A bit more about Portugal - Port wine

Rabelo boatsRabelo boatsThe name of "Port wine” is explained by the fact that the wine is stored at and commercialized from the port located between the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia.

The wine went down the river in the typical "rabelo” boats and was aged in the storehouses of Vila Nova de Gaia, since this region shows little variation of temperature throughout the year.

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A bit more about Portugal - Douro valley

Douro valley in fallDouro valley in fallThe Douro valley is located in the North of Portugal, extending from the city of Porto to the eastern border, where the Port wine production activities and the unique scenery sculpted by the Douro river.

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A bit more about Portugal - Wines in Portugal

GrapesGrapesPortugal is the sixth largest wine producer on the world. The most of the territory is a wine region. Portugal has impressive heritage of more than 250 native grape varieties. It has so many wine style and flavours, like Port wine and the liqueur wine of Madeira but they traditionally produce red, white and sparkling wine as well.

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A bit more about Portugal - Eucalyptus

Karri Knight Eukalyptus tree highest in europe Twitter Forest EuropeKarri Knight Eukalyptus tree highest in europe Twitter Forest EuropeBy the 19th century there was almost no native woodland left in Portugal . In 1866, 35,000 eucalyptus were planted around Coimbra in an effort to control devastating erosion. Two type of eucalyptus grow in Portugal, the Eucalyptus globulus and the blue gum.

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A bit more about Portugal - Palm tree

Canary Island Date palmCanary Island Date palmWhen people think about Portugal they imagine a landscape with palm trees. The most popular palm tree is the the Canary Island date palm. This is a sturdy, showy plant which really constitute an important part of Portugal's landscape.

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A bit more about Portugal - Age of Discovery

Age of explorationAge of explorationThe age of Discovery started at the 15th century.

Prince Henry the Navigator founded the Navigation school in Sagres. He made it compulsory for the sailors to prepare maps and log book during their voyage.

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A bit more about Portugal - The climate

Portuguese summerPortuguese summer

Portugal has the Mediterranean climate on the south and Oceanic climate on the north. It is one of the warmest European countries with an average temperature of 15°C (55°F) in the north and 18°C (64°F) in the south.

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A bit more about Portugal - The country

Portuguese RepublicPortuguese Republic

Portugal is the westernmost country in Europe. It is bordered only by one country, Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. Did you know that the Portugal mainland has had the same borders since 1297?

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Summer experiences in Portugal

Wheel Nuts Cyclotouring, we have arrived to Portugal :)Wheel Nuts Cyclotouring, we have arrived to Portugal :)It’s been an adventurous and eventful summer for us, we moved back to Portugal from The Netherlands and started actually working with Wheel Nuts Cyclotouring, we have gained some new tours new friends and new experiences.

Travelling to portugal with a fully loaded Nissan SunnyTravelling to portugal with a fully loaded Nissan Sunny

A magyar verzióhoz kattints ide!
Late May 2016 we had been through plenty of difficulties till we arrived to Portugal. I wouldn’t want to go into details now, those who have moved to one country from another know very well what this involves. Let me just add something to the adventurous part in the last minutes of moving we had to buy a car and while Barbara and Ákos were travelling by plane I got to drive a fully packed 180€ worth Nissan Sunny instead of getting the front seat of the mover company’s mini van as we had planned before. And of course driving 2000 kilometers after completely emptying our house was some experience, typically the thing they say you will have something to tell your grandchildren about.

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Interview with world travellers: Charles Stevens, Will Hsu

Charles Stevens and Will Hsu are attempting to cycle the Silk Road since May 2016, aiming to be the two youngest people to ever complete it. Less people have cycled it that have climbed Everest. Charles and Will have entered a few days ago in Kyrgyzstan, they are roughly halfway after 5,400km, 57 days and 5 countries.

A magyar verzióhoz kattints ide.

Steep gravel uphill in Mongolia - Will Hsu (left), Charles Stevens (right)Steep gravel uphill in Mongolia - Will Hsu (left), Charles Stevens (right)

Barbara: My first question is about the route. Why did you choose the Silk Road?
Charles, Will: It is a place I always wanted to explore and it provides a great deal of variation along the over 10,000km route. It is a network shrouded in history and culture taking you through some of the most beautiful and unexplored places in the world.

Barbara: Were there other possible route options as well?
Charles, Will: We at first considered travelling from London to Hong Kong but within our time constraints we couldn’t do it before university s it requires eight months.  We were keen to do something across Asia so this aspect of the journey remained but we were keen to do Asia because of the Silk Road.

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Interview with a world traveller: Jocelyn Rice, part II.

Jocelyn and Mike have cycled literally around the world since 2011. Mike is a retired electrical engineer after working almost 30 years on the Space Shuttle Program. He then decided to travel and find adventure work while he awaits his wife’s retirement. Jocelyn is an athlete, cyclist, and adventurer. She has spent the last two summers as a camp counselor and lifeguard in Washington State. Her career goal is to lead cycling expeditions around the world. They have been in 36 countries until now, and cycled more than 20,000 miles (32,000 km). At this moment they are heading towards the city of Santiago in Chile, while passing through the Atacama desert.

András: How was the other part of the tour, Asia?

Jocelyn: Asia was stunning...

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Interview with a world traveller: Jocelyn Rice, part I.

Jocelyn and Mike have cycled literally around the world since 2011. Mike is a retired electrical engineer after working almost 30 years on the Space Shuttle Program. He then decided to travel and find adventure work while he awaits his wife’s retirement. Jocelyn is an athlete, cyclist, and adventurer. She has spent the last two summers as a camp counselor and lifeguard in Washington State. Her career goal is to lead cycling expeditions around the world. They have been in 36 countries until now, and cycled more than 20,000 miles (32,000 km). At this moment they are heading towards the city of Santiago in Chile, while passing through the Atacama desert.

András: First of all, let me give you guys a huge compliment for these breathtaking achievements! As I understood while reading your blog, adventure has been always part of your life. But how did cyclotouring and your first joint tour, the Southern Tier, came up in the first place? Did you have any cyclotouring experiences from earlier? Did some one help you with the preparation?

Jocelyn: I first learned about cycle touring when I was in 5th grade with my teacher Mr. Smouse. We read an article of a man who cycled all the way across the United States. I was fascinated from the beginning because I never knew you could do such a thing. My family drove across to California once, but we usually flew, as both my parents are from there. So I started planning my first tour that very summer.

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The Mur de Huy, the steepest finishing climb in cycling

Welcome in Wallonia, goodbye Flanders!Welcome in Wallonia, goodbye Flanders!

The Mur de Huy is one of the steepest and most spectacular finishing climbs in cycling. With its continued presence in the Flèche-Wallonne and its inclusion in the Tour de France 2015, I had to see it with my own eyes, and climb it of course :)

Since the date of moving to Portugal is only two weeks away, pretty much this was the last chance when I could go to Belgium and visit iconic cycling places like the Mur de Huy. Earlier, Barbara and me already been in Oudenaarde and we climbed the Koppenberg, also we cycled to the top of the Muur van Geraardsbergen. But, definitely the Mur de Huy was the toughest for me. First of all, I went with the bike from Geldrop till Huy, so I already had like 125km in my legs when the hills of the Ardens began.

This is steeeeeeep!This is steeeeeeep!I was desperately searching for the route to the Mur in Huy. Unlike in Geraardsbergen, where you cannot miss the route because of the signs and practically the complete town is built around the ascent and it is it's main tourist attraction also. In Huy it wasn't that easy, lucky me I saw a group of cyclist, I cought up with them than I asked where the Mur is. They were also going there, so they invited me to join them. Problem solved, now I only had to go up.

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Giro d'Italia 2016

The start of the Giro d'Italia 2016The start of the Giro d'Italia 2016La Grande Partenza, the Italians call it: the official start of one of the world’s greatest bicycle races, the Giro d’Italia. In 2016, this unique spectacle took place in the province of Gelderland in The Netherlands.

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Ronde van Nederland: Report V.

EuroportEuroportThis series is about the successful attempt of doing the Ronde van Nederland in four days, in total of 1300 km on a bike.

A magyar nyelvű verzióhoz kattints ide.

Day 4:

I left the accommodation at around 6:20AM right after my morning routine, which turned out to be a rookie mistake since I didn’t check the ferry schedule all I knew was that they started service at 6 in the morning. It made me believe, just like many times before, there would be ferries leaving every 10 minutes to get to the other side. Well they didn’t, it was a longer ferry ride, through Europort, the port of Rotterdam. At the port the realization just hit me that true the first ferry left at 6:00AM but the next one left at 7:00AM, so I had a nice 30 minutes to kill in the morning cold, which I could have spent at the accommodation. I didn’t mind, since it was the last day, I left in the morning thinking whatever happened I would get home today no matter what.

EuroportEuroportAfter a lovely 6-kilometer ferry ride, the actual trip started from Maasvlakte that day. Frosted grass, early morning sun rays and cool West wind accompanied me on the Europort. Getting in the mood for cycling wasn’t easy this day either, but I’d had worst. I woke up completely when I reached the first hydroelectric dam, this was between Rokanje and Stellendam. I took a little time there, I had a closer look at those famous “dijks” which are in fact “dams” since there is water on both sides of them. It wasn’t a simple system for sure, I didn’t see it in action though I wouldn’t like to be here when it is necessary to close the flood gate to stop the seawater from flooding into the delta of the river. I took a few pictures and kept going. Then I was pedaling through the region of Zeeland which is a popular destination among tourists. I saw numerous cars with mostly German license plates on the way. So many camps all over the place but they were totally different from the ones I had seen in Portugal or Hungary before. They were more like small villages, with grocery shops, bakeries, clubs, cafés within the walls. It was a bit shocking to me what great measures tourism took in that area. It wasn’t that surprising though, based on what I saw, that region was really peaceful almost Mediterranean atmosphere, no massive industrial areas like in the rest of Netherland.

A calm, peaceful, a bit crowded bicycle road took me all the way to Westkapelle which was the most Northern point of my trip. Here at the light tower I had my usual lunch. I felt the need to tune on my bike a bit more, since the pain in my knee didn’t seem to cease, plus my ankle started hurt too, so I thought I would change the angle of the cleats on the pedals a tiny bit. I thought it couldn’t get any worse than that, I thought that was the source of the problem. With days of constant physical exertion not proper settings can cause such problems. I must admit it didn’t get much better but maybe just knowing the fact that I changed some of the settings triggered placebo effect. Now I know (a month later) that the damage had already happened there the only thing that could have helped was resting which was not an option at that time. I reached a mental turning point then, from that point on I was pedaling home and this fact could lift my spirits. I could taste sweet victory in my mouth mixed with a bit of sardine and cereal bar. It gave me an extra boost and I didn’t even stop til I get to Kruiningen, then I had another down which I tried to fix with another can of fish and an energy bar. I had been pedaling for 181 kilometers by then and I started to feel that the way home would be really long. I will not go into details on the remaining 148 kilometers to Geldrop (where we will be living til the end of May). Let’s just say that was a huge “DOWN” and I would not like to bitter my post up by talking about the suffering and torture and had to go through.

Home!Home!I arrived to Eindhoven around 9:00 PM, from there I still had 10 kilometers to go to get home. The area was familiar I was happy, I arrived, I made it. I was hoping nothing horrible would happen in the last short part of the trip. Luckily nothing did. I took turn to our street and I saw the houses and the cars I knew, I shifted the bike into parking and rolled in to our door and quietly knocked on the door. Barbi was waiting for me with her arms open and she hugged and kissed me for long. I was holding on to her since I was out of energy by then, it felt great to be back home. Conclusion: Nice and great and all but I wouldn’t recommend anybody to do this trip at this pace, only those with great experience. In hindsight I think for a well prepared cyclist it should take 6 days to complete the Dutch round trip, this way you can have enough time to look around too yet still keeping the tour sporty. For less prepared cyclists I would recommend 7-9 days to complete the trip, this way you can enjoy it way more on every level. The tour itself was amazing, I saw plenty of beautiful and interesting places and met a lot of friendly and nice people. I did 1225 kilometers in 4 days, and the best part of this whole thing is that I could do 98% of it on bicycle roads, this place for people who love cycling is second to none.

Soon I will be posting on a bit of different topic, since at the end of May we are moving back to Portugal and we will start on our Wheel Nuts Cyclotouring project for real. You will get an insight to that the next few weeks.

Thank you very much for your attention, see you in Portugal!

Greetings,
András

Photo gallery on Flickr
Instagram "live feed" #wncNLchallenge

Previous posts:
Preparation for something bigger
Ronde van Nederland
Ronde van Nederland: The Saddlebag
Ronde van Nederland: Three days to go
Ronde van Nederland: Done!
Ronde van Nederland: Report I.
Ronde van Nederland: Diploma
Ronde van Nederland: Report II.
Ronde van Nederland: Report III.
Ronde van Nederland: Report IV.

 

Ronde van Nederland: Report IV.

Morning in FrieslandMorning in FrieslandThis series is about the successful attempt of doing the Ronde van Nederland in four days, in total of 1300 km on a bike.

A magyar verzióhoz kattints ide.

Day 3:

HarlingenHarlingenDay 3 didn’t set off so smoothly. Firstly I woke up earlier than I was supposed to. Secondly the first morning movements caused pain in my left knee plus I could feel my left hand, my pinky finger and my ring finger were really numb. I was hoping these symptoms would pass during the night by the morning, but they didn’t. Who cares it wasn’t that bad anyway, with a bit of worrying in my head I started packing and had a nice breakfast. The night before my hosts were kind enough to prepare my breakfast ahead since they don’t get up as early as the time I left, they didn’t want me to leave with an empty stomach. Caring like this always feels good. Packing, breakfast, a selfie and I could set off before 7:00 AM.

HarlingenHarlingenFog and cold were waiting for me on the road and it was all calm and silent. It was about 2-3 °C, mixed with the humid seaside air it wasn’t that pleasant. I was going to try pedaling faster than usual, to warm my body up a bit, but my body didn’t feel like working that day at all. It felt like I got rusty during the night, it took every part of my body much effort to get in motion, it wasn’t that bad, but bad enough to make me feel uncomfortable. It was hard to keep the pedal rev, I was wiggling on the seat I couldn’t find the right position and I didn’t know how to keep my numb fingers on the handlebar. The first 60-70 kilometers were torture until I got to Harling. Because of this I couldn’t really focus on my surroundings, but Friesland is a pretty interesting place. The sight wasn’t really different from what I had experienced before, it seemed like a more abandoned region. But also it was easy to see how important keeping their traditions was to them. My hosts told me the night before how sad Fries language transforming into Dutch more and more was. For them, Dutch is only the second language. It could have been a nice interesting cultural stop for me if I’d had a bit more time for that.

The best coffee along the journeyThe best coffee along the journeyBy the time I reached Harling the Sun was shining, and the wind started to blow, lucky for me, it was blowing from the best direction possible, from North. After a quick snack I continued my trip and I arrived to the Afsluitdijk which I had been looking forward to curiously. A 32-kilometer long bank which the Dutch took up a big part of the sea with. From a biker point of view it wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be, for the first few kilometers I was amazed by this engineering miracle but after a while I got bored of it. At one third of the distance I felt the need for a coffee at a gas station. Morning coffee never tasted better before, it brought on the spirit I needed and my focus too. I did the remaining 20 kilometers from the Afsluitdijk then getting back to the “mainland” I passed through the village of Anna Paulowna and headed for the seaside.

14 cylinder airplane engines as garden decoration :)14 cylinder airplane engines as garden decoration :)From this point on, my official route was as close to the sea as possible. Near Sint Maartenszee I had my usual canned fish lunch then kept going until I reached the most entertaining spot of my trip. An area with forests and dunes was up next, right between Groet and Zandvoort, on the North coast of Netherlands. As a real Mountain Biker I welcomed gladly the roller coaster like hilly bike roads. It is a really popular place, many people come here to do sports or as “tourists”. From my point of view, the only problem with this nearly 60-kilometer long stage was the parts with cobbles. It didn’t help my already injured palm. But the amazing view of white sand dunes and pine forests totally made up for it. It was unforgettable.

I arrived to Zandvoort around 4:00 PM, where I stopped by for some local treat on the beach. I was gazing beautiful seaside with joy while I had a platter of “Kibbeling” (a typical Dutch treat, pieces of fried cod fish with garlic sauce – editor). There were more and more tourists there, by looking at the cars you would have thought you were in Germany. I kept hearing German speech everywhere I turned. I set off with a full stomach, it almost felt like I was sailing as the back wind got so strong, lucky for me. It showed on my stats too, I did a 26km/h average speed on 286 kilometers. It was a great way to regenerate, at least that was what I thought then.

Zandvoort beachZandvoort beachThere was still daylight when I arrived to Hoek van Holland at 7:00 PM. Back when I was planning the trip, the destination of Day 3 caused a bit of dilemma, since the last ferry left Hoek van Holland for Maasvlakte at 7:00 PM in the evening, I wasn’t sure I could catch that. So I chose not to take a chance, I decided Day 3 would be the shortest but I would surely have a roof over my head for the evening. In hindsight I would have made it but only with those certain weather conditions I was lucky to have and with a bit faster speed too. It was all for the best, I had more time to relax this way and I had a chance to talk with my host. To me it is a big thing, to other may not, but while we were talking he asked if I was coming from South Netherland, because of my accent. I answered proudly that I was a foreigner. I was full of pride, for the very first time it happened to me that after I started speaking Dutch to somebody I wasn’t asked what country I was from but which region of Netherland I was from. To me it was the second highlight of the day beside the sand dunes. Learned from the experiences I gained the past few days I prepared everything I could for the next morning so I could set off as fast as possible and I was already sleeping like a baby by 9:00 PM.

For me the next day held a ferry ride, sunshine, pedaling 330 kilometers and the anxeity to reach home. To be continued, til then you can read the prequel posts!

Greetings,
András

Photo gallery on Flickr
Instagram "live feed" #wncNLchallenge

Previous posts:
Preparation for something bigger
Ronde van Nederland
Ronde van Nederland: The Saddlebag
Ronde van Nederland: Three days to go
Ronde van Nederland: Done!
Ronde van Nederland: Report I.
Ronde van Nederland: Diploma
Ronde van Nederland: Report II.
Ronde van Nederland: Report III.

 

Ronde van Nederland: Report III.


This series is about the successful attempt of doing the Ronde van Nederland in four days, in total of 1300 km on a bike.

A magyar verzióhoz kattints ide.

Day 2:

I woke up early and got to the morning routine packing. Packed up all those fricking chargers, put a charged battery into the camera and one into the GPS and so on. I prepared my daily food kit, filled up the Camelbak with isotonic drinks. I thought I’d be done soon, so I did not do anything about these things I chose to relax a bit. Turned out, it took me 1,5 hour to have breakfast and get ready to go. So I could leave almost at 7:00 AM again. Surprisingly none of my body parts were sore at all, it was no problem getting on the bike and set off. It gave me a pretty good swing that lasted for 50 kilometers. Then a longer field section came along, which you could absolutely do riding a race bike, but due to all the rain there was so much mud and puddles, and it was not good for the bicycle at all. That was the moment that fore-mentioned swing broke a bit. In the meantime the Sun came up too and that infamous Dutch West wind got it on pretty good too and it was bearing hard on me all day long. Of course it could have been worse, but I did not like it a bit. Getting out of the woods and kept going on forestry and/or private roads. Once I had to pedal along an old cobble road which looked a lot more like one of the worst sections of Paris-Roubaix than nice cobbles you usually see in squares in cities. Well, it had its effect.

While taking a right turn I managed not to notice how uneven the road surface was in a part, only two loud thumps coming from my bike made me realize it. I freaked out for a second, no this cannot be happening, but fortunately nothing bad happened. I did not hear any hissing, I hit the break a bit to see if the wheel was knocking, but nothing. Breath out, calm down, it is all good. Then ten seconds later all I heard was ssssssssssssss… Cool… I did puncture it, front wheel, okay no worries. Soon as I said the back wheel got flat too. When it rains it pours, I had only one extra inner tube. Honestly I was cursing like crazy, loud as hell. I was angry at myself for not being more careful. Well, what can you do. I changed the back wheel’s tube and I tried to fix the front one with that super effective self adhesive patch kit. It wasn’t easy but I could do it. I continued my trip. The front tube could take about 30 more kilometers, then the patch came off. No problem, I got it off and put it back on, at that moment I kept an eye out for bike shops on the way. I did the same on the first tire like two more times. It brought back all those faded memories from times when we used to fix these kind of problems using shoe laces when we did not have extra inner tubes or pumps or when we used to stuff the external tire with cut grass. I was wearing Velcro shoes and I didn’t think that grass stuffing solution seemed sophisticated enough so I kept playing around with that patch and folded double the problematic part on the inner tube. And it could keep up, then when I reached the next town Tubberg, I went to a bicycle shop and bought a new one. I bought two right away, then the salesman told me they had a special offer there, buy 2 get 3, I was like, oh okay, this deal was meant for me, hit me with 3 then! Just to play it safe I bought a self adhesive patch kit too. I thought I wouldn’t take that patched and folded up tube out, having enough back up in my backpack it would keep up for long, as playing a mean game on me, well it didn’t. No worries, then I changed it with the routine motions and kept going.

This big bunch of technical difficulties caused a bit of a delay in my planned schedule. At around 2 PM I arrived to another field section of my trip, it was a huge evasive in a protected natural area. Around that time I completely fell apart mentally, thanks to the strong wind which kept blowing on me from the front and the left side too all day. Those who know me know that well that I have never been good at going in the plain especially with wind shear, being 65 kilos with legs the size of brake cables, no wonder. That’s it, I was thinking to myself, I manned up and I bought a half a liter of Coca Cola and three pieces of pastry, sat down to figure out what to do next. Eventually I skipped the detour and the field section, I picked an alternative route, which was 10 kilometers less but at least it was made out of asphalt. Near the town of Emmen I was starting to feel the effect of the Cola I had, it brought some energy back, my spirit got lifted. I was over the first low. From there on I could kind of see the end of the day and I started to think maybe it was not a “Mission Impossible” afterall. I cannot really remember how I was feeling exactly between Emmen and Groningen, my brain functions were doing the bare minimum and I just kept going at a minimal but acceptable speed. In Groningen I went into a little shop where I bought my dinner, knowing I would miss dinner at my accommodation, knowing I would get there pretty late. From there I had about 40 more kilometers to go. There was no excitement at all, maybe only the wind switching from front to side and not being blocked by any vegetation nearby was the only “entertaining” thing.


As I was pedaling in the sunset, seeing the North Sea motivated me more and more. I didn’t happen, but at least I got to see the sunset at the confluence of river Reitdiep, it was breath-taking. Thanks to all the rush for the last kilometers my body was starting to send different impulses to my brain, I was feeling some kind of pain in my left knee and in my left hand too, my fingers were numb. I didn’t care about it, I thought it was all caused by fatigue and those 600 kilometers I had pedaled for by then. I arrived to the accommodation after 9 PM, by the time I’d had dinner, a bath and got ready for the next morning it was already 10:30 PM. Day 2 took a lot out of me and according to my experiences Day 3 is the toughest before your system gets used to the constant physical exertion. I went to sleep with a head of worrying thoughts hoping that the next day that rare North wind would come as forecasted.

A miserable waking then waggling lazily on the bike I could have used a jump-start for sure on Day 3. To be continued, til then you can read the prequel posts!

Greetings,
András

Photo gallery on Flickr
Instagram "live feed" #wncNLchallenge

Previous posts:
Preparation for something bigger
Ronde van Nederland
Ronde van Nederland: The Saddlebag
Ronde van Nederland: Three days to go
Ronde van Nederland: Done!
Ronde van Nederland: Report I.
Ronde van Nederland: Diploma
Ronde van Nederland: Report II.

 

Ronde van Nederland: Report II.

The first few kmsThe first few kmsThis series is about the successful attempt of doing the Ronde van Nederland in four days, in total of 1300 km on a bike.

A magyar verzióhoz kattints ide.

Day 1: The first 20-25 kilometers didn’t bring anything new, I had done that route plenty of times before, I did it on the test day too as part of my preparation. I divided the day into 3 stages. 1. From our house to Roermond. 2. From Roermond to Arnhem. 3. From Arnhem to Geesteren, where I spent the first night. To Roermond I wasn’t too lucky as for the weather, not like I had huge expectations, I got rained on like the forecast predicted, a lot of wind from the front and the side too. The excitement created by the preparation immediately turned into a worrying heavy feeling. If the weather had been the same on Day 3 and Day 4, I probably would have taken a train home. But since at that time I was still feeling fit and enthusiastic I just accepted the fact and kept going. On the way to Roermond there was not much to see, but on the bank of a tributary of the river Maas, traces of “lumberjack” activity of a bigger beaver population caught my eyes. Of course I had seen on National Geographic what an enormous work these animals could do, but I never would have thought they could easily chew around a 1-meter diameter tree trunk til it fell. I took a little time there I made a couple of photos, then I kept going. By the way, I saw some promising sun rays from among the clouds there for the first time that day and it had a really positive effect on my mood.

I just hit Roermond then the route continued along the river Maas to the North. It was absolutely good news to me turning the side-face wind into side-back wind. By that time the rain had stopped too, the sun came out and the strong wind bothered me less and less having it blowing from the right direction. Maybe that was the point when I was starting to feel that the adventure was about to begin. The next bigger city was Venlo, I was just gliding through, sometimes I even used the 50T-14T too, but I didn’t stop I thought I could save some extra time for myself. And indeed I did, I used that time right before Broekhuizen, I sat down on the river bank to have lunch. Lunch means a tin of sardine and 3 pieces of extruded bread and an energy bar. I wasn’t really hungry, luckily I wasn’t feeling hungry during the whole tour, thanks to the home made flapjacks (cereal bar), which I had to every 30 minutes whether I needed it or not. I ate in a rush, because I wasn’t feeling all great with the strong wind in 6-7 oC on the river bank, the sunshine couldn’t help it. Of course it is a “User Error”, I mean you shouldn’t sit on the river bank where there is no wind shadow, I know.

Lunch at the river MaasLunch at the river MaasMoving on I saw a lot of different farms on the way, smaller villages and I passed by the Hertog Jan brewery, my favorite local beer (not because of the name similarity). That day, altogether I had to take ferries 5 times to cross rivers, I crossed Maas 4 times and Rhine once. The first 4 was on schedule, there was no problem at all, nothing but the best ferries, some of them were totally automatic. My jaw hit the floor, when right after leaving the captain came down to where the cars were parked and started to take the fee from the passengers. Well, welcome to the 21st century, I had never seen anything like this before. Taking the ferry is pretty cool, and cheap too, I paid €0,70 each time. The one ferry ride before the last one was the funniest because it was a ship that was to transport only people and bikes. Soon as the captain spotted me from the other side, he steered the ship to my direction. We waited a little there might have been people wanting to cross the river so we had a bit of time to talk. I found out, that day I was the very first person he could take on his ferry (it was about 1 PM then). This fact made him incredibly happy, the only explanation I could find for this, that probably he was extremely dedicated to transporting people by ferry, I mean I’m sure it wasn’t the €1 fee that put that wide smile on his face, that couldn’t have been the reason that he lit up like that. It was quite an experience.

The smallest ferryThe smallest ferryGuten Abend Deutschland!Guten Abend Deutschland!I continued my trip on the mainland. The next surprise got me near Riethorst as the GPS was leading me to a slope! My eyes weren’t used to this anymore, it made me so happy that I had to take a picture of it :) Turned out it was only the beginning, I had a real roller coaster like ride all the way to Nijmegen. I pedaled through the city, I didn’t want to waste any time, knowing I still had a massive 100 kilometers more to go. The route continued along the river Waal towards the German border, where I was going to take a ferry for the last time on the trip. Some heavy shower was about to break off when I arrived to the port, where I sadly realized that there was no ferry on either sides. There was nothing I could do, so I found shelter at a bus stop from the rain and I started to search on the Internet. Soon I stumbled upon a schedule, the last ferry left at 5 PM, the time was 6 PM then. Well yea, I messed up. Then I started thinking what to do how to go on. If I went back to Nijmegen and crossed the river there and continued my tour on the planned route, then a lovely 40-kilometer extra would be added to my distance / day, I really didn’t feel like it. The other option was to keep going along the river to Germany, where there was a bridge at Emmerich am Rhein. I went with this option eventually. On the plus side I made this tour international. There was no way from there I could continue on the route that was planned, so this solution seemed the best, heading straight for the accommodation. At around 8:45 PM I arrived where my host was waiting for me with a hot meal and cold beer, what a relief it was. I did Day 1, according the GPS the distance I went was 299 km, according to the Strava this distance was longer, 310 km that day. I was happy I made it through Day 1, I thought I could do it and I was hoping the weather would be better the next days.

For Day 2 the destination was a little village called Moddergat in Firesland, which officially was 336 kilometers away. To be continued, til then you can read the prequel posts!Salvation!Salvation!

Greetings,
András

Photo gallery on Flickr
Instagram "live feed" #wncNLchallenge

Previous posts:
Preparation for something bigger
Ronde van Nederland
Ronde van Nederland: The Saddlebag
Ronde van Nederland: Three days to go
Ronde van Nederland: Done!
Ronde van Nederland: Report I.
Ronde van Nederland: Diploma

 

Ronde van Nederland: Diploma

This series is about the successful attempt of doing the Ronde van Nederland in four days, in total of 1300 km on a bike.

A magyar nyelvű verzióhoz kattints ide.

What a pleasant surprise! Today I have received my diploma from the Stichting Landelijk Fietsplatform about completing the "Ronde van Nederland". During the route you have to take photos in several places to prove that you have cycled there and than send it via post or e-mail. There is no time limit actually, if you look at some of the diplomas, there are cyclists who have done it in weeks, months or even years, by doing it from one section to another. It is an honor to be in the Hall of Fame of the "Ronde van Nederland".

Greetings, 
András

Photo gallery on Flickr
Instagram "live feed" #wncNLchallenge

Previous posts:
Preparation for something bigger
Ronde van Nederland
Ronde van Nederland: The Saddlebag
Ronde van Nederland: Three days to go
Ronde van Nederland: Done!
Ronde van Nederland: Report I.

Ronde van Nederland: Report I.

This series is about the successful attempt of doing the Ronde van Nederland in four days, in total of 1300 km on a bike.
A magyar nyelvű változathoz kattints ide.

As I promised, here is a more detailed report about my Dutch round trip. But first let me start with some facts and numbers. We managed to finish the tour at the planned pace and tempo, as in starting March 29 (Tuesday) and finishing successfully April 1 (Friday). We did not manage to complete that 1300 kilometers as we planned due to some complications we had to face on the move, but we cannot complain, we are pretty satisfied with our performance, doing 1225 km in four days. My courier bike named Frankensteincolnago performed excellently, I also made it through the whole tour without any serious falls or injuries. (more on the minor ones later). Hip hip hurray!  

Of course we were feeling kind of edgy on Monday evening, the night before the tour. All of us were excited (Barbara and I – editor-) anxiously waiting for Tuesday morning to come. Me personally couldn’t sleep too well some familiar feelings came over me. I felt the same way as I felt back then right before MTB XcO races, that fever of excitement, plus time passing by so slowly, me keeping checking the time only made it worse. Of course I jumped out of bed 30 minutes earlier than I was supposed to. I carefully put on my bicycle gear, I had breakfast and for the whole time I kept thinking “I wonder what I’ll forget to take with me… What will I leave home, What else do I need”. Needless to say. all of this was totally unnecessary, as I had been thinking about it and I had planned everything since I came up with this idea (around 3 weeks before leaving). It is useless, there is no way you can keep calm and focus on any other activity, this is just impossible, it is action time, that’s it, time to get busy :)

I was standing there in the living room, prepared, fed, waiting for the youngest member of my family to wake up so I could kiss him goodbye. Our morning greeting routine was a bit delayed  (6:45 instead of 6:00) since we switched to DTS only two days ago. No problem, I wasn’t that excited anyway, I waited patiently :) Finally he woke up, a quick hug and a kiss, then my son in a post-waking coma realized what was going on and he remarked quietly: “Ta-ta daddy, daddy gone”. Yes, daddy has gone, I mean almost, one quick photo in the dark, right before leaving then off to the tour.

To be continued, til then you can read the prequel posts!

Greetings,
András

Photo gallery on Flickr
Instagram "live feed" #wncNLchallenge

Previous posts:
Preparation for something bigger
Ronde van Nederland
Ronde van Nederland: The Saddlebag
Ronde van Nederland: Three days to go
Ronde van Nederland: Done!

 

Ronde van Nederland: Done!

This series is about our attempt to do the Ronde van Nederland in four days by doing 330-340 km each day, in total 1300 km. The journey begins next week on the 29th of March and hopefully ends on the 1st of April. You can follow what is happening during the preparation time and on the tour itself on our Instagram page under the #wncNLchallenge hashtag and here on the blog.

So, we have done it! It is not an attempt anymore. It was a great adventure, but well exhausting to do. The four days passed rapidly, I barely had time to stop and look around. I have made in total 1225 km instead of 1300 km, because of the shortcuts.  We are going to write further 2-4 blog post about the Ronde van Nederland with more details in the upcoming next two weeks, to give more insight to this journey and to share our personal experiences too. Until then, take a look at the pictures I have made along the route on our Flickr account (link below), or look up the „live feed” on Instagram (link above). I have recorded also my route via Strava, you can check it out on this link or here.

See you soon with more details!

Greetings,
András

Photo gallery on Flickr

Previous posts:
Preparation for something bigger
Ronde van Nederland
Ronde van Nederland: The Saddlebag
Ronde van Nederland: Three days to go

 

Ronde van Nederland: Three days to go

The ingredientsThe ingredientsThis series is about our attempt to do the Ronde van Nederland in four days by doing 330-340 km each day, in total 1300 km. The journey begins next week on the 29th of March and hopefully ends on the 1st of April. You can follow what is happening during the preparation time and on the tour itself on our Instagram page under the #wncNLchallenge hashtag and here on the blog.

Power supply for one dayPower supply for one dayI think we are well prepared for the Ronde van Nederland. What we need now is a bit of luck with the weather. The last two days were a bit busy, I was working at two place at the same time, plus I had prepared everything for the big challenge.  Barbara has helped a lot lately, actually she is doing that all the time J, but now I really needed a helping hand.First of all I had to make my power packages, my food supply for the tour. I have done the math last week, and I calculated more or less how much food I’m going to need each day. The result was, that I need a lot! After consulting with a few people, who have more experience in long distance cycling, I wrote a list for the daily food supply.

It includes:
- Home made flapjacks (roughly 1kg)
- 1x power bar (protein)
- 2x tins of sardine
- 3x Bifi snacks (this was the most practical choice for meat)
- Some beef jerky
- Salted crackers
- Isotonic drink powder (for more or 2,5l water)
- Recovery sports drink powder + protein powder (for the end of the day)
- Vitamin C and multi-vitamin pills

All of this for one day, and it weights 1.8 kg, which means that I have to carry 7.2 kg food plus 2.5 l of water with me already on the first day, and that is only the food supply. This wasn’t a good solution, since I want to travel as light as possible. I had to make a compromise. I sacrificed the liberty of staying for the night wherever I want to, for loosing some cargo. So I devided the route in more or less four equal sections and I began to search for accommodations. I succeeded to find for every location and I arranged with the owners that I send my daily food package in advance to them via post. Cool, I don’t have to carry all that food with me, I only have to arrive every day to the arranged accommodation, or there will be no food next day J. There shouldn’t be a problem, I have to be optimistic after all. Power packages were sent yesterday, and according to the workers in the post office, Easter won’t interfere with the delivery time, I hope they are right and all packages arrive in time to their destination.

On Thursday happily the cordura fabric and the accessories what I have ordered from Extremetextil has arrived, so I could begin to sew my full frame pack. Yesterday afternoon, I red through carefully for the 4th time the DIY frame bag tutorial on bikepacking.com. Since I already had some experience of sewing, because I made a couple of days ago the saddle bag. Working with the cordura fabric was way more easier than the rough tilt. It took a while to figure out everything, but eventually at 22:00 I was ready with my full frame pack. Yes, it is not that pretty as an Apidura bag, nor that perfect, but the price is less than the half, including the second-hand sewing machine’s price also! Knowing all this, I think I’m going to do our own personalised frame bags and panniers for Wheel Nuts Cyclotouring too.

The final productThe final productBack to the beginning, I think we are prepared. Until Tuesday, I try to eat and rest as much as I can, to be nearly 100% ok for this trip.

Photo gallery on Flickr

Previous posts:
Preparation for something bigger
Ronde van Nederland
Ronde van Nederland: The Saddlebag

Happy Easter, greetings,
András

Ronde van Nederland: The Saddlebag

This series is about our attempt to do the Ronde van Nederland in four days by doing 330-340 km each day, in total 1300 km. The journey begins next week on the 29th of March and hopefully ends on the 1st of April. You can follow what is happening during the preparation time and on the tour itself on our Instagram page under the #wncNLchallenge hashtag and here on the blog.

Yesterday I went shopping. I had to buy isotonic sport drink and some energy bars too. I also found a few fruit bars, they look like a bar of really hard marmalade, it is full of sugar also, it might come handy :) Finally my food packages are complete for the ride, but tomorrow I still have to bake my flapjacks. We’ll see if I’m going to be as lucky as today with my first homemade saddlebag.

So, last week I bought a second-hand sewing machine from the ’80s, and I made my own saddlebag today. This was the first time I sew and used a sewing machine. Since Youtube and the internet is our friend, with some hints and practice, I could create this bag. It turned out to be better than I thought. Obviously I made some rookie mistakes, like I assembled one part upside down, so it is unique :). The whole idea came from two problems. I don’t want to cycle with my panniers, they are heavy and big. The other problem is that I cannot fit my rack on the #frankensteincolnago, only with Hilti perforated band and bolts, and I’m not a big fan of that solution. To be honest, it wouldn’t look cool on a race bike either. So I began to look around on the internet for other solutions, besides of the panniers. I found great sites for DIY frame- and saddlebags. I thought maybe I should give it a try. I bought the sewing machine for 40€ and I ordered Velcro, Cordura fabric, zips and clips to do my framebag. Meanwhile, I found an old pannier in the shed, which I don’t use practically, so it became a perfect donor for the saddle bag. I have followed the steps provided by a few websites, and you can see the result on the pictures.

It is not perfect, doesn’t look as good as a new one from a store, but it works and it is made 100% out of recycled material. I call this a win-win situation, I learned something new again, and I have a bag. Tomorrow I’m putting it into the test when I go to work, I hope that I’m not going to lose my stuff :)

Previous posts:
Preparation for something bigger
Ronde van Nederland

Greetings,
András

Ronde van Nederland

As I have written in the previous post, we are up to something big. As you can read in the title, we are going to attempt to go around The Netherlands by bike.

It is 1300 km circle within the borders of The Netherlands. A route provided by the site Nederland Fietsland, using only the Dutch cycling network, the LF route system, which is for bike vacations and holidays. These are scenic roads, with a lot of tourist attractions. I am leaving Geldrop on Tuesday the 29th of March next week, and the plan is to go a bit farther then Arnhem on the first day, along the official track, and finish the whole tour until the 1st of April, on Friday. Why do we do it in such short time? It has practical reasons, as in this way I don’t have to spend that much time apart from my family and of course this makes it quite a challenge to. This means that I have to cycle in average 320-340 km every day, more or less 12-13 hours in the saddle.

Barbara is going to do the background work and she is going to help me while I'm pedaling. We are going to share pictures with short descriptions on our Instagram (#wncNLchallenge) and Facebook page, creating a sort of live feed. After the adventure, we are going to do a series of blog posts here on the Wheel Nuts Cyclotouring’s official website, with more pictures and telling the complete story of the tour and our experiences. I already consulted with many people, how I should eat properly during such a long ride and before, how I should prepare my body also for this big impact. XAlso I have spoken with Yorit Kluitman, who works on cool cycling related projects, and he already attempted to do the same route in the same amount of time. Unfortunately he couldn’t finish it, since it was constantly raining and wind was to harsh. He was kind to share with me all he's experiences about this ride, and I’m sure that he is going to try to do the Ronde van Nederland again.

It seems that we are going to have luck with the weather, and I hope that it stays the way as the forecast says now, and won't rain a lot. There is still a lot to do until next week, including sewing my bags, making the energy packages and eating as much as I can :). We will keep you in loop! Follow our adventure and please wish us luck!

Greetings,
András

Picture credits:
Fietsgids Ronde van Nederland
Docplayer

Preparation for something bigger

#frankensteincolnago facing rough terrain#frankensteincolnago facing rough terrainLast Friday I put myself to the test, I cycled 228km to see how my body and mind reacts. It went well, I kept myself to a strict eating and hydrating schedule, a comfortable pace without peaks, and I ended up with an average speed a bit above 25 km/h. I am very satisfied with this actually, considering that the last time I cycled 200+ was 8 years ago when I rode around the lake Balaton in Hungary.

LF7 routeLF7 routeIt was good weather, I only had a morning shift at Tour de Ville which ends most of the time until 10am. I had some luck also, there wasn’t much to carry, easy day at work, I was done with it already at 9:30am. I quickly cycled home, filled my bottle, stuffed the home made flapjacks into my cycling shirt pocket and began my first round. The day before, when I came up with the idea I looked up a route, which goes until the border of Belgium than makes connection with the LF7 route (The Netherlands cycling route network) which leads back to the Eindhoven canal and eventually back to my house. I didn’t have that much self confidence to do one big 200+ km round, but this way I could do less in case something goes wrong.
It is more or less a 60km circle, I planned to do it 3 times plus the kms from work in the morning shall be certainly 200+km. So, I finished with the first round at 12:30pm, I had lunch at home then I went back for the last two rounds. Surprisingly it went well, my biggest problem was only the saddle. It seems that the 15Euro Selle Italia saddle is perfect for the bike messenger job, but not good at all for long distance cycling. No problem though, I just have to put my good old Brooks B17 on the #frankensteincolnago if I plan long rides in the future like this. Which I intend to do.

 

Why did I call this a test day? The people who know me, they know I like to push myself to the limits from time to time, this is one reason. The other reason is more specific, I have a plan. Unfortunately, I had to cancel the first Caminha-Lagos bicycle tour, because of the lack clients. Our project is new, obviously we still have to work hard and a lot with it, especially with marketing. Anyway, I have the week 13. off from work, without a bicycle tour to do. I wanted to fill this gap somehow, so I came up with an idea, discussed it with my wife, we talked about it a lot, and we decided to do it. I am not going to share it yet, only my biggest concern:

Am I capable to do 300+ kms in a day, during four days in a row?



 

Múlt hét pénteken tartottam egy "hogyan is bírom a hosszú bringázást" napot és letekertem 228 km-t. Várakozáson felül sikerült teljesítenem, szigorúan tartottam magam a rendszeres evéshez és iváshoz, nyugodt, csúcsoktól mentes tempóhoz, és így sikerült egy 25 km/ó átlagot kisajtolni magamból. Igazából nagyon is boldog vagyok, ha számításba veszem azt, hogy legutóbb amikor 200+ tekertem az még nyolc évvel ezelőtt volt, amikor megkerültem a Balcsit.

My draft horse and the Scottish bullsMy draft horse and the Scottish bullsReggel melóval indítottam a Tour De Ville futár cégnél, azonban csak egy rövid műszakom volt, amivel általában 10:00 végezni szoktam. Aznap a szokásosnál is jobban ment, kevés volt a posta, jó volt az idő meg a kedvem is, így 9:30-kor már meg is voltam vele. Haza tekertem, megtöltöttem a kulacsom, magamhoz vettem egy rakat házilag gyártott müzliszeletet és nekifeszültem az első körnek. Előző nap, amikor ezt az egészet kitaláltam, némi térkép böngészés után kijelöltem magamnak egy kört, ami nagyjából 60 km. A házunktól irány a belga határ, majd kelet felé haladva rácsatlakozva a LF7 útvonalra (holland túraútvonal hálózat) ami elvisz az Eindhoven csatornáig, ahonnan egyenesen vissza jutok a házunkhoz. Annyira nem volt nagy az önbizalmam, hogy egyből csináljak egy nagy 200+ kört, hátha valami rosszul sül el, elkészülök az erőmmel, vagy a munkalovam nem bírja a kiképzést, ezért tartottam célszerűbbnek kisebb körökből többet csinálni, szám szerint hármat. Az első kör után megálltam otthon, ettem egy jó nagy adag pennét, majd elindultam a maradék két körre. Szerencsére nem éheztem el, nem éreztem különösebben fáradtnak sem magam, egyetlen problémám a nyereg volt. Úgy tűnik a 15 Euro-s Selle Italia nyereg tökéletesen megfelel a futárkodáshoz, de hosszabb túrákra nem kimondottan alkalmas. Szóval a jövőben, amikor ilyet tervezek inkább felrakom a jól bevált Brooks B17 nyergemet. Márpedig tervek vannak, nem is akármi.

Azok akik ismernek, tudják, hogy szeretek időről időre "őrültségeket" csinálni, amit én inkább úgy szeretnék nevezni, hogy feszegetem a teljesítőképességem határait, bár lehet könnyen lehet, hogy a többieknek van igazuk :) Ez az egyik ok, a másik sokkal kézzel foghatóbb, két hét múlva lett volna az első Caminha-Lagos kerékpár túra, ami érdeklődés hiányában elmarad. Hiába, a Wheel Nuts Cyclotouring még új, sok munka van/lesz még vele, de minden erőnkkel azon vagyunk, hogy megismerjenek minket. Továbbá ugyanebből az okból kifolyólag nem jelentkeztem be munkára sem a futárokhoz, vagyis lett egy teljesen üres hetem. Nagyon szerettem volna ezt valami hasznossal kitölteni, támadt is egy meredek ötletem, amit megbeszéltem Barbival, átrágtuk minden sarkalatos pontját, előnyét hátrányát, majd úgy döntöttünk, hogy megcsináljuk. Ennél többet egyenlőre nem kívánok megosztani, meghagyom itt mint egy hatalmas cliffhanger-t, csak annyit spoiler-eznék el, ami a legjobban aggaszt engem is a projekttel kapcsolatban:

Vajon képes vagyok-e 300+ km-t tekerni egy nap, négy egymást követő napon keresztül?

Greetings/Üdvözlettel,
András 

Best bicycle tour guide training?

Let me sum up for you why I am actually working as a bike messenger lately. 1: I need more free time to work with Wheel Nuts Cyclotouring, that wasn’t possible with my previous job. 2: Since my last job was only 1,5km away from my home, I cycled like 15-20km/week, which is nothing. As I am going to be a tour guide, I also have to build up some stamina and force. So being a bike messenger is ideal from this point of view and hopefully it will give me the power to cycle for a profession after we move back to Portugal in June.Keep smiling, even if it is raining!Keep smiling, even if it is raining!

I was working as a bike messenger two years earlier, when we arrived to Eindhoven/The Netherlands, since it was a reasonable choice, I like to ride, I do not have to speak much Dutch, which I couldn’t obviously back in those days. But it was a short period, never actually could feel what it is to be a bike messenger. After four intensive weeks now I can tell, slowly but surely I am feeling it :)

First of all, there is nothing cooler than to do every day something different, go to new place, see fancy companies, buildings, etc. You just walk in as an outsider, in your stretchy bike gear and helmet to an old castle like building full with lawyers and cars parked outside like Tesla, S-class Mercedes. Everybody looks at you, a few with pity, but some even with admiration. But you surely gather attention. I particularly like the small chats with the assistants, who I have most of the times contact in the daily routine. They are always kind. Obviously they have to be, if someone step in to those companies as a potential client or business partner, the minimum is that they get a smile from the other side of the desk. But I also get my smile from them, sometimes I even get invited for a coffee. I try to be as polite and kind as possible, since I am the face of my company, and a good impression on a client always gets its reward in some way. So that is two, getting insights from places which you normally do not see, I find that interesting. My number three advantage is the daily distance traveled, the more I pedal the better I feel at the end of the day. It is relative though, because riding 40km in pouring rain and 2-3 Celsius degrees makes me feel like I was doing 120km in normal weather conditions, and what I mean normal is first of all dry.

My biggest cargo until now :)My biggest cargo until now :)

So in this way we get to the downsides. Worse thing what can make your day miserable, is the weather. Not counting an accident or a personal mistake, which I hope that won’t happen, I do my best to avoid them. Riding all day long wet in a relative cold temperature is not good at all. Here it happens quite often, since this is The Netherlands. But the locals don’t seem to care with the bad weather, my guess they are used to it. After two years I still admire those people who go outside for jogging, walking with the dog, cycling or doing any outside activity in this type of weather. And I see that a lot! The only defense against this weather is to keep moving, no matter how good clothes you have, eventually you’ll get wet. It is not that tragic, after a while I also learned what is the best way to keep myself warm, and how to dry my cycling gear as quick as possible, since sometimes I have only a couple of hours at home to prepare for the next shift.Weird cake :) quickest way to dry my shoes, don't turn up the heat much!Weird cake :) quickest way to dry my shoes, don't turn up the heat much!

Major Winter also takes quite a toll on my #Frankensteincolnago. Within a month I am already using my second chain (10 speed system is not the best choice for bike messenger work for sure!) and I changed the brake pads two times already. I had to clean and grease my hubs and the cassette body as well, to prevent further damage. I do not count the four flat tires here, that was just simply bad luck I guess. So this is my first impression in a few words after a month. The good news is that I ride a lot, and I can already see some signs that my cycling muscles are growing back, and that is the most satisfying! I hope that spring eventually comes and brings a bit dryer weather.

Greetings,

András

Dirty FrankensteinDirty FrankensteinBrake pads are vanished again....Brake pads are vanished again....Wear on the chain and the cassetteWear on the chain and the cassette

Northern Portugal Bicycle Tour

Cláudio and me on top of the hills just above the city of CaminhaCláudio and me on top of the hills just above the city of CaminhaHi,
We are really busy and working hard with our new Northern Portugal Bicycle Tour, the first one of our Explore Portugal! tours. Within a week we would like to announce it, here on wncyclotouring.pt

In the mean time, here are some small details. Warning spoiler alert :) It will be a self-guided bicycle tour in the first place, with an optional guided version. The route goes along river and ocean sides, enters Northern Portuguese cities, and it ends in the second biggest Portuguese city, in Porto. It will have a lot of alternative routes, which will take to fabulous places, viewpoints and tourist attractions. There will be a lot of opportunities to get more familiar with the Northern Portuguese culture and landscape.
But the most important of all, it will have an affordable price. That is the concept of Explore Portugal! bicycle tour serie, to be original, to have a low budget so it can be accessible for everybody, to see new places and to have fun as much as possible.  
We are very excited, and we hope that our audience will welcome this type of bicycle tours also.

Greatings,

The Wheel Nuts Cyclotouring team

 

Award winning wedding photo

Congratulation to Endre Domján for winning the Wedisson Award - best wedding photography 2016!

Barbara and I are really proud to be the theme on this award winning photo! On this occasion, I made an album on Flickr, a collection of photos what we like the most, also created by Endre Domján. These photos were taken in 2012 a few weeks before our wedding. Since we were living in Porto, but our wedding took place in Hungary, we wanted to have some wedding photos also in Portugal. Endre was kind to travel to Portugal and make a three day photo session with us. We were/are very pleased with the results, and that is no surprise, since we were handled by a true professional artist! Thank you Endre once again!

The complete album on Flickr

 

7 Natural Wonders of Portugal

 

Hi,
I just ran across this list a few day ago:
7 Natural Wonders of Portugal

We have seen two of these places already, the lakes of Sete Cidades on the island São Miguel, Azores and a few times the National Park Peneda-Gerês of course. It is a pity that we did not know about this list, since we were really close to two other places before, namely the forest Laurissilva and the beach of Portinho de ArrábidaNo problem, they are already added to our bucket list :) and hopefully in the future to our tour list too!

Greatings,

The WNC team

 

Visit in Portugal

 Enjoying the sunshine in January, sweet!Enjoying the sunshine in January, sweet!

Last week I went again to Portugal for exploring laughing Nice weather, good food, cycled a lot, good company, it was perfect! Check out the photos I made on Flickr, click on the link below.
Na semana passada fui outra vez a Portugal, para descobrir mais uns trilhos laughing Excelente tempo, comida impecável, andei muito de bicicleta com boa companhia, foi 5 estrelas, como sempre! Vê as fotos da aventura na nossa página de Flickr, clica na hiperligação em baixo.
A múlt héten ismét Portugáliába utaztam pár napra, hogy bejárjam egyik túránk eddig még kimaradt részletét. Hibátlan volt az időjárás, akárcsak a kaja, rengeteget bringáztam jó társaságban, többet nem is kívánhattam volna! Tartalmas három nap volt! Az alábbi linkre kattintva megtekinthettek pár fényképet, ami ez alatt a három nap alatt készült.

To see the complete gallery click on this link.

 

Koppenberg in Belgium

Hi,
As I posted earlier, we are going to transfer our older post from the Facebook to herein to the blog. This is one of them, when we went to Belgium to climb the famous Koppenberg hill, an icon of the Tour of Flanders. Enjoy!

 

On our way to the Koppenberg climb.On our way to the Koppenberg climb.
The beginning of the Belgium Arden, we saw some nice hills on our ride.The beginning of the Belgium Arden, we saw some nice hills on our ride.
Here we are. Koppenberg was first climbed by the Tour of Flanders riders in 1976 and featured annually until 1987.Here we are. Koppenberg was first climbed by the Tour of Flanders riders in 1976 and featured annually until 1987.
The Koppenberg was again excluded from the Tour of Flanders because of its deteriorating and unsafe conditions in 2007. Following further renovations that year, it was again included in in the 2008 edition of the race, and has been featured in each eThe Koppenberg was again excluded from the Tour of Flanders because of its deteriorating and unsafe conditions in 2007. Following further renovations that year, it was again included in in the 2008 edition of the race, and has been featured in each e
First attempt to climb the Koppenberg. It is indeed difficult, but we could do it First attempt to climb the Koppenberg. It is indeed difficult, but we could do it
The Koppenberg ramp's rehabilitation was implemented in 1990 by the municipality of Oudenaarde, from a roughly 150 000 Euro budget. The Koppenberg ramp's rehabilitation was implemented in 1990 by the municipality of Oudenaarde, from a roughly 150 000 Euro budget.
Wheel Nuts Cyclotouring team @ the Koppenberg.Wheel Nuts Cyclotouring team @ the Koppenberg.
The Pompetamine saw he's first serious climbs today.The Pompetamine saw he's first serious climbs today.

About the blog

 

Hi,
We decided to start a blog on our website.

The idea is to share travelogues from the first hand here on our blog, and of course information about what is going on with Wheel Nuts Cyclotouring. Within our possibilities we are going to try to post in more languages (English, Portuguese, Hungarian), but that is a bit time-consuming, so first of all they are going to appear in English. Besides of the blog we continue sharing content in our social media network, and you can follow as on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr and on Facebook as well. In the upcoming few weeks we are going to synchronize our Facebook posts with this blog, to get everything nice and neat.

 

Sziasztok!

Úgy határoztunk, hogy elindítunk egy blogot a honlapunkon.

Ennek több oka is van, elsősorban az, hogy itt kívánunk majd beszámolókat közzé tenni a túráinkról, továbbá, hogy mi is történik a Wheel Nuts Cyclotouring háza táján. A lehetőségeinkhez képest megpróbáljuk majd minden bejegyzésünket több nyelven (angol, portugál, magyar) elérhetővé tenni, ám ez elég sok időt igényel, ezért nagy valószínűséggel első sorban angolul kerülnek majd a bejegyzések publikálásra. Ami az egyéb információs csatornákat illeti, továbbra is követhettek minket mind az Instagram-on, Twitter-en, Pinterest-en, Flickr-en és a Facebook-on is. Az elkövetkező hetekben szinkronizáljuk majd a blog tartalmát a már a Facebook-on megtalálható bejegyzéseinkkel.

Üdvözlettel/Best wishes,

Barbara, András