I used to live in the Netherlands, Apeldoorn to be precise. A city with large forest areas surrounding it. A true Paradise for cyclists, practically no hills and hundreds of kilometres of well kept dedicated cycling lanes and paths.
From my younger years I’ve always been encouraged to cycle. Even though we had a car, we rarely used it. This probably because it was very safe and easy to bring your kids to school by bike.
When I was young I did not like to go to school by bike. You know how it goes, you will always try to rebel against what your parents ask of you.
But as I became older (and arguably wiser), the thing that I rebelled against became more and more interesting. And when I got my first gear bike, me and my dad planned a summer trip. The route that we planned was in the north of the Netherlands, for Dutch people known as the “Elfstedentocht” or in English “Eleven Cities Tour”. The route is 280 kilometre long and is traditionally done in the winter on ice-skates over the north trade canals. But since the winter doesn’t get cold enough anymore in the Netherlands, it has been years since our last traditional eleven cities tour.
So after preparing ourselves for this ride with supplies, we set out for this (at the time for me) big adventure. But when we completed the first day I became sick. I continued for 2 more days before giving up and going home.
The reason why I tell this story is, even though I had to give up on what could have been one of the greatest achievements of that time for me, I at the same time gained a new hobby. A hobby that I have continued until the present day.
This has been a fundamental event in my life, an event that had more impact on me than I could have ever imagined back then.
Hugs From Frank <3