day 09

Today's ride:

And the ride so far:

Today's blog is rather sketchier on the ride than usual, a fact which is, I should like to make clear, entirely the fault of Dave 'One more wafer-thin bottle of red' Evans.

Dave, a friend from the Ringers days, had kindly offered us board and lodging at his place in Tilberg, a fairly minor detour from the Ronde route. As we went to bed Rather Late, I had to write the blog the next morning, when some of the details were, unaccountably, rather fuzzy.

After checking out of the hotel, we retrieved our bikes from the underground bike park.

We had some time to spare, so started with a short cycle down to the Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven's museum of modern art.

It's a very refreshing change from the stuffiness of most British galleries, even the Tate Modern. Photos are allowed throughout, you can touch some of the exhibits and even play a game of chess with this one.

And get up close and personal with a Piccaso (Femme en vert) - no glass, no rope barriers.

One of the more temporary exhibits: Cyclist in Repose.

Some exhibits are interactive.

You are able to take off your shoes and climb into this one.

A little flavour of the place.

Even works in storage were accessible - just pull out a sliding shelf for a fun lucky-dip.

Rather worryingly, our cake-fest started early, in the attached coffee shop.

But we'd need the energy: it looked like we would have a headwind.

Then it was back through the town.

And now heading more west than north.

Eric spotted a fun little detour.

Another alp climbed.

We did indeed have a headwind for much of the ride.

And some mixed surfaces.

There was one particuarly cruel section where we were on very bumpy brick while just feet away we could see wonderfully smooth tarmac.

But it was all very pretty.

There was occasional evidence of football mania.

We spotted this rather fine-looking climbing wall:

Which turned out to be a mobile one, raised from the back of a flat-bed truck - how cool is that?

We thought we might as well stop for a cup of tea while we were there.

This was a bit random, in the entrance to a caravan site.

More Dutch alps.

And better-quality surface.

You wouldn't see this in the UK: there was no fence between the cycle path and the railway, just a shallow ditch.

A baby horse. That's probably not the correct technical term.

I wanted to pick up a bottle of wine as we approached Dave's place. I asked the Garmin for grocery stores. It offered me a Lidl, which didn't sound too promising on the wine front, and another place I'd never heard of, so we headed for that. By a rather roundabout route.

When I reached the wine aisle, I saw that this was basically a Lidl by another name: most of the wines cost €3-5, and the most expensive they offered was €10. It was an Australian Shiraz, so I figured we couldn't go too wrong.

Dave cooked a lasagne which tasted great despite his protestations. Unfortunately, he was rather too good a host: a second bottle of wine was opened, then a third. Which I thought was it (and bad enough), but Dave informs me it was actually four bottles. Eeek. Much nonsense was talked and we finally hit the hay at around 2am. I think.

Dave's host of the month status was confirmed when he said he wouldn't wake us when he left for work, and we could help ourselves to bacon and eggs. :-)