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All aboard the Spirit of Misadventure

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 means cycling to Liverpool St without one too.

Thankfully the biggest hazard as I cut through the backstreets of Dalston and Shoreditch on my way into The City were swathes of football delirious hipsters sporting 1970’s goalkeeper moustaches.

I could have fallen off my bike laughing at a few of them.

The train journey to Harwich passed without incident, and found myself behind three teenage cyclists on a road trip to Amsterdam as I checked in for the ferry.

Their ramshackle racing bikes with Tesco bags of luggage draped over the handlebars made me feel ultra-prepared by comparison.

As we proceeded down the bike lane waiting to board the ferry, we joined a queue of enormous snarling motorbikes and their leather clad riders.

Sandwiched in with the teenagers it made me feel like I’d stumbled into an episode of The Inbetweeners.

As my ferry approached the Hook of Holland I found myself itching to get going.

The progress I make today will tell me all I need to know about whether the full circuit is a realistic possibility, but I’m not thinking much beyond the first 65km to Haarlem – hopefully I’ll get there by lunchtime.

Published inCyclingRonde van Nederland

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