Wednesday was a long day at work because I had to take the 7 AM train towards the AMC hospital in Amsterdam. I had a 10 AM work meeting (not, not a scary disease). The work went well, but I a finally was able to go home around 4:30 PM. I arrived home just after 8 PM. A long day. And because of that I could leave a bit early last Friday. On my way to Cycle Vision in Lelystad.
First I set up my big-ass four person tent (which was a bit difficult with the hard winds). After that I went to the cantina to report for volunteer duty, pick up a T-shirt and get some food. There was the ability to choose between two dishes, rice and spaghetti. I choose the last one and received a very big aluminum foil tray. On opening the cheese was stuck to the 'lid'. Getting it off proved to be difficult, especially after a long day at work and setting up a big-ass tent by your self with the fierce winds and rock filled grounds. The food went in none the less. Amazing what a person can endure.
Friday evening there was the 1 hour race on the RDW track. Just before the end of the first half I arrived there and watched some bikes go round very fast. Among other bikes there were a number of Velomobiel.nl QuestXS bikes. Also Anton with his brand new XS was riding around. And he was fast too. But I noticed something else about his bike... the color. Instead of the standard white the bike has a vanilla color. And I like it. So much so that I've decided not to wait two more weeks (my bike should be ready then) but something like 10 to 12 weeks for the new color. My 'old' Sinner Mango+ hasn't been sold yet so I'll be mobile for a while. And if I should sell it, no problem. I still have two other bikes. Below you can see the original ordered color (white) and the new color (vanilla).
Saturday at 9:30 AM the geocaching event Thee in de polder (Tea in the polder) started. I would drink a cup of tea with someone from Belgium (me from the north of my country and him from the south of his) in the center of The Netherlands). Together with some 100 other people (estimate) that is. And apparently geocachers aren't known for their punctuality, because some 1,5 hours later people still showed up. After my cup of tea I looked around at the Geocachingshop and bought a T-shirt. This T-shirt has a unique code which you can enter on the internet. My idea was to create a original, fun or weird photo of me and my T-shirt and log it on the XL-GeoShirt page. As you can see the there are already some nice submissions.
During the event Toni C. had also create a multi-cache with the appropriate name 'Wat heb ik nu aan mijn fiets hangen?' (What's going on now). A fun and semi-hard cache with different coordinates in different measurement systems, a number of chain rings and some errors in the description.
After the geocaching I sat down for a while and watched the 3 hour race on the Midland Track. The weather was good and some french fries with code tasted good. I tried out some bikes, including the Nazca Quetzal (a recumbent tandem), the Raptobike Low Racer, the Optima Baron and the Sunrider. All fun to ride. Especially the tandem is great fun. All I have to do now is find someone who want's to ride it with me. After the race I talked to Derk Thijs about rowing bikes. Some guy was interested in the bikes and wanted to try one out. After some instructions from Derk he got off and rode like he had had prior riding experience. That rarely happens, Derk said. I also Derk if he had a spare bidon in his car. I lost mine on the way to the eleven city ride last year. And he did! And when I asked him what he wanted in return for this slightly used model the answer was: ah... don't mention it. What a service! A big thumbs op for the man from Rowingbike.com.
Seeing that the food in the big cantina of the Midland Track wasn't exactly 'high standard' (especially for the price of 13 euro's) I had decided to go to Lelystad and get some food and groceries there. After some asking around I found someone who was willing to come along. Harry L. had just done the 3 hour race and was hungry like a bear. That was good, because we went to a all-you-can-eat Japanese Sushi & Steak restaurant. I don't like sushi, but I do like steak. It tasted good and it also was something different then french fries.
When we got back to the improvised camp ground at the Midland Track I started talking to Lee W. about his brand new Räderwerk Milan SL Mk2. He asked me if I wanted to try it out, but I had to promise to very careful with it. Well, I do want to try it out! Together we walked to the track and after we cleared the last speed bump (the bike has a clearance of a couple of centimeters) I got in an drove a couple of laps around the track. 30, 35, 40, 45... wow this thing goes fast! At a certain point Peter H. entered the track with his Beyss Evo K and together we raced a bit. At the straight I could easily reach 50+ km/h and dive into the corner. Later I heard from Peter that Lee was kind of scared of me crashing his bike. Sorry Lee, won't happen again. The bike rides very nice by the way. So if you don't have speed bumps and 10,000.- euro's laying around, it's yours. And because we were riding circles more and more people gathered onto the track. Everybody wanted to try out the bike. Victor R. with his (estimated) 2 meters tried to get into the Milan, but he got stuck like a big child in a little toy car. We didn't even try to fit him into the Evo K. Other people did however take the Evo K for a spin. And when I asked Peter if I could take it for a spin his answer was: "Oh yes, you wanted to go first, right?". Right... forgetting the best horse in the stable (Dutch saying). The Evo K is also a fast bike, but I didn't go as fast as the Milan (at least I think I didn't, because the speed-o-meter wasn't very visible in the dark). I didn't want to get Peter mad if I crashed his bike.
Sunday I kind of slept in. Well, as long as it's possible anyway. I got breakfast at the cantina (a fried egg on a piece of bread and some tea). Not cheap, but it tasted good. I turned on my laptop to write something for my blog. As it turns out it was some 4 or 5 weeks ago since I wrote something. Time flies. But because the velomobile race would start I closed it and went to the stands. The riders had to ride around the track as fast as they can for 20 minutes. Full of excitement I watched if something might happen. But the only exciting thing happened on the stands. I had placed a cup of cola next to me and with one fluid motion I tipped it right in my bag. Oh no, shit! Everything was covered in sticky cola! After I quickly removed all the stuff I went to the nearest toilet. What you can't do with toilet paper. After everything was kind of cleaned up it was time for the 50 meter drag race. A guy on a rowingbike won every round. Hurray for the rowing bike! After that a criterium for the men, women and eventually the children followed. But of all the races the last one was the most fun. It doesn't go that fast, but the kids bike enthusiastically. Just before I wanted to leave I stopped at the NVHPV stand (read: Dutch recumbent club) to see what they had in store. Oh, a recumbent shirt with short sleeves and a long zipper. I didn't have one of those. Two tenners later the shirt exchanged owner.
The fun thing of such a event is that you always return with more stuff going back than when you came. Beside the geocaching and the recumbent shirt I carried a lot of baggage from Harry and Anton. The asked me if I could take it back home so they could ride 'light'. Fine, no problem. I also took the Sinner velomobile hood which Theo van G had borrowed (Theo had received a other hood to test and riding with two hoods doesn't work). Hmmm, a velomobile hood... I'd like to try that. After I sweet talked to Harry I could keep it for a week or two to try it out. I plan to return it when I get to the garage to get my left indicator fixed (I think there's a short). Maybe I'll write a blogpost about the hood somewhere in the next two weeks.
About 1,5 hours later I was back in the well known area of Groningen where I dropped of all the stuff at Anton his house. Let's head home take a shower and get something to eat. In Groningen it also had rained quite a lot and you could tell. Everywhere were big puddles like you can se in the video below.