Members of the Calderdale Cyclists Touring Club (CTC) have just returned from a visit to Aachen in Germany, hosted by a local cycling club. The visit was organised by Graham Joyce, Secretary of Calderdale CTC and involved 5 members from the Halifax area. They arrived in Aachen on 24 April and enjoyed dinner on their first night with the President of the local cycling club, RC Zugvogel Aachen, and Karlheinz Dannert of the Aachen-Halifax Twinning Society.
The following morning they joined members of RC Zugvogel Aachen for a 70km ride around the borders of Germany, Netherlands and Belgium, known as the Mergeland. This was followed by a guided tour of the highlights of Aachen city led by Karlheinz, where they learned about the origins and history of the city and the links between Halifax and Aachen which began,in 1949.
On the Sunday, the CTC members set off with the Aachen club to watch the famous Spring Classic race, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, as it passed near Spa in Belgium. They enjoyed sunshine and showers as they crossed the border and were treated to ‘frites et biere’ with their hosts. Three of the Halifax cyclists went on to complete a 250 mile tour of the Belgian/German border area before returning home to catch the Tour de Yorkshire passing through our area.
The visit was set up by Calderdale CTC in conjunction with the Halifax-Aachen Society. Graham Joyce suggested the idea following previous cycle tours around the Belgian Ardennes and Geoff Barnes of the Halifax-Aachen Society used his German contacts to find a cycling club willing to host the visit.
The Halifax-Aachen Society have been involved in twinning visits and exchanges for more than 60 years, but this is the first tour in Germany at least in recent times by a local cycling club.
Graham said ‘ this was an exploratory first visit and all those that went really enjoyed it. We hope that there will be further exchanges and that the Aachen club will be able to visit Calderdale next year, possibly taking in the Tour de Yorkshire’
Geoff Barnes, Publications Officer