Eindhoven – Maastricht – Aachen. 145km

Posted: July 1, 2012 in Cycling
Tags: , , ,

My last training trip before the big, exciting trip in Norway next week. It was a perfect day for cycling. The weather forecast was for 25C and partly cloudy. I got up before the crack of dawn to be able to cycle in the cool stillness of the early morning. A serene time of the day.

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It was cool and hardly a breath of wind as I passed through fields, sleeping villages and green green forests. The Malpie marshy nature reserve was alive with birds squawking as they circled over the water looking for fish. And then I joined my favourite canal in Belgium: the one I run along when I run to Weert. This time I was to follow it all the way to Maastricht.

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The sun rose in the sky, but I stayed in the beautiful shade under the leafy trees that lined the side of the canal. A head wind picked up but was nothing compared to my slog along the coast in Belgium a month ago.
I arrived at Maastricht at 11:30 and had a nice lunch on the main square in the sun.

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It was time to rest in the hottest part of the day, and I made it to a swimming spot on the Maas and lay there and read, going for periodic swims until 15:30. The last part of the trip was going to be hilly, and I didn’t want to do it at the hottest time of day.

I made my way to Aachen along the lovely scenic but very up and down route that hugs the border with Belgium. Holland does have some steep hills and some cute little villages tucked in cosy valleys. Epe and Slenaken are like this, and are very pretty.
I stopped at the famous huge ice cream place in Epe. They were busy, a hoard of cyclists having just arrived.

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I got the third size of ice cream from a total of 7. They have 1, 2 scoops, giant, mega, giga, ultra, and super ultra.

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Some dark clouds crossed the sky, for which I was grateful. I could climb my way up to the Vaals ‘mountain’ – the highest mountain in the Netherlands – in shade. It is at the point where the borders with Belgium and Germany meet. From there it was all downhill (as I know a route that is like this) all the way to Cristina’s place, situated at the lowest point in Aachen.
The whole family will cycle a bit tomorrow. A pleasant day excursion.

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