The riders from all corners of Canada are starting to arrive in Amiens, France, to start the ride – The Battlefield Bike Ride 2022 – 100 Days to Victory.
Tomorrow we start with the first ride, but today we all meet at the ride hotel in Amiens for a briefing and a get-together. This will be an opportunity for returning riders to reconnect with friends from previous rides, while new riders get the opportunity to shake off some of their jitters.
So What is Ahead of Us?
As things stand, we have 5 days of riding ahead of us. This will take us on a planned route of 391 kms from Amiens, where the first battle of the 100 Days Offensive began on 8 August 1918 to Mons, Belgium where the Armistice was signed at 1100hrs, 11 November 1918. I say “as things stand” because early planning was done and road construction weather and other issues may get in the way. However, Matt and the entire Magic Places Cycling Adventures crew will ensure that any changes will be integrated seamlessly.
Following a very successful fundraising campaign, thanks to my many sponsors, both corporate and private, in which we all worked to enable the second half of the WWC ethos statement “Help the Living“, it is now time to turn my attention to the other aspect of the ride and the first half of the statement – “Honour the Fallen“. Over the next 5 days there will be numerous historical stops to pay tribute to the fallen and explore the dramatic history of the final 100 days of WWI. This is the current plan:
Day 1: 88km around Amiens with visits to the Namps-au-Val British Cemetery, the Toronto Cemetery, and the Australian National Memorial.
Day 2: 86km from Amiens to Arras, stopping at the Newfoundland Regiment Memorial in Beaumont-Hamel, and riding by both the Ulster Memorial Tower and Thiepval British War Monument.
Day 3: 52km around Arras with visits to the Hill 70 Memorial, France’s Notre Dame de Lorette Monument, and of course, Vimy Ridge.
Day 4: 90km from Arras to Valenciennes, visiting Orange Hill, the Newfoundland Memorial and British Cemetery in Monchy le Preux, the Canadian Memorials at both Dury and Bourlon Wood.
Day 5: 76km from Valenciennes to Mons with stops at the St Roche Cemetery, the St Symphorien Military Cemetery and the Mons Memorial Museum.
I am looking forward to sharing the ride and some of the important interactions that occur over the next week. I am looking forward to interviewing some of the other riders, members of WWC and some of the Magic Places crew. Watch for it!
Let’s get it started!
Honour the Fallen, Help the Living