Towards #TCRno5: cycling along the river Meuse

The Meuse

It is dark in the night. I am cycling along the river Meuse. Behind me there has been a bright light for some minutes. I am tired, but keep on cycling. Is it a car following me slowly? I can’t think very clearly anymore. Then something unexpected happens.

I wake up early in the morning. I had set my goal for this weekend. Ride at least 300km with full kit on my bike. Created a route earlier which would take me from Maastricht, near the Belgium border, back home. Following the river Meuse. After a shower, breakfast and some coffee, I leave home. I travel by train to Maastricht. The sky is blue. It will be a beautiful day to go cycling.

When I arrive in Maastricht, I first get me a cup Latte at the railway station. A few minutes later I jump on my bike. I ride 2km to the Meuse, where I take a picture and post it on my Facebook page. Next I tried to load my route on my Wahoo ELEMNT. Oops, I forgot to sync it at home. No problem, route is in the iPhone companion app. Unfortunately it didn’t sync to my ELEMNT. Now what? On my ELEMNT there is a draft route I once created. I decide not to use it and use the bike path signs of the national LF3 route. It appears after a while that it is not the quickest route.

A few hours later I arrive in Roermond. After having very “healthy” junkfood as lunch I get back on my bike. Change of plans. Not following the LF3 route anymore, just following major roads. This goes a lot faster. My legs are not very good, but I make the best of it. I pass Venlo and early in the evening I am near Nijmegen. Took me longer than predicted. I decide to load the draft route on my ELEMNT, which takes me to the west. Wind is mostly a tailwind, so my pace is good. Around midnight I pass north of Den Bosch.

It is dark in the night. I am cycling along the river Meuse. Behind me there has been a bright light for some minutes. I am tired, but keep on cycling. Is it a car following me slowly? I can’t think very clearly anymore. Suddenly a blonde woman on an e-bike slowly passes me. She smiles when she looks at me. “Hi there!“, she says and disappears slowly into the night in front of me. I feel like a complete idiot, but I am laughing. One moment I tell myself “pace yourself and ride along with her“, but I think that would scare her.

With about 75km to go, my pace is completely gone. I am tired, my neck hurts and I would love to have coffee. No luck. Everything is closed. No gas stations with shops opened. Earlier I was thinking about getting my sleeping bag and just sleep for an hour or so in the open air. I had stopped at an excellent place, but decided to go on, because “it was only 125km until I was home“. Those little things make those training rides worth the effort.

Eventually at 5:40am I arrived home. Two hours later then predicted. I slept a few hours. Sunday afternoon I made some decisions. I unmounted my aerobars from my bike. They are blocking access to my Apidura accessory pocket and I have a sensitive shammy, which prevents riding long distances in that position. I cut down on what I took with me last summer. Makes my bike a lot lighter.

Feeling about this ride was good. Learned some points that need improvement.

Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/974338627

One comment

  1. Sometimes the hardest rides, where nothing quite works are the ones you learn the most from. You’ll be ready. We all will … ;) Chapeau

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