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.
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.
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.
Yes... I did it again. Last year I was faster then three years ago (I didn't compete in 2009 because of a injury) and this year I improved my time by 38 seconds. I walked the 4 mile of Groningen in a time of 26:47.4 and that puts me in the top 4.39% of all runners. Pretty good. And that with only three times training. Okay... I have to admit that my basic condition with rowing and biking (ahum, 5200 kilometers in America) helped. But still, I'm proud of myself. Also I have no muscle ache or any other pains.
After some three months of not being able to row because of my adventure in America I was finally back in the boat today to do some rowing (I've steered and coached before). There were only two of my team mates so we couldn't take a 4+ (or even a 8+). That's why we went old-skool C2+ style. You know, a nice and wide boat with wooden handles and Macon blades. Besides that everything went pretty well.
Today was a day with three first times. The first one is me joining the annual bike ride of the local cyclist association of Groningen. Of course I invited some other recumbent riders using our Hunneligger forum. I thought there were only going to be five of us, but eventually nine recumbent riders showed up. The 'upright' riders were outnumbered if I counted correctly. Not that it mattered. Despite us not going very fast the weather was beautiful and sunny and we even explored a new bike path. I wasn't planning on doing the whole ride because I had to be back at the rowing club at 4 PM.
We've known each other for about three years, but the last year didn't go so well between us. There was no contact (except for that one time for a hour), and she/he had to stay all alone in the shed. Since I have my Sinner Mango+, my first recumbent, the Nazca Fuego, has not been ridden that much.
Last Saturday I competed in the International Pentecost Rowing competition in Delfzijl. A fun competition where anything goes. There are a number of mixed fields where men an women are together in the same boat. Usually that is uncommon in competitions, but in Delfzijl that's no problem. In the first heat I rowed with four women (and of course three men) in a Mix8+. After that I steered a 8+ which I have never done before (I have my steering degrees, but it hasn't home to it yet).
This morning I took my velomobile to the Ligfietsgarage Groningen for a pre-ROAM check-up. Because America has some mountains (like the Rocky's) it seemed a good idea to put in a smaller gear in the middle of the bike. Also, a number of components were checked, lubricated and replaced. The rear chain for instance has been replaced. That being said, it lasted for some 10.686 kilometers. Also the steering block has been replaced because it had a little to much play when I'm speeding down the mountain with 70+ km/h. The last part they have replaced was the bell.
Weeks of training and preparation, but last weekend we rowed the Head of the River Amstel. The adventure started on Saturday morning. I had to pick up a team mate from Groningen at 8 AM. On the A1 the ring of Amsterdam there were planned road works so we left a bit early. Afterward it wasn't that bad and a parking space was quickly found. So about 1,5 hours early we reached or destination, the rowing club Poseidon.