2018 Abbreviated (EV15 Rhein Route-Zeeland Coast-Flanders)

22. Aug, 2018

Though it was difficult at times, this was a very enjoyable trip.  I believe, however, I'd have enjoyed it much more had I started one week later when the worst of the hot weather was behind us.  The most difficult thing in the first five days was coping with the heat.  I didn't have any knee, hip or other physical ailments.  Actually, hill climbing didn't pose a serious problem at all.  Even in the series of long climbs from Maastricht to Vaals late on the last day.  But, the heat in the early days drained my energy in ways I never expected.

What I believe will stay with me most regarding the cycling was the beauty of the cycle routes in the Netherlands.  There's no need there to plug along on a bike path paralleling a major road as there are many well marked routes that take you through much more scenic landscapes.  It's a beautiful place to tour, and, using the Fietsnet app can assure you a beautiful (if not direct) way from one point to the next.

Bruges, BE is a beautiful city and worth a longer visit than the one Gudrun and I shared.  Our day together there is one I won't forget.  

Some little travel things:

  • I didn't use the PlugII USB charger on my bicycle during the entire trip.  It's the charger on the head tube of my bike that gets its power from the hub dynamo on my front wheel.  I guess it's nice to have in emergencies, but, I had a high capacity powerbank with me that was able to keep both my Garmin and my iPhone charged for about four days before needing to be recharged.
  • I should wear my helmet more.  I took it off when it was getting really hot and when I was on roads where there was little traffic.  Both times I fell I was not wearing my helmet.  I was lucky, and should wear the helmet at all times.
  • Despite my experience last year, it is nice to ride along with someone else when you can chat, joke, and really enjoy the day together instead of simply and silently following each other all day.

 If you're interested in reading the whole blog you need only go to the bottom of this page and click on "Overview."  There you will get a list of the entries for each day of the trip.  Additionally, all the photos are now tagged with a brief description of what, or where, each was taken.  To see all the photos you need to go to the "Photographs" main menu and "2018 Photos." 

17. Aug, 2018

Here it is, Friday, 17 August, and I've been home two days now, not a single blog entry made.  Just some comments on FaceBook with accompanying photographs.  The way I logged last year's trip was not very satisfying, and it certainly isn't the kind of web experience that will bring back clear memories of that trip.  

So, I believe I will finish the posts for this year's trip in a way similar to a blog, but written after the fact.  I believe this will lead to a finished chapter that I'll be able to look back on in years to come and relive the experience in a better way.  I hope it will be interesting enough for others who bother to spend a little time to browse through it.

15. Aug, 2018

Today:  124,14 km (77.1 miles)
Trip to date:  1052,88 km (654.9 miles)

On this day I got started riding at 08:40. Somewhere near 08:30 a shotgun was fired near the campground.  I had a pretty good idea what that meant, and I was right.  Within a minute or so it sounded like a thousand angry bees had just taken flight. The day-long motocross event had started.  

I had a choice this day of heading for a campground less than 40 km from my house, or taking a direct route and pushing for home.  The urge to see Gudrun and to sleep in my own bed made it an easy decision to make.  I plotted a route home over the most direct route possible where there'd be little chance of getting sidetracked on obscure paths or cobblestone roads.  It was going to be a long day, and there'd be little time for photo stops.

I got home at about 21:00! 124,14 km! The longest day of the trip.  It was great to be home with Gudrun again.