Cycle route book: De groene valleien fietsroute : van Sluis over Boulogne-sur-Mer en de Moezel naar Roermond / Robertien & Wouter Bazen
(= The green valleys routes : from Sluis via Boulogne-sur-Mer and the Moezel to Roerrmond)
Green and wet valleys
E-mail of Wednesday evening, July 13th, 2012, 20.00 hrs.
We arrived in Brussels and Paris in beautiful weather, but from Paris onwards there was a little more rain every day. Actually, everything was a bit ‘more’ after Paris; not only more rain, but more and steeper climbs, more descents (phew ..., descents are a shame, as the kilometres-long ascents would by now have brought us to the top of Mount Everest ...), more cold, more beautiful nature, more views, more cycle defects, more fun and more relaxation.
And now we are in Luxemburg, with 1430 kilometres on the counter and 14ᵒ C on the thermometer. Today we rode round Luxemburg City and are now sitting nice and warm and dry in the recreation room.
I didn’t just make up that ‘fun’ and ‘relaxation’. As solo-cyclists, both of us has had to get used to cycling together, but it is going well, in spite of some necessary compromises. We have meanwhile arrived at a routine for leaving in the morning and arriving at the end of the day. We can work together better and better. Although I always swore by cycling alone, I can no longer deny that is also great fun to do it together and sometimes even has its advantages. For instance, on your own you never get the giggles, and nobody makes pancakes for you after a long days’ cycling. And in the case of defects, it is nice to have someone with you who can instantly do the repairs. Just after Paris, for instance, I had a broken spoke and before I realised, Remy had turned my bike upside down. I could have cried, ‘I can do it’ (which I can ...), but you can, of course, behave like a woman and just stand there, handing him the tools. No dirty hands either.
Yesterday, in the middle of nowhere, in the pouring rain, my chain broke and today another spoke. He doesn’t turn a hair, gets to work straight away, and soon we are off again.
Tomorrow we are going further on the Green Valley route. Via the Eiffel, we hope to arrive in Roermond in about five days’ time. A pity it is raining so much because the route is really beautiful! But in spite of rain and defects, we are enjoying it and looking forward to the Eiffel.
Greeting from Remy and Gea
Veni Vidi Fietsie! (I came, I saw, I cycled)
E-mail of Sunday afternoon, June 24th, 2012, 15.24 hrs.
We’re home again! We arrived on Friday evening after a wonderful cycling holiday and nearly 2000 kilometres on the counter.
We’ve come to the conclusion that we did the stages in the right order, as the route became more and more beautiful in the course of the holiday, with the last bit through the Eiffel as the topper. Also tougher going, but that is often the case on a cycling holiday. The more you have to climb or the worse the road, the more beautiful are the surroundings.
We’ve had a wonderful holiday, in spite of all the rain. Luckily we were well protected. Do you remember the story of Remy’s Rain-poncho last year? (If not, click here).
Well, Remy’s poncho cloned itself. A few weeks before leaving, there were suddenly two of them .Two identical, bright orange rain-ponchos. Only mine is newer (so even brighter orange). But ... it works. And that’s the main thing. Additional advantage: you are very visible for others on the road. Anyway, nobody knows you. And if they do, they won’t recognise you (I hope).
We ended the holiday with a few days in ‘my’ caravan in Zeist.
It was the first time we cycled together during an entire holiday, from the beginning to the end, and it went well. A good thing too, otherwise we would now have a problem. I asked Remy why on earth we were rebuilding an entire house when we could easily camp in a small tent! He didn’t altogether agree, so now we’re going back to work with renewed energy. (Note: should you be looking for a useful way of spending your holidays ... it is not nearly finished. Camp site, hotel and beach within crawling distance).
One more thing: we are often asked whether we aren’t tired after such a holiday. No, on the contrary. Of course you’re tired at the end of a cycling day, but after a night’s sleep it’s over. And you get better and stronger conditionally so that you can do more. Your head, too, gets more and more ‘empty’: the distance to the daily grind gets bigger, so that relaxation increases.
In short: we are rested and wish everyone who still has their holiday to come, enjoyment and relaxation too.
Remy and Gea