O2e Juniors Dunkirk – Ypres – Dunkirk



Fantastic 5 have a Belgian adventure!

Alice Murray, Jorja and Reanna Webb, Ellen and Conaill McGinley.

On Friday night 11 of us met at the hotel in Dunkirk. After dinner, some were sensible and went to bed others were not so sensible…

A bright clear Saturday morning saw 10 cyclists sorting their bikes and kit ready for the off. Big Chris organised his support wagon, made sure the lens cap was off the camera and handed out chocolate filled goody bags.

Lee and Joe supervising the O2e Juniors whilst nursing a hangover.

The fantastic 45-mile route to Ypres (cheers, Rafe!) soon had us following quiet rural roads through the French countryside. 13 miles later we were in Belgium looking for hot chocolate and waffles for a mid-morning break.

At 20 miles, our first planned stop the Yser Tower Museum was visible some 8 miles away over the flat Belgian landscape.  After the tower, we followed canals all the way to Ypres, stopping at the Yorkshire Trench and again at Essex Farm, both of which help you to visualise the suffering and conditions of war.

Tower Museum

The weather on Sunday was perfect. With the sun on our faces and the wind on our backs we followed a different 45-miler back to Dunkirk.

Cruising in perfect conditions.

Our 3 site visits were all within the first 10 miles; Tyne Cot Cemetery, The Canadian Memorial and a German Cemetery.

Canadian Memorial.

At about 25 miles, Alice had a spell in the car after leaving some skin on Belgium tarmac, however she did make Billy the proudest Dad in the World when she got back on the bike to join the rest of us for the last 5 miles.

Billy Murray – proud dad moment!

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend!

Extraordinary kids, great company, brilliant routes, plus, it was both education and emotional.

Thank you all, especially Chris Ensom for doing the support.

Joe Webb