DAY 6 – It turns out that in Holland, most shops are closed from Saturday until lunchtime on Mondays. This obviously didn’t help us in our quest to find a replacement tent pole, which had broken the day before. We wanted to keep moving, so decided to leave early on Monday and ride to Wageningen, the next large(ish) town on our route. If our thinking was correct we should arrive just about in time for the shops to open, and replace the broken tent pole.
Astrid, our host for the previous evening, guided us to the LF4 route leaving Utrecht. We left the city heading in the opposite direction to the hordes of cyclists making their way into work. All I can say is that rush hour cycling traffic is Holland is something else!
The morning was cold and overcast, and didn’t warm up until about 11am when the sun began to break through the clouds. By that time we were about 25km outside the city, passing through open farmland. There were a few smaller villages on our route, but the majority of our riding was in the countryside.
We stopped a couple of times to snack and take a breather, eventually arriving in Wageningen about 1pm, after roughly 60km cycling. We found the camping supply store, but as luck would have it, they didn’t open at all on Mondays, so our situation hadn’t improved.
We bought lunch (bread, ham and cheese) and I convinced Yami to carry on to Arnhem, to see if they had the pole in a larger town.
Yami had been experiencing difficulties with her bike, as her riding position was stretched, causing her pain in her back and shoulders, so before we continued to Arnhem, I got her some new handlebars from a local bike shop, and did a quick pit stop on the side of the road. Yami’s bike now sports Dutch style curved handlebars, giving her a more upright riding style, putting less pressure on her back and arms. Time will tell if this solves the problem.
We carried on to Arnhem, arriving in the late afternoon, tired and grouchy after an marathon eight-hour , 85km cycle. We found the camping shop, which obviously didn’t stock tent poles. Left without many options, we checked into the local Hostel, which at Euro33 per person certainly wasn’t cheap.
Unfortunately the hostel is located atop the only hill we’ve encountered in Holland, and after a long day, Yami struggled to the top, arriving in colourful mood, and certainly not impressed with cycle touring at that moment! Tired and hungry, we showered and stretched our aching legs by walking into the town centre to get a pizza, before collapsing into bed after our longest day yet.
- Route: Utrecht to Arnhem
- Distance: 85km