Posts Tagged With: Fell over

Day 24: Breda to Amsterdam – 109km

109 k basically flat riding. The temperature is not very warm.

For breakfast there was a buffet, with a place people can make their own tea and coffee.

The was lots of wind coming in north west, and we going north west, so it was a long, long day pushing into the wind. It was amazing the difference it made when there were hedges how much shelter it gave. IMG_5320.jpgWe had two very short ferry rides today, both only about 400 meters. The driver of the second ferry was delighted to be given a Pub Ride race plate and pointed it out displayed on his control platform. The race plate goes on the front of our bikes, showing our number and that the rides goes from Dublin to Copenhagen. Even though we are not racing, it identifies us as the TDA riding group.

IMG_5318

First ferry crossing

img_5328.jpg

Second ferry crossing

The wind was so relentless that a couple of riders gave it up at 70 km and caught the lunch truck in. Of course coming from Wellington riding in wind is normal for me. Wind in Wellington is referred to as your training friend!

IMG_5324

Canal bridge opened for a boat

I was thinking as I was riding along looking at all the house with canals surrounding them, that in NZ this would probably all be required to be fenced, and wondering how they stop the toddlers wandering outside. I guess it becomes second nature not to let them out without supervision, and they no doubt either have high handles or locks on the doors.

IMG_5327

Water water everywhere!

Most of the day we were on bike paths, but for a few kms we were on narrow country roads shared with cars and big trucks. Just after lunch a truck was behind me so I pulled over and looked back and realised it was a truck and trailer and very wide, so I went to pull over more but my right foot was still clipped in – over I went. I was very lucky not to end up in the canal. I was ok apart from some bruises and scrapes, and ripped Lycra. A lady driving behind the truck stopped fearing the worst as she had seen the truck and me flying sideways, and thought the truck had hit me, so was relieved to hear I was fine.

IMG_5326

On the narrow road, soon before falling off

When we got into Amsterdam it was crazy busy, and we had to go through the city to the  hotel 5 km from city centre. There were so many cyclists and they go so fast.

We are staying at another Apollo hotel “Apollo Centrum” but it’s actually 5 km from the city.

We decided as we have two rest days in Amsterdam not to go into the city, but to have drink and dinner at the hotel up in 17th floor bar. We joined a group of riders that were already there, and other riders came and went during the evening. The process of paying for drinks and food was not very organised as the different riders came and went. We had a hamburger for dinner and a couple of beers and a Pisco Sour, and ended up at the end of the evening with €45 of food and drink that was not ours that we ended up paying for.IMG_5322.jpg

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 2 Comments

Day 3: Monday 5 June – Tucepi to Split

Riding 76 km: 1,033 up and 1,029 down

So the bites I was not so concerned about last night are large welts today, and I still have no idea what bit me.

Breakfast was back in the enormous dining room again. Yay I found a toaster. Unfortunately what I thought was a small container of jam was pate or possibly spam! Luckily I managed to find jam. It’s a beautiful spot but couldn’t spend a week here eating buffet food made for the thousands.

Once again it was as hot as it is at midday in summer in Wellington before we left the hotel.

As we had come down a few kms to the hotel yesterday, I was expecting to climb out. We had a busy road and we were stuck in the traffic for the first 5 or so km. The drivers were pretty good, with only a couple of cars honking at us as we sat in front of them at the lights. No sure what the honking was meant to achieve.

IMG_2408

Looking down from highway over Makarska

After this there were ups and downs for the first 20 km. At 21 km whilst climbing I was looking with joy and anticipation at the road not far ahead, stretching into the distance, with a lovely long descent 😀 but just as I got to the flat before the start of the downhill there was an orange flag directing us to take a sharp right turn and start climbing up. Thankfully this climb was only just over a km, and then we turned left and headed down hill again.

We were out in the countryside with the occasional house, it was very peaceful after the busy traffic. We then had quite a steep down hill which was great but on the way down I was thinking “of course what follows a steep downhill is an equally steep uphill”. The uphill was not steep but was a steady 7 km climb. I was getting worried about how slow I was going, until we got to the town of Radici where the rest of the riders were all stopped for a coffee, so I can’t have been that far behind them, as they were all still drinking.

I had a lovely ice cold water to drink, and to fill up my water bottle with. So far today I have drunk 4 bottles of water and it’s only mid morning.

I noticed whilst sitting there that the bite on my left leg was really itchy, so I had a look – it was now much bigger and swollen, and had a raised head in the middle. I decided it was time to take an antihistamine – luckily I carry some on the bike in case I get bitten by a bee.

Off again, two more km up, then mostly down through Canyon Cetine, until we came to a gorgeous holiday town called Omis. As we were riding into Omis I was looking at my right where there was a huge switchback going up and up and up. I was thinking please don’t let that be where we are going.

We rode into the town, having a look around, and we were going straight: so far so good. Then we turned right, crossed across the river, and my heart sunk: yep we were heading to the 6 km quite steep switchback.

We got to climb this in 36 degrees, plus the added heat of the sun off the rocks. It was hideous, and after what seemed forever I passed the sign by the side of the road: only 3 km climbed! 3 km more to go!

On and on I went. By 5 km I was swept (where the sweep catches up with you, meaning you are last) and I was walking (they call it a “push bike” because you can push it 😀).

At about 5.5 k there was a nice cool corner where I and a few of the other riders had a rest. At 52 km I was finally at the top. This was followed by 3 km of pretty flat gradient to lunch. There were a number of riders still at lunch, a couple looking as stuffed as I felt.

IMG_2421

From the bridge at sea level in Omis, the big hot climb back up, I’ve made it

After lunch I was not thrilled to be getting back on my bike again. Joyfully the next 12 km were all downhill 👍👍 all the way till 67 km. Then only 6 km to go, how hard could that be?

IMG_2418

Followed down Cetina River to pass through the gorge at Omis.

We went uphill for about 2 km, with crazy busy motorway speed traffic, with no shoulder. I was very scared, lots of cars and trucks helpfully tooting at us. As well as having no shoulder, there was gutter with a downward gradient that I was worried about getting my wheels into, in case I came off my bike.

IMG_2411

I wanted the low road, but no we had to go up and over

This was followed by a downhill for another km, speeding traffic, no shoulder, and having to cross to the centre lane to turn to the town we were staying in. Thankfully there was a traffic light, otherwise we would probably still be there!

 

Then 6 km, not as busy to the hotel. We stayed at the Bellevue Hotel, which would have been a grand hotel in its day, but is now very dated. Very pretty seaside city, lovely promenade. The population in Split 178,000.

IMG_2427_edited.jpg

Hotel Bellevue on the waterfront

Once we arrived, first we had to take bike up 3 sets of stairs to the room they are being stored in. Then bags up to the room. I lay down on the bed and had a nap. Then up, showered, and off to find a laundry. Luckily there was one just up the road. Then off to have a look around, and get a cold beer.

IMG_2429

Promenade on the Split Waterfront

We sat in one of the seaside bars and had water and a not-cold enough Croatian beer called Amber. It was really hot, so we left to find somewhere cooler to sit. We went up an alley way and into in the old town (UNESCO heritage site) and were in an old courtyard which was lovely and cool, and had a nice breeze following through it.

We decided to eat at a restaurant called Tavola. We had a sea food platter for two with a bottle of pleasant white Cossetto Malvazija recommended by the waiter. The sea food platter had tuna, sea bass, prawn and mussels. The mussels were tasty but tiny.

After dinner we decided to go for a walk along the waterfront. We got an ice cream and stopped to watch some children playing. It was very pleasant down by the water, the heat had gone out of the day. Then we continued walking. Unfortunately I walked onto some pavers that were slimy with fishy water, and as I was wearing jandals I had no traction and went for a skate. I went backwards,  with a crash landing on my hand, then hitting my head. I was lucky in that my head just missed a bollard!

The result was one fishy smelling dress and a very sore arm. Hopefully it will settle over night and hopefully is just a sprain and will not be bad enough to send me home.

IMG_2423

View from my room at Hotel Bellevue

Categories: The Odyssey | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments