Friday, August 29, 2008

Our Basic Itinerary

Here's our basic itinerary:

Wednesday 03 September
Arrive in Amsterdam. Re-assemble bicycles & prepare them for tour. Test-ride bikes. Walk around city. Re-pack our panniers. Check out Vondelpark.
Thursday 04 September
Check out museums in Amsterdam. Anne Frank house? Double-check bicycle operation. Find the best route out of town.
Friday 05 September
Leave Amsterdam & cycle toward Ede/Arnhem area (about 100km). Spend night at Hotel en Congrescentrum deReehorst in Ede (telephone: +31-318750300).
Saturday 06 September
Spend day in the National Park De Hoge Veluwe & National Park Veluwezoom (the Kroller/Muller Museum). Return to spend night at Hotel en Congrescentrum deReehorst in Ede (telephone: +31-318750300).
Sunday 07 September
From Ede, cycle towards Arnhem & Nijmegen (oldest city in the Netherlands & home to bicycling museum). Turn north and begin heading toward Deventer.
Monday 08 September
Continue heading north through Zwolle, Kampen, Meppel.
Tuesday 09 September
Explore Friesland.
Wednesday 10 September
Explore Friesland.
Thursday 11 September
Explore Friesland.
Friday 12 September
Ride across 30km dyke (the Afsluitdijk—it turned the Zuiderzee into the Ijsselmeer)
Saturday 13 September
Explore Noord-Holland
Sunday 14 September
Explore Noord-Holland.
Monday 15 September
Finish exploring Noord-Holland. Return to Apartment in Amsterdam. Clean ourselves & clothes. Continue exploring city.
Tuesday 16 September
Re-pack everything & continue exploring city.
Wednesday 17 September
Fly back home.
Thursday 18 September
Return to work.

Just a couple of days before we go!

As most of you know, we leave for the Netherlands on Tuesday 02 September for our long-anticipated two-week (that's completely unheard-of for 2 work-a-holics like ourselves!) vacation. Diana and I thought that all of you following this little adventure might like to know what we're packing in our bicycle saddlebags, so here's Jonathan's packing list:

Bicycle Clothing
3 pr Pearl Izumi cycling bibs (
3 s/s Pearl Izumi jerseys (
5 pair Thor-lo socks (
Pearl Izumi Arm warmers (
Hincapie Sportswear Knee warmers (
2 pair cycling gloves
Full-fingered gloves
Patagonia Capilene 1 t-shirt (
Toe covers
Pearl Izumi Optik Vest
Mountain HardWear Butter Beanie (
Marmot Rain shell (

Technical Travel Clothing (Lightweight, Wicking, Fast-Drying stuff!)
Mountain HardWear Canyon shirt (
Columbia Silver Ridge shirt (
1 SmartWool Polo shirt (
4 short-sleeved synthetic t-shirts
1 pr Outdoor Research nylon shorts (
1 pr Outdoor Research nylon pants (
1 pr Royal Robbins convertible pants (
Patagonia Powerstretch Jacket (
Patagonia Baggies shorts (
Marmot PreCip Cap (
6 pair Patagonia underwear (

Bicycle Gear
RudyProject "Rydon" Cycling Glasses (
Timex Heart Rate Monitor (
Specialized Cyclometer (
Specialized Bike Helmet (
Pearl Izumi Cycling Shoes (
Tool Kit
2 extra tubes
1 extra tire (
Planet Bike Fenders (
Blackburn Rear Bike Racks (
PlanetBike Mini Bike Lights (
Long Bike Cable Lock
Energy Food & Drink
Baker’s Breakfast Cookies (
CamelBak Elixir (
Hammer Heed (
Honey Stinger Gel (
Hammer Bars (
Jelly Belly Sport Beans (
Bike Pump
Water Bottles
Ortlieb Waterproof Saddlebags (
Ortlieb Waterproof Handlebar Bag (
Ortlieb Waterproof Underseat pouch (
Several extra nuts, bolts, screws, washers, etc.

Other Items
SPOT GPS Tracking Device (
Telephone (courtesy of Heath Quinnelly at Sprint/Nextel) THANKS MAN!
Cameras & Waterproof cases
Small Compass
Emergency Whistle
Maps & guidebooks
Charging devices for everything
Several GraniteGear Drysacks (
Aloksaks for document protection (
Eagle Creek Security Travel Document Holders (
The North Face Spectrum 33 tent (
Cocoon Air Pillow (the best we've ever seen!) (
Marmot Lightweight sleeping bag (
Big Agnes Aircore sleeping pad (
Silk Sleeping Bag Liner (
Emergency Blanket (

Obviously, Diana's list may look a bit different, but just realize that we'll be carrying everything we need for two weeks on our bikes. Since the country is quite windy and it rains more than 300 days-a-year, our outerwear will assuredly be put to good use.

Look for more updates in the next few days.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Getting it together

As all of you know, planning, researching, and packing for an adventure is half of the fun. This weekend was spent installing bike racks, stuffing clothing into dry sacks (the Netherlands receives over 300 days of rain per year), discussing clothing and outerwear choices, developing a nutritional plan, looking at maps, and noting the items we still lack. With just over 7 days before we leave, we're really getting it together.

Diana and I have been training for this trip all year, and are in relatively solid shape for it. We plan on averaging about 50 miles a day while we're there (which isn't bad if you consider that we have all day to ride). While the Netherlands is pancake-flat, there's a reason that it is a land of many windmills. . .IT IS WINDY! Several weeks ago, a woman who lived there for many years was in Appalachian Outfitters and was telling me that the wind direction there is the stuff of legend--no matter which direction you're going, it feels like you have the wind in your face. As any bicyclist will tell you, that's like climbing a slow hill!

On another note, this trip could not have been possible at all without the following folks really coming through for us:

-all of our employees who not only are willing to work while we are gone, but actually pooled their money and are funding accommodations for several nights while we are there! We're sending out a big THANK YOU to all of our INCREDIBLE STAFF (you guys are like family);
-the helpful crew at Sunshine Cycle Shop in Greenville who built our bikes and have provided invaluable advice on service, spares, and bicycling accessories;
-the folks at Ritchey Logic who make one of the neatest, best-riding travel frames on the planet that actually fit into a regulation-sized, hard-sided travel case that won't incur airline overcharges;
-Ortlieb USA for making some of the most well-thought-out bicycling gear we've ever seen (panniers, handlebar bags, seat pouches, etc);
-Rob Robinson, our CamelBak sales-rep, who provided us with CamelBak Elixir tablets for our electrolyte replacement;
-Hammer Nutrition products for making some of the best energy replenishment exercise products money can buy;
-Erin Baker's Breakfast Cookies (great energy, great taste, organic, not too much sugar) and;
-OmniMap resources for making the finest maps available to us.

Later on this week, we'll publish our packing lists on this blog so you'll know what's going with us. Obviously, all of our clothing came from Appalachian Outfitters, but there are several items in particular that we REALLY LOVE. More on that to come. . .

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Two weeks to go!

Diana and I leave for the Netherlands in two weeks & we can't wait! We've been training for this vacation all year & we know it will be an incredible experience. For those of you who do not know about the trip, we'll be bring our incredible RITCHEY BREAK-AWAY BICYCLES to Amsterdam, re-assemble them, install fenders, rear racks, panniers, etc. and set off on a 550+ mile bicycle tour of the Netherlands.
If you are interested in following us while we're there, stay tuned to this blog for regular updates.