…from Albany to Buffalo. This is Tracy, signing in to kick off blogging about our ride along the Erie Canal. In just a few hours, we are getting on a train to the start of our adventure along bike trails and bike routes, some on the old towpaths walked by mules pulling barges, just like in that song I keep getting stuck in my head. But for now, it’s time to finish packing (Pepé is all ready to roll in the travel cases that convert into a trailer, but that still leaves stuff like socks and toothbrushes to finish sorting out). Go team!

We celebrated Oma’s 80th birthday on Sunday, June 28, then took a day to recover from the festivities and get organized. In particular, we planned a route based on how fit we’d felt on previous rides and the fact that we would be towing a trailer. Also, we arranged our lodgings, the details of which are well worth a paragraph.

Stichting Vrienden op de Fiets is an organization that publishes a guidebook listing bed and breakfasts that offer special discounts to people arriving by bike or on foot (long-distance rollerblading counts). Exceptions may be made for people who arrive via train to start a bike trip, but cars are right out. So awesome. A friend of my grandparents has used Vrienden op de Fiets lodgings and suggested that Peter and I check them out (by getting us a gift membership, yay!) and we’re really glad we did. We’ve been big fans of the bed-and-breakfast approach to bike adventures since our Ronde IJsselmeer adventure of 2007 (yay not having to tow an extra trailer case full of sometimes-soaking-wet camping gear!), and 18.50 per person per night is about as cheap as bed and breakfasts ever get in the Netherlands. So. Many thumbs up for Stichting Vrienden op de Fiets.

So! With our lodgings mostly arranged, we were all set to head out on our adventure on Tuesday, July 30.

Here we are, Continue Reading »

My goal for Friday, June 26 was to figure out how far we could reasonably expect to ride in one day, and I achieved it — in abundance. Here’s the best approximation of the route I could come up with in Google Maps:

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It’s a little misleading, first because of the detour north around the Braassemermeer — there’s actually a ferry at Oude Wetering, which is where we saw this boat, named “Goed Idee” — good idea:

This boat's name is "Goed Idee" - Good Idea.

Anyway, after the ferry Continue Reading »

So my quick summary of our five-day ride doesn’t mention that we went for a few rides in and around Oud-Ade before that trip. This post is about the first of those excursions.

To beer!

Just like in 2007, putting the bike together on the first day in Holland proved an excellent way of staying awake and starting to beat jet lag. The next day, after welcoming my brother to Oud-Ade, we went on a little ride through some of the neighboring towns, and picked up some local beer at the Landwinkel (farm store) in Rijpwetering. Here’s an overview of the route:

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And here’s some pictures. Continue Reading »

Tomorrow I head back to the U.S. and more than 1 hour of Internet a day, dear readers, and then I will regale you with the full story of this summer’s big bike adventure in the Netherlands (Holland, to be exact). Or at least post more pictures; right now I can’t even figure out how to get the Flickr widget over in the right-hand sidebar to link to the stuff I’ve managed to upload in the days since we got back to my grandparents’ home town of Oud-Ade on the afternoon of July 4. Sigh. At least FFXporter loads stuff in order, with tags…

In the meantime, here’s a link to the Flickr collection that will eventually house all our Holland 2009 pictures and the very briefest summary of our route:

Day 1: Oud-Ade to Scheveningen, via Katwijk-Aan-Zee
Day 2: Scheveningen to Hoek van Holland, via a bit of tourism in Den Haag
Day 3: Hoek van Holland to Ridderkerk, via a trip down memory lane, followed by Maassluis, Vlaardingen, Schiedam, and Rotterdam
Day 4: Ridderkerk to Gouda, via Kinderdijk
Day 5: Gouda back to Oud-Ade

If I’m super-organized about writing things up, eventually each of those list items should link back to a summary of each day of the trip. Right now, dear readers, my computer is running out of batteries and I should be heading back to my grandparents’ house to celebrate my mother’s birthday some more.

We went 30+ miles from home to fern ridge reservoir and back in 94 degree heat. It was wonderful, yet tiring.

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Peter, Tracy, and Pepe in front of the east side of the Cascades

This past weekend – April 12th and 13th – we were in Bend, OR. On April 13th we went on a great 42 mile ride around Bend, which is essentially an amalgamation of Routes 7 and 8 of the Deschutes County Bike Guide.

We had a great time riding around in the perfect weather. Pictures can be found in a photoset on flickr.

On September 26, on one of the last beautiful days before the rain began to sock us in, Peter and I went for a wonderful ride up into the hills south of Eugene, through Creswell, on through Lorane, where we had lunch at the deli that used to be the general store. On our way home we stopped by Bike Friday and got a replacement for the part that caused us so much trouble on our Zuiderzeeroute ride, and figured out a few other problems we’ve been having with Pepé, which was great, not unlike the rest of the ride.

Here’s a map of where we rode.

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Last Sunday afternoon (August 19) I was running some errands at 29th and Willamette, and realized I really wanted to zoom past both Market of Choice and the bank and ride my bike up into the hills for a while instead. On Tuesday, August 21, I got that wish. We rode Lorane-Fox Hollow (map here) and it was very pretty:

and I was very happy:

There was a big bad climb followed by a beautiful valley and a breathtaking descent (here’s Peter doing his best to brake and hold Pepé steady while I snap a picture of that last):

Also we stopped at an all-you-can-eat blackberry bramble, and that was pretty excellent, too. Whee!

We just finished a great ride. We went counter clockwise around this map. That’s south over Dillard Rd, then up to Mt Pisgah, then up to Glenwood, and then home.

Just as we were cresting Dillard, the valley opened up before us.

Over Dillard and into the valley

It was a wonderful ride and a great day for it too! Now, on to blackberry milkshakes!

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