I’ve left the friendly LF cycling network path and made my way North from Groningen to meet the North Sea Cycle Route, also known as Eurovelo 12. But you know what Northbound means? It means wind. I can’t imagine someone doing this entire route unless they really, really love wind. I am not that person.
Yesterday’s 50 miles against the wind towards Germany gave me a lot of time to think. It seemed every direction I turned the wind was against me and I struggled miserably. To distract myself from these trials I started thinking about how to summarize my 5 days in The Netherlands.
All of the cyclists I met along the way who seemed to be touring (had luggage) were older couples. Most were touring for a few days, all of them were Dutch, and only one couple on an extended tour like mine. This was intriguing – where is my age bracket at?
People don’t often see GoPro cameras in The Netherlands, and if you wear one on your helmet – it’s already weird that you are wearing a helmet and you will get looks! – everyone will stare, and people will even stop you to ask (nicely) what the hell is that thing on your head.
Every day I learn how to do this better. I’ve developed a way to geometrically arrange the items in the trailer bag for optimal space usage and in a way that nothing’s poking out and rubbing against the wheels. I’ve determined which are the items I need most frequently, and I keep those on top or in my handlebar bag. This way I don’t have to stop frequently to rummage through the bag to find my sunscreen or my lock, or amateur things like that. I now setup my tent in less than 5 minutes. Optimize, optimize.
Since I spoiled myself with an AirBnb today and had some computer time available, I downloaded some of my GoPro video from yesterday’s cross into Germany. This portion was surreal because of the omnipresent wind, but also because of the endless expanse of fields of wheat and corn and grass, undisturbed and virtually untravelled. It made me feel like I was pedaling forever, into nothing.
Total mileage in The Netherlands before crossing into Germany: 276 (444 km)