The Ride will offer two route options of approximately 160 miles or 230 miles through Belgium and Northern France. The routes are enjoyable for both the regular cyclist and for the more inexperienced rider. With schools having returned after the summer break roads are generally quiet especially the ones that we will be using.
Other road users in Belgium and France are very respectful to cyclists and we will be assured a warm welcome through the picturesque towns and villages through which we will pass.
The exact route will be confirmed once final numbers are confirmed.
The itinerary will be as follows:
August 30th 2017 Day 1 – 3:00pm
Report to the Ride to the Somme Recruitment Centre – The Imperial War Museum, London.
You will be able to view many of their exhibits and learn in greater detail the role of the cyclist on The Western Front. You will meet your fellow riders and staff before transferring to the port for your ferry crossing.
Day 2 – Early in the saddle for the first riding day. Our destination will be Arras.
The Battle of Arras took place in the spring of 1917 and was one of the principal offensives undertaken by the British Army on the Western Front, similar in scale to the Battle of the Somme and the Third Battle of Ypres.
Under Allied control but situated just a few kilometres from German lines for the whole of the war, the town of Arras formed a salient in the front and as such, from October 1914, was a regular target for German artillery. The medieval town hall and its belfry were completely destroyed and much of the centre was severely damaged.
Day 3 – After a good night’s rest and a good breakfast we undertake a circular route taking in the important strategic locations on the Somme including The Memorial to the Missing at Thiepval.
The routes are circular and we will return at the end of the day to Arras.
Day 4 – We head North West into Belgium and will stop at Aubers Ridge to lay a wreath in memory of Private Evans the first member of the Army Cyclist Corps killed on the Western Front. We will continue to Ypres and will pay our respects at the Menin Gate before finishing our Ride at Tyne Cot. It is the largest cemetery for Commonwealth forces in the world, for any war.
Day 5 – We will return by ferry and coach to the Imperial War Museum for you to be released back into civilian life in time for onward journeys home.