by Thijs Busser
Like last year we opened the club year with a joint activity organized by Holland Expat Center South, P&D Care, the city of Tilburg, and TIC. We picked the perfect day, the weather was just right for a 20 kilometer long bike ride.
The start and finish of the ride was De Havenmeester at the Piushaven in Tilburg. It turned out to be a nice café/restaurant where we were greeted with coffee/tea and brownie. There were about 50 people that showed up, a nice size crowd for this type of event.
We left the venue a little later than planned and split up in four groups, some people came on their own cycles and for everyone else the organization made sure that bikes were present at the start. And so we left Tilburg on our bikes with a route description which would turn out to be harder to decypher than expected.
For those groups that managed to follow the route properly there where three scheduled stops along the route. The first stop was deep inside the woods nearby Oisterwijk where a friendly lady from Natuur bosbeheer was waiting for us. She explained about the lakes, how old they were and their function.
From there we went on the city center of Oisterwijk where we could stop at a restaurant for a drink and a traditional Brabants ‘worstenbrood’ (sausage roll).I know in my group there were many people that were just a couple of days in the Netherlands and for them this was a nice introduction to a typical Dutch delicacy.
After we were rested we took our bikes and rode on to the third and final stop of the tour, the mill of Oisterwijk. Here we got to go up on the mill and enjoy the view and listen to how they used to run the mill. At the base of the mill there was a nice field where we could enjoy a nice beer from the gift shop. By this time the four groups has pretty much merged into one big group and we enjoyed the sun and each other’s company.
No matter how good a time we were having we had to get back on the bike and ride back from Oisterwijk to Tilburg. This was the nicest leg of the tour, riding between the fields and the nice houses, it was a very nice area to show to all the new arrivals.
The after party
What was scheduled to be a three hour cycle tour turned into a four-and-half hour tour. Not that anyone minded, everyone had a great time and arrived back at the Havenmeester in high spirits. Here we were greeted by alderman Erik de Ridder who give a speech on the importance of expats for Tilburg.
After the speech there were drinks, snacks and an opportunity to talk to the other participants of the event. It was great fun and everyone had a good time, something that was evident by the fact that after seven the place was still filled with expats talking and having fun.
I think it is safe to say we had a very good opening of the club year. We lucked out with the weather and were fortunate enough to have a nice turn out. As a result we have quite a nice number of new members. To you I want to say: Welcome! And to all our members who were there, thanks for participating in the fun and I hope to see you at our other event this year!