Day 1

The day's route (Garmin tracklog):

And the ride to date:

06:30 is no civilised time for a blaring PA announcement about breakfast. I expressed this view to no-one in particular in a succinct fashion and briefly went back to sleep.

At 07:45, I blearily bade Eric good morning at the queue for the lift down to the car-deck.

The route from the port to the start of the cycle route proper is less than obvious, but having cycled it twice before, I managed to navigate us to it successfully.

Then onto the gorgeousness that is a Dutch cycle path.

Nowhere was open in Den Haag for breakfast, so we kept going to Scheveningen Strand.

Many of the places here still weren't open yet (I'm most unused to places not being open by the time I crawl out of bed on a Sunday), but we found one that was.

This was 13 miles in, and the first order of the day was of course tea.

This was followed by scrambled egg on toast. Well, not toast, as it turned out, but tasty bread all the same.

Eric had connected his bikecam to his iPhone via wifi, and was attempting to edit video on it using an app he'd just downloaded. This was going reasonably well other than it refusing to export in full full resolution. I observed that being unable to edit video on one's iPhone in 720P was kind of the definition of a first world problem. Eric agreed, adding sagely that many people in the world don't even have iPhones.

Leaving Scheveningen by the same route I'd taken twice before, we were accosted by a Dutch policeman (on a bicycle, naturally). He informed us, in a very friendly manner, and in perfect English, that we weren't allowed to cycle along the sea-front there. He directed us to where we were supposed to be, and then followed us for a mile or so to see what other laws we were planning to break before pointing out we'd gone the wrong way and directing us back onto the route.

I was shooting a fairly random mix of snaps and whatever the video equivalent is of a snap. I will try to mix them a bit more evenly from now on, but the executive summary is we followed the NSR to Katwijk, then headed diagonally right inland towards Cruquius for reasons that will become apparent.

This being the Netherlands, there were of course many flowers en-route.

To be fair, we weren't the only ones stopping to take photos of lage swathes of colour - the locals were at it too.

At 26-ish miles, I said to Eric that I fancied tea & cake should the opportunity arise in the near future. It didn't quite, but we did ok.

Eric was taking the opportunity to have a closer look at my trike's design. I invited him to have a play, and he disappeared for some considerable time. I was this close to reporting it stolen when he finally reappeared.

The GPS didn't know about cycle paths, so kept trying to take us off here, there and everywhere. We took to mostly ignoring it and using the cycle path signs instead. While we'd seen no signs for Cruquius, there were plenty for Haarlem, our eventual destination for the day.

We weren't headed direct to Haarlem, however, as Eric wanted to visit a steam pump museum in Cruquius. Ixies, what can I say? As I'd noted that there were 5 or 6 miles between Cruquius and Haarlem, I started getting a bit supicious of the GPS as it was getting closer and closer to Haarlem. Stopping to quiz it, it had indeed forgotten about Cruquius. I reminded it, and pretty soon we were here:

Inside, there was engineery-type stuff. You know, pistons and cogs and boilers, that kind of thing. Eric probably took loads of photos. I had a quick wander round, mused briefly at the madness of the endeavour and then headed for the tea-shop next door. I texted Eric to say I had tea and wifi so he could take his time.

The Garmin for some reason wanted to take us on a long detour to get to Haarlem. I suspected it hadn't worked out we could cross the bridge by the pumpy thing, so proposed we cycle across the bridge and then try it again. This pretty much worked, though it still had its own ideas about routing which we ignored until we got close enough to the apartment we'd rented for the night to require its assistance. We'd asked for secure parking, and this was indeed provided, with lockable gates and a handy tree.

And that was the cycling part of day one done. 48 miles, pretty much exactly as per estimate, despite the route changes.

Though not, of course, the end of the day. The downside of having a technofest on a holiday is one's public expects to see the results. So some quick photo-editing, trip-report writing and a sample video clip uploaded to facebook.

A Dutch friend I've never met decided we were close enough to his home town that it would be rude not to join us for dinner. Ian and I first 'met' on a pre-Internet bulletin-board system called Fidonet back in about <cough> <mumble>, and later re-established contact on Facebook. He arrived at 7pm, and after a tour of the town in search of an open restaurant, being deafened by a rock festival, we eventually found somewhere to eat.

We persuaded them to sell us a plastic cupful of milk so we could end the evening with tea back at the apartment in the approved English fashion.

I briefly trimmed the video clips ready for later editing in iMovie, uploaded the trip report (I'm sure holidays never used to be this much work in the olden days) and posted the link to facebook. Whereupon another Dutch friend, Esther, who I hadn't seen for years, turned out to live ... a few streets away! So a quick call and we arranged for her to join us for breakfast.

And so to bed.

On to day 2