Here we go again

by Mark on November 10, 2014 · 0 comments


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.



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 the day before setting off for Hoek can Holland.

I didn’t want the hassle of getting changed back into cycle gear for the last few miles.

It was all perfectly fine bombing round town in flip flops, but by the time I got 10k into the ride to Hoek my dogs were seriously barking.

Never again.

Not only that, but having convinced myself I couldn’t possibly get lost I relaxed and managed to achieve just that within 5 minutes of setting off.

Rather than backtracking I persevered, with the result that I added at least 10km to the 23km route it took last time I cycled between the same two points.

Not only do my feet hurt, but my flip flops are ruined.

I finally made it to the beach at the end of the Rhine for a closing photo (you can tell because the bike is pointing the opposite way).


I may have had rubbish strategies for gloves and trainers on the trip, but I made no mistake when it came to the cheese and sirop waffles.

Last stop before the ferry was a trip to Albert Heijn to stock up.

I still didn’t fancy that Stena Line cooked breakfast.

Miles today: 19.54
Total for the trip: 419.26



Onward to Rotterdam

by Mark on July 10, 2014 · 0 comments

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).



Different because Germany bombed the living daylights out of it during WW2.

As a result the central shopping area shares the same architectural style as Coventry,

I spent the afternoon hunting for glove puppets for Arthur.

Oh how my life has changed since becoming a father.

Miles today: 22.54
Miles so far: 399.72



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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Back in the 100 mile club

June 23, 2014

I may have been missing the peculiar comforts of the Forest Hotel, but Groningen fell short of my expectations. It was terribly quiet for a Saturday evening, apparently due to the World Cup. I felt a few spots of rain as I set off, which reminded me that I’ve been dodging rain the whole trip. […]

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The insurmountable plan

June 22, 2014

I opened one stuck together eyelid to discover it was already 10am. My eyes were still red raw from the previous days pollen, but I’d managed the remarkable feat of 10 hours uninterrupted sleep. If I’d still had any aspirations of cycling 117 miles today that would have been the end of them, but I’d […]

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Stick or twist in Haarlem

June 22, 2014

The invitation of a Stena Seaways Full English breakfast that came through the ships tannoy at 7am was tempting, but I didn’t really have the stomach for it with several hours cycling ahead. I figured I would get something lighter once on shore, and exiting the ferry I headed down to the Strand where I’d […]

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All aboard the Spirit of Misadventure

June 20, 2014

Statistically the first few miles of the trip are the most dangerous. The protected cycle lanes in the Netherlands make riding a bike almost as safe as being a pedestrian in London, so you very rarely see the Dutch wearing helmets. I’ve decided to join them and make this a helmet free trip – which […]

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