Last Thursday I went to a reunion in Haren, 23km from Assen. For the last time I went back to the university building where I'd spent half a year as a trainee. I liked it there. The Biological Centre is about to move to a brand new building in Groningen. Finding a job there would be close to perfect. Anyway, I went back to meet some people I worked with in the first half of 2009.
Now autumn had arrived at his best that day, but the rain was expected to stay away when I would be on the road. The wind was strong and here and there the paths where colourfully paved with leaves. Doing this in my velomobile would be like a walk in the park on a summer day. But, I'd just spent some time improving my Pioneer and was really looking forward to ride it, in the dark. So, I rode like nearly every cyclist does, on two wheels. Yes indeed, this velonaut was ready for adventure, sort of.
Actually, it was easy, of course it was. My Lobbes has a seriously strong head light and his fenders/mud guards do a good job of making every ride, a clean ride. His Nexus 8 rear hub was just replaced with a, very efficient, "78 AW3 from Sturmey Archer. The entire set up gives more than three gears. More about that when I receive the final chain blade.
The ride was fun. My intuition tells me that the gear hub swap made the Pioneer at least 7% faster. Gently, smooth, elegant, lonely, scenic and fast. Words that describe that evening ride. Long stretches of cycle path and an engine running nicely. The ride back home was done with quite a lower average speed. The 5bft wind was enough to lean in to sideways at some points. My legs just kept going and the headlight did an excellent job at making me feel and ride safe.
I'm planning on doing more of these night rides with the Pioneer. I plan on doing a similar thing with my Mango Jenease. Yes, I have plenty to do and like the night.
At the reunion, two thing where a bit disappointing. I only met one former colleague and the project I worked one was stopped. There was good food and it was nice to hear how things had been going after I'd finished my trainee ship.
This morning, I again went out on two wheels. This time on my Nazca Cruiser Yoska. She also received a few upgrades last week. The ride was no longer than 30km but enough to release positive chemicals in my head.