Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Gerrie Knetemann Classic

Still catching up on blog posts, I've now settled in with a block of stilton, crackers and a pot of honey. Mmm.... not the classic combination of stilton, digestive biscuits and a glass of port but recently I've developed a real taste for honey with cheese. I guess most people know that honey works well with goat's cheese. However, for me a real revelation was tasting a nice mature pecorino with honey blended with truffle oil at my favourite local, Italian wine bar, Wijnbar Divino.

Anyway, I digress. This post is about cycling (a little). So some friends and I decided to enter a team into the Gerrie Knetemann Classic this year. A nice 75km tour around the green heart of Holland. Naturally this meant I needed a new race bike and all the accoutrements, yay :)

So after a bit of research and shopping around I organise a test ride on a Stevens Aspin way out on the other side of the water behind centraal station. Believe it or not, this is the first time I've taken a ferry over the Ij behind the train station (I've lived in Amsterdam for 8 years now!).

And look what's docked at the ferry terminal on the other side!
An old Russian submarine... cool! I think it's been there a while too. It's been tagged by a local artist :)
Underwater art?
Anyway, even though it's raining and it takes some convincing to get the shop to actually let me go out on the bike I make the purchase and get some new cycling gear so i look the part. Just have to pick up the bike the next day from the Haarlemmerstraat shop (couldn't take it right away as I was on my city bike - but i can walk to their other shop).

A little excited, I head up the next morning on foot and see the cutest thing in a shop window on the way.
Awwww :)
So sweet, a cat curled up, asleep on top of a big, fluffy teddy bear... in a shop window!! It's another gloomy, rainy day but it's hard not to smile at the world sometimes. I snapped a few photos for good measure and headed on to the bike shop.

All's good and I have the first proper go on my new ride on the 20km commute to the office. Definitely grinning now. For the rest of the week my commutes constitute training for race day.

I'd love to say that it went perfectly but the route was confusingly marked in some places and due to some wildly differing paces our team got a bit split up. A couple of us, thus, ended up taking a couple of wrong turns. At one point following the 100km course for a few kilometres. At the end we'd cycled 80km of a 75km race, oops!
Just about to start :)
Next up a great trip to the UK...

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