Last Thursday a couple of velonauts came to visit and do some bike riding the next day. It was going to be our last ROAM weekend. Earlier I had done Bennekom and Roermond and the final weekend was in Groningen. Coincidence? No, yesterday we had to deliver our bikes to be shipped to America. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

After a good night sleep Bert van V. Bram S. and myself headed for Groningen to pick up Maarten H., Machiel S. and Hasse H. (our only Danish guy). On arrival at the Ligfiestgarage Groningen Bert wanted to check his left front tire. It was wobbly because it was not centered correctly. When he pumped the tire back up suddenly we'd here a loud sssss-sound. Turns out the other front tire spontaneously emptied out. That's what you get if you put Schwalbe SV6A inner tubes into a 47 mm Perfect Moiree tire. After some coffee and the replacement of the inner tubes we could finally get on our way. Next stop... Bourtange. A little fortress village near the German border.

Despite us not going very fast in the first part of the trip we enjoyed our self. The sun was shining like crazy and there wasn't to much wind. Just before we reached halfway Bram decided to head back because his knees were hurting. I'd given him some instruction on which route he should take and everything turn out just fine for him.

In the fortress we parked our bikes in the middle of the square. That way we could keep an eye out for them and the tourist had something to see. To make sure I didn't have to look over my shoulder ever now and than I activated my alarm. And it worked... like four times. The fifth time it went of but not because of a nosy tourist. They had fired the big canon. Because of the pressure wave the motion alarm was activated.

We had pancakes, plates of french fries, together with a half liter of coke. After I finished my pancake I was still hungry, so I ordered another plate of fries. We payed, turned our bikes around and headed back to Noordhorn, well... actually the Steakhouse Andre Dokter in Briltil. We planned to meet there around 6 PM. Five T-bone steaks, numerous half liters of beer et cetera were placed on the table. We had a great meal after a 170 kilometer ride.

Last night I had six people staying over instead of two. Maarten H., Hesse H., Rob H. and Marcel B. were also staying here. This morning the alarm clock went of at 8 AM and after we finish our breakfast we headed for Groningen. And a visit to that city is not complete without a visit to 'd Olle Grieze (where we took some pictures).

The last thing this weekend was... packing our bikes. On arrival at the ligfietsgarage the pallets were already lying there. Placed our bikes on it, secured the tires to them, made sure the packing list of items in the bike was included, added the 'Powered by DHL' sticker, put them in the box and then in the container. In total there were 17 bikes which had to be packed. And with a job like that you'll easily spend a couple of hours (about 5-6). A beautiful sight to see, but kind of frightening. The adventure begins, there is no turning back now.

After taking a final group photo we were dropped of at the central station where the five of us had a bite to eat. After getting home (only 9 minutes by train) and a shower all we can do now is wait... 7 more weeks.

ROAM-weekend Groningen (panorama)

Update: A number of other riders also made blogposts (Dutch only), photos and videos.

Blog reference: 
First ROAM meeting
Blog reference: 
What a ROAM weekend!