GBI Europe 2017_ London, UK to Neuss, Germany by bicycle_552km

The traditional cycling tour of the Global Biking Initiative with up to 400 participants from all over the world lead us from London to Dusseldorf. They offer a broad range of services to provide us a very special experience. 

Even a not well-trained cyclists do manage to ride the daily distances. And if you really need to finish a stage earlier, their pickup service will bring you and your bike to the daily destination.

This was my first time to join this even and I was emotionally mixed up. The mixture of different languages, nationalities and cultures created exactly what GBI describes as the special GBI spirit. 

We ride for Charity, as the GBI is a charity ride, you have to register for a GBI country (typically your home country) and raise funds in addition to the participation fee for the local supported charity in your country. The minimum amount depends on your country. 

 Each day was exciting and here is the breakdown. 

Day 1: London – Canterbury _ 95km
Right after the tour started in the London Docklands we had to cross the river Thames in a pedestrian tunnel to Woolrich. Right behind Dartford the cycle way followed the motorway in striking distance keeping on the cycle way, not to enter the motorway. We cycled through some larger villages and finally we ended up in Canterbury.

Day 2: Canterbury – Poperinge _ 94km
The route lead directly through the city center of Canterbury from the GBI Camp, passing the famous Canterbury Cathedral. We cycled through the beautiful countryside of southern England and left the UK at Dover with its white cliffs. we took the ferry ride to Dunkirk in France leaving northern France and headed to Poperinge in Belgium, where we stay for the night.

Day 3: Poperinge – Ninove _ 108km
We cycled on minor roads to Ypres from Poperinge. After leaving Kortrijk the hills will got more and more exciting/ challenging and more frequent. I remember the little voice in my head asking me; who sent me?  The last 15 km we cycled all the way down to the valley of the river Dender, where our destination Ninove is located.

Day 4: Ninove – Aarschot _ 77km
Although the Belgian capital is not far, we skipped Brussels and rather cycle northwards to Mechelen. From there we followed the river Dijle and reach Aarschot on minor roads.

Day 5: Aarschot – Roermond _ 108km
The route lead us through the western part of Belgium with almost flat terrain. The only challenging hill of the day begun right after passing the Albert channel. Later we left Belgium and cycled along the Maasplassen (lakes of the Meuse) to our destination Roermond. 

According to the organizers, this day was the queen\’s stage for track 2 cyclists (every year we have track 1 and 2, for the love of my life and happy endings, I do tract 1 which is shorter than track 2). Not only the distance of almost 200 km was very challenging, but several hills in southern Holland including the Vaals Mountain at the border of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands and highest point of continental Netherlands (323 m), as well as other well known hills like the Cauberg, finish of the Amstel Goldrace,  pushed the cyclists to their limits.

Day 6: Roermond – Neuss _ 63km
Right after we started of the final day we cycled on minor roads to Melick and Herkenbosch and crossed the forest and national park De Meinweg.

This was my first European cross country and I learned more than I expected. I look forward for more years to come.

This year I was the only Rwandan who participated, which means that GBI Rwanda raised only 150 Euro. 

would like to join us next year?

would you like to sponsor us or someone?  

feel free to contact me.
Kind regards.

Denyse Tesire

Rwanda Representative at Global Biking Initiative