Eighteen: Oever to Leeuwarden. - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

June 26, 2013

Eighteen: Oever to Leeuwarden.

The long straight cycle-road, upon the causeway across the bay, had a grass bank along the left side and dual-carriageway on the right side, twenty-eight kilometres with the same view. No sight of the sea because of the sea defences; and but a glimpse of the inland waters across lanes of cars and trucks swishing by in both directions. I tucked low gripping the handlebar's drops hooks, the most aerodynamic riding-position to reach the other end as quick as possible. The whole way across, I only met two racing cyclists, the foremost bent low over the handlebars leading the other in a two-man time-trial stimulation.

Ten kilometres on the other side I reached the town of Harlingen, where I first stopped at an Aldi supermarket; cheap, but there wasn't everything I needed. No bottled water and there was only the litre cartons of yogurt. Too much, weight-wise and to consume within a day. And vegetables were only sold packaged in large volumns, too heavy for cyclists. I'd only ridden a couple of hundred metre further when Is passing Dutch brand "Jumbo"; here I filled the gaps in my shopping and also bought a can of Amstel beer, which are sold individually here or as many cans as you like. In UK supermarkets they only sell cans in multiples of fours, not a lot of use for cycling with

After only a few days in Holland, I know when I'm in a town-centre, when I pass a waterfront or ride over a bridge across a canal, then pass along timeless old streets with bikes parked everywhere, where about the only traffic are cyclists moving freely in both direction. No traffic-jams and sounded car-horns by frustrated drivers and cleaner air. Contentment. It makes you think.

The Dutch are cool. They've got rid of all the unsightly cars that spoil town-centres in other countries.
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These cyclists were setting off along a traffic free street.
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Once a maritime powerhouse, now a country of yachts and boating enthusiasts.
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I took my daily coffee stroke journal updating turn in a café called Anja run by Anja who'd nice Brazilian music on on the sound system. I find the portuguees lauguage together with the accent soothing. But again Is there longer than I would've liked and it was after noon when I stepped back out in the street.

I planned on riding out into the country and picnicking for lunch. But a hundred metres along the street, I was passing a bike-shop, and as the cable for working the front-derailuer seemed to be frayed at the change-lever and was no-longer responding, I thought a new cable may solve the problem. After buying a cable, I set about changing it with the bike leaned against a bench opposite. When I pulled out the old cable, I found there was nothing wrong with it: the frayed wire was the cable-outer which had split; furthermore, the exposed cable-outer, where the cable came out from under the handlebar-tape and looped round and down to the stop-boss on the down-tube, had little kinks all-along it which I'd noticed for the past week. Thought it was some kind of new design. It was going to take a bit more expense and time to repair, so I tread through the old cable again and left it so as to run the chain on the middle-ring for the time being. Ten sprockets at the rear and I can only use middle six without the scraping noise of the chain rubbing against the inside of the front-deraileur-cage.

The bench were I was was just outside the tourist office and beside alfresco diners outside an Italian restaurant. A good spot in the warm sunshine to people-watch. so I had my picnic lunch. I popped open the can of Amstel and enjoyed slugs of it to the sound of Wonderful World oozing out from the restaurant.

I spent the afternoon enjoying the scenary while sometimes getting lost, trying to find the cycle-road to Leeuwarden. Around five I made my way through this town and not far on the other side was passing a park with a picnic table. A place to stop for the evening. I did all the things like cooking ecetra comfortably sat at the table, and at dusk put the tent up.

A nice goat.
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Relax in the afternoon.
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Where to now. The way I want to go is dug up.
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More goats.
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Siesta time for Goats.
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The gear cable leading to the front mech, is kinked.
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The cable-outer has split after only a few weeks of use.
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Expenditure total: 13 Euros.

Aldi shop: 3 Euros 35.

Jumbo shop: 2 Euros 75.

Café Anja: 4 Euros.

Gear-cable 3 Euros.

Today's ride: 77 km (48 miles)
Total: 1,443 km (896 miles)

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