Groningen - Day 1

Sunday morning it was time, we would leave to 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 very warm the past few days but now it was raining and there was bad weather predicted until we would return. There would be rain continuously with temperatures around 10 degrees, that 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. When Bas was packing Jorien checked everything. She felt Bas didn't need more than one pair of socks nor a towel, so she removed them when he wasn't paying attention.


Everything is ready, it is even raining!


We are ready to leave


Smile while we still can

We set out for Eindhoven while Bas immediately started to complain 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, but I am pretty sure 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.


While it was raining like crazy we tried to fix it. Meanwhile I realized it wouldn't have been a bad idea to bring a spare inner tire, and I was glad had decided to at least bring a repair kit in the last minute. While I tried to fix the tire in the rain we noticed there was 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 we were 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 to be 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 kind of ugly, except the very pretty traffic lights for cyclists which were shaped as cyclists. 

In Arnhem it was time for dinner. We passed an old bus converted to pizzeria, that 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 had started to rain instead of afterwards, 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 had 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 on a campsite instead of camping in the wild, that way we could at least take a warm shower.


Bas making a phone call in the Veluwe. My phone had gotten water in it, 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 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 a bad decision.

The coin told us to go to the campsite. After 100 meters we saw 6 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 by tomorrow there was only a 80% instead of 95% chance of rain. 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 exactly 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 cent 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 there were two girls asking 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.


Bas decided to walk over the campsite in his underwear

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