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!
Because I built a new website for our theater sports club I received a gift a couple of weeks ago. It was a wooden kit for a Stegosaurus. Today I finally got around to putting it together. All those tiny parts! Quite soothing to do so actually. The end result is, after some three hours of work, quite good. Below are some pictures and a video, because yeah... it can move!
A Ice-Bat is a three 'wheeled' recumbent on skates that's propelled by a propeller. Totally weird, new and fun. Last Sunday was the first of two championship days. People competed for the fastest lap time and maximum speed. Both of them I just didn't make (I finished second, just like the day before). The preliminary results can be found on the Ice-Bat blog.
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!
A week later then planned, but here is my story about New Year's Eve and what happened next. It was a busy weekend with a afternoon of rowing on Saturday. First I rowed from 11 AM to 1 PM and after that I coached a ladies team from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM. Everything went well and the weather played nicely. Afterwards we drank a cup of tea in the club house and then I climbed into my bike to go to my youngest brother and his wife in Stadskanaal. I've cycled the route before so I could almost do it blindfolded. And that's a good thing as it gets dark very early in the day.
A bit over a month ago the lustrum committee of our rowing club got the idea to praise the steer. He (or she) has to sit still for two hours. Rain, hail, wind and all other kinds of discomfort is part of their job. En for what? To lead the rowers in a straight line and to coach them. That's why the people of the lustrum committee thought it would be a good idea to create a award called The Rudder King.
Last Sunday it was that time again... rowing around the canals of Groningen. I wanted to participate myself, but I couldn't get enough people together to fill a boat. I do however got the chance to steer, which is second best. It isn't a straight track, but it's all narrow passages and corners where steering is as much a challenge as rowing. Below you can see my ladies and gentle men, who were quite at age, trying their very best.
After a long day of steering, rowing, waiting and some more steering I went home around 7 PM by velomobile. The bike was feeling up to it because I reached speeds of 40 km/h (and more). But first I had to get out of the city. Next to the Paterswoldseweg there is a separate cycle path and between that and the main road there are parked cars. Not a ideal situation where you have to keep a very close eye for turning drivers. Tonight I was surprised by one of those turning drivers, but fortunately he saw me which prevented a collision.
This week I received a email from a fellow theater sports member that they put up a big screen at the old sugar factory to show two movies. On Friday night (tonight) they showed Drive and Saturday evening it was Grease's turn. Since it's not very pleasant to watch a movie by myself I asked if someone would join me, and they did. Bernd, another fellow theater sports member, 'volunteered' yesterday.
Yesterday I was so happy with the sound of my bike (or actually the lack of sound) that I forgot to mention the following. When I left Sinner Bikes Arjen asked me if I've ever ridding in a electric assist Mango. Well no I haven't, so this was a good opportunity. The bike was well adjusted to my length so I could just hop in and go. Arjen put the assist, which is mounted in the pedals, on my maximum sport setting. My first push on the pedals propelled me forward. Okay... this takes a bit of getting used to. But it's cool. Within a few seconds I reached 30 km/h.