day 06

Today's ride:

And the ride so far:

The farmhouse wifi was rather rural, so we found & booked accommodation, then headed to a local cafe in the town to find better wifi to do the route-planning. The town was 2.5 miles away, then the route was 43 miles, so allowing for the usual detours it would be a similar length ride as yesterday.

The weather looked like it might be planning some rain for us today.

The cafe had good wifi and good tea.

Cue cyclists with MacBook Airs.

We plotted a route, which looked like it was going to be around 45 miles. Surprisingly, it also showed around 850 feet of elevation - it appeared we would today be tackling the Dutch Alps.

A mess of roadworks and (completely) closed roads made exiting the town a little more challenging than usual, and it wasn't long before we hit the first alp. The view from the summit:

The climbs were pretty relentless - straight from one to the next.

We were by now relaxing into Dutch mode at roundabouts, shooting straight across in the approved local fashion, assuming that cars will not plough into us.


Another long climb.

And a particularly brutal one shortly afterwards. The pro-racer grannies set the pace.

Eric spotted another opportunity to race a train, and declared a win.

Cool bridge.

Rather a bizarre mish-mash of architectural styles, though ...


Which brought us into the centre of Nijmegen.

Where more funkiness was found.

And in the distance, another alp.

At the bridge, Eric paused to take an obligatory train photo. Then we headed out of town.

A broken down Volvo Amazon (Eric knows these things).

Ok, it's a tree-lined path. I'll stop taking these soon, I promise.

The first other recumbent I'd spotted so far. They are a little more common in the Netherlands than the UK, but still fairly rare.

It's only tree-lined on one side ...

And look, fields. Not a tree-lined path. Fields.

Cycle diversions should, we felt, be a little more friendly than generic ones.

A parallel road to the one with roadworks, and the brick was ok.

This was slightly confusing, as cycles appeared to be allowed through but there was a cycle diversion sign pointing to the next junction, so we followed that.

Hmm, loose surface.

That didn't last long, but the GPS found us another one.

It was rather bumpy, but did reward us with a nice view.

Trikes are not great at climbing loose surfaces. Well, they're not great at climbing full-stop, but with the driven wheel at the rear and the rider's weight and panniers both some way forward, they don't have tremendous traction on dirt.

I took a run at it and just made it up with the wheel spinning.

Rather alarmingly, this was our 6th day in the Netherlands, and neither of us had yet had a frites mayonnaise. We decided to rectify this before the authorities got wind of it.

With a couple of cups of Earl Grey, of course. Though Eric had gone native and was drinking coffee by this point.

Hey, a photo of a non-tree-lined path!


Another working windmill.

The region is apparently noted for its asparagus. We saw a lot of it growing.

Ok, so that's a little bit tree-lined.

Which is why, despite the fact that our route followed the river, we hadn't seen much sign of it.

Vehicles with minds of their own. I wasn't tempted to swap.

Yeah, ok, but this is almost the last one.

That so doesn't count!

It's a field! And only one tree in shot.

Following a river, even at a distance, seemed to be doing the trick.

Oops. Didn't mean to include that one.

Finally, a view of the river.

Eric's GPS had been trying all day to persuade us to take detours. We were not persuaded, But finally it suggested one that looked pleasant and didn't add any distance to the journey. It took us through a pretty little town.

And a skate-park. You're as young as you behave.


This was a baby windmill in someone's garden. I might have ridden the trike down their garden path to take it.

Our respective GPS units had different ideas how to get the last mile or so to the guesthouse. There didn't appear to be much in it, and we soon found the village.

The guesthouse was a little cottage in the grounds of the main building, and was lovely.

Our bikes also seemed happy enough with their overnight accommodation.

Our host was a glassmaker, and had various examples of his work dotted about the place.

We were welcomed with orange juice in the main house and a bowl of cherries - "picked from the garden an hour ago" - in the guesthouse.

The only slightly odd thing for a bed-and-breakfast place which was even named Art, Bed & Breakfast, is that breakfast wasn't included. That was an extra €10 each on top of the €90 fee for the guesthouse (between us). We were promised it would be good.

Most people who stayed there apparently self-catered, so an evening meal wasn't available. Instead he made a reservation for us in a restaurant (possibly the restaurant) in the nearest small town, 2km away. We cycled in.

It was slightly surreal. From the decor, you expected a somewhat upmarket restaurant.

Don't get me wrong, the food was pretty good, as was the house-wine, it was just the slight incongruousness of them having a choice of three wines, and then not having the one we chose - and not having anything as exotic as sparkling water.

But no matter, we were well fed and watered.

Well, I was. Eric had a salad. I made a mental note to enquire about local medical facilities.

The decent music selection in the restaurant wasn't coping well against the fun-fair outside. I think if we'd been staying there, I'd have had to go looking for the off switch for the fun-fair power supply.

We cycled back to the guesthouse, where I'd succeeded in arranging breakfast at a civilised 10am. Tomorrow, we would - accommodation permitting - be heading for somewhere around Weert, having dipped as close as the official route got to the bottom right-hand corner of the country, then beginning our journey west.