Going Dutch: Ronde van Nederland or bust

by Mark on June 19, 2014 · 5 comments

A couple of weeks ago we took delivery of our new Dutch bike, complete with baby seat so Arthur can come along for the ride.

It’s Chloe’s bike, but I quite like taking Arthur for a spin round Finsbury Park when the weather allows.

It’s also about this time of year when I think about going on a cycle adventure.

Having been gifted a child-free week for this years mission, I set about trying to find a worthy challenge.

I initially thought of the Loire valley (on the basis of fine weather and food), but being more of a city kid the evenings didn’t inspire me a great deal.

Nor did the logistics of getting a bike there and back, the net impact of which would have eaten into a fair amount of cycling time.

I’m not long back from a trip to the Netherlands, but I’ve long thought that a trip around some of it’s lesser known cities would be a worthy adventure.

So I started looking at routes and stumbled on the Ronde van Nederland – a route (and annual cycle race) around the entire border of the country using national cycle routes.

I haven’t done one of those before.

I started looking for blogs about it, and couldn’t find anything more than a half-finished photo blog in English.

A decent cycle route should have a blog, so the decision was sealed.

I booked a ferry, and spent a day looking at Google maps trying to break the route into 8 day long sections of roughly 100 miles apiece.

I have only one thing to say to everyone who has said “at least it will be flat”.

Windmills.

There’s a reason why there are so many in Holland.

I should have bought a map, but you’ll know by now that I don’t go in for such things.

I should also have done some training, but my single 40 mile training ride was the catalyst for a fortnight of illnesses ranging from flu to food poisoning.

Then I was straight into celebrations for, and recovery from, my 40th birthday.

Yup, I’m old now.

I really shouldn’t be riding a bike 100 miles a day over the next week, but I’m going to give it a shot anyway.

I suspect much will rest on the direction of the wind when my ferry pulls in to Hoek can Holland first tomorrow morning.

Let’s hope it’s a quiet week for windmills.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan JOhnson June 20, 2014 at 7:52 am

Guten lucken Mark. I take it your not making Arthur go the whole hog too?

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Mark June 20, 2014 at 9:59 am

It’s very much a solo trip Dan!

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Su Butcher June 20, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Oh I missed your birthday bash! Oh damn…
Not to worry, this looks like fun. Can we come along for the ride? (Mapwise of course)

Reply

Mark June 20, 2014 at 10:29 pm

No worries at all, it was a good one, but no way to train for this. Of course you can do a map if you like – oh you already did. I’m in Den Helder now

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Su Butcher June 23, 2014 at 8:24 am

I’ll catch up by the time you get back 😉

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