Two Dutch Girls on a Road Trip to Wiltshire

Road Trip 2017 (2) - Richmond to Chawton to Salisbury.

Good afternoon! Would you like to join me for the second part of my road trip in the South-West of England? A long time wish of my daughter...

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The Joy of Cycling - Wetlands Adventure No. 1 (or two...)

When you live in an entirely flat country, with only a few bumps that hardly deserve the name "hill" in the far South and the far East of your (otherwise tiny) country, you get used to wind.
And wind is precisely the thing that you either love (when you are a sailor) or loathe (when you are a cyclist).

Now there is such a thing as a sailor-cyclist (a species which takes along a folding bicycle onto their boats), and they are a curious lot, but on the whole you can divide my countrymen into two categories: the sailors and the cyclists. 
The landlubbers amongst us love to keep their feet firmly on terra firma, and only take them off to push two pedals round. Needless to say, I fall into category two.

I love my e-bike! I suffer (well, I play it down, but anyway) from arthritic knees, so cycling became a tad painful of late. But then some years ago a colleague pointed me towards e-bikes, and my horizons broadened considerably again. Not only did my school have a wizard cycle-plan, which paid half (!) of the cost of acquiring said e-bike, but it conveniently lies within cycling distance from my home - 13 kms.

My bike is a Batavus Allegro E-90, an original Dutch make, and has 8 speeds and an action radius of 130 kms (I do have the largest battery). This radius will diminish somewhat over the years (as the battery ages), but so far it is plenty for me.
Last Summer it has taken me all over the country, right up to the North and back again, in easy 80 kms a day stretches. (You can find the story on this blog, in August 2014)

The Wetlands is an ideal country for cycling. Not only is it flat, as I mentioned before, but it has an extensive cycle path network which even the biggest dummy can follow. There is a signpost on every corner and fork in the road, I'm not kidding you!
And we have a cyclists repair and aid organization, in fact we now have a couple I believe. Got yourself a flat tire and you don't want to repair it yourself? Call the number and a nice man comes and does it for you. At a price. That goes without saying.

But here it comes: using an e-bike will take the wind factor away almost entirely! All of a sudden I will cycle to work in a wind force 7, and it will still only take me 35 minutes, instead of the usual hour it used to take me with that wind. It is wonderful!
I overtake most other cyclists and even youngsters on mopeds have trouble overtaking me. The only disadvantage (as such) is that you are vulnerable to nasty accidents when your speed is 24 kms or more. But you can choose to wear a  safety helmet (I don't - I am prone to bad hair days as it is already).

The Summer holidays are approaching fast, so I am researching new cycling adventures. I'll let you know.