I went to a B-Bike Rental Shop near my hotel when it opened at 10:00. I got a nice city bike for 12 euros for the day and took off. The rental guy told me where to go and it was a breeze.
To get out of Bruge, I followed the Vesten Canal which surrounds the city center and then switched to the canal that leads to the village of Damme on the northeast side of Bruges. This bike path goes right by the historic windmills of Bruges and one near Damme.
Damme is a scenic little village with a historic town hall built in 1464. I enjoyed watching the big white storks land on the town hall chimneys.
The other notable feature of Damme is the large Our Lady church with the massive tower that can be seen from miles away. It looked like there was a funeral when I was there so I didn't get to go inside to see the famous sculptures. In the courtyard there was a big modern statue of a ladies head with multiple faces.
After looking around in Damme I continued biking along the canal and then turned toward the coast at the next canal.
The rest of the ride was less interesting because before the beach it went near a dock area with lots of traffic. The beach was near the town of Heist.
On the way back I took a few detours to see some different scenery. I also stopped at Fort van Beieren and the village of Koolkerke. The fort was just mounds and banks of dirt but the area was nice.
Back in Bruges, instead of following the loop canal, I followed the Groenerei and Dijver canals which go right through the center with many scenic bridges and buildings along the way.
It was fun riding through the Belgian countryside and seeing the many horses, sheep, donkeys, white storks, ducks and one pair of pheasants near the fort.