A Bridge Too Far: Col Simon Vandeleur Blog, Day Five

Colonel Simon Vandeleur, Edinburgh Castle Garrison Commander, created a blog during the ‘A Bridge Too Far’ bike ride from London to Belgium. He rode with Baxterbear on his handlebars all the way there, and Baxterbear was TREEKLED to make a difference with him. To read a full round-up of events, click here. Here is his blog post from the fifth day: I never thought that I would bicycle 95 miles in a day, but Baxterbear and I achieved it yesterday. We arrived in Einhoven at about 7 p.m. In heavy rain having started the journey at 07.30 yesterday morning. After 60 miles I was well outside my normal comfort zone, but we survived in good spirits and I salute the limbless veterans on their handbikes who all completed the course. Only one casualty yesterday, the Officer Commanding Nijmegan company Grenadier Guards took a summersault over his handlebars and landed on his head, which has not done him much good. Baxterbear is still in good shape albeit a bit damp. We set off from Eindhoven this morning at 0730 and attended a very moving ceremony at the Son bridge which was one of the first bridges, captured by US Airborne Forces in September 44. The Germans managed to blow it up first, so much time and effort was expended in constructing a new bridge before Guards Armoured Division could move on to Nijmegan. We are scheduled to cover 90 miles today – phew, this is undoubtedly a physical challenge. We are sitting on the floor of a school gym having a fascinating talk about the experience of being wounded in 1944 by Uncle John, Bryn’s uncle, who commanded a platoon of the Rifle Brigade in 1944. Army medical practices have undoubtedly improved since 1944. Pennicillin was in its infancy in 1944. The camaraderie amongst the riders has been tremendous. Baxterbear and I have made many new friends on the trip from all walks of life and all ages. We were amazed this-morning passing the healthy looking Dutch schoolchildren bicycling to school. The smallest children were on huge family bikes. The roads in Holland are much better designed for bicycling, I suppose, than in UK. Must go, another 40 miles to go to Nijmegan! Simon and Baxterbear Freedom isn’t free. For the first day of Simon Vandeleur’s blog, click here. For the fourth day of Simon Vandeleur’s blog, click here. For the sixth day of Col Simon Vandeleur’s blog, click here. h4h 3