To answer a few questions about the actual cycling
Melissa asked about our boat, the Liza Marlen. Melissa, I have failed you. I didn’t take many photos of the actual boat. But, there were several bike and barge tours during the same time as ours.
I should have taken a photo of my bedroom. It was so *teeny* that I walked in and was puzzled trying to figure out where the rest of the room was. Luckily Trena and I didn’t have to share as originally planned because the room could not have held both of our suitcases. But, you were hardly in the room so it barely mattered.
Thanks to Darci and Marie-Christine, I rewashed my clothes a few times with vinegar and borax and am odor free! I’m also tracking down Biz on another commenter’s suggestion.
Toby asked how windy was it. Well, it’s windy! It’s true Holland is relatively flat. But, the wind can make cycling hard.
I managed not to ride on the super windy day (I rode the boat into Amsterdam so I would have time to go to the Dutch Resistance Museum and the Rijksmuseum). But, I got a feel for it biking and I was glad I didn’t have my cape. I could just see myself blowing across the road in to a canal like a sailboat!
Weather: I was cold at night and by the end of the trip wished I had brought an actual coat with a scarf. Brrrr.
Riding: Well, I rode five out of the seven days and did fine. I was only sore on one day. I was in the middle of the pack of riders. And, oddly enough was more comfortable the times I had to ride in the street with cars than I was on the bike path. I guess that’s what I’m used to! I did ride to and from work on Friday and it was the first time I wasn’t wiped out and breathless on my all uphill ride home. So, I guess I did actually get some conditioning in while I was gone.
Now, on to the meat of this post!
I cannot express to you how many bicycles there are in Holland. And, how everyone, and I mean everyone rides one. In fact, there are 16 million bikes in the Netherlands and 16.5 million people. So seriously, everyone has a bike. I asked Sigrid when do children start learning to ride and she said, ‘As soon as they can walk!”
There are barges to carry bicycles and cars across the canals
Here is the bicycle parking lot
What makes the Netherlands an ideal biking country is the intricate bicycle network and infrastructure. Here’s an example
Above, you can see seperate signage pointing bicycles in the right direction and telling you how far something is
There are certain elements to Dutch (Oma) bike that I wanted in my new bike (the Trek Allant). These included fenders, stepthrough frame and an upright position. My actual Gazelle bike in the Netherlands was so heavy I actually could not lift it. But, because of the non hilly terrain you wouldn’t event know.
Prior to my trip I ordered several panniers (one set not pictured) that Sigrid kindly agreed to accept delivery of for me. They were on sale there and with the free shipping ended up being almost half the price as they are here in the US.
These has enclosed clips that allow me to easily attach them to my back rack.
This summer I’ll make some skirt gaurds too.
These prevent your skirt or coat from getting caught in the back wheel
And now, I have got to start working on a dress for the Seersucker Social in DC. Just two weeks away!