With overnight temperatures well below zero, there was a definite cold nip in the air as I left home for today’s cycle ride.

It took several kilometres of hard cycling for my circulation to reach the ends of my gloved fingers and unprotected ears. The rest of me had five overlapping layers to keep me nice and warm, all of which are soaking wet with sweat by the time I get home.

Riding along the canal bank north from Nederweert I came across a monument from 1944. Near this spot the mayors of two local towns, Someren & Asten were murdered by the German SS because they were members of the Dutch Resistance.

Moving on, the midway point in today’s ride was the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery near the village of Mierlo in North Brabant.

Here lay 658 Allied soldiers and airmen, a significant number of whom were from several Scottish regiments making up the 51st Highland Division, who suffered great losses as they fought their way through this part of the Netherlands, liberating them from German occupation in the autumn of 1944.

It’s much warmer on the return journey as the sun makes an appearance and I follow the marked cycle paths through woodlands and the peat bogs of Strabrechtsheide, a different part of which I explored a couple of weeks ago.

Despite the chilly start this was a great ride out and today’s 67.2 km will count towards my 1000 km Cycling Down Dementia target.

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