Monday, March 19, 2012

Organized rides!

I've erased the paragraph I wrote about feeling out of place at the  Joop Zoetermelk Classic, (NOT A RACE!!!) I think this photo says it all.

Do you see me? 

How about now? 

Let's be reminded that cycling is as common as walking in the Netherlands... they take it for granted, for normal, uninteresting and banal. It's not a sport or a lifestyle, it's just an easy means of transportation. Most dutch people will balk at cycling more than a few kilometers or between towns, instead, they just take the train. Easy. Sensible.

This means that while daily cycling is nothing special, anything else is extremely special... And for these especially special situations (such as going on an organized ride), the typical dutch person will appear extraordinarily well-equipped. They will dust off their fancy carbon fiber steed, don little spandex booty things and tear across the countryside. In fact, more the 5000 of them did so at the Joop Zoetermelk Classic, and I think they all passed me during the ride.

The middle ground, (people like me who love cycling for hours but not going particularly fast) was very, very sparsely populated.

So I learned on Saturday. Oh, and it was super fun!!!


  1. Well, if it makes you feel any better, that'd be me right next to you in jeans and no helmet if I were going on the ride :) I would have to borrow a non-40-lb-3-speed bike though :) or maybe not.... It is flat, right?

  2. American way [when it comes to cycling]? No, thanks! You heroically stood out of the lycra-clad crowd. That's the spirit. If I were to take part in that ride, I'd come on my 1979 Gazelle Populair... or even my self-made transportfiets, which weighs 35kg or so without a crate on a front rack. Both are 3-speeds with Sachs Torpedo Dreigang, and I do all service including gear hub overhaul.

  3. Ha ha, no not a hero :)
    I admire the racers in many ways, I just thought there would be more variety to the cyclists on the ride... but no, it was an event.
    We'd all definitely be together Dave and EA! No hills, just wind. Fun!

    1. Yeah, we get some wind here as well - I had a couple days last week where I was literally stopped in my tracks on flat ground by wind gusts. Always fun :) Especially fun is when it's pouring rain and the rain is going sideways, of course always directly into your face :)

  4. I do a lot of travelling on my folding bike, and I love how other countries/cultures deal with bike riding. It's so nice when it's an every day kind of thing.