LIBERATION DIVIDE by Bjornrides.cc
360 km (224 mi) straight through North Brabant in the Netherlands
* What is the LIBERATION DIVIDE?
The Liberation Divide is my ode to beautiful North Brabant and our freedom here in the Netherlands. What started around six years ago with discovering a few gravel strips and monuments with a link to the Second World War around Breda, has grown into this multi-day route.
The Tour winds through the Brabant landscape and past various impressive places related to the Second World War. Well known places like Kamp Vught and the British and Canadian war cemeteries near Bergen op Zoom, but also lesser known places like Schijnvliegveld de Kiek and the Vloeiweide monument in the woods near Rijsbergen.
This adventure starts in Bergen op Zoom, close to the border with Zeeland. The finish of this route is over 360 leaden kilometres (224 mi) further on at the provincial border with Limburg on the bicycle bridge, right through the War Museum Overloon. This bicycle bridge in front of the museum is open daily until 17:00 and freely accessible.
Approximately 60% of the route is unpaved and consists of gravel strips, ancient cart tracks, beautiful forest paths and farm roads. It’s interspersed with paved cycle paths, traffic-free roads and a few stray cobbled sections. Just like the surface, the landscape around you changes continuously. One moment you’re cycling through flowering heathland and the next moment through one of the many forest areas that Brabant has to offer. A few kilometres further on, you cross meadows and, a little later, a stately estate.
My advice is to ride this route with a gravel or mountain bike; a racing bike won’t work. Take the weather conditions and the season into account when choosing your tyres. A forest path or sand track can be dry or muddy depending on the time of year you ride it. Choose at least 40 millimetre tyres with a small stud. Nowhere is it really technical, so it’s perfectly doable for every cyclist.
You can find cafes, restaurants and supermarkets everywhere in North Brabant. The route avoids villages and towns as much as possible, but as everywhere in Brabant, a village or town is never far away. It’s up to you to deviate from the route for a lunch or snack stop. You can easily find free drinking water points in Brabant via this link: brabantwater.nl/over-ons/kraanwater-overal/openbare-watertappunten.
For overnight stays, check out the website inhetgroen.nl. This website lists many small-scale accommodation options, both camping and B&B, in the midst of nature and in rural areas.
Note: Overloon, at the end of the route, has no train station; the nearest is at Vierlingsbeek.. Use your planner or choose another ending point.
These routes use open paths in nature, which you share with hikers, riders and other cyclists. While cycling this route, please respect the rules of conduct of the gravel code (gravelcode.nl). Friendly greetings and slowing down will ensure a lot of understanding from fellow cyclists.
Noord-Brabant has many different terrain owners and managers. Therefore, always read the signs and abide by the rules. Together, we can ensure that we can continue to enjoy these beautiful places.
* LIBERATION DIVIDE Patch
The first 50 cyclists who complete the LIBERATION DIVIDE in one or more consecutive days will receive a specially designed LIBERATION DIVIDE patch. The first patches are already taken... so ride the route soon to earn one of the limited edition patches for your bag, cap or shirt!
Are you aiming to be in the top 50 ranking of first LIBERATION DIVIDE finisher? Tag Bjorn Kamman (komoot.nl/user/727917489054) in your completed route on komoot to be eligible for one of the 43 remaining patches. And, of course, share your experiences with Bjorn in the comments in this Collection or on Instagram at Instagram.com/bjornrides.cc.
These routes have been extensively explored by me and run exclusively over terrain open to cyclists, however, the Brabant countryside has many different owners and managers. In exceptional cases, the situation may change.
You’ll also notice that sometimes you cycle on a paved road while next to you is a beautiful forest or nature reserve. Unfortunately, it just means these parts are not open to cyclists.
* Social media
Did you ride the LIBERATION DIVIDE or a part of it? Please share your adventures with me on Instagram: instagram.com/bjornrides.cc.
Ready to get going? Create and customize your own version of this adventure using the full Tour below as a template.
Last updated: May 19, 2022
Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.
The Liberation Divide West meanders through the West Brabant landscape and past various impressive sites from the Second World War. Well-known places such as the British and Canadian war cemeteries at Bergen op Zoom, but also lesser-known places such as a Canadian Sherman tank in Woensdrecht and the…
The Liberation Divide East meanders through the Brabant landscape and past various impressive sites from the Second World War. Well-known places such as Kamp Vught and Peel Raamlinie near Mill, but also lesser-known places such as Schijnvliegveld de Kiek and the Hoeve of Gebroeders Schut.
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