30 Dec 2009
Pjotr320's Oliebollentocht 2009
I didn't feel like riding to the OBT this year. Utrecht is a 170km ride and a round trip would take 2 days. But I'd prefer the temperatures a bit higher when it comes do riding 200+km per day. Luckily, I got the chance to ride with David Hembrow in the van from Sinner.
It was 6:50am when I walked to his house. Our Mango's where already in the van. We headed for Zuidwolde at 7:15am, just after David had finished his breakfast. With me as navigator we arrived in Zuidwolde right on time. I have the reputation to get lost very easily, but our drive so far only had 1 u-turn. We collected some brochures about the Dutch recumbent society that could be handed out in Utrecht. Utrecht of course was easy to find and we unloaded the van of it's precious cargo at 9:50am.
The parking was loaded with all kinds of velomobiles. Yes, the Quest is by far the most seen VM nowadays, but there was quite a variety. The Mango's (+) had arrived in great number as well, and I also spotted Versatiles, WAW's and Strada's. The FAW, almost becoming a classic, had 3 re-presenters. You can see a the brightly coloured selection of velomobiles in my OBT2009 gallery.
Riding with 113 VM's is a time consuming event. The first part of the journey had a reasonable pace thanks to the split-up in 3 groups of about 35 each. I had the joy of some serious fishtailing on patches of slushy snow. That the speed dropped a bit after the coffee and cake stop didn't matter. It was a nice route and riding in such a huge group of VM's still is something special. Back to the coffee and cake stop, my choice for hot chocolate instead of coffee had nothing to do with the waitress.
To route leaded us to a part of a bicycle highway. This part was truly excellent. It felt like being on a real highway filled with VM's. This is where I did most of the filming for my Oliebollentocht 2009 video.
We where back at the beginning again after 57km. I had soup and some of the food I'd brought with me in my Lego lunch box. We loaded the van again and headed for home. The ride appeared to be going smoothly until me approached Nunspeet. We got stuck in traffic for more than an hour due a large accident. The police arranged a u-turn for 5 kilometre of cars and soon we where on our way again. Home was still far away, even when we rode past hometown Assen. The van had to be brought back to Groningen. A good chance for me to get a new set of tyres from de 'Ligfietsgarage' (David's work place) Curious as I am I looked around and spotted a few developments that I found very interesting.
It was already 10pm when we started the last part of the day. Assen was a 30km ride away. Just one of those moments when you really appreciate your VM. It was dark, cold, and we'd had a long day. I turned on the radio and followed the Mango taillight in front of me. The roads where empty, inside it was becoming cozy. It was just past 11 when I got home. Time for dinner!