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Groningen - Day 1

Sunday morning it was time. We would leave for Oude ship and see how far we could get. I loaded the two bikes with luggage, putting as much as possible on my bike because otherwise, Bas would probably not make it out of town. It had been hot the past few days, but now it was raining and terrible weather was predicted until we returned. There would be rain continuously with temperatures around 10 degrees, which was nice because that way Bas would get the real cycling vacation experience.

Around 9:30, Bas and Jorien arrived with her dad by CAR! I thought that was scandalous, but it was too late to send them back. While Bas was packing Jorien checked everything. She felt Bas didn't need more than one pair of socks or a towel, so she removed them when he wasn't paying attention.

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Everything is ready, it is even raining!

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We are ready to leave

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Smile while we still can


We set out for Eindhoven and Bas immediately started complaining about his back because he wasn't used to riding my bike. There also was a car behind us honking a lot. It turned out to be Jorien with her mother. They didn't admit it, but they followed us in case Bas gave up within the hour. As he was still alive, we continued. That is until Bas got a punctured tire in Son en Breugel, only 25 km from home.

 

We tried to fix it while it was raining like crazy. Meanwhile, I realized it would have been a good idea to bring a spare inner tire, and I was glad I had decided to bring a repair kit at the last minute. While I tried fixing the tire in the rain, we noticed a cycle repair shop 50 meters away. However, it was closed because it was Sunday. Now we really needed to fix the tire, otherwise we would have needed to call for help within hours after leaving. While waiting for the glue to dry a car stopped to offer us a pump, but I already carried one. We were confused why anyone would bring a bicycle pump in their car.

 

When we inflated the tire it seemed OK, until we saw air bubbling out of the outer tire (which was easily visible because everything was drenched). We took everything apart again and this time fixed it successfully. A few hours of cycling later we stopped at a bus stop to eat and dry a little. We arrived in Nijmegen, which we thought was ugly, except for the beautiful traffic lights for cyclists shaped like cyclists. 

In Arnhem it was time for dinner. We passed an old bus converted to a pizzeria, which seemed like a good spot. We ordered two pizza oriëntale while we were getting the floor wet. The pizzas were good and we chatted a bit with the owners. When we got outside it was finally getting a bit dryer and we decided to put on our rain clothes. One of the chefs told us we should have put those on before it started to rain instead of afterward, but of course then it wouldn't be a real cycling vacation. I asked for directions to Apeldoorn, to which the guy said we needed to turn around and get home as quickly as possible, instead of cycling in the rain like crazy people. Of course, we wouldn't give up even if it would rain for three days straight, so we left for Apeldoorn.

 

I visited that area during my very first cycling vacation. It is pretty and lies in the heart of the Veluwe National park. Because the weather was so bad, we decided it would be better to stay at a campsite instead of camping in the wild, that way we could at least take a warm shower.

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Bas is making a phone call in the Veluwe. My phone had gotten wet, making everything look foggy.
 

At some moment we saw a sign indicating a campsite down some side road, but there was no indication of the distance. I said it would be better to continue to the next one, but Bas wanted to go there. To find a fair solution we decided to toss a coin, so we could blame that if it turned out to be a wrong decision.

The coin told us to go to the campsite. After 100 meters we saw six deer, but after 3-4 kilometers there still was no sign of a campsite. We turned around, blaming the coin, and saw a wild boar. Along the road was also a bungalow rental area, but they didn't have campsites. They did have free weather updates showing that there was only an 80% instead of 95% chance of rain by tomorrow. We were so lucky.

We decided to simply follow our route until we passed another campsite, there were plenty in the area. A while later, we passed camping Hertenhorst, where I had stayed during the first cycling vacation. The front desk closed at 4, but although it was 20:30 there was still someone who could help us. There were still some free spots which were 15 euros. We had precisely 14,70 and it was not possible to pay by card. Fortunately, we were allowed to pay tomorrow. After some searching we found a nice spot for our tent and went for a shower. They were 50 cents so it was nice we still had some cash left. All the male showers were broken, so we needed to go at the women's. Those worked. The 50 cents allowed us to shower for 6 minutes. That wasn't that bad, but they had deliberately put the machine where you needed to pay outside of the shower cabins, so you couldn't bring a pile of cash and still shower for hours.

After I finished I dried myself and brushed my teeth. It was then that I heard Bas make a lot of strange noises. To embarrass him even more, two girls asked me what on earth he was doing. Because Jorien had taken his towel he now needed to wait in the freezing cold until he was dry. After 15 minutes he was dry enough and we could go to sleep. Bas decided to walk over the campsite in his underwear so he didn't need to put his wet clothes back on.

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Bas decided to walk across the campsite in his underwear


After Bas had sent 20 texts to Jorien and his mother to assure them he was still alive, we could get some rest. We cycled 125 km today, which was much more than either of us had expected.

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