It must be a record- no worries about hitting the maximum speed. :)
Here's the last city of my tour. Sloten!
Since September, I've been determined to visit the 11th city, but I've also had many excuses to delay such as the weather and vast number of remaining weekends in the Netherlands.
By this Saturday my time was almost up and while my full sized bicycles were packed in boxes, the situation was otherwise perfect; no plans, not much rain in the forecast, a toasty 8 degrees celsius and the wind was just under 40kmph. Perfect. (If you plan the route with a tailwind)
To plan my route with a tailwind, I took the train to Lelystad. From there, I caught a bus to Emmeloord. The bus driver suggested I stow my bicycle in the empty undercarriage of the bus. This was fine until he made a sudden stop and everyone on the bus heard a very loud "crash, ding!"
The driver said "vouwfiets" and caught my eye in the mirror. I laughed. Bromptons are solid bicycles so I wasn't too worried, but on the next bus to Lemmer I did sit with the bicycle next to me.
In Lemmer, I commenced the unfolding and took off for a quick trip to the Woudegemaal.
"The Wouda Pumping Station represents the apogee of Dutch hydraulic engineering, which has provided the models and set the standards worldwide for centuries. It bears exceptional witness to the power of steam in controlling the forces of nature, especially as applied to water handling by Dutch engineers."
It was very impressive. I didn't feel like going inside after all the sitting on the train and buses so I cycled around the building and took pictures. From the Woudegemaal, I planned a nice 10k route to Sloten. There was some misty rain, but nothing too awful.
The landscape and views were very lovely. Ducks abounded.
I knew I was nearing Sloten when I saw boat masts like a small white forest in the distance.
The route took me through the haven to the town center. Charming is an understatement.
Overly stuffed and charmed, I left Sloten saying to the cafe owner something which I hope to never say again, "It's 2:30pm, I'd better get moving before it gets dark outside."
And then I cycled another 28k to Heerenveen (which by a freak of trackwork and train re-routing, had a direct train back to Leiden). The route had paved roads, muddy roads, gravel roads, and very beautiful countryside views. The tailwind kept me aloft and fresh even on my tiny wheels.