The penultimate day of our tour dawned rather too early again – I seem to always wake up at 6am even if I have had a later night. And last night had its moments as I was kept awake by a mosquito which I was unable to catch. It got me several times in the night.
We had decided not to have breakfast in the hotel as it was quite expensive but that we would find something underway. It was agreed to meet at 8am in the lounge and I was there half an hour early as I was up and ready. I ate an apple and had a cup of tea whilst I waited for the others.
I saw this rather lovely facsimile of an old map on the wall – lots of place names I recognise.
Klaus and Claudia arrived at eight and decided to have a pre-ride cup of coffee too.
Walking through this hotel it was lovely to see reminders of its past as a convent – I particularly liked this flagstone on the floor in a corner engraved with this date.
We collected our bikes from their overnight home in the Innenhof. The bikes have been outdoors every night so far on this tour, which is very unusual as I can’t remember when Alfie has had a night on the tiles on a previous tour.
This was our track for the day, a nice ride south via Venlo to Roermond. Of course the wind was coming from the south today!
The forecast was for cloudy sunshine today with the possibility of a rain shower at two o’clock. We set off under grey skies and were soon at yet another ferry crossing at Vierlingsbeek to Bergen.
Klaus and I had been on this ferry before, with Jochen and Uli on my birthday when we were cycling to Overloon. This time it was three trikes rather than two velomobiles.
On my birthday ride we had liked the town of Nieuw Bergen so decided to stop there for our breakfast. In due course we found a bakery and took a table inside as it wasn’t yet that warm.
I had a croissant to start with.
Then a piece of Rice Cake. This seems to be a Limburg speciality and I find it very tasty!
My cup of tea also came with a little chocolate and a tiny piece of streuselkuchen.
After a leisurely breakfast we continued on, this time on roads that Klaus and I had ridden before. The road down from Nieuw Bergen to Arcen is great – long, straight, very little traffic… Ideal Velomobile road although a bit more boring on the slower trikes.
The road to Arcen is great fun and was more interesting as lots of historic MGs were driving past – there must have been some kind of rally somewhere. We waved at the drivers and they waved back.
Friend Oliver was going to meet us in Roermond for a meal but I got a message from him saying he planned to come to Venlo to meet us there, so we organised a rough time and place and kept in contact with our estimated time of arrival.
In the end we arrived first and looked for a suitable place to eat in Venlo, finding a small café that I had visited before. Whilst we sat there a huge rain storm deluged the area but we were under a large umbrella so survived.
Oliver arrived about twenty minutes later, this time on his Sinner Recumbent Bike (unfortunately his Mango Velomobile is currently at the repairers after a car drove into it).
After an enjoyable lunch we set off again, on roads that have been travelled by us many times. It felt like we were going much faster through the landscape although our average speed was similar – perhaps it’s just that in better weather it feels less like hard work!
We were once again following the Maas, glimpsing it through the trees as the path occasionally headed further inland.
Here is Claudia underway.
Klaus saw I had my camera out so tried to zoom ahead…
Oliver rode alongside me briefly and then when we were overtaken by roadies he had to keep up with them – and did. A chap in normal clothes on a weird bike who was as fast as three skinny Lycra MAMILs on carbon machines…
The landscape here was different than that of previous days. It has been noticeable on this tour that despite us not covering vast distances we can see the differences between these areas of the Netherlands.
There were occasional threatening clouds… Here over the town of Kessel where we would cross the Maas again.
In the queue for the ferry I spotted a trike motorbike with a Welsh flag as well as a Union Jack. So when we were both on the ferry I had a chat to him. He was a British man with Welsh roots living in NL.
This was his hood ornament.
And this bulldog.
Once we had crossed and were in Beesel Klaus mentioned a very nice terrace café which we would go past… So of course we decided to stop for more cake.
Claudia decided to have an ice cream… But Klaus had misunderstood and ordered her a cake so he had to eat both. A real hardship.
We had just 12km to go to Roermond and were enjoying our relaxing riding and cake eating but eventually extracted ourselves from the café and headed off again.
Oliver took this photo of us all wending our way through the streets of Beesel which was preparing for some kind of Dragon Festival (which looks like it will be well worth a visit).
We arrived in Roermond at five and Oliver led us to the Bed & Breakfast. The owner had said via email that we could store our bikes in his house so we went round the corner to the address he gave us and our bikes were filling up the hallway of his house, but he didn’t seem to mind.
Once we had showered it was time to head off for some food…
We enjoyed our burgers in the main market square of Roermond.
As the B&B had tea and coffee facilities we headed back there after our meal and took a selfie of us all.
Oliver then headed home and we decided on a relatively early night. Tomorrow we will leave at eight (again without breakfast as it’s a bit pricey) and Klaus and Claudia should be home by midday; I will have a further hour’s riding.
We were lucky with the weather today as it does make the journey less tiring somehow. Claudia has ridden herself into fitness over the last five days and 350km and is doing really well with the trike, although it is making some strange squeaking noises from the rear swing arm so I will need to take a look at it when we are back. Riding so many days in the rain does take its toll on older bikes!
Alfie has performed brilliantly and I have enjoyed having my electric motor to give me a bit of a push up hills and to help me with the head wind. I usually have it on setting 2 out of 9 so perhaps a 40 watt assist but it is a nice feeling and means I have been less tired at the end of the day than I otherwise might have been. Or, as Klaus says, I have been ‘cheating’. Although of course I have ridden more than 80,000 kilometres without an electric motor on my trikes. You decide!!!