I woke up to sunshine and birdsong this morning – a far better wake up call that the patter of rain! I had breakfast at another bakery – not as good as yesterday’s, but I wasn’t complaining.
The bike lanes in the netherlands are the best so far, and often are more like smaller roads paralleling larger ones, used by local traffic, bikes and mopeds – but often as not I had them to myself. I though that the area I went through yesterday afternoon was built up, but it was nothing to today – I cycled 100 miles today, and about 80 of them were spent in one city or another, from Oldenzaal to Kleve it was a solid mass of grey – worse than cyclic through the midlands, and that’s saying something! By the time I finished I was exhausted – it rakes far more concentration navigating through cities and dodging traffic, than following one quiet road all day. However, the 20 miles of countryside I did have were better than anything Germany had to offer – just as flat but somehow far more interesting. I even managed to see some of Holland’s iconic windmills.
After around 60 miles, I had my second crash in two days: I leaned to follow a turn in the road and the bike slid out from under me on loose gravel. It was worse than yesterday’s accident, but apart from a few scrapes me and the bike were fine. Having had supper at a small café on the roadside, I ended up at another mini-campsite and was more glad than usual of a shower and a lie down. I didn’t finish until 7.30 today – nearly 12 hours after setting off – I just hope I have more open road tomorrow!