voigt, a lot of the Sky team) but then they weren't carrying the HCtB colours (long sleeve winter version).