Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A very nice ride to Haarlem

Rode out from C&G's place late morning, with Haarlem my destination.

First mile or so a bit challenging, as I exited Amsterdam. My fault, I think... used GPS system, and I had inadvertently entered C&G's address incorrectly: Haarlemmerstraat, when it should have been Haarlemmermerstraat. Turns out that there is a street with the shorter name, but it is right downtown... so the GPS was doing its best, but with faulty info. I just figured Vlad had hacked the GPS satellites, and ignored the directions, rode by "seat of pants" until I was far enough out of town that error was meaningless.

By that point I'd hooked up with LF20 -- long-distance cycle route 20 -- which took me all the way to Haarlem (with a couple voluntary detours at nice spots).

Weather was cold and windy, but no rain! Was warm enough with T-shirt, plus light fleece, plus windproof fleece vest, plus regular rain jacket.

Amazingly few people on the route. The Netherlands has Europe's highest population density, but you wouldn't know it when you get out of the towns.

Bike worked beautifully. Light load, redistributed, and it felt like flying. Loosened front brakes slightly -- they were fine for commuting, but a bit fussy for distance.

Haarlem is a really great town. Wandered all over city centre. Surprisingly busy for a Tuesday afternoon, with tons of foot traffic, window shoppers, kids hanging out, etc. I think this may be a school holiday week, probably accounts for some of it.

Was cold and hungry, so scouted the fries situation. Highest activity was at a little shop right off main square, in the shadow of big church: fries seekers queued up 6 or 8 deep! Joined them. Good fries, with a novel twist: Sambal sauce. (Sambal is killer hot pepper condiment, courtesy of Holland's Indonesia connection.) Very warming!

Took train back to Amsterdam Centraal, then cycled cross-town in time to sprint up 45 steps and skype with Katie before she headed out to work.

Planning a quiet night, here with the washing machine.


  1. Glad you went to Haarlem.
    But you missed you very interesting things. Unless you did not mention them in your blog. Here are some reasons to go back :-)


    And you can’t miss this Cathedral witch is also famous for its organ:

    BTW I do have Sambal for you in our fridge :-)

    Once you are back we will invite you and Katie over for dinner. How about Indonesian Chicken in Ketjap Sauce?

    Smiles across the wires,


  2. Hi Rogier, and thank you for the Haarlem info! I suspected that the town had more to offer than simply a good frites shop, but had not done my research before arriving. Was kind of looking for a reason to return to Haarlem, maybe with Katie, and now I have several good ones!

    Absolutely YES to your dinner offer, and the menu sounds terrific.