Brunssum, the Netherlands- Most of us go on business trips by car, or maybe we get the train and if it’s really far away then we might get on a plane. However, Commodore Gordon Ruddock, the Chairperson of the Tri-Border International Cycling Club (TBICC) decided to do something a bit different.
Faced with a 10 day temporary duty in SHAPE, Mons and some time in hand he decided that he would cycle to work – a journey of 190km.
An early start on a sunny Sunday saw him taking in the Maasmechelen Bridge and staying on rural cycle paths for most of the way, his journey was blessed with great weather for mid-October. The green fields of Limburg and then Wallonia were the view for most of the journey but he also saw some of the history of the re-purposed railroad he was riding on – stations converted into homes and train carriages which have become restaurants. Similarly, he passed through some peaceful villages and towns.
As he closed in on the HQ at Mons he started to see some familiar sites from his time based there. For example, the Strepy-Thieu boatlift (the largest in Europe) and the La Louviere aquaduct, which rises 55m over the road below and transports some of Europe’s largest river barges.
However, he wasn’t alone for all of the journey. Some members of TBICC rode the first 50km with him and an old colleague from SHAPE Cycling met him as he approached Mons.
After a great journey he arrived in Mons ready to start NATO’s biggest ever Command Post Exercise, Ex STEADFAST JUPITER as the JFC HQ Brunssum Liaison officer to SHAPE.
Oh yes, and then he cycled back as well…. In the dark. The sign announcing his arrival back in the Netherlands and only 15km to home was a welcome sight.
He is already planning his next adventure.
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