BBR Background:

The Wounded Warriors Canada Battlefield Bike Ride (BBR) is an event designed through the lens of an important ethos to WWC: Honour the Fallen, Help the Living. Since 2014, over 600 cyclists from across Canada have participated in the BBR — raising over $3M in support of the charity’s national mental health programs benefiting ill and injured Veterans, First Responders and their families.

The BBR is not just another bike ride. BBR21 will celebrate, commemorate and reflect on Canada’s considerable contributions to the Liberation of the Netherlands in a country that still strongly relates to its Canadian Liberators, and possesses a deep appreciation for freedom re-found after 5 long years of Nazi oppression. What’s more, the Netherlands has developed the best cycling network you will find in the world today.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

In the final months of WW2, Canadian Forces were given the important and deadly task of liberating the Netherlands from Nazi occupation. More than 7,600 Canadian soldiers, sailors and airmen died fighting in the Netherlands. They are buried today in official war cemeteries across the country. BBR21 will take participants on a journey from Bergen op Zoom to Deventer, covering territory the 1st Canadian Army battled in 1945 until the formal German surrender was signed on May 7, 1945.

The campaign of northwest Europe took eleven months and could not have succeeded without the support of Allied naval and air forces. The navies kept the sea lanes open for munitions, supplies and reinforcements, while overhead the air forces cleared the skies and engaged in dangerous bombing missions.

The Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice during WW2 are mostly interred at three main Canadian War Cemeteries. BBR21 participants will visit all three: Bergen op Zoom, Groesbeek and our finish at Holten.

BBR21 INFO BOOKLET

ROUTE OVERVIEW

1

MEET & GREET: 6:30pm, Hotel De Draak lobby

Participants will be introduced to the BBR21 team, provided a historical overview of the Liberation of the Netherlands, WWC core programs and a ride safety briefing.

2

BERGEN OP ZOOM

Historical background:

The Bergen op Zoom Canadian War Cemetery and the Bergen op Zoom War Cemetery contain 1,118 and 1,284 Commonwealth burials. The cemeteries are in a beautiful woodland setting, a stark contrast to the fierce fighting that occurred there 75 years ago.

3

BERGEN OP ZOOM TO EINDHOVEN

Historical background:

Departing from Bergen op Zoom, riders will cross over into Belgium before heading on towards Eindhoven, a city proudly resurrected after being almost completely flattened by Allied Bomber Command during the war.

4

EINDHOVEN TO NIJMEGEN

Historical background:

Leaving Eindhoven, the first stop is the War Museum Overloon, which recounts the vicious fighting between British and German Forces. The museum connects to a bicycle bride leading to the British and German military cemeteries in the area.

5

NIJMEGEN TO ARNHEM

Historical background:

Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery is Canada’s largest military cemetery in the Netherlands. Most of those buried were Canadians, many of whom died in the Battle of Rhineland. It’s also the final resting place for Sgt Aubrey Cosens, one of Canada’s 13 Victoria Cross recipients during WW2.

6

ARNHEM TO DEVENTER

Historical background:

On our final ride day of BBR21, our commemorative stop is the final of the three Canadian cemeteries in the Netherlands, the Holten Canadian War Cemetery. Almost 1400 men are buried here, as the advance of the Canadian 2nd Corps into Northern Germany was an arduous and difficult task. This will also be the location of the final service and ceremony.

BBR Manager, Experience
Jacqueline Zweng

BBR Tour Manager
Matt Barlee

BBR Ride Guide
Jimmy Brown

BBR Ride Guide
Dan Flynn

BBR Ride Guide
Ron Mierau

BBR Ride Guide
Rhea Kettles

BBR Ride Guide
John Tolkamp

For nearly 30 years, Magic Places has been providing high-end, boutique cycling tours to the world’s greatest cycling destinations.  Whether a small-group custom tour, a bucket-list race experience, or a large scale charity ride, Magic Places delivers professional cycling vacations with a personal touch that will make it the ride of your life.

Photos from 2019 Battlefield Bike Ride