All kinds of weather in one day

by Mark on April 26, 2017 · 0 comments

When I planned the trip I imagined cycling along the bank of the River Schelde in glorious sun, passing an occasional historic harbour.

Instead for the first 10 miles I’m tracking 200m paraellel with the river, through heavy industry and petrochemical works – into a fierce headwind.

No sooner had I cleared the industry and onto the riverbank cycle path than the clouds which had been threatening all morning unleashed a hailstorm.

It was followed by a couple of rainy hours negotiating river crossings and canal locks to Temse where I had a break for lunch.

Taking a more direct route away from the river paid dividends, as I no longer had the wind directly in my face and there was an interesting route through small towns and villages.

I made good time into Gent where I checked into my Congo themed room for the evening.

As one does.

I had plenty of time to enjoy the late afternoon sun (and a couple of beers).

It was another 70km today, and on top of 120km the previous day it’s caught up with me.

I’m feeling grateful that tomorrow is just 45km to Bruges !



The long and windy road South

by Mark on April 25, 2017 · 0 comments

I woke not to rain, but a nice sunny blustery day for what will be the longest ride of the trip – 120km to Antwerp.

Time to check out of the boat I stayed on last night.

Initially heading SW I was getting some benefit from the wind,  but as my trajectory shifted SE it began working against me – reducing my speed to single figure mpg at times.

It took 5 hours to cover the 48 miles to Roosendaal where I had a rest and some lunch.

It took me another hour to reach the border at Essen, then a further two to make it into Antwerp.

At least there was reward at the end of the journey.





Spot the difference?

by Mark on April 24, 2017 · 0 comments

I think you’ll be able to appreciate how it is that I now find myself having left the house for a week wearing odd shoes.

It was still a very nice cycle this morning.

I’ve cycled to/from Hoek van Holland a few times now, but today I picked up the green route; and how different it is.

First woodland, then hundreds of acres of greenhouses followed by the banks of the river punctuated with picturesque harbours. 

I was even able to catch up on some barge racing. 

It was only 35km but I’d have happily lapped up another 100km with the conditions so good. 

However, just as I arrived in Rotterdam it clouded over and the temperature dropped, shortly before it started raining my hands began turning blue with cold.

Weird weather, but a brilliant route that I will use again should I be heading in the same direction some other time.

Speaking of lapping up …

I spent the rest of the day trying out some of the best craft beer in Rotterdam, and mentally preparing for what promises to be a big day of cycling tomorrow.

You can read about the beers here.

Antwerp here we come. 



The secret life of pants (and other news).

April 22, 2017

Hello strangers. It’s amazing how effectively two small children can curtail cycling adventures isn’t it? So you might have been wondering what I’ve been doing during these last couple of years. One project I’ve been working on is a craft beer subscription business called Imperial Beer Club, specialising in boxes of really interesting high strength […]

Read the full article →

Here we go again

November 10, 2014

I know what you’re thinking. How’s this going to affect next years cycle trip? I’ll let you know as soon as I have an answer.

Read the full article →

About time, the last bit to the finish line

July 10, 2014

The loss of the gloves a couple of days beforehand must have affected my judgement. In a rash move I binned the old trainers I’d been wearing for the past week and checked out of my hotel in Rotterdam. The weather was great, and it meant I could leave my panniers at the hotel for […]

Read the full article →

Onward to Rotterdam

July 10, 2014

I followed the river Ijsel from Gouda to Rotterdam. It was another short day of cycling, with a relaxing lunch en-route. I’m becoming increasingly convinced this is the best way to travel. Rotterdam is entirely different to all the other towns and cities in the Netherlands that I’ve visited (which is quite a few now). […]

Read the full article →

World’s cheesiest …

July 1, 2014

I set off at lunchtime for the short hop to Gouda (pronounced “How-dah” by the Dutch). Having elected to take the shorter option it allowed considerably more flexibility of route, some of which was planned – the rest not so much. I ended up getting seriously lost as I left Utrecht, and ended up taking […]

Read the full article →

The fork in the road

June 27, 2014

It wasn’t a tough decision. I was enjoying the shorter days cycling and I’d already sacrificed the challenge early on. I decided to take a much more direct route back to Hoek van Holland. So today I set out for Utrecht. The route along the Nederrijn took me through pre-historic woodlands and the first real […]

Read the full article →

The gloves come off

June 24, 2014

You see some unexpected things when cycling through foreign lands. About once a day I’ve come across an elevated basket that looks a bit like the ones people use to catch fish in waterfalls. Instead of fish, these ones are used to catch rubbish from passing cyclists. It’s a great idea (that avoids you having […]

Read the full article →