Routes around Rotterdam



Okay, a bit more info.

I have been cycling for as long as I can remember, but it always was as a means of getting from A to B. School, shopping, visiting friends, the usual.
It was more like a necessary evil, especially in bad weather with heavy headwinds and icy rain on a sluggish bike.

Until... I discovered the BIG difference a proper bike makes. It was like flying low at high speeds with little effort.
Long streets became short, Miles became Kilometers ;), headwind no longer bothered.

Learned more about fitting, setup and techniques and it became even more fun. A new kind of freedom it was. The distances you could make on your own power.
So, after sitting in a chair for 10 years I started to go out to see what's beyond that corner around the supermarket.

Da bikes.

click This is where it all started: I found an incomplete, but sporty looking bike. It had a light weight alu frame and a front suspension. Wheels were miraculously still there, not much else. Decided to invest in some new parts to make it whole again.
Yep, like flying low at high speeds with little effort.

Of course I ordered slightly wrong parts not knowing much about it yet, like a too short steering pin that made the bike very nervous. Also I needed a new middle chain wheel, then went for a modification to single 40t disc with a 11-34 cassette which worked out well. Ditched 16 gears, didn't miss them. A new matching front tyre, front axle and some smaller stuff and I had a sturdy "crosshybridfixie" that could handle potholes and branches in the dark.
click Then there is my trusty old MTB. Used it mainly for shopping and getting around for many years. Recently upgraded with new drivetrain, shifters and tires. Well deserved after 25 years reliable service! Still heavy and a bit too small but drives wonderfully now.
click Recently added: The Shopping Bike. Completely overhauled, preserved and pimped 60's Juncker Sport Intra.
click Fixied it! Late 80's Batavus Criterium race frame with Reynolds 531 tubing. New wheels and drive train, fixed 46x16. About 10kg.
Makes my other bikes feel like a tank.

Da fone.

Emergency phone, small and light. It takes crappy pictures but I kinda like that, almost how memories look.
A challenge to make the best of it in dark conditions.
Shows some battle scars but has been very reliable.

Allright, sometimes I take my good camera with me, when I feel touristic.

... recently got a smartphone. I must be the last soul on the planet to finally succumb.
Handy to record your track on STRAVA - can see where you have been when lost in the dark.
... and it's obsolete again - STRAVA app no longer works

Why at night.

Riding in the dark, I discovered that when doing a test drive late in the evening. It went so well that I went on farther then planned. It became an adventure not to forget. There is something special at those different hours. You leave your day troubles behind. In the dark the sense of speed is higher. Then there is the silence. It is cooler. Smells, lost in the daytime, surprise you. More animals roaming a city then you think. The city lights are wonderful, industrial area's amazing. You see the people who work at night for maintenance not possible during the day. People with tiny lights harvesting clams at the riverside. People without lights harvesting flowers from gardens. Scary looking people making deals in desolate places. Scary REALLY dark places that make you turn around. Getting lost. Discovering an unexpected road. Getting back on track. Seeing how the rain makes everything shiny.