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Bike *Tripping. Holland to Belgium (If you know what i mean)


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Hi all..

 

I was just snooping around the forum and decided to share my noob story of my not-so-properly- planned- out

bike trip from holland to belgium.

 

its the many many first for so many things for me.

- first time in europe

- first time breathing out vapour

- first time in the torturing cold

- first time in full face helmet

- first time on a big bike

- first time riding so fast (which is not that fast by the standards of most you boys out there im sure)

 

im not sure if the flow of thoughts in my head would fit a typical bike report. still i hope some might find this informative if at all entertaining

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haha.. i have to stay legit! i don't even have the proper license to ride a big bike (is it safe to say it here?)

 

besides i don't drink alcohol. so less pit stops for me :lol:

 

(ill get to the writing bit soon. heh. :p )

 

 

Were you able to do it completely sober all the way?

 

I can't imagine riding through Belgium without making a pit stop for a pint every hour or so. Haha.

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After much procrastination, here is what i came up it. Even though its segmented, it flows like a story. I hope. Pardon the inconsistency grammar spelling punctuation error wrongful use of emoticons etc (not that anyone is judging right?)

 


PART 1

 

THE BIKE

My dutch friend (not having seen the dents on my tank) trusted me to ride his blue Kawasaki Ninja ZX6R while he rode his brothers’ super cool shiny maroon Suzuki Intruder m1800. It was just us 2 instead of the supposed 4.

 

THE PREPARATION

Honestly, I wasn't entirely prepared for this trip. Like I said a noob- with the cold, the bike, the trip. I brought with me an Arai rain jacket and the matching thin long sleeved top + pants, you know the kind you use for dirt bikes (wrong genre? :?) and used many layers underneath. Top: 2 thermals + 1 light sweater + 1 thick sweater + raincoat. Bottom: 2 thermals + riding pants and a chic suede non-riding boots + 2 super thick socks. Had a scarf around my neck and a borrowed oversized gloves. Lucky the fullface helmet fits perfect! Overall? I felt claustrophobic!

 

THE ROUTE

It wasn’t a very well thought out one - my friend had a tom-tom, so that works. We started from (Den Haag) more south of Holland, rode north passing amsterdam going to windmills and stopping at coffeeshops :p. Then we headed down down south to antwerp in belgium and decided to skip brussel - since its also a city with very strict speed limit we ended up wondering off a more pleasant route till we reached a deserted town beside a nuclear plant in doel and outskirts of holland into farms and such.

 

THE ROAD CONDITION

Unlike remnants of British colonisation, they drive on the right side of the road. Pun intended. Even with well demarcated roads and law abiding road users, with the amount of “traffic” going on and unfamiliar road signs, I still needed some getting use to. Holland is like a daily tour de france which is why there is a need for bicycle lane (where low cc scooters can also ride in but at a max 50km/hr - with no need for helmet). In cities/ towns, on top of the normal lines, there’s also the tram lines and the occasional horses which can be rather confusing.

 

THE HELMET

So we were ready to go, I put on the helmet, immediately my vicer started to fog. Mind you, I had never quite worn a fullface helmet, what more in the cold so I didnt quite udnerstand the physics of it.

 

“Turn on the valve. Once we start moving it’ll go away” says dutch friend.

 

With full faith it’ll work, we headed straight for the highway. But the fog didn't quite go away! So I push open the vicer ever so slightly- too cold, close it- can't see. The process repeated. There need to be a trade off! At the risk of crashing and burn on a highway in a foreign land with no proper license using someone else’s bike, a decision have to be made. So I slid open the tiniest gap I could from the vicer allowing minimal wind to ventilate my warm breath from the fog. It felt like a sharp blade slicing the top of my lips with the cold. Meh.. easy peasy.

 

Not for long. My nose started to run. Squeezing my finger through the gap, I wiped it off. However the frequency to have do it increased exponentially over time and at the speed we starting to ride, I knew I couldn't keep doing that. Oh what the heck, let it flow let it flow let it flow. There need to be a tradeoff right? :cry:

 

THE COLD

By this time, the temperature hit the lowest 5-7 degrees with rain. The horror. And when we (finally) reached the pit stop,

 

“You’re suppose to breathe through your nose!”

 

Riiiiiiiiiight.. Now he tell me. After 1.5 hours of bitter salt :slurp: And my hands, oh my hands. It actually went numb. I have to say that I am a true blue tropical girl. For some reason spring didn't come to europe this year and it was colder than expected! I was adamant to do this trip regardless and so taking my oversized gloves off, I put it under the hand dryer. As colour came back to my hands, I felt pins and needles.. “aaaaaaaaah”

 

Fortunately that was the worst of it. The average cold, although still unbearably cold, had some sun in it and went up as “high” as 10-12 degrees.

 


Thats all the juice from my memory for now. I'll continue say next week (if anyone actually reads this) and probably upload some pictures too - (wait i'm not sure how to do that. The last time FB666Y helped. Instructions anyone?)

Edited by sally_who
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oh wow I spelt visor wrong 3 times :p heh.

 

I have written a PART 2, but I can't seem to recall where I had saved it. Too early for Alzheimer. Anyway since I've (finally) figured out (again) how to upload pictures using photobucket, here are some I'd like to share.

 

zilvermuseum, sterckshof, belgium

http://i1075.photobucket.com/albums/w421/salwasalim27/ams-bel4_zpscdd0e7b3.jpg

Edited by sally_who
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highway to amsterdam

http://i1075.photobucket.com/albums/w421/salwasalim27/ams-bel3_zps031ca135.jpg

 

(i just had to put this one) where I met advice mallard. anyone else knows him?

http://i1075.photobucket.com/albums/w421/salwasalim27/ams-bel2_zps3ab6ad4f.jpg

 

(can be confusing) streets in denhaag

http://i1075.photobucket.com/albums/w421/salwasalim27/25_zps87880398.jpg

Edited by sally_who
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