The Oosteschelde deltawerke flood protection

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This is just a part of the huge flood protection scheme the Dutch built to protect the east polders from a catastrophic flood like the one in 1958.  Ria’s uncle Frans lost his leg and several people died during the construction.

Long weekend in Zeeland

Zeelandiabrug

This has to be quite the longest bridge I have ever crossed on a bike.  We are in Oostkapelle for the long 1st November weekend.  Yesterday 20km hike and today 80km road biking.  Zeeland is known for its wind, but we have had no wind, sun and calm seas.

Serious rider

Trying to look serious after 330km (in 4 days)

Photos: Prague to Porec by Tandem

_DSC6553At last I have managed to upload the photos of our summer tandem ride from Prague to Porec following the Benjaminse route.

We did 1,024km; 9,922m and were for  64h01min in the saddle.  Really enjoyed the whole trip with Ria and Ronny I think Slovenia was the most surprising country.  Great scenery, friendly people and really not touristic at all.

Next year we will be parking our tandem and going back to MTB for a TransAlp with a load of our MTB friends from our Saturday group.  Should be goooood 🙂

How to make an old man happy (& yourself too)

Jos back on his bike

Jos back on his bike

If you want to make an old man happy, take him out of the old peoples home and go for a bike ride with him.

We were up in Antwerp again this week end.  We still have some tidying up to do but it was such a gorgeous day we had already planned to take Ria’s father out for a ride.  He is actually happy in the old peoples home , he just misses riding his bike.

So we took him out for a ride in the countryside around Nieuwmoer where he knows just about every rideable road and track.  We just went for an hour, but that was exactly what he needed.  Very satisfying to make someone so happy with something so simple and doing something you love to do yourself at the same time!IMG_3074

Gran Canaria West coast GC-200 video

Just uploaded another short video of our ride along the west coast of Gran Canaria.  This is actually the second part of our ‘Loneliest road in Gran Canaria’ ride. Great road which was not very frequented by traffic wit fantastic views of the coast and Tenerife.

 

Gran Canaria photos

A selection of Stefan’s and my photos of our week in Gran Canaria are available here

The Loneliest road in Gran Canaria CG-210 film

As it was so beautiful I filmed a little of the route for other prospective cyclists.  Watch it here or on YouTube

 

Last ride in Gran Canaria

The long and winding climb on perfect macadam

Our last ride today so we wanted to ride to the top of the island at 1,920m above sea level and as we were starting from our hotel, we were starting at 10m.  20km steady climb through Mogan followed by 6km ‘flat’ along the side of the the reservoir Presa de la Cueva de Las Ninas to be culminated by a steeper 20km climb to the top.

We were in good form even after yesterday’s big ride and took our time to enjoy the scenery on the perfect blacktop and arrived at Ayacata (1,300m) to be greeted by clouds shrouding the rest of the climb and looking like rain.  A change of plan was called for so we took the road down from Ayacata to San Bartolome de Tirajana and Fataga where we stopped for a coffee and a snack because it was only 11°C and we were cold and hungry.  From Fataga it is a beautiful descent to Maspalomas with just one decent climb alongside the deep canyon.

In Maspalomas we took the coast road with a tailwind to start which turned on us fo rthe last 15km.  The coast road is an undulating, quiet road with excellent blacktop, 30km & 500m of ascent bringing us back to our hotel in Puerto de Mogan.

We were back in time for a swim before bringing the bikes back to Free Motion.

Today’s data: 102.6km, 2088m climb, 5:17h in the saddle.

The loneliest road in Gran Canaria

The loneliest road in Gran Canaria

Today was to be ‘the Big one’ with over 100km and well over 2,500m of ascent on the menu.  We weren’t too sure about the meters of ascent as my Garmin topological map only has 20m lines and when converting a hand drawn track to follow the profile, it jumps in 20m up or down depending on the nearest contour line.  This gives approximately 2x the  ascent than in reality.

We drove over to San Nicolas de Tolentino where we were to start.  Our guide book informed us we would ride 30km up hill on the loneliest road in Gran Canaria.  This was an accurate description as we only met 5 vehicles on the way.  The road was very narrow; so narrow that a truck and a bike would’t fit on long stretches.  We rode 10km without a single downhill before reaching one of the water reservoirs, Presa del Parrallilo, where we could enjoy a bit of ‘flat’ before climbing relentlessly to 1,500m.  It was completely tranquil and round every corner (there were an awful lot of them) there was a new breathtaking view.  The surface was OK if not perfect and we climbed to Artenara which left us just 350m to our highest point.  From there we descended to Agaete to join the coast road back to San Nicolas.  The west coast is the least frequented side of the island with few hotels and tourists.  From Agaete you can take the high speed ferry to Tenerife which is visible all along the coast road with the typical picture of the Teide pointing out above the clouds.

We had a tail wind along the coast road which basically followed the cliffs giving spectacular views of the coastline.  20km before arriving back at San Nicolas we had the  final challenge of nearly 600m ascent over 6km.  This was hard after the 72km and 2,000m we already had behind us but the views and the challenge made it a fantastic ride.

Today’s data: 101.9km, 2815m climb, 6:11h in the saddle