Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sunday August 7 -- Amsterdam > Hoorn

42 miles from Amsterdam to Hoorn.  A nice day of riding, bracketed with rain at each end. In the morning, some light rain, just enough to rationalize as "it helps keep you cool."  In the afternoon, a little sprinkle that became light rain, that became medium rain, then definite rain, then downpour.  Reached the boat right between the 'definite' and 'downpour' stages.  Had been beautiful just before, so was riding in t-shirt and dark glasses.  Sincerely believed that "boat was just around the corner, maybe 1 kilometer, max", so never bothered to stop and put on jacket.  Well, boat was not 1 kilometer, not 2 kilometer, not 3... was maybe 5.  I got a pretty good soaking.  Others did stop and gear up.  Must have appeared to them that Californians are either very hardy, or a little slow.

Found out a bit more about other riders.  Two riders from South Africa, not together, just coincidence. Two families from Catalonia, travelling together, hard to tell exactly how many since most are kids, hence always moving, hard to be sure you've got an accurate count -- but I think five kids, young, from 5 to 11 at a guess.  Five year old rides on a 'dragger' behind Dad, others pedal. My vote for toughest rider of our group:  girl of about 10, Julia, rode entire distance without a complaint...  other than a minor melt down as she wrestled with rain gear late in the day, pitched her helmet a good distance in the process.  Five other Americans.  Three French. A Canadian couple

Stayed the night anchored in Hoorn.  Beautiful 'pocket harbor', was one of the main ports for V.O.C. in 17th century.

My bike is kind of a rolling wreck.  Needs some time in the shop. Fine once it is up to speed and in high gear.  Actually, all fine until it is time to use the brakes.  Then there is some drama.  Worn brake pads?  Worn rims?  Who knows, and I'll probably not look much closer as it does eventually stop, with a chorus of squeals from the front and strange whirring / moaning / grinding / singing sounds from the rear.  It's a rental!

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