© E. Heijn 2012  Life is like riding a bicycle;to keep youre balance you have to keep moving Albert Einstein

Heijn’s Bicycle Site Next Foto's Back

Wednesday, 08-08-2018

This morning I woke up from the rain. It was splattering and windy. A very different start to the day!

So I just stayed for a while until it became dry. Then I did my usual things like every morning after getting up. Just like my two fellow bicycle travelers, I went to breakfast and pack. The others were ready earlier than me and also gone earlier. When packing I discovered that my tent had leaked and that the sleeping bag was quite wet. Eventually I left the campsite at 8.45 am anyway.

From the moment I came out of the forest I had a head wind. In the polders, the wind near the ground is much stronger than in a forest or heathland.

When I arrived at the former island of Schokland, I drove the island across the length and at a number of places I stopped to take the time to look around and read the information signs.

The route went beyond the dyke after Schokland. The water had white heads and the tops of the poplars were crooked. A big difference with yesterday's weather!

My left knee started to play more and more and cycling became more and more painful.

Kicking against the wind I finally came to the bridge over the Keteldiep

After I crossed the bridge, I arrived in the province of Flevoland. There too it continued outside the dyke. On that part I had the wind behind and for the first time in days the speed was once above 20 km / hour.

But a little later wind was canceled out by a rain shower that burst loose. Then it was a shame that I had left my rain suit at home. Certainly also because more of those showers were expected in the coming days.

At Ketelhaven the route went back inland over the dike. Right against the wind. Fortunately it was dry again.

At the first place where it was possible I stopped to eat something and to reflect on my situation. In Dronten there were two recumbent bike stores that I still wanted to visit.

Then another one in Dordrecht. For the rest, it was really just house cycling. The highlights of the trip were really behind me.

From now on I would only have had wind.

Furthermore, the weather would not get any better rather worse. My rainsuit was at home in the garage.

The sleeping bag was wet; the tent had leaked. Whether this would be structural you do not know at that time. It could just have been incidental, because I had not secured all the elastics.

My left knee was playing more and more.

All in all a whole list of negative points. Gradually the idea came to me to end the journey after Dronten. I would come up with a solution on the spot. Rent a bus or train. The problem with renting a van was that I would have to have a passport or ID card and a driver's license with me. I had a driver's license with me, but no ID card.

After I had eaten some bread and drank some orange juice, I got on my bike to Dronten again.

The first recumbent bicycle shop I visited was Tempelman. In the past I had done fine business with it a number of times. Unfortunately, the case was closed due to holidays.

Then to Velomobiel.nl. This is a manufacturer of the Quest and Quoatrovelo, a three-wheeled and a four-wheeled velomobile. There, too, it hung on the door that the case was closed for holidays. When I put the bike against the front to take a photo, the owner, Theo van Andel, came out.

We got into a conversation and I asked him if he would be there tomorrow, despite the vacation. That would be the case. I asked him then oh I could leave my luggage with him, so that I could get on the train by bike. I would then come and collect the luggage by car the next day. He thought that was good and showed me a place where I could put it.

I unloaded my bike and put some things in a shopping bag that I wanted to take with me. I then placed the luggage at the designated place.

I walked into the workplace to thank Theo. He was just packing a Quest that would be shipped to Canada. The bicycle was already fixed on a wooden pallet of the correct length and width. A large cardboard lid should then be placed over the pallet. The box consisted of four layers of cardboard and was heavy and unmanageable due to its size and four layers. So I started to help with the packaging. When the bike was completely packed, I asked for the way to the station and said "see you tomorrow".

I cycled to Dronten station. There I checked whether I still had enough balance on my OV chip card and I bought a ticket for the bicycle. At 14.25 I boarded the Sprinter to Amsterdam CS. There I had plenty of time to walk to the departure platform towards Vlissingen. When the train was in front, I asked an attendant present whether both trains would go on to Vlissingen, or whether the rear would be disconnected in Roosendaal. The latter turned out to be the case. So I just got on the rear balcony of the front train set.

A Swedish couple with a baby in a buggy came to sit with me. They traveled with them to Delft. We had a nice chat.

A mother with two small children got into Rotterdam. They had to go to Oost Souburg. During the onward journey we made it fun together.

I arrived in Middelburg at 7 p.m. and I got back on my bike home. It really took some getting used to cycling with so little weight on the bike. At home Liesbeth was already waiting for me and dad Schouten was there too. The food was also exactly ready and I could easily sit down at the table.

After dinner and coffee I stepped in the shower.