May 6th, 2011

I am 'maisingly 'maising

From left: Former owner with usual pangs of regret; stopped on a bridge; road signs for cyclists, how 'bout that!; stopping was occasion for more than one photo.

In certain quarters that I am aware of, murmurs of doubt surround my less than subtle suggestions that I am a giant. It has even been said than I'm just pretty big, above average, someone who can only win when given a generous handicap or favourable grade. Let it be known though that I have just ridden from Amsterdam to Rotterdam, not on a road bike, but on a small wheel single speed Brompton, loaded up with 20+ kilos, and some of that on my back. And may it be known also that I got lost many times trying to follow the scenic route, LN2, that narrows to one tire width, cuts through back yards, includes a punt crossing, and must be half as much longer again than the journey by car (not including wrong turns!). 7 hours in the saddle. Oh and if you care to check Holland's weather today, you will see I ride into a Southerly headwind. Oh yes oh yes, and I did it without the map I had bought for the journey, having absentmindedly lost it as I was leaving Amsterdam. So there you have it. And apart from tendinitis setting into my left knee, thanks to that one gear not made for headwinds, cobbles and carrying tents, I feel fricking awesome. It was a wonderful day, truly. 

Hi Evelein from Rotterdam

Evelein, if you do check out my blog, could you drop me a line? With your permission I would like to mention you, and perhaps use this photo, in the book I may have told you I'm writing. I want the world to know about your riding style, which so exemplifies that of Dutch urban commuters. In countries like mine, ladies zig zag on old bikes with flower pots attached to their handlebars, imagining this makes them Dutch. They would be horrified to know Dutch lassies hit the city like Bombay taxi drivers, with eyes in the back of their heads looking out for police. Thanks for the lead into the city last night! I didn't know a bike could career at full speed through such narrow gaps.