Archive for the 'biking' Category

human power

I’m not so great at making New Year’s resolutions, but I set a goal during December last year that I would travel more miles by human power than by machine in 2014. And yes, bicycles technically are machines, but the energy to move them comes from humans. So. I’m pretty far behind so far because I drove way too much in January and I flew to Seattle. However, I will figure out my car and airplane miles and try to compensate by biking, running, swimming, walking, etc. Go human power!

Biking way more than necessary

This weekend was entirely free — no lectures, no transferring to different hotels, no suggested day trips, etc. — so I spent a couple of days exploring the area surrounding Rotterdam. Since I traveled mostly by train yesterday, today was a day for biking. The late summer weather was lovely, so it was a perfect day for it.

Poppy bought a bike in Hoenderloo (near Hoge Veluwe) and rode it back to Rotterdam last weekend, so she had the wheels to join Molly, Jonathan and me on an easy ride to Den Haag by way of Delft. Continue reading ‘Biking way more than necessary’


After hours of riding public transportation to get to and from the Kroller-Muller Museum yesterday, it was time to stretch out my legs a bit. I decided a bike ride to UNESCO world heritage site Kinderdijk was just the thing. It’s not too far from Rotterdam, but my first attempt at trying to find the place took me two hours — and I ended up back in Rotterdam. After studying the map much, much more carefully, I took a completely different route from the one I originally planned and got there in a much more reasonable 45 minutes. It was great strolling among the 19 working windmills that still pump water off the land surrounding them.

Hoge Veluwe, Kroller-Muller

This weekend the group had nothing specific planned, but Trent told us the program would pay for travel expenses and entrance to the Kröller-Müller Museum in Hoge Veluwe National Park. It was our choice what day to go, but a few of us thought that the museum was less likely to be crowded on Friday, so we set out earlyish to leave plenty of time for exploration. That turned out to be a good choice, because once we saw how incredible both the park and the museum were, we didn’t want to leave.

Continue reading ‘Hoge Veluwe, Kroller-Muller’

Like to be lost

Trent has kind of a complex about getting lost, probably because he does it like, oh, all the time. Personally, I like getting lost. Today after lecture, I decided to ride around Kralingse Bos, a huge park north of Erasmus University. It can’t even touch Amsterdamse Bos in sheer awesomeness, but it was nice to ride around the lake and be out in the open. When I finally left, I thought I was heading out the same way I came in, but apparently I was mistaken. I got profoundly lost.

I rode around some very industrial areas of Rotterdam for awhile and then around some very rural areas. It was delightful I finally found my way back to Erasmus University, and I was pretty sure I could make my way back to Hotel Baan from there (not completely sure). One of the things I like about getting lost is that I’m forced to examine my surroundings more closely than I usually do, and I often see something wonderful that I would have missed otherwise. Today, I saw a bike that was a little stranger than most, so I rode closer to get a better look. What I saw made me smile for the rest of the day: A newly-wed groom was taking his bride out for a spin on his bike equipped with a big cargo cart. Things like that should happen more often.

Back on my fiets*

From the day I arrived in Rotterdam, I’ve been on a mission to buy a bicycle so I can get around using my preferred mode of transportation, which happens to be the same as many Dutch people’s. Yesterday Molly and I went to a bike shop near Rotterdam’s Centraal Station, but it was a bust. All the bikes were out of our price ranges, and the shop owner was arrogant, to boot.

After lecture today, we decided to try again. Jonathan found a bike yesterday at a shop on Niewe Binnenweg, so we thought we’d walk up the street and see if we could find something, too. Continue reading ‘Back on my fiets*’

Biking to the North Sea

Molly had the terrific idea of biking to the North Sea as a day trip this weekend. She planned the route, and she, Jonathan and I set out at about 9 a.m. this morning. Several miles outside Amsterdam, we were delayed by a sudden, fierce rainstorm. Fortunately, there was a house nearby, so we took shelter on the side protected from the wind. We still got a little wet, but not completely soaked as we would have otherwise.

The ride there took us a lot longer than we thought it would, mainly because of a persistent headwind. When we got to the North Sea, we all agreed that the ride had been worth it. Continue reading ‘Biking to the North Sea’

Happy New Year! And a new goal

Last year I made a goal around the end of May to ride 1,000 miles by my birthday. The idea was that I would give myself permission to buy a nice road bike if I accomplished that. I blasted through my goal, but I never bought the bike because, well, journalism isn’t really a high-paying profession, so I haven’t scraped up enough money yet. Anyway, I’ve decided to put a set amount of money into a savings account for every mile I ride this year. I haven’t decided how much yet, but my goal is to ride at least 3,000 miles. If anyone wants to pledge money to the cause, I’d be more than happy to set up a PayPal account for it. o^-^o You can check on my miles here (starting from nothing again, sob!).

Physics problem

A bird rests on a telephone wire 25 feet above the road after feasting on juicy bugs all morning. At precisely 9 a.m. the bird sees a bicyclist a mile away approaching at 15 mph, enjoying the level road and lack of wind. What time should the bird poop in order to hit the cyclist’s shoulder 5 feet above the ground?

I haven’t figured out the answer yet, but the bird got it right on.

I did it!

If you frequent this blog, then you know that at the end of May I made a goal to ride 1,000 miles on my bike before my birthday. Well, last Wednesday I did it — with a week and a half to spare! Which means that I have formally given myself permission to buy a nice road bike. I think I’ll take my time choosing one and put some more miles on my faithful old velo in the meantime. You can check out my mileage and pictures I’ve taken on some of my rides right here.