14degrees off the beaten track
home | about | route | blog | photo gallery | vids | gear | FAQ | links | contact | PRESS | 14degrees off the beaten track in Japanese

July 31st, 2007 | categorizilation: all categories,The Netherlands (Holland)

« Previous Day                                                                                                   Next Day »

Today’s distance / 今日の走行距離: 17.6km
Average speed / 平均速度: 12.9km/h
Time on skateboard / 走行時間: 1h 21m
Total skateboarding distance to date / 今までスケボで走った距離: 839.23km(plus 428.5km)
Total cycling distance to date / 今まで自転車で走った距離: 11,800km

Had a shiner of a headache this morning. The moral of the story is that I need to drink more water. Obviously 4 litres during the day yesterday wasn’t enough. I slept well enough, although getting to sleep was tough. My heartbeat was well over my usual resting norm, so the long day yesterday was obviously getting to my system.

Bram, a reader of my bolg for some time now, had contacted me while I was in Vlissingen, and offered for me to stay with him and his family on my way to the ferry near Rotterdam. Bram is a human powered vehicle fan, and owns one of the finer examples of such technology.

Bram and his Velomobile in Berschenhoek, The Netherlands

Once I had eaten breakfast and taken a painkiller, I was on my way to Bram’s small town just a few kilometers north of Rotterdam.

The cycle friendliness of The Netherlands certainly does not cease in the big cities. Coming into Rotterdam is a tunnel just for cyclists and other human powered vehicles, running under the main shipping canal.

Cycle tunnel under Nieue Maas, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Cycle paths right into the city centre led me to the Rotterdam Maritime Museum, a large open air ode to past times in the industry.

Old boats in the Maritime Museum, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

The docks at the Maritime Museum, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

I wandered around there for a good hour or so, occassionally thinking how much my late granddad would have loved the place. He loved his ships!

I was amazed at the cost of food in Rotterdam. So cheap. One Euro per kilo for bananas. The cheapest I have seen so far in The Netherlands is 1.60. One euro for 500g of Cadbury’s chocolate! This was all at a huge market in the centre.

I arrived at Bram’s place at about 3pm. After a few intorductions it was down to business. It was time to experience good concentrated Dutchness. Hold onto your seats…

Old windmill near Bergschenhoek, The Netherlands

Old windmill near Bergschonhoek, The Netherlands Old windmill near Bergschonhoek, The Netherlands

Old windmill near Bergschenhoek, The Netherlands

Windmills galore at Kinderdiyke, a premium tourist attraction in the Rotterdam region. The small area is home to about 16 different windmills, all used in past ages to pump water from out of the lowlying land. Quite fascinating indeed.

Nowdays, water is transported with huge augers up and over the dykes.

Massive auger to transport water up over dykes near Bergshonhoek, The Netherlands

And of course, no visit to Bram could be complete without trying out his velomobile.

Rob trying out Bram's velomobile in Bergschenhoek, The Netherlands

These things are custom made to the rider’s dimensions. Obviously I am a little smaller than Bram…

« Previous Day                                                                                                   Next Day »

    Permanent Link     Comments (6)

Comment by Bubbles (eric) — August 2, 2007 @ 10:35 am | post a comment

Good to see you made it to the flatter part of Europe. It must seem like a cake walk after begining up here in the mountains of Leysin, Switzerland. Camp is just ending here and i fear i will lose my bi-daily chance to check out your progress while doing floor patrol with these kids running all around me.

Good luck crossing the English Channel. im sure they've build a bridge so you dont have to ferry across somewhere along the way. Just keep looking up and down the coast for it.

peace Bubbles.

Comment by falling_james — August 2, 2007 @ 9:16 pm | post a comment

Thanks much for the positive remarks re. my little site. Unfortunately, can not seem to keep it updated like you. Keep in touch: when you come to amerika I will show you the hospitality that was shown to me in NZ.

Very cool that you experienced, first hand (foot?)the Velo. Took mine across mid-amerika last year… 64 days resulting in 27 run in's with the "Law." Nothing like living in the land of the free. (grin) Yeah, the velo was a bit, erm… contrary to my persona, i.e, there is no such thing as free camping with a reflective 3 meter long landshark… and even simple passage on country roads was a joke, everyone has cell here and is most interested in dialing 911 to bitch about the 40 seconds it took to pass the… me?(still grinning.) Crazy. Am currently working on a video system to record these interactions… as my last film rolls documenting this interaction strangely disappeared… I now have the velo equipped with 4 cameras and am working on a 1 watt wireless transmitter and modding a PMA to keep a vblog website more updated, kind of inspired by you. Take care.

Comment by David V — August 3, 2007 @ 3:25 am | post a comment

Hey Rob, Its David in Japan!

Been a while, huh? I remember that far away day when we waved goodbye as you sailed off to Pusan.

For me, I am still in Japan. I am in Fukuoka working at an English School (in their office more than in the classroom, but still teaching from time to time…sigh, its a hard rap to escape) and Ms. Emi is still around. Not much change here compared to your adventures!

Speaking of Ms. Emi, your former office is prone to more romances – your successor ended up getting together with Ms. Abe if you can remember her (I remember your strong opinions regarding her!) And Ms. Juju went on leave to attend Graduate School back in Korea, in case you hadn't heard.

I was totally thrown by your move to skateboard, but it makes sense in the Robian Universe. Good on ya! Try to pass through Michigan in your U.S. travels and you'll be welcome at my parents place. (note to self – remember to tell parents crazy Kiwi is coming over!) However, Michigan is kinda out of the way as far as cross-continent travels go. My brother is currently in Washington D.C., he may have a place for you as well.

Take Care!


Comment by Aunty Les — August 3, 2007 @ 3:34 am | post a comment

How is the velomobile powered? If you're a bit small for it, Bram must be really scrunched up.

Comment by Mark Stosberg — August 5, 2007 @ 8:57 am | post a comment

Oh, say more about your velomobile test drive, please. :)

And you would be welcome in Indiana, too. I'm right along "40", known as the "National Road", and popular with cross country cyclists.

Comment by Virility Enhancer — April 8, 2013 @ 8:10 pm | post a comment

My husband and i felt delighted when Chris managed to finish off his reports because of the precious recommendations he came across out of your web site. It’s not at all simplistic to just happen to be giving out key points which often men and women could have been selling. And we all recognize we need you to be grateful to for this. These illustrations you made, the straightforward site menu, the friendships you will make it possible to create – it’s all impressive, and it’s assisting our son and the family imagine that this matter is fun, and that is incredibly mandatory. Many thanks for all!

Leave a comment

* required fields