The mighty Jungfrau - roof top of Europe
Before we embarked on our cycling adventure from Switzerland to Rotterdam we wanted to make a symbolic journey to the Jungfraujoch known as the top of Europe. This spot, located in the Alps deep in the heart of Europe, is important because it is from its glaciers that some of the major rivers in Europe are formed. It has a special significance to our bicycle trip to Rotterdam because it is from this spot that the Aare river forms and flows into the Rhine which then makes its way across Europe to empty into the Atlantic ocean in Rotterdam. We are traveling from the source in the mountains to the ocean. For Liam and me it is truly an epic journey. The river will be a cord that connects us to this adventure.
The glaciers that form the major rivers of Europe
Over the next ten days we will be riding over 600 kilometers as we make our way to Rotterdam. The journey will not be a straight shot. Just as the Rhine meanders as it makes its way to Rotterdam, so shall we zig-zag a bit, as we roughly follow the first ten stages of the 2010 Tour de France in reverse.
The Aare on its way to the Rhine and Rotterdam
We will begin by riding some the climbs of this year's Tour in the French Alps. Then on to the Jura region of France for more riding in the mountains. We will pass through Burgogne and Champaign. In the north of France we will ride many cobble sections of the Tour as we get a taste of the Paris-Roubaix course. Paris - Roubaix is a grueling one day classic race that takes place in April. Then it will be up through Belgium. Eddie Merckx who is quite possibly the greatest bike rider to have ever lived is turning 65 this year and the the Tour de France will have a few days in Belgium as a tribute to his legacy. They also make some very good beer in Belgium! Then it will be on to Holland and Rotterdam for the start of the 2010 Tour de France on July 3rd.
"Why are we riding and why are we blogging about it?" This is a question many have asked.
The short answer: because we both really enjoy it.
A longer answer: When we started the blog last year it was a way of keeping family and friends up to date on our adventure in Europe. From there the blog took on a life of its own. We have been able to meet some pretty incredible people along the way, raise money for some very important causes, and continue to grow and evolve both as father and son and as individuals. All these things are really important to us. And, of course, we continue because we really enjoy it!
If you enjoy the blog and would like to join our effort please consider a donation to the Lance Armstrong Foundation through Liam's Livestrong Challenge, or The Forget Me not Farm through Liam's Levi's Granfondo account. Even $5 goes a long way to change people's lives for the better. Both Links can be found at the top of the blog in the upper right hand corner. Together we can and do make a difference!
Live Strong, Train Safe and Live Well!
Bill and Liam