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You don't need to hire a bicycle to go off the beaten path. Just take any sidestreet from the the main streets and canals and you will discover a whole different city full of diverse architecture, special details, kind people...
Especialy the north and east of the Market area are a heaven of peace, lovely canals, no chocolat, no lace ... but the real Brugge.
Also a walk on the ramparts following the windmills, the old city gates, the city park and the old port is a nice thing to do. On summerdays you will find shade and nice resting places.