My husband and I are both now retired and love cycling as a means to keep active and to meet others socially. We are members of Clitheroe Bike Club and try to cycle at least twice a week. We also love to tour both in this country and in Europe. Tours in this country include several tours of the Lake District, tours in the Yorkshire Dale's and The Way of the Rose's. Our trips in Europe have included cycling from Rotterdam or Zeebrugge to Nimes, Carcassonne, Prague, Venice, Vienna, Berlin and Milan. Our last tour was from St Malo to Nice in 2019. A journey of 1036 miles. We usually average fifty miles a day and have a rest day every four or five days.
The virtual trip to Lourdes will average 20 miles a day as we want to make the trip last the duration of Lent and we will have to deal with the English weather. On many of our European tours we have had next to no rain and glorious sunshine for the majority of the time. If, at any point, the weather is very poor for a prolonged period of time we will cycle 'virtual' miles on the turbo in the garage and add our accumulated miles as these will be harder miles than the real thing.
We hope our journey inspires you to get out on a bike and/or travel to some of the places mentioned.

Europe » Netherlands September 15th 2022

Tuesday. As we only had 32 miles to get back to the ferry we didn't leave the hotel until 11.00. It was a quick trip to Jumbo to get picnic goodies. In the supermarket as I was paying I realised the cashier had put the man behind me things through as well. When I told her this she took some back and corrected the bill. When we later stopped to eat our yoghurt there was only one so she must have taken one back as well as his things. Then we were off, leaving via the marina. Soon after leaving Willemstad it was across the Haringvliet bridge to get from North Brabant to South Holland. At 1500 metres long it seemed to go on forever. We were on a side road with no other traffic on ... read more

Europe » Netherlands September 12th 2022

After breakfast with the gluten free bread and gluten free granola we had a restful morning in our room. Late morning we ventured out into the heat and walked round some of the remains of the towns fortifications and to look at the marina. There was lots of impressive yachts but I am not sure they were impressive enough to be owned by multimillionaires. The most impressive one was called Dutch Falcon and a Google search confirmed it is a new super yaght but didn't reveal how much it would cost. Beyond the marina we could see barges, laden with cargo, on the Hollands Diep presumably coming and going from Europoort. The large white windmill that overlooks the harbour is now a private residence. What an impressive building to live in. I imagine there is a ... read more

Europe » Netherlands September 11th 2022

Yeah, the sun was back today. A very hazy autumnal morning to start with but once the mist lifted it was lovely and much less windy than yesterday. A lovely route in and out of woodlands, villages and small towns and through huge fields of crops and flowers. Many of the towns seemed busy with funfairs, fetes and car boot sales. Being back in the Netherlands we were mainly on cycle paths and these were very busy with people of all ages. Also, because we were back Iin the Netherlands the supermarkets were open so we could buy our picnic lunch. We saw a least six different bike groups riding out in huge groups. The first group we saw were all stood at the side of the road, obviously meeting up, and they were very enthusiastic ... read more

Europe » Netherlands September 10th 2022

Our longest day today at 61 miles and heading north west all day. There were light rain showers all morning but not too bad. There was a mixture of woodland and farms with large fields of crops. We passed through Limberg?? Which looked like a very pretty town. We crossed the Maas River using a small ferry that was only big enough for people and bikes. The owner told us to go inside as it was wet. This actually meant stand under the tiny canopy. Soon after leaving the hotel we left Germany for the Netherlands and criss crossed the border a few times and also passed through Belgium. Yoghurt break was in a church yard at Rotem and lunch was sat on a bench next to a canal. Both were quite quick stops as we ... read more

Europe » Germany September 9th 2022

When we got downstairs this morning we found out breakfast wasn't included in the price we had paid last night so that was another extra. Nether mind, it's just one of those things. Just for a change we were heading south west today. Much of it was pretty urban being through Dusseldorf, Neuss and the edges of Monchengladbach. We crossed the mighty Rhine very early in our journey and followed it south for a few miles. We have many happy memories of our trips down the Rhine. It didn't look at it's best today , being very low and having grey sky around. One of the varges passing was full of new cars heading to Europort. Our lunch stop was probably the quickest break we have had given that we were sat on a wet bench, ... read more

Europe » Germany September 8th 2022

We were up early and had breakfast before our short journey to the railway station. (1.7 miles) Once we were in place on Platform 12 I went off to Rewe to buy lunch. When the train arrived we had plenty of time to get the bikes into their spaces and ourselves upstairs to our seats. We had bought our ticket about a month ago as we realised that if we didn't there might not be bike spaces left. It wasn't the same train as we had seen yesterday, it was newer and quite plush. It had come from the Czech Republic and was going to Cologne by a very indirect route. We had to wear ppf face masks on board. This is the only place we have had to wear them, although many people are wearing ... read more

Europe » Germany September 7th 2022

Monday Breakfast was your typical continental spread in large modern chain hotels. We sat on bar stools at the window as this was the quietest spot. It was quite entertaining watching the cars, trains and trams go by. There were hundreds of cyclists on their way to work and school, some people on electric scooters and the occasional walker. I wondered do they dress more casually for work, as in they wear the clothes they cycle in, or do they change at work? A lazy morning catching up with washing, reading doing puzzles and just relaxing. Early afternoon we wondered into Dresden to see the sights and have a sandwich for lunch. We walked to the train station to work out where we need to be on Thursday morning for our train to Cologne. It looked ... read more

Europe » Germany September 5th 2022

Breakfast was in an enormous dining room at a table for twelve with two place settings at one end. Just off the dining room was a very elaborate sun room overlooking the garden below. All very ornate with carved wood. On the wall of the dining room were two portraits of a man and a woman, previous occupants of the house in a bygone era perhaps. Breakfast was typical German food of cheese and ham and a boiled egg each. No cereal or fruit today. A quick trip to Aldi for lunch and then we were on our way. A mixture of wide open crop land and shaded forests. Very scenic and very hot. We saw the first vine yards of the trip today late on in the journey. More climbing today than on other days, ... read more

Europe » Germany September 4th 2022

We have had a very poor internet connection for the last three days but tonight, fortunately, it's good again. Friday. Friday was a rest day in Sangerhausen and was a mixture of relaxing in the hotel and a walk into the centre of town. The evening meal was in the hotel restaurant again. Saturday. Breakfast was the same as yesterday, all laid out on our table , mainly cheese and ham but a boiled egg and bread rolls saved the day. We headed straight to Rewe to stock up on picnic goodies and then it was off. We were soon out of town and heading east all day. The two climbs of the day were in the first fifteen miles and were long steady climbs. Similar to Thursday we started off through woodlands but as the ... read more

Europe » Germany September 2nd 2022

The Rewe supermarket was right next door to the hotel so it was quick and easy to buy picnic goodies. The first part of our journey was very much through forests but then we were out into more open farmland. In the first half of our journey there were lots of ups and downs with a couple of them being more serious than any so far on this trip. After one climb we were rewarded with a long downhill that suddenly ended abruptly with barriers blocking the road and we could see that there was no bridge across the river. Fortunately, the men pointed to the other side of the road and we could see a rough path. We had to wheel the bikes down a steep banking, across a very small stream and up the ... read more

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