Groningen - Day 3
On the third day we again woke up freezing. Fortunately only my socks were still wet, the rest was only moist. It took Bas an hour to get dressed, which was twice as fast as yesterday. After we had packed all our stuff and quickly taken some pictures we ate our breakfast of two Mars bars and continued our journey along the canal.
Bas was clearly even more tired than yesterday but he didn't give up. That was impressive as he already cycled 230 km in two days in horrible weather without any training. I felt pretty tired too, it had been raining since we left, it was 6 degrees and I was hungry. Because Bas was hardly moving I decided to do something truly rare. I let Bas cycle on my expensive bike. That worked slightly better but soon he again got a sore heel.
In Assen we went to a McDonald's. At first we weren't sure if it was open, but then we realized that at 11 in the morning there were likely just very few people eating a Big Mac. Inside we read the newspaper. It described a family on cycling vacation that had been riding through the rain the entire trip. It was a pity we weren't interviewed as well.
Because Bas' heel hurt we wanted to see if he had blisters. I had never had any from cycling ever. As soon as he took of his shoes I smelled the real cycling-vacation-socks smell, the guys sitting a few meters away looked like they would throw up at any moment. Bas didn't have blisters yet so we continued our journey. During the first day we had cycled with a nice pace, the second day around 15 km/h, and now not even 10 km/h. Bas' legs hurt everywhere because he wasn't used to cycling and was wearing worn out shoes. We tried to fill them with toilet paper to reduce the pain.
Eventually he was in so much pain that it would be faster if he would just hang on to me. That meant some pretty tough cycling for me and it was still over 15 km to Groningen. Despite not having to cycling, Bas didn't want to ride all the way to Oude Schip, which was 35 km away. We discussed a few other options like me cycling there and him taking the train, but it was clear he wanted to go home.
Just before arriving in Groningen a lady smoking a cigarette passed us, to which Bas said I had to be faster. I stood on my pedals and cycled as fast as I could. Completely out of breath by dragging 200 kg of bikes, Bas, and luggage behind me I succeeded, I beat her to the border of Groningen, where we took a picture.
Bas hops the last meters to Groningen
Our hero has made it
Me in Groningen
A few kilometers later we (read I) needed to climb a bridge, which was pretty tiring but it was the last stretch to the train station. We bought tickets to Eindhoven and hopped on. The conductor told us we weren't allowed to be in the train with our bikes. Bas already got up but I asked if he couldn't make an exception as the train was half empty. Reluctantly he let us stay. We travelled to Utrecht where we needed to go down the escalator with our bikes, I could only barely control mine. Next we reached Den Bosh where we hopped on the train to Eindhoven, luckily they had elevators here.
In Eindhoven we needed to go down some stairs. My front wheel came of the ground making my bike run down the stairs on its rear wheel. I could barely control it while being dragged down but made it in one piece. Bas had less trouble because his bike had much less luggage.
Finally we were close to home and of course by now it had stopped raining. Bas started texting his mom about where she could pick him up by car. I told him to put away the phone and start cycling. We were on cycling vacation and I wouldn't let anyone go home by car. Nonetheless, Jorien and Bas' mother had already jumped in the car to meet us. I continued dragging Bas along. When I took a break too pee Bas told me that if I would get caught I should tell the officer I was masturbating, as the fine for public masturbation was apparently 20 euros lower than that for peeing. I don't know if it will look better on my record, but it is good to know.
We caught up with Jorien a while later. Jorien had bought us both a medal, Bas because he cycled so far, and me because I cycled so far with Bas. Bas mom asked if we wanted to continue cycling or put our bikes in her car. I dragged Bas along for another 15 kilometers. We tried to beat the car going home and only lost by 5 minutes. There we said goodbye and went in search for a nice bath.
We had travelled about 70 km today, putting the total distance around 295 km.