Autore Topic: El Capitano’s Dutch debut (August 2009)  (Letto 2065 volte)

Offline Stinko

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El Capitano’s Dutch debut (August 2009)
« il: Gennaio 20, 2015, 18:23:58 pm »


After missing the boat back from Norway, I had to train hop from the top of Denmark to reach Amsterdam in time. 9 trains in 27 hours…
I was the living dead when I went to meet Stinko at the airport for his “first” cycle tour (well, not really his first tour but, since I carried all the gear on the last one, it doesn’t count!).
Stinko was so excited to start, he walked straight through the airport and out, leaving me waiting at the arrivals gate.
I had my bike with me… I still can’t understand how he didn’t see me!

First stop, Decathlon and the Rockrider 5.0, the beast of burden for the next 2 weeks and 489km. What can I say!?... it survivied! The rest I will leave to Stinko to tell you.

After putting the bike together and exploring the sins and streets of Amsterdam, we started north… against the wind.
What was supposed to be a gentle first day ended up closer to 100km as we took a few wrong turns getting out of the city.
We followed the dyke along the coast to Hoorn through what seemed to be a postcard.
It was all picture-perfect; villages, farms… and cows.

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Re:El Capitano’s Dutch debut (August 2009)
« Risposta #1 il: Gennaio 20, 2015, 18:25:05 pm »
Before leaving Italy, we joined “Vrienden op de fiets”, an organization that has cycle-friendly B&Bs throughout the country which are a lot cheaper than the normal places.
When you join you get a list of 3500 addresses throughout the country.
The only problem is you have to be super-organised. Sometimes route planning was dictated by where we could sleep. For someone used to camping wherever I found a good spot, it was certainly a new experience.
Except for one place that was run by Hitler’s mother, everywhere we stayed was good.
I recommend it if you want the luxury but not the price.

Day 2 found us taking the boat to Stavoren and north to Bolsward.
The endless flat was tiring and the wind that came in the afternoon made it even more enjoyable.
The headwind also warned us of an approaching cow farm with the not-so-delicate aroma of bovine byproducts nearly knocking us off our bikes. Cows really know how to sh#t!!

We kept going north to Harlingen where we hoped to catch the ferry and spend a few days on the North Sea islands. A lack of accommodation soon changed these plans.
Turned our bikes south to Sneek and for the first time got the wind behind us.
I didn’t realize the Netherlands was so windy but I should have known; their national symbol is a windmill!

Day 3-4 are always the days that hurt and Stinko was hurting and it didn’t help doing over 100km.

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Re:El Capitano’s Dutch debut (August 2009)
« Risposta #2 il: Gennaio 20, 2015, 18:26:25 pm »
We were cycling by numbers using the cycle-network maps.
All the intersections on Dutch cycle routes are numbered.
Choose the intersection, get your number and go find it.
A great way to navigate… when the signs are all there and obvious!
And you are looking!

From here we also couldn’t fail to see the world-famous windmills at Kinderdijk.
Took the bikes unloaded for a 62km circuit through quiet suburbia, farmland and the ports of Southern Rotterdam.
We also passed via Treviso!

From Rotterdam we cycled to Delf and Den Haag through more postcard scenery.

Luckily we could stay an extra night, so we unloaded the bikes again and spent the day getting lost in the maze of Den Haag.
At the end of the day we always had “McGuider” to get us home! A fantastic GPS program Stinko got for his phone.

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Re:El Capitano’s Dutch debut (August 2009)
« Risposta #3 il: Gennaio 20, 2015, 18:26:46 pm »
It never failed us… though it sometimes had trouble with its left and right… and one-way streets!
Sadly, time was running out so we headed into the wind again and made our way back to Amsterdam following the coast. Before we knew it was time to get a box, get it to the aiport and pull the bike apart.
The box turned out to be huge (Stinko didn’t even have to lower his seat!) and rather awkward to carry.

Ask Stinko about his idea to carry it while riding!
Also ask him about the fruit syrup he bought to replace his stolen water bottles…

A great 2 weeks which passed too quickly.

For Stinko’s first tour… he was a champion!

The usual aches and pains but he didn’t complain… as often as most men do anyway!

Let it not be his last.

Keep cycling

By HiHeels

http://michele-elmes.blogspot.com