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14 Apr 2012

Easter meeting 2012 (2)

Five hours of sleep can be enough. In a setting like the Easter meeting, I seem to sleep faster ;-) It's about 5 degrees Celsius,  but I eat my breakfast in front of my tent, as always. I quickly find out that warmth is painful for my tooth. So, I can eat, that's important.

Ksynonica J. continues to draw a small crowd. One woman said she'll fit in. We tried and she does. A shame I didn't take a picture....

Halfway the morning I went shopping. The shelf in the back of the K is very handy for carrying small items. Back at the campsite I continued doing very little. I chatted with fellow blogger Mick, who pitched his tent next to me. He always has a story to tell or a creation to show.

After dinner, prepared by me and enjoyed in quietness, I went inside. Inside being the building where the kitchen is and where most people share a meal. For the 1st time, I tried to make photos of people, without a bike in sight. The quality of the photos variates. Some are reasonably good. Anyway, they do catch the atmosphere that was there.

Later on I enjoyed the campfire. I had the right side of my head facing the fire, I cooled the left side by sipping from my water bottle. And so came the end to another relaxed Saturday on an Easter meeting for me.

Sunday morning. More toothache. But today promises to be fun with the puzzle ride. Answer questions, gain GPS coordinates, and ride. At one descent I overtook Maarten in his Quest, while we both where riding over 50kph and riding on a cycle path.... My top speed on that stretch was 70.3. The big brakes and Airzound where very welcome with the oncoming not so awake cyclist. I slowed down to a more sensible pace when I came close to them.

The twisty Pomphuisweg was on the programme today too, just like on Friday. But it's more fun in daylight. Mostly downhill, and with corners that really suit the K. A bit of a pity that I got stuck behind a car doing 50 on the last km.

During the coffee and apple pie stop after 50km Eugene gave me an extra portion of whipped cream. That in reply to me saying that if anyone had to much cream on his apple pie, I'd help out. Tasty calories I need!

The final 20km often was a bit narrow and bumpy. We managed, the K and I. The reward for today's ride was the food we ate together. Though because of the heat and the smoke from the barbeque, I sat in the quiet cool kitchen. That was much better for my tooth. My mom, who went camping with dad for the 1st time in 20 years (hurrah!), brought food. Stefan didn't fancy getting smoked either, so it was a dinner for 2.

Wendy came with a gift. She said the 200mg pain killers I used where to tiny. She had something way better, 600mg! That helped my through the night.

The next morning started with 2 awful hours, the painkiller had worked out. But after 9, the pain faded away with the 2nd 600mg pill. I packed up my wet camp, said goodbye and rode home. 38km from home I passed a small toiletry unit. It was open, so I could use the toilet. It was then that I saw 4 other velomobiles approaching. Fellow Huneliggers. But they were riding way slower than me, even though I had been a little sleepy for the past 30km. Now however, the final 38km went at the usual cruising speed, nice.

Now, my tooth feels pretty good again. My dentist did some work on it. I feel confident that it won't bother me on my Spezi vacation.

More photos.

11 Apr 2012

Easter meeting 2012 (1)

Friday 17h, I'm hungry and put a portion of macaroni in the microwave. A leftover from 2 days earlier.

Friday 19h, I'm in a Chinese restaurant with 17 other members of my swim club. A good get together that I surely enjoy. There's a wide variety of food and I eat several small portions with little meat, and a lot of veggies. The amount of dead animal in my diet is declining. And when I cook, there's non of it.

Friday 21h, Home again for the final preparations for my ride to the annual Easter meeting. Within minutes after leaving at half past 10, my 'sleeping bag secure in front of pedal system' fails. What an utter failure that is. There's some space left in the back of the K and I re-arrange some luggage. I'm not feeling fast today. That could be down to the time of the day, or that it's far from warm. Funny thing is that my fully loaded K weighs less than my 1st VM, the FAW, weighted empty. Even some modern VM's are heavier empty than what I pedal now.

After 50km it starts to feel right. I've switched off the radio. There's nothing more than piracy broadcasts to receive in this area. From Zwolle on I receive something civilized again. I listen to classical music. These high quality melodies are excellent for staying awake at this time. What could be better than violins in my ears, the fastest VM connected to my feet and quiet roads ahead? Me happy.

A small navigation error forces me to make a u-turn just past Zwolle. When I grab my right tire, I notice the low pressure it is on. I'm standing next to a lamp post, and since it dry, and I feel warm, I decide to take my time and fix the puncture instead of just swapping the tube. The leak was found within a few seconds. It was caused by a stone too sharp for the Durano.

That sure rides better. It's now just past 1h and I'm riding along a canal. The asphalt in the municipality Heerde is best. Apeldoorn is easily reached now. A right turn takes me up a 'hill' in the middle of Hoog Soeren. I bioshift down from the 61 to the 39t chain ring. At the highest point, I wiggle the chain back to the 61 again and carefully ride the very dark and twisty 'Pomphuisweg'. 46kph felt fast enough on this road and I was happy with my 90mm brakes.

Into the woods, time for the high mode of the Philips head light. I see 2 wild boars beside the road. The sound and sight of an Evo K scares them away. Which is a good thing. They're half the size of the K, and easily weigh twice or three times as much.

A twisting wide gravel road leads me to a long straight cycle path that ends at my destination, where I arrive at 2:53h. Nothing more than a few raindrops on my visor. 130km without rain is good luck this weekend.

I find a spot for my tent after a short walk around the field. Flat with soft moss and about there where I always pitch my tent at this meeting. Half an hour later, my camp is made and I brush my teeth. Not before I ate a small Snickers to raise the sugar level. Now it get's cold. A good time crawl into my sleeping bag. My new air mattress is so comfortable! It weighs next to nothing and is easy to inflate, even with my slightly asthmatic lungs. After a 5 hour ride, that actually felt quite easy afterwards, it sure is time for a good night sleep.

What's not pleasant is the pain on the left side of my mouth. Making the pillow softer doesn't help, so I turn to my right side. The pain that suddenly appeared doesn't go away, but I get enough rest in this place where I sleep best. In my tent, on a field in the woods, near what feels like family.


1 Apr 2012

The start of April

April is an important month. Next weekend we have our annual Dutch Recumbent Easter meeting. It starts on Friday. Problem is that I have a dinner on Friday evening with the other 'youth' from my swim club. Now, that isn't really a problem. It's a good excuse to ride at night with Ksynonica J. When I leave home at, lets say, 21:30h, I could arrive at 2 in the night. Not later than my evenings shifts at my job end. It's than just a matter of pitching my tent, inflating my mattress and  crawl into my sleeping bag.

Riding there with the K requires some extra preparation. In front of my crank set is space I need for luggage. So tomorrow I'll create something to keep stuff there. A cord, a net, Coroplast, something cheap, light, good and simple. And to require less space, I'll buy a new much comfier air mattress.

The weekend after that there is the Ligfietsopstapdag. A name that roughly translates to recumbent newbie day. That day asks no preparation from me. Apart from making sure that my Pioneer is shiny and carries a pair of Radical Banana M side panniers to show of the luggage capacity for travelling.

I bought those panniers last week. The 1st time I'll really use them is on my Spezi ride. Last year I rode there via the Sauerland. This time I'll avoid the biggest hills, not bust my ankle on a long bad road (and have pedals too far away) and ride home after the event. I realized that I hadn't looked for hotels along the route. Heck, I haven't written down a route yet. But no hotels means going camping. So that was another good reason to buy good bags and a tiny air mattress. Because yes, I'll ride there on my big ol' Pioneer. Which, by the way, lost 2kg compared to last year's Spezi.

So, that's quite an exciting month to come. Now I go back to figuring out a way to create that luggage space for in K. As I proved in my previous post, reaching there is easy. I know my camping equipment will fit in easily.

Last week we had fabulous weather here. And though I now it's a bit dry and dusty now, I'd like some of that weather with Easter. The current temperatures of 8 degrees Celsius with a cold wind will require extra layers of long underwear. It was on one of those sunny days last week that I shot this photo.