Tilberg-Erkelenz(Germany) 146kms

Wet, wet, wet……no, not the group silly….the weather. Hey, we northerners head south in search of the sun, don’t we? I say no more…..

But life becomes bearable when confronted with this example of “art on wheels”. I struggled to overtake…..and no, not because of their speed!


But equilibrium was gained when I passed this group of Dutch “Saga-louts”.


All 60 of them (all women) gave me a wave…..whereas the young girls barely rewarded me with a glance. Hey, ho……
In a cafe in Helmond, I chanced by Theo, from Holland, just a few days into his ride to Switzerland


…and he told me of his plans next year to cycle through the Middle East, then along the Danube back home…..a ride of some 6 months…..and all this on a heavily loaded sit-up-and-beg Dutch bike. Proof that you don’t need the best kit to do these things.
Then I hit the border with Germany


….and crossing it was the non-event of the year. No border checks, no stamps on your passport…..in fact, not even a welcoming glass of champagne! (note to self: check out joining UKIP on return…..).

Wet weather and no campsite in Erkelenz, drove me to using a small hotel last night, but my encounter with Andrei at breakfast made it worthwhile. A Russian-speaking Ukrainian, he spoke openly and honestly about his country’s domestic problems. I was inspired by his ability to view the situation from above, and his tolerance of the ethnic and linguistic divisions that are tearing his country apart. And then he asked for an explanation of our game of cricket…..phew! He wasn’t expecting much, was he?
Yesterday was a long day in the saddle, but what else do you do when it’s raining?


Today should be a shortish 50-60kms into Cologne……well, let’s see.


About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on May 9, 2014, in Kimbolton to Istanbul 4000kms: a crusader's route and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Describing cricket is nigh on impossible. 🙂
    That was a long day in the saddle. Hope you find better weather and a campsite tomorrow.

  2. Frank, you deserve both a “like” and a comment for this one. And no, not because of their speed! Perhaps you’ve just invented a new internet photo meme…

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