It’s really happening! After 2.5 years of dreaming, we’ve made it to Delft, Holland and met our bikes. Ian was as excited as a 4-year old at Christmas. We were barely in the door after almost 24 hours of travel and there he and Amos were, ripping the shipping boxes open with glee on the driveway.
The tandems are beautiful, and a joy to ride. So much better than any bike that any of us own at home (disc brakes!)! They turn on a dime and are very light. Good family friend Joop welcomed the weary travelers and helped get the bikes set up this afternoon .We did a few trial laps of lovely Delft, past canals and garden homes and cobblestones. Naeva announced that she will be spending a year here on exchange. As we flew down a narrow street on the bike, she exclaimed: “I know why (uncle) Andrew loved living here so much!”.
We sTopped in at the bike shop for some tweaks and to book in for some heavy work on Tuesday. Ian’s bike needs new disc breaks; I need a different handlebar/brake system if I’m not going to spend half the trip in physio. Then, Joop led us on a 14 km test ride along canals to the edge of Rotterdam, and back into town. Needless to say, the biking here is like nothing I have experienced anywhere. Protected lanes everywhere, bike racks overflowing with 100s of bikes, and bike paths leading in all directions. HEavenly.
At this point, we’ll likely be in Delft until at least Wed as it will take that long to get parts ordered (the downside of high-end Cannondale bikes). Joop is getting us pointed in the right direction for some test rides over the next few days. First stop tomorrow: the North Sea.
It’s 7:40 pm here. Amos is passed out on the couch; Naeva is getting her second wind. Ian and I are trying to stay up until at least 9 pm. The trip from Chiang Mai was mostly uneventful, save for an overzealous security guard who wasn’t going to let us take juice boxes on the place. (Fortunately, after running into the same bumps on the way into Chiang Mai, I’d gotten our hotel manager to write out an explanation in Thai for the juice boxes and diabetes. Phew. We needed it). We hit another hiccup in Frankfurt when the ticket agent told us that Air Canada had changed our baggage allowance since issuing our ticket and we were no longer allowed any bags. ^%%$&*%*%*. Seriously? We straightened it out (didn’t have to pay extra) but not sure what this will mean for the trip home in August. Will deal with a phone call to our lovely national carrier at some point. Ugh.
Naeva is huddled on the couch trying to keep warm. Nothing like a 25 degree change in temperature to freeze the blood.