Day One

I am writing from Leeuwarden where B and I are after 95 miles of riding today. It has been a bus few days.

After spending the day in Amsterdam yesterday picking up last minute gear from Decathlon and walking around Amsterdam, we returned home. N (our host) had told us that a friend of his was coming to make a delivery and he asked us to be there for it. We were more than happy to oblige. N came home from work, asked us if the friend had come yet, and we told him they hadn’t. I was on the phone with a company when the buzzer rang.  I heard footsteps on the stairs and looked to my left as the door opened. It wasn’t a “friend,” but instead it was A, N’s girlfriend, and my former colleague and close friend. We hadn’t seen each other in about 15 months. She currently works for an NGO in the Maghreb and had come home to work on a report, but had kept it a surprise. It was a fantastic and auspicious start to the trip. 


In the morning, N and A fed us a delicious breakfast, complete with goat Gouda infused with fenugreek and cardamom. B and I donned our rain attire, as the forecast had predicted rain the first half of the day. We brought our bags and then our bikes down to the street and began our goodbyes. It was sad to say goodbye to A after such a short visit, but hopefully we’ll see each other again within the year. 

The ride out of Amsterdam was a bit complicated – we knew today would be slow going as we got used to our maps, GPS units, and cue sheets. There were plenty of wrinkles to iron out, but eventually the directions became clearer. We were on bike paths nearly the entire day. 

The Netherlands’ bike infrastructure is incredible. The routes are well-paved, well-marked, and we crossed a good portion of the country on bike paths. The highlight of the day, by far, were the 18 miles we spent crossing the Afsluitdijk. We will be on bike paths for much of the day tomorrow as well, as we head towards Germany.

We need to go to sleep, but I’ll just write that tonight we are staying with Warm Showers hosts in Leeuwarden and had a lovely meal and are sleeping on a bed! Tomorrow will be a wet day, but our plan is to stop for lunch in Groningen and get pannenkoeken on a boat. 

This was today’s ride:

https://www.strava.com/activities/1027127492/embed/e1a3504f98fcfce3aae59df0bdef60181e0581c0

On top of the Afsluitdijk.


Enjoying the Dutch countryside.

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