Jan
24

Last year I rode with a borrowed bike, because my own bike wasn't finished yet, but this year I drove my own bike. Better yet, I didn't have to cycle to the meeting point because I lived there. That's convenient, I didn't have to get up early. Well... you do have to take care of the people arriving, there has to be tea and coffee. Also I had some visitors who cycled from far (Almere, Nijkerk, IJsselstein and even Linschoten), they had the privileged to come a day earlier so they didn't have to cycle to much in one day, which means getting up very early and even more important, getting back home very late. I had 5 people staying for the night: Jolanda D., Hankie B., Theo van G., Maarten S. en Bert van V. Luckily there was enough space for everyone.

In the morning we got up at nine, made some breakfast and prepared for the first guests to arrive at ten. And as planned they all arrived one by one. I'd planned for 18 people to come, but when I checked the website in the morning it turned out to be 25 participants. I don't have that many chairs. Luckily the final number was 22 velonauts and that meant that all the chairs (including the borrowed ones) were occupied. After the coffee et cetera it was time to leaf around eleven, but we were still missing 2 riders. Peter H. and David H. from Assen, where the ride was last year, were (as usual) a bit late. On the way here that had some bad luck with chains and such. But after they had arrived and consumed their tea we were on our way.

Anton L. and I scouted the route a week before and had put in a few 'obstacles' just for fun. The route took us over all kinds of roads, local ones, bike paths through 'swamp like' area's and even narrower paths though open fields. Also we had a steep little bridge and some collapsible fences. The bridge turned out to be quite a challenge (as I noticed the week before), but in the lowest gear and hard pedaling I arrived to the top (bit by bit). The collapsible fences were held open by some people walking by, so that's nice. Apart from that was were no other kinds of 'trouble'. Well... Harry L. had two punctures and David H. his chain was giving trouble again. Oh, and there was another kind of problem. After a few kilometers my bike computer (the Garmin Edge 500) showed that we had cycled more than 350 kilometers. That couldn't be right. It calculates the distance and speed based on GPS and that must have been a bit out of order.

Half way we stopped at the Molenrij at Eric van der H.'s place (also a recumbent rider) regain some of our strength. I have to say I was quite hungry. We parked all of our bikes on the driveway and went inside. The whole kitchen table was filled with all kinds of good food. Soup, wieners, bread, fruit salad, all kinds of beverages and desert. We could fill our stomach and head out for the second part of the ride thanks to Eric and his wife.

When we arrived back at my place some riders went home and some went inside for a last cup of coffee or tea. Because of that there now was plenty of space for everyone to sit. Slowly one by one these riders left my apartment to head home. Hankie B. and Maarten S. went back by car and trailer, together with Jos H. The other three were staying for a second night. There was only one person to leave. He'd done about 120 kilometer in the morning to get here, do the ride and another 120 kilometer to get back home. Who that person is? Ymte S. of course. He did 300+ kilometer in one day.

In the evening on the couch we enjoyed a cup of tea and watched the ever popular TV show Boer zoekt Vrouw (Farmer seeks Wife). Chatted about riding brevet and such (maybe I'll ride one of those someday) and then went to bed at half past ten. Two of the three had a long distance to cover the next day (some 150 and 220 kilometer). The alarm clock went of early, half past six. Prepared enough sandwiches for the ride, gave them some bananas and as soon as it was getting light they'd went home. Some time later I had to leave home too, I had to be at work at nine.

All that's left are the pictures and the route. Those can be found below, just as a few links to pictures, movies and stories of some of the other riders.