Day 2 of the tour, and another freezing one!
We slept really well and enjoyed a very leisurely breakfast in the morning. The day dawned with clear blue skies but it was still very windy and cold.
We got our bikes out of the garage and then I checked my seat as I had heard a few creaking noises from it. Lo and behold the left hand side fixing to the frame of the QuattroVelo had some wobble in it. Klaus tried to tighten the nuts that hold it in place but it was very tricky and he wasn’t entirely successful as there was still some wobble. He also got very cold working outside on my bike. We will have to look more closely at this when we get home.
We wrapped up again before we set off, with hats, buffs and with the Schaumdeckel on. The first kilometre was a bit challenging for me as I had to keep adjusting my mirror as it wasn’t quite right but couldn’t get my arm back inside the Schaumdeckel without stopping.
We rode alongside the Rhine heading west, fortunately with the wind mostly from behind us. Our speeds were a bit better than yesterday but still not anything special.
It was still very cold and I discovered, like yesterday, that I get very cold arms where they are jammed against the side of the QuattroVelo because it is narrower than most other Velomobiles here. The cold of the carbon really wicks into your bones (or, in my case, my titanium bone).
The banshee whistling had stopped as the wind was from behind but I found now that the noise from the gearbox was disturbing me more. The QuattroVelo seems altogether to be a very noisy machine!
Our route merged onto the cycle path beside a busy road. We remembered this road from before and worked out a small diversion to take us away from it, which we duly did. This was a lot nicer.
The route then went up onto the dyke and rather than tarmac we had bricks. The QuattroVelo rolls OK on rough surfaces, definitely better than the Milan, so this didn’t slow us down too much.
At one point there was an apparent short cut which meant we didn’t have to go back to the busy road. Klaus had already headed off to the main road but I decided to give the short cut a go.
Very soon there was yet another closed gate but with a narrow opening to the side. We had already ridden through four or five of these, but I noticed this one needed a very sharp turn to the left once you were through it as there was a big ditch straight ahead. Really it would be best to get out and walk through but getting in and out is very difficult for me, especially with the Schaumdeckel, plus it was so cold and windy. Instead I shuffled forward and back to get through the gate and do the sharp turn straight afterwards.
but…. disaster! There was a scraping noise!
I reversed back – there was a wooden post that I had not been able to see because of the long nose of the QV (it had been out of sight when I first headed for the gate). I felt sure Humphrey had a scratch on his nose now.
Once through I pootled along and Klaus soon joined up with me again, having done his alternative route which avoided scratches but involved some off-road. He said he could see a scratch on Humphrey.
We rounded a corner and realised that we were at the border between Germany and the Netherlands so stopped. Klaus got out and I was going to but realised how cold it was and changed my mind.
Klaus was braver and got out to take a pic.
We continued on pretty quickly as standing around will make you cold!
I was seriously considering doing the shorter route (not going via Arnhem) as I felt so tired and slow. Interestingly, my heart rate was much lower than yesterday, but I felt that I had even less power than before.
Klaus and I started looking for somewhere to have a spot of lunch but couldn’t find anything. We took the ferry between Pannerden and Doorenberg over the Nederrijn river and when we got to Doorenberg I said we needed to find a cafe and have a discussion about what to do next as this was where the track direct to Nijmegen split off.
We found a bar that did tea and coffee but no food, but as we needed to warm up it was worth it! I got out of Humphrey and looked at the scratch damage – argh!!!
Ouch and aua!
Oh well, there was nothing to be done about it for now. Maybe I can buy some touch up paint.
We had a leisurely drink and discussed why I was finding the riding so hard today. A summary of our points is as follows:
a) I find it tough riding in cold weather
b) The QuattroVelo is heavier than I am used to
c) I probably overdid it yesterday (see high heart rate) and have not yet recovered
d) Velomobiles need to be run in a bit before they are their most efficient. I have always bought used Velomobiles in the past
I think the first point is very valid; we couldn’t remember if I had ever ridden in such cold conditions in Millie. Oliebollentocht 2016 was pretty cold and I was not quick on the 180km ride home. Maybe I am just not designed for cycling in the cold. As it is, my power band is very limited and so if there are some additional things that take power that has a noticeable effect on me.
Whatever, I had not enjoyed my ride today, even before the scratch on Humphrey, so I decided to take the direct route to Nijmegen and save another 18km. Klaus fancied the Arnhem trip so went off on his own, which was fine by me.
I headed off on the direct route to Nijmegen and at last had a really decent road with a strong tailwind and I actually found myself cycling at 24km/h.
This section along the top of the dyke was fab, although it would have been a horrible grind the other direction into wind!
I could see some of the bridges of Nijmegen from a long way back and so could see where my destination was. The cycle tracks were good and I very soon found myself at the hotel, where I was shown to my parking place.
Klaus was on his way back and although delayed by a puncture he arrived just after I had showered and had a cuppa.
He took this photo of the Waal.
And a reflection in Arnhem.
And saw this shop, which might be worth a visit one day!
Here is my track for the day:
And here is Klaus’s track:
Here are my statistics for the day:
Distance was 58.47km, average speed 18km/h which is very poor!
Notice ny max heart rate today is similar to yesterday’s average.
Here is Klaus’s report:
Der heutige Tag unserer Tour war wettermäßig wesentlich angenehmer als der gestrige. Gut…kalt war es immer noch und mächtig gezogen hat es auch, aber die Sonne lachte vom Himmel.
Die ersten Kilometer aus Rees waren noch ganz schön, aber dann ging es in Richtung Emmerich entlang der B8 nicht gerade berauschend. Irgendwo mittendrin haben wir uns dann seitlich verdünnisiert. Raus aus Emmerich würden wir über teilweise abenteuerliche Wege geschickt. Hier hat sich Helen auch noch den ersten Kratzer ins VM eingefahren…das tut weh. Insgesamt war es heute für Helen verdammt schwer. Keine Ahnung ob es am VM, am kalten Wetter oder an der Gesundheit hing, aber sie kam heute überhaupt nicht auf Touren. Nach einer längeren Aufwärmpause entschied sie für sich, dass sie eine Abkürzung nach Nijmwejn fährt, während ich wie geplant über Arnhem fahre. Die 17km nach Arnhem waren schnell abgespult. Der Wind hat ein wenig nachgeholfen. In Arnhem bin ich noch ein bisschen durchs Zentrum gerollt, bevor ich auf dem Radschnellweg nach Nijmwegn abgebogen bin.
Dieser Radschnellweg ist wirklich ein Gedicht. Mit teilweise über 40 ohne Hindernisse; meist Vorfahrt… Herrlich. Kurz vor Nijmwegn hatte ich in Rechtskurven ein komisches Geräusch… kurzer Stopp… Fingerprobe… Plattfuß. 5 Kilometer vor dem Ziel. Schlauch wechseln und gleich den Shredda noch entfolgt. Mit über 7000 km sieht die Lauffläche nicht mehr ganz so fit aus. Aus den Schnitten habe ich einiges an Glas und Steinen herausgepuhlt. Nach 15 Minuten ging es dann weiter. Noch ein paar Extrarunden bis ich das Hotel gefunden hatte. Auspacken… Duschen… Fertig.
We had been in contact with a Velomobile rider who lives in Nijmegen, Roef, and Roef had offered to make us breakfast tomorrow. Roef ended up coming to dinner with us in a restaurant in Nijmegen and there was lots of talk about Velomobiles. On our walk to the restaurant Klaus took this photo of the church:
We enjoyed our burgers followed by Apfelstrudel but then it was time to go back to the hotel as I was very tired.
Tomorrow we ride home following the Maas river some of the way. The weather forecast is finally looking a bit better, it should be up to six degrees with only a small amount of snow expected tonight.
Tomorrow is another day to get used to Humphrey and his strengths and weaknesses. I hope to have a bit more energy for the ride!