On Friday afternoon, July 5th, we took the train from Maastricht to Amsterdam with our Arkel panniers, MSX handlebar bag, Brooks saddle and cherry pie from bakery Hermans. We are so glad our bicycles will soon be carrying this all the time.
It is exciting to see our new world bicycles. Our only means of transport, with the exception of a few sailboats or cargo ships, during our 5-year world trip. At De Vakantiefietser our new Idworx bicycles were shining. Ben only had eyes for his bike and was constantly checking his bike from a different angle.
After our treat on a delicious piece of cherry pie, John gave us an instruction about the bike and maintenance.
For the night we were invited to sleep in the guest room of De Vakantiefietser. The room has all amenities and is beautifully decorated with all kinds of souvenirs from abroad. Eric and Carla adviced us to eat Indonesian at Long Pura. The favorite restaurant of Gerrit Gaastra from Idworx.
After breakfast with tasty croissants with the team from De Vakantiefietser, the big moment finally arrived. The first meters on our new bicycles on the way to Wilfrid and José in Utrecht. A beautiful route along De Vecht of 65.5 km. As always we were kindly welcomed by our beloved friends.
To arrive on time at our first Warmshowers location, we set off early. A good idea because the Oeverland route from Utrecht to Schijndel is a whopping 92.7 km long. We were warmly welcomed by Willem and Jessy. They have a beautiful garden and they keep bees. They offered us tea from fresh herbs, a home-brewed beer at the world football finals of the Lionesses against the USA and a delicious soup. We felt very welcome and comfortable.
The next day, the Oeverland route took us in 83.5 km to a large old farmhouse in Nederweert. We were welcomed by Kees and Paula. A nice glass of orange juice and a large piece of chocolate were absolutely delicious after such a long ride. First a nice shower. Afterwards we were invited to dinner.
The next day we left for the final stage towards Maastricht. That was another 104.6 km! Because we could not get enough of it 😉 we visited Cycling Evers in Maastricht. Jos and Monique gave us some good tips. For example, we are going to use Squirt lube instead of oil on our chain. This keeps the chain clean and it lasts much longer.
At home we went straight to buy french fries with mayonnaise. At the supermarket next door we also bought some gasoline to degrease the chain. And a few bottles of beer for ourselves. In the next days we will start working on maintenance, purchasing the last parts of our equipment, setting up the foundation, printing flyers and business cards and and and ... so much more.
Ben often jokes "I really just want to cycle". But we both don't want to miss this phase of preparation.