Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 2186 – 2187, St. Vith – Maastricht, The Netherlands: Feeling At Home

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Jan - 20 - 2017

Distance: 130.0 km
Ride time: 7:06:52
Average: 18.3 km/h
Max speed: 45.7 km/h
Total: 57098 km

A country a day – that seems to be the theme for the ride through this part of Europe; yesterday I had crossed the border between Luxembourg and Belgium, and today I would be crossing into The Netherlands. But, not before enjoying some very good cycling in the Belgian Ardennes hills.

After a bit of asking around I learnt about the RAVeL cycle way which runs along an old railway track though the green and rolling landscapes of eastern Belgium. What a nice beginning to the day, cycling through nature with not a single car insight.

Only a thousand kilometers to go. This is truly the final chapter of Cycling The Globe.

The lycra crowd were out in numbers – this is a country where cycling is big! I was taking it a bit more easy, enjoying my ride and stopping for a coffee at the square in the village of Stavelot – founded in 650, one of the oldest towns in Belgium.

Following the rail track had been a great ride but not the most direct. Now I had to speed up to make it to the border with The Netherlands before darkness. Luckily I was enjoying a nice descend towards Liege – another famous cycling city, home to the Liege-Bastogne-Liege cycling classic each spring.

I wrote Manon and said I was getting close, and she replied “I will cycle over to Belgium to meet you” – that is how things work in these border regions. And then, as I was cycling along the Maas river I suddenly saw a familiar smiling face waving to me. This was the real reason why I had been cycling so fast through France, Switzerland, and Luxembourg – to catch up with Manon before she flies back to Colombia in 4 days.

We then crossed the border into The Netherlands for country number 58 by bike – the final new country on the way back to Denmark.

It was now time for a well deserved rest day in the beautiful southern Dutch city of Maastricht where the autumn sun was out in full force. There are many similarities between Holland and Denmark. The size of the countries, the number of bikes, and the mentality of the people. Even thought this was my first visit to The Netherlands I felt strangely at home – which might of course also have a lot to do with my local guide.

Tomorrow we will both be cycling up to Gemert near Eindhoven which is Manon’s home town. The cycling duo is back đŸ™‚

Categories: Belgium, The Netherlands
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2 Responses so far.

  1. Suzanne Jager says:

    So happy to see the two of you back together!!!!

  2. I’m looking forward to cycling through Europe. Looks so wonderful!