Friday night just before 11:00 PM I received a email that the Northern Velomobile Ride 2013 of Sunday was canceled because of black ice. I have a rear wheel with spikes so I thought I'd manage. So I thought. David, where the ride was supposed to start, was a bit surprised. He called for a: Now or never, at your own risk, not scared of weathermen, ice velomobile safari. Together with Georg, Anton and Hans we were planning to cycle to Assen. But we agreed to contact each other Sunday morning at 8 AM to check if it was safe to go. And like a true Frisian ice master it sounded: It giet oan.
Last year I first sat/lay down on a Ice-Bat. And it was good fun! Then it had a big propellor on the back to push yourself forward. The current version has a rear wheel with a Marathon Winter tire with spikes. This makes you go faster because of the direct grip. This time we went for a nice little round on the Zuidlaardermeer. First a hour of cycling with Ocho to the starting location and then in the cold with the Ice-Bat. I forgot to bring my gloves (you don't need them in a velomobile), but I could borrow David and Steve their pair. Do you want to try a Ice-Bat? Sign up and come to Groningen, Assen or Heerenveen. Below you can see to movies and the track from my first ride. The first movie is my own and the second is David Hembrow his.
Last Saturday was the 17th edition of the Oliebollentocht, a ride for velomobiles. The plan was to cycle to the start in Zwolle on Friday evening, stay there for the night and ride back home after the ride on Saturday. But as is often the case, the plan didn't work out that way.
Like every Tuesday night we went rowing in the 8+. The water was as smooth as a mirror and there was no wind at all. Perfect rowing weather!
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.
It's some one and a half week ago, but on March 18th the Head of the River Amstel was held in Amsterdam, the 80th edition. After our team (Fier) came in at the 10th place (of the 29 competing teams) last year it was time for a second try. Only thing was that I wasn't 'selected' to row. No problem, because some weeks before the race I was asked if I wanted to steer the ladies of the Pazzipanten. Of course I wanted to do that!
Last Saturday was the 35th Gyas-Hunze race. A rowing race about 2.7 kilometers long though the canals of Groningen. The race was supposed to be held on February 12th and 13th, but it was moved because there was ice.
Today was typical velomobile weather. Wind and rain. This is the third time I ride this tour. In 2010 I rod a borrowed bike and last year the starting place was at my house. This year we started in Ravenswoud, a 40 kilometers ride. After a cup of tea and something to eat each of the 27 riders got in to their bikes and we headed for Marum. We were visiting Akkie and Willem for some vegetable or mustard soup. Yummie!
Last Sunday my team competed in the first competition of the year, the Gyas Winter Competitions. A race over 3 kilometer and it had to be covered as quickly as possible. We could start first with our 8+ in our block. That's good, because you don't have any trouble with other boats and the waves they make. Just after we started a experienced 4* team caught up with us, but fortunately we could stay ahead of them by 10 seconds.
Yesterday morning I drove to Groningen to park my car at Anton L. his place and take the bike and go to our rowing club. I would be steering a women's team at 9 AM. But just before I arrived at Anton's place I got a phone call that it was canceled because of the hard wind (later there was given a rowing ban because of the weather). So we could go to Dronten early for a QuestXS test ride. But first it was time for a cup of tea.