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The only way to avoid the crowds

After some wet and gloomy days, it as beautiful sunny weather today, and warm; 7 degrees C, which is about 10 degrees more than it should be at the beginning of February. That had the inevitable consequence that near enough the entire population of Wageningen was out in the woods walking their dogs.  So the choice was either to slow down and avoid the dogs and their owners every few minutes (good for track-stand practice, but otherwise not such fun) or to take the alternative route.  Which was wet and full of muddy mud. If you know me, you know which option I went for...

Mud in the Renkumsebeekdal

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Mountain bike for sale

Good quality ladies/girls Haibike, 43 cm frame, 26"wheels. See http://link.marktplaats.nl/m782071395

Haibike Life SL

 

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In the gold mountains

For those who think that the Netherlands is flat, today's tour was definite proof that this is not the case.  We did over 500 meters climbing over a distance of 55km. It is not that the Goudsberg ('golden hill') is that big (it goes up to a massive 50 m above sea level), but the cleverly-chosen route took us up and down its steep slippery sides time after time (see below). And they were so steep and (especially) slippery that on quite a few a few of the ascents most people had to get off and push. There were a lot of people taking part as well, we had to queue for ten minutes to sign in at the begining. As usual the organisation and sign posting was perfect.

 

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Riding to raise money

Last weekend mountain bikers raised money for two local charities simply by joining in a tour in the same way they always do. For organised tours there is always a small charge (4 to 5 Euros).  For this tour there was also a €5 charge, but the organisers persuaded a local supermarket to provide the refreshments and all the money went to two local charities (horse riding for the disabled and a 'clothing bank'). Good idea! It was a great tour as well, well organised, good signposting and nice route.  

Manege zonder drempels

Photo: Bert-Jan Piek

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What to do?

You are cycling through the forest and you come across the scene below, then after you have noticed how pretty the reflection of autumn leaves looks, you will realise that you are faced with a dilemma. Do you try to cycle round the water-filled rut with the risk that at a given point there will no longer be room for you in between the trees alongside the path and the water (it's still wet where you see the big conifer jutting out onto the track further on), so with the risk of sliding out of control into the water, or do you go right through the middle, with the knowledge that you cannot see how deep it is, you do not know how muddy it is (so there is a risk you will simply get stuck in the middle and ignominiously tumble over)? The clue is that, almost no matter what time of year it is, those ruts are filled with water.  That can only mean that they have a pretty solid base. As to how deep they are, well the only way to find out it to try it.  I am happy to report that its ok, they are not too deep.  I was also happy that I had my waterproof boots on though!

Reflections

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Sign the petition against the 2-meter rule in the Black Forest

In Baden-Württemberg, the area of Germany where the Black Forest is, has introduced a new and bizarre law where you can be fined by cycling on a trail that is less than 2 m in width.  In other area of Germany similar laws have been overturned. Please sign the petition to get rid of it in Baden-Württemberg (note, you can change the language on the top right of the petition page).

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