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3 Oct 2011

Autumn meeting 2011

In the week before this Autumn meeting I had to decide with which bike I'd go. Cruiser or Cruzbike? I choose the latter. Thus far my longest ride on it was just over 80km and I was curious how it would be to ride way over a hundred, a 140km. All luggage (sleeping bag, liner, toiletries, clothing and food) fitted in my 25 litre Radical Backbone, that fit's nicely to the seat tube rack of the Q451. I did recently ad 2 small hooks to the seat that hold the seat straps of the Backbone. Electronics and alike fitted in my fanny pack. (also brilliant for using your camera while riding)

So, Friday morning, 7:25h, of to work. Plenty of things to do after the usual 42km commute. I had macaroni for lunch and was offered some left over couscous after work. With that extra little meal I had enough fuel to ride untill Dronten. There, 50km from work, I ate some sandwiches and turned on my lights. There was at least another 2 hours of riding left. At 28kph, the good ol' Nordlight bottle dynamo buzzed happily.

Farmers kept working way past sundown, taking maximum advantage of the summer weather.  Heavy machines, with lots of lights, everywhere you looked, something was being harvested. It was dry, but not dusty, the sky was clear and I only had 20km left to go. The Vogelweg is well known under Dutch riders, perhaps it's our own 'Route 66'. It starts and ends with traffic lights. And after that, it only was a few km to the Stichtse Brug. Quickly ascending, and steadily descending, due to roadworks, I reached Blaricum. 15 minutes later, I arrived at my destination.

The problem with arriving at 10 in the evening can be that you spend time finding a bed in one of the 7 huts. However, I was smart enough, and someone else kind enough, to reserve a spot for me. There also was tea and there where many familiar faces to say hello to. It was past 1 in the night when I crawled in to my bed.

The next day started with breakfast and explaining a dozen or so times what sort of bike I had brought. And also during the 50km group ride my little orange 'bent was quite a head turner. I swerved a bit through the field of about 50 riders. Halfway we stopped at a pancake restaurant. I had a big vegie pancake that actually was complete meal. But with a weekend like this, it's good to have calories to burn. The pear ice creams Maarten bought at the end of the trip do not provide a lot of calories. But, they are delicious and very refreshing, which is a good thing with the temperatures we had.

Traditionally, the time between the ride and the evening meal is spend on talking about and looking at each others rides. In the evening it quickly get's to dark look at them. Maaike did a successful attempt at riding the Q451. Harry arrived in his ROAM Mango after having made a special delivery. And I took a shower.

Gerold gave another great explanation about what we where about to eat, more specifically, how. He has the right to do so, the food is excellent each year, including the salad and the dessert. I went for sliced banana with whipped cream, twice. And when the big bowl of cream was 'empty', I made sure it was really empty.

The campfire was hotter and better than the night before. Another thing I was often asked about was my Evo-K. And, since where sort of a big family, we talk about more just bikes. The night that followed wasn't quite long enough. But by the time I woke up, it was almost 9. I managed to get everything back in to the Backbone again after breakfast. Wilfred was waiting to get going on his Thys 209. Together with him and Harry I rode back home, via almost exactly the same route I used on Friday.

Harry's right wheel went wonky and needed a roadside repair near Dronten. It had done well during the 5000km of ROAM, but now, suddenly having 5 broken spokes, something needed to be done. That caused some delay, which didn't matter, since I had all day to get home. The 3 of us didn't carry a lot of food. So we had a meal in Dronten. And with our belly's filled up, we maintained a good pace for the rest of the day.

The pond between Genemuiden and Zwartsluis had a small suprise. Imagine someone with the words 'blue jean hotpants', blond, 'floppy white shirt', and... well, you get the idea. Daisy Duke. Anyway, I had another 60km to go. My companions just under a hundred or so. We had a second stop for food near Havelte. 4km from my place, Harry and Wilfred took a turn left. I got home, took a shower and had pizza.

Weekend total: 335km, avg speed around 25.5kph, cruising at 28.

My photos: here.

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