A Short Trip To… Brussels

I’ve spent much of the past three years thinking about cycling from southern Spain to northern Norway; planning the journey, completing the journey, recovering from the journey, writing the book about the journey and, more recently, marketing the book about the journey. (What? You hadn’t noticed?) The next three days, however, will see me cast my thoughts back in time to 2008, 2009 and 2010 when my mind was focussed upon my first continental cycle: from southern England to southern Italy along the Eurovelo 5.

A few months ago I was contacted by a chap called Richard Weston, an academic who works for the University of Central Lancashire at their Institute of Transport and Tourism. Richard’s speciality is cycle tourism and he is currently working on a project aimed at developing the Eurovelo 5. ‘Would I be interested in joining him on a visit to Brussels in September?‘ he enquired. The reason for our visit is a meeting with the great and the good of the European Cyclists’ Federation and to launch a Eurovelo 5 app. More about that in the coming days (as, to be honest, I currently know little about it).

So here I am standing at the bus stop in Stainland, West Yorkshire awaiting the bus to Huddersfield and onward trains to Manchester, London and finally the Belgian capital itself. The launch takes place tomorrow before a return to the UK on Saturday so it’s a flying (well, bus and train…) visit. There is one slightly ironic aspect to the trip; those of you who are up to speed with ‘Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie‘ will recall that I ceremoniously cut Brussels (and indeed most of Belgium) out of my own version of the Eurovelo 5 back in 2010. I’ve already drafted the apologies…

More updates over the next few days and, hopefully, a report in the October podcast. In the meantime, here’s a nice picture of the bus stop where my journey just began. The glamour…

What do you think?