YES it’s happening. I’m on the road, for 5 days now. Although it actually feels like much longer already. Thanks for all the sweet messages. I didn’t even find the time yet to personally reply to all of them. So, I will just start off by answering the most frequently asked questions so far.
Are you still alive?
How’s your bum doing?
Good, they feel comfy in my -very lovely- cycling shorts.
Where did the bike take you so far? And how’s it going?
Day 1: Nijmegen – Eindhoven. 70,9 km. My lovely dad joined me for the first two hours, such a nice way to start my trip. When arrived in Eindhoven there was no need to set up my tent yet. I was lucky enough to be able to stay at Ad & Wilma’s place. Thanks for the good times!
Day 2: Eindhoven – Diest (BE). 87,6 km. I was amazed by the beautiful scenery just out of Eindhoven. Vakantie in eigen land is surely a great recommendation around the area of Waalre. In the evening I’ve set up my tent on a campsite 10 km out of town. Perfect setting to test my camping gear. More about my learnings regarding my camping equipment in another blog article.
Day 3: Diest – Namur. 93,6 km. Beautiful ride. Pushing my limits at the end of the day, by conquering the busy streets of Namur. All of the sudden I was on a kind of highway – trying to keep up with the traffic. Picture yourself: me cycling like crazy, going tops 30 km/h (it was even going uphill). The cars passing by, easily going 100 km/h. Whaaaaa. Sorry mum. Also, the campsite appeared to be on a big steep hill. Why didn’t they say something about this in my booklet?
Day 4: a day of necessary rest. The day before I’ve hurt my achillespees (achilles tendon according to Google) and it doesn’t feel good at all. Stront aan de knikker... Such a bummer (understatement!). I’ve been taking care of every part of body during the first days. How do my knees feel? What’s up with the bum? The ankles? My shoulders? My back? My neck? My legs?
But as it seems with these kind of trips, you must always expect the unexpected. So I just have to deal with it. Plan of action has been made. Amongst others I’ve bought better cycling shoes and taking another day of rest tomorrow. I want to give a mega shout out to my fysio-hotline Jos. Without his guidance I would have totally lost faith. Actually I did already. But not for long.
Day 5: Namur – Nancy (FR). 276 km. #fitgirl
After 100 hours of doubting – I don’t really have a lot of other things to do when being in my tent at 21:00h because I’m cold – I’ve decided to catch a train to the north of France. I didn’t expect to take a train this soon and this far. I’m disappointed by myself and didn’t want to miss out the beautiful Ardennes. Yet if I want to make it all the way to Barcelona, I need to be a smart kick-ass lady.
So despite my feeling of not wanting to miss out the Ardennes and catch the train, I did it anyways. The hills will be less steep and the nights will be less cold over here. Also, now I have the feeling I can really take my time the upcoming week (not biking more than 50 km per day as my achilles still need to recover) to get myself back on track. I’m getting over the disappointment and as we speak I’m sitting outside on a terrace at a little square in Nancy. With a big beautiful old church – lit up at night- in front of me and French chit-chat on the background. Cannot complain at all.
- I haven’t seen so many fietstassen in my whole life as in Brabant. I guess they hold the record.
- Being hangry is definitely something I need to work on. Ordering a big hamburger with cheese for lunch turned out to be a bad idea.
- I already started talking to myself on day 1. On day 2 I attempted to make it less awkward by recording my own thoughts as a voice memo. On day 3 I was creating songs out of them. I’m not sure which option seems the least crazy… Any suggestions?
- What’s up with all the e-bikes? I’ve been overtaken by more than 40 cyclists of 60+. Going 25+ km without any effort. No hard feelings. Just funny.
- It’s quite strange to stop the habit of putting your underwear in the mornings. Although I got used to it pretty quickly I must admit.
- I’ve crossed at least 10 places of which I thought “Oh yes this would be an absolutely awesome picture”. By the time I wanted to grab my phone, I already past the place. Of course. “Am I going to stop and go back at least two meters? Nahhh I still need to cycle 1800 km…”.