Day 10: Birthday 1

For Timea’s birthday (and Easter), the weather turned out just as ordered: three beautiful days full of sunshine here in the Netherlands. As Timea and I had some empty spots on our cycling map in the north, Timea designed an exceptionally nice 3-day tour through the Northern Netherlands – that means through the Dutch provinces of Friesland and Groningen in particular.

Of course, with any trip you undertake with the train there are always surprises – the first one on this trip was that we could not actually reach Zwolle due to some track works. The Dutch railway company usually organizes replacement buses in such a situation, but if you are by bike, you are out of luck.

NS (Dutch railway company) lets you take your bike on the train, but in case of rail closures you cannot take the bike on the bus – that seems like a big oversight.

So Timea did a bit of last-minute re-routing and our new route took us from Kampen Zuid (where the train service stopped) to Lemmer (our first overnight stay), throguh the provinces of Overijssel and Flevoland. This being a multi-day trip, I did not take Aero, but instead the trustee commuter bike Kona. I fitted it with two penier-style bags that had all our luggage for the trip. Unfortunately, I forgot to weigh the combination at the end, but I suspect a total of around 20kg.

Kona in all its glory

To navigate, I fitted the Wahoo Elemnt on Kona, which worked beautifully again. I was also quite curious how much effort I have to spend on bike trips with Timea – from my gut feeling, the base effort is usually relatively low, but somehow, at the end of the day, I am always quite tired. So I again packed Georgios’s heart rate strap.

Its results indeed confirmed what I was sensing: My average heart rate was very low at 109, with a maximum of 143, towards the last kilometers when we picked up the pace. Total kalories consumed were 827 (although I think this is on the low side for a full day outdoors). Compare this to my ride from Tilburg, where I burned 3,076 kalories and had an average heart rate of 145, for pretty much the same distance.

Nicest tulip field in the world (according to

We saw lots of tulips on the way, which was important for Timea.

For me, riding in Flevoland has its cons: In many areas, you have to ride on the road, which is barely wide enough for two cars to pass each other when they use the roghed-up side track patch of pavement on both sides. Moreover, I have the feeling that cars tend to speed there quite a bit.


A three-day bike trip with overnight stays in hotel, how do you do that, I hear you ask? Well, I usually take one of everything: A set of nice-ish cloths with long but light-weight trousers to wear in the evening in the hotel, and exactly one set of cycling clothes that I wash in the evening. Being fast-dry stuff, it is usually good to go in the morning. If not, the hair dryer helps. If there is no hair dryer and it is still a bit damp: oh well, there are worse things …

This time, we did not even make an effort to save weight, but I think we could have easily compressed our set of clothes down to fit a race bike saddle bag. Maybe this comes from my mountainieering experience, but I tend to find that many bike packers carry around a lot more things than they really need, severely limiting their range and fun on the bike. One more thing to post about in the future ..

Tot morgen, day number 2, in which we take two ferries!


Date: 2019-04-20

Length: 90 km
Average speed: 19.4 km/h
Intensity: 40%

Weather: Beautiful. 22°C (at 12:00). NE Wind: 20 km/h.

Route rating: 4/5. 

Clothing: Shorts, cycling jersey.

Feeling: 5/5.
Moritz Beller

Moritz Beller

My name is Moritz Beller. I became a full time cycling pro amateur around the Netherlands and beyond to fill a time gap between jobs after temporarily leaving my post-doc at TU Delft. In this blog, I want to share what I experience during my time on and off the road.