Archive for August, 2009
Today I went with Erik for a daytrip to Rheden (Gld). For me it was to long ago that I have been mountainbiking and I needed this excersise as a training for the Mergelland route later on in September.
We started with sunshine and 18 degrees celcius. The first eight kilometer were up and down but none of us had to walk besides his bike;). After five kilometer we saw a bunch of deer (with young ones). After these first 8 kilometer the track was relative flat but in one of the most sceneric areas of the Netherlands. After 40 kilometer Bas could feel the lack of excersise during July and August and his legs were heavier and heavier.
After 45 km Bas and Erik decided to split up and Erik choose the challenge of the Posbank instead of biking directly back to the car. After 3 hours of mountainbiking both Bas and Erik did 50 km in one of the most beautiful spots in the Netherlands. Not the most challenging track but a track in beautiful nature.
And Bas……… He needs more excercising and training for the Mergelland track.
While Ernst was mountainbiking his 100 km in Houffalize Erik myself and my dad went for a biketrip in limburg. We decided to go for the Epen and Gulpen mountainbike routes and combine the two to get some km. For my dad this will be his second mountainbike experience, so he will not folow both routes and will stop after we have done the Epen track of 25 km. We started out well, not to fast so my dad could follow us and we also could enjoy the nice weather and surroundings.
almost at the end of the Epen route (after the steep climb of the “Vaalserberg”) we crossed a road and some people where standing there, all waiting for the Eneco tour (the dutch cycling tour over multiple days) so we decided to wait and watch the Eneco tour pass by. After the 3 man at the front there was a gap of 17 minutes so we decided to follow the mountainbike track down the hill and there we watched the peloton come by (wow really fast, and what a sound 100 man shifting gears) we finished our last 2 km of the Epen track and stopped at the startpoint. Here we installed my dad on a terras and Erik and myself went on to bike the Gulpen route. What a nice track a lot of climbs and downhills. after 60km of biking (almost at the end of our track) I made a small mistake in the downhill and fell, hmm not so nice a big knee and a lot of pain.
Back at the terras after 9 km biking with pain in my knee we asked the waitress for some ice.
After eating a nice dinner and a trip back to Breda we could say we had a good day some fine mountainbiking and we even watched the Eneco tour. And dad next time both trails ? well just look at the pictures for an impression of the day.
Read the rest of this entry »
Yesterday, 23rd of August 2009, the 6th edition of the Houffamarathon was held. Almost 2000 bikers (including myself) enjoyed a well-organized race through the beautiful countryside surrounding the village of Houffalize. The weather has been good the past week(s) so the tracks were all perfectly dry (dusty even in some places), safe a few passages through the small Ardennes rivers.
Last year, in conditions far worse than this year, I participated in the 75km race and finished in just under 6 hours. This year, after 110km Limburgs Mooiste and 2 weeks of ‘training’ in the Alps, I decided I would enter the 100km race.
Last Sunday I got back from mountainbiking and made the most stupid mistake in the world. Read the rest of this entry »
The hotel I stayed in was also very good, really all you need during a week of biking: breakfast, afternoon snacks and dinner included; bike garage, bike wash, heated swimming pool, sauna, good atmosphere, friendly people, etc.
Oh, and before I forget: yes, it is a beautiful area for mountain biking. Steep, technical climbs, flowy forest trails, fast rocky downhill tracks, hairpin turns, tight switchbacks with rocks and roots, gravel roads, you name, they have it.
Really good fun, I’ll let the photos do the talking.
As recovery for my knee operation, I’m slowly starting up some road biking (as mtb is not yet possible). As I’m really bad in orientation, I’ve bought a Garmin Edge 705 GPS (from my oprotpremie . Although there’s plenty of opportunity for improvement to the device, I find that a GPS tremendously increases bike possibilities. I’ve “acquired” (I leave it up to you to determine what I mean) the Onroute NL bike map, which is currently the only map available that has auto-routing, specific for biking. So you type in your destination and it will navigate you to it over very beautiful bike roads. Like this, you can, without any risk of getting lost, discover unknown routes. And also no need any more to stop at each crossing, as the GPS will notify you before each crossing where to go.
Specifically for Erik, the GPS has a special feature to navigate you to the closest “cold beer” when you’re in desperate need.
I’ve tried it with a trip from Berkel-Enschot to Nijmegen and I was really astonished about the great route it took me over. I can all GPS owners recommend to get this Onroute NL bike map as well. It’s only about 100 MB, so it doesn’t take too much space on your GPS.
Today I was enjoying myself in the Reichswald just across the border from Nijmegen where I usually ride. I knew a nice route through the Reichswald because of a GPS track I saved from a previous event. The Reichswald is a really nice forest and it is much more quiet than the Dutch part.
When I was almost done, all of a sudden I heard a noise. Just like some branch getting in the wheel. Well, nothing special, so I stopped but to my great surprise the derailleur hanger was broken. This was really remarkable as I exerted very little force as it happened. Probably something (rock or branch) was the cause of it. Read the rest of this entry »
After getting back to Reli’s appartment at around 23:00 and having a drink, it was almost time to catch the plane. Our flight was at 6:20 and we had to be there early. So what to do, play cards, talk, or try to get a few hours of sleep. Well we did the last thing hoping it would help and set our alarm clocks at 4:00.
We all got some rest although it was difficult for all of us (Bart and Reli sleeping on a very small couch and Erik on an airbed with auto-deflation feature). Nevertheless, 4:00, shower, get dressed, leave. Luckily Reli’s car was really big so the backs easily fit together with Bart on the back seat (the trunk was already full with our other bags and the bikes wouldn’t fit in there anyway).
(Bart, do your legs still hurt?)
After a 30 minute ride, we arrive at the airport. Reli is going back towards home to go back to bed and Bart and Erik wait until our flight with WizzAir leaves for Dortmund. All went well we had a nice holiday and we want to thank Reli and his family for the warm welcome in Romania. I also want to thanks Andy and Mihai because with their help we had a mountainbike holiday we will never forget.
It was a unique experience. We saw trails that not many other people from outside Romania have seen, we drank home made Romanian liquor, had a Romanian Barbeque (including the Mici) and had some real Romanian food in a Romanian home. The Romanian hospitality made us feel at home.
What a pity, we already need to go sunday we are flying back and today it is saturday, we drive back from Brasov to Cluj (via Turda where Reli can see his parents and kids again). The drive is really good, not that much traffic, so we arrive early in Turda so Reli can spend some time with his kids.
We were given a nice soup at his parents house and had lunch together with Reli’s kids and his parents. We went on to Reli’s appartment in Cluj. At Reli’s appartment we disassembled our bikes again and put them back in their traveling bags, 4 days of fun mountainbiking are finished now.
This evening we still had a special event on our program, we went to a football match of CFR Cluj.
Before the match we want for a nice dinner together with Andy our guide of the first bike day, we showed him our pictures and shared our stories of Brasov.
After the dinner Andy dropped us of at the stadion where we met Reli’s brother and nephew to go to the match. A nice atmosphere and a beautifull view towards the mountains from the stadion and we won with 2-0 !!! Already the last evening. Time flies when you’re having fun !