Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Americans make tour through the provinces

This is an article written about my grandparents and their friends while bicycling in the Netherlands. As translated by them!
The American cyclists - wearing helmets - departing from Hotel de Zon (caption under photo)

Cycling in the Netherlands is "quite a relief"

OMMEN - "What a relief" sighed John Halliwell yesterday morning in the parking area of the Hotel de Zon in Ommen. One of sixteen Americans who are making a bicycle trip through the Netherlands, he was preparing for the next stage. The group from Pennsylvania is full of praise for the cycling conditions in the Netherlands. Safe cycling: smooth roads, geen "vals plat,"* and many bicycle paths. "Very bicycle-friendly," stated the helmeted bicycle enthusiast who with his friends express surprise that the Dutch pedal through cites and the country without helmets. Upon being told that for the Dutch cycling is almost second nature, next to walking, they are a little surprised. The Americans see cycling as more of a sport. They couldn't believe their eyes at the sight of large groups of students racing through the landscape in a sort of formation. some are holding each other by the shoulder. Why? "They are chatting." They find this answer curious.

Common Interest

The group of 60-somethings are friends who are very fond of cycling. After arriving by plane from the U.S., they first cycled for a week in England - "without rain!" as of yesterday, before starting on their trip through Gelderland and Overijssel, they had already completed nearly 500 kilometers. In total the trip will cover over 800 kilometers.

Although there are no war veterans among them, they are using their bike trip to visit monuments of the Second World war, such as "the bridge too far" in Arnhem.

Duty Officer

As of today the group is on their way to Arnhem, Deventer, and Apeldoorn. Yesterday it was Luttenberg and Epe.

The eight couples have everything well organized: every day there is a "duty officer," a kind of sergeant-of-the-week, who has to take care of planning, logistics, and other matters. Also a "sweepvan" has not been forgotten. On Tuesday the enthusiastic cyclists leave for home from the London airport, Gatwick.

*We cannot figure out what this phrase means

1 comment:

  1. According to a few friends, "geen vals plat" could mean "none out of tune nor flat" as in, the ground looks level but actually is not ...