One of the great things about the type of cycling I prefer is the ability to bring me a little closer to nature, in much the same way as walking does, just a little quicker but slow enough to smell the flowers or freshly cut grass.

My new bike is built for ‘all terrain’ cycling and I’m equipped with a ‘can cycle anywhere’ attitude, so between us we explore the byways and woodlands of Limburg and beyond.

This is one reason why I tend to plan my rides in advance, to avoid those roads already travelled and to ensure I don’t miss any interesting things that may be nearby. For this I use an app on my iPhone, ‘Ride With GPS’ which allows me to plan routes, navigate and store completed rides.

Today’s 21 km ride was short in distance but rich in nature, as I followed the course of the natural waterway ‘Tungelroyse Beek’ as it meanders alongside the local golf course at Crossmoor.

This stretch of the 26 km long stream has been recently maintained with some excess foliage removed and the grass banks cut back.

At the end of this particular track I came to a junction marked by a somewhat rustic bird-watchers ‘hide’, with my route to the left prohibited as it’s the beginning of a military zone. This left me with no other choice but to turn right and negotiate the steep man-made hill overlooking the ‘Blue Lake’.

Before continuing, curiosity got the better of me and I started to climb the steep ladder up into the hide to see what the view was like from the top. Despite appearing substantial, the whole structure was leaning to one side and as I reached the third or fourth rung I could hear distinct creaking sounds above.

At this point I decided to retreat to firm ground, imagining that it might topple over at any moment.

I think the top of the nearby hill offered far better views than the wooden tower anyway and it was great fun going down the other side after the extremely difficult ascent.

#CW5000 : 5231.40 KM TO GO!

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