Usually I would be sitting in the boat by 11 hours, but because there is ice that wouldn't happen. Instead I did some ergo, less fun...but you have to keep up your condition somehow. The first 5 to 10 minutes was warming up en then we did three series of 3 minutes V+15, 2 minutes V+10 and 1 minute V+5. The V is the average 500 meter time of a test I did some 2 weeks ago (I had a time of 2:03.8 per 500 meter). The +15 for instance is 15 above the V time.

Another disadvantage of the cold weather is that the wind is also colder. Although I was wearing a helmet and a Buff (sort of a 'hat' for your head) the cold wind managed to reach my temple. That's why after my visit to the rowingclub I went to Cycle Trend just a bit down the road to get me something to better shield my face from the cold. I went home with the Craft Zero Face Protector. With this only your eye's are free (nose and mouth can also be free). The salesman asked if I came by bike. After answering him I heard: "so, though guy". But after showing my bike he figured out why I cycled (not that the Dutch don't cycle when it's cold). After paying I tried the 'hat' on and left for the Ligfietsgarage Groningen for some final shopping.

After arrival I put the foam cover on the bike and went inside where Arjen (who was the only one there) offered me a cup of tea. He was busy making three velomobile roofs for foreign customers. During our talk about soon to arrive rowingbike Arjen asked me if a American customer could use my ideas of the flames on my Mango. Well, I searched long and hard for the perfect picture using Shutterstock (a payed photosite), so I rather not have someone else ride around with the exact same design. He could still make the theme the same, just not with the exact same photo as my bike. Just before leaving I bought a bottle of organ Blue Syn Lube. Mine (which I bought in February) accidentally dropped and was leaking (although I tried to tape it up with duct-tape, which did a good job, but was not sufficient). Outside it had been snowing quite a bit and my black velomobiel was covered with a nice white blanket. I got in, closed the foam cover and after making some pirouettes I headed home.

In a velomobile you're not that much slower in the winter compared to the summer. The only thing slowing you down are cycle paths that are not cleaned (which aren't that many) and cars who are not willing or able to go faster. A advantage is that there are less cyclist on the road. Those who do cycle don't pay as much attention (I think), of can't move out of the way as much as when there is no snow. Due to the last I had to swerve a bit to the side and hit a curb. No (visible) damage was done. When leaving Groningen I took the main road instead of the cycle path. Just a bit down the road children were playing with their sled, sliding down a small hill. As I passed them I could just hear: "sir, nice car!". Ten seconds later a motorist honked and gave me a thumbs-up. There you go, winter may be cold but these are heartwarming moments...

Oh, one more thing. Close to home I stopped at the supermarket to get some dinner for tonight. Just when I was almost home, about some 500 meters, the bridge was up and wouldn't go down. A mechanic was already at the scene and after about 10 to 15 minutes it closed... very slowly. In those moments I'm happy to own a velomobile. The alternative was to cycle about 10 kilometers to the next bridge, not such a problem, but I just came from that direction.