Friday morning, bike and rider are ready for what should be a day with about 240km. There's clean clothing in the coroplast tailfairing, that rests on the sturdy rear rack. The hub dynamo will make for a save ride back home at night, and the fenders are very welcome with the weather and paths I expect to encounter. Once again, my big tourer will prove to be the right choice for long distant riding. Under the seat hangs a 2 litre bag with fluids for the day.
I head south, via Zwolle, a route I've followed so many times. The first 72km glide by effortless, almost boring. My ankle does let me know it's not yet completely happy. But there's no further comment from it for the rest of the day. I ate some bread close to the IJssel river and put on my coat before continuing my journey. Dark clouds have gathered now and within a few minutes the sky bursts open. Despite the viaducts that could give shelter, I keep on riding. I feel good, have a goal, and the coat keeps me dry and warm.
The GPS does a good job, as long as you choose the right settings. I didn't. With only 6km or so to go I strand somewhere in a forest. Even walking gets difficult here. It turned out that I'd set it to guidance for pedestrians, not cyclists. That cost my 20 minutes I did not have. Now it's time to unleash the rally rider within. The sandy/gritty paths are wet, long puddles across them. But, there's nothing/nobody to crash into and my bike is up to the job. Going as fast as I dare, splashing, honking at a couple of pedestrians, the rear suspension handling the bumps. I was in a hurry, running late, but also enjoying the ride.
With no time left I swap clothes behind the church and lock-up the Pioneer. I enter the church seconds before the groom. Than follows the ceremony, dinner with close family, and a ride to the party a few hours later. The groom had the biggest smile on his face everywhere you saw him, and the bride was just utterly . Nice party, a bit loud perhaps. But like being there, watching it all happen.
Bad weather was expected for the night. And when I checked the weather radar I saw that it could get close between me and the rain clouds. If I where to leave soon, I might stay just ahead of the rain and we would head north side by side, the rain a bit more to the East than I.
So, I got changed again and said goodbye. I slid my Cage Rocket back onto the tiller. It contained my phone and cookies to grab whilst riding. Very convenient and very weatherproof. The first part was to Zwolle, again. The GPS lead me through forests. The only thing I heard was my soft high tech sound of my TC idler. A sound I like. And owls of course. Owls everywhere, ore maybe just one following me.
Someone recently had the marvellous idea the build new cycle paths near Heerde. Good concrete, but not always on my digital maps. The Garmin's compas then comes in handy. I carried a battery light in my pocket to look around when I stood still. Hub dynamo's don't do much when stationary. When I was riding, like 97% of the time, my home made twin Seoul P4 headlight gave a great beam. There was no other traffic to blind. I had it aimed a little higher than usual.
A short rest in Zwolle with a banana and a cookie. Past Meppel and a 2nd stop with 36km to go. Next to the canal it did become less entertaining to ride. Just a long wide road with a good cycle path next to it. I rode on both, because I could and because the road is a little bit faster too. Other traffic? 3 cars in hour time. I grabbed my radio and listened to an interview with the legendary Ramses Shaffy. There was a tailwind and I was cruising happily at 32kph. Time was 02:45. Riding like this, home came close quite quick. After a days total of 245km I turned of the GPS and parked my Pioneer in the shed. At 4 in the night, I turned of the light beside my bed and slept 'till 9.