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Tour of the Battlefields?

bigpiklebigpikle Posts: 1,690
edited May 2010 in Tour & expedition
...has anyone ever ridden one?

I have long fancied visiting the French/Belgium WWI & WWII battlefields and cemeteries, and recently have been inspired to do some cycle touring, so wondered if combining both might work?

I havent attempted any detailed research or planning yet as its just an idea in its infancy, but would be interested if anyone has done anything similar?
Your Past is Not Your Potential...

Posts

  • Tim FarrTim Farr Posts: 665
    I can't see any real problem whether your transport is car, bike, train or whatever combination suits. The battlefirlds are relatively close to the UK and so very accessible. Ihave been to some of the battlefields - by car. Albert to the west of Amiens is the centre of the French WW1 cemetries for both Allied and German soldiers, musee, battle sites. It was a very sobering experience. We went when my son was studying for GCSE History.

    The Normandy beaches near Caen, which I visited on a separate occasion, are also very interesting.
    T Farr
  • bike-a-swanbike-a-swan Posts: 1,235
    there's some quite nice gentle trundling around the countryside behind the Normandy landings. You can see Pegasus bridge, there's a German battery a bit further east, and Caen is quite nice to visit too.

    You can go over by ferry- http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/breaks/cycling-holidays, pretty cheap, and gives you a nice break at the end to relax (and have a shower!)

    You could easily get round the more interesting bits in a long weekend I would have thought, depending on time spent in each place and number of cake stops, of course.
    Rock Lobster 853, Trek 1200 and a very old, tired and loved Apollo Javelin.
  • cycladeliccycladelic Posts: 641
    I went to Verdun and have posted some pics and details of the ride here...

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=R ... =6297&v=8R


    I've also toured part of Belgium, which included La Roche and the Battle of the Bulge countryside. Again, there are some pics to give you an idea of cycling conditions here...

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page ... 43011&v=52
    It's an uphill climb to the bottom
  • bigpiklebigpikle Posts: 1,690
    thanks guys - some good food for thought there.
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
  • fietslogiesfietslogies Posts: 46
    This map (4 languages) is a must :

    frontkaart.jpg

    http://www.wo1.be/ned/literatuur/boeken/andere/frontkaart.htm (site in Dutch about where and how to buy).

    http://www.mapservice.be/frontkaart_14-18/ is a digital version of the map with zooming facilities.

    Otherwise there's one of my Bikely tracks, covering the region of Furnes, Ypres and Dixmude and following nothing but towpaths and old railway tracks:

    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Ieper-Diksmuide-Nieuwpoort-Diksmuide-Lo-Veurne-Nieuwpoort

    60 bicycle trails along Belgian canals, rivers and former railway tracks : http://www.bikely.com/listpaths/by/fietslogies
  • ridgeriderridgerider Posts: 2,810
    A work colleague did it, here is his story...

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=3 ... ontext=all
    Half man, Half bike...and now more familiar with the work of Prostate Cancer UK
  • i made the same trip some years ago. it was a very worthwhile excursion. i went over on the ferry and rode down form calais. we aimed for arras for the first night but ended up in aire-sur-la-lis thanks to horrendous wind and rain and bad luck with punctures.

    after that we found the going good and had plenty of time to visit all the major towns and memorials. one thing i would say, and it's purely a personal opinion, is avoid charleville mezieres if you can. it was shut when we went.
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