Cycling in Brabant and Limburg
Cycling in Brabant and Limburg is what a "serious" cyclist should go for. That at least was what I was told when I bought my first bicycle, a Peugeot. Brabant and especially south Limburg has hills, so you can do some serious cycling.
When I got older, I realized that maybe if you are a racer Limburg is the Holy Land of cycling in Holland but as a tour rider, many other places in Holland where as beautiful, or even more beautiful then Limburg. Does it mean you should skip south Netherlands? On the contrary. There's much to enjoy. We start again in Gorinchem.
Once you cross the Waal at Gorinchem, you are already in Brabant. Interestingly, you seem to feel it too. The atmosphere is different.
It seems life goes here in a different tempo then north of the river. I have always had that feeling.
A scenic route follows the road to Heusden and 's Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch). It's a pleasant and easy ride with a pleasant stay in Den Bosch.
From Den Bosch you can cycle to Helmond, 40km, and then Venlo (90km). Venlo is already Limburg. If you wish to skip Venlo, you can directly cycle through Weert to Roermond (around 100km).
Venlo is certainly worth a visit, with its history that goes back to Roman times. The surrounding of the city is also beautiful.
From Roermond it's about 60 km to Maastricht and you will some serious, though not very long climbs on the way.
Take the road to Echt, then Geleen and Holtum where you cross the Juliana Canal and go immediate left. You can cycle all along the canal to Bergen a/d Maas and Urmond. If you want to keep it easy, follow the Juliana Canal all the way to Maastricht.
For the more adventurous cyclist, try the road from Stein to Schinnen and Voerendaal. You're in the hills of Limburg and all roads go up and down, sometimes, steep, sometimes slow. Try Voerendaal Klimmen and then Valkenburg. It's a beautiful ride and you will see many cyclists here.
The cycling enthusiast will know the Keutenberg from the Amstel-Gold race, a serious climb to Gulpen. Visit Margraten Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial, the third largest war cemetery in Europe for unidentified soldiers who fell in WW II.
Maastricht is only 9 km away. If you are intended to Belgium, a beautiful road goes first to Vise, and then into the hills to Verviers, Theux, Spa, Francochamps and Malmedy, Stavelot and Luxemburg. It's a great part of Belgium. This has been my favorite ride into Belgium for years.
Should you want to leave Holland, cycle to Vaals and from there to Aachen just a short ride away.
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