A tale of two tours – part one

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Rosalie and I split up today (just for the day). I joined Rosalie’s brother Timothy and his son Sylvan on a jaunt by train to Apeldoorn to watch the prologue stage (individual time trial) of the Giro d’Italia.

We left our bikes in Dordrecht and the only blot on the day was the cost of parking our bikes at the railway station. – 1.5 euro seemed a bit too much for my bike, but 4.5 euros for the tandem was excessive.

As we homed in on Apeldoorn the trains became packed with cycling devotees. There was a huge crowd in the town pink-themed for the event but no traffic issues because most came by train.

The 9km stage wound through the streets of the town. Some residents had installed scaffolding bleachers in their front yards and were hosting large, pink-clad, jolly and rowdy parties singing, chanting and cheering as the cyclists passed. There was a Dutch percussion band playing and some old codgers singing cabaret style.

The Dutch favourite Tom Dumoulin won the stage and there have been no doping scandals (yet) so everyone was happy.

There were a few delays on the rail system during our return journey including a train changing from platform 9a to 9b at the last moment in Utrecht. That created a huge crush for the passengers that had to hurriedly relocate. Nevertheless we all got on including a few adventurous  people with bikes – it seemed impossible that they would succeed.

We got back to the hostel to find: dinner prepared, our friend Lavinia and her daughter Isis had come to visit and Margaret’s friend’s granddaughter Janieke had stayed for the evening. Very nice. 🙂

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