Day 2: Ijmuiden to Amersfoort
A breakfast in bed of the remaining BLT, nuts and an apple set me up for the day. I watched juggernauts and rows of cars roll off before it was my time to wheel down the ramp and on towards Amsterdam. The forecast was for sunshine and showers and here I was with Europe in front of me.
Only when I started riding did the sheer luxury of cycling in Holland become evident. Red tracks all the way and even the opportunity to go round roundabouts in either direction. True equality with the car. As I rode along the river there was a stiff breeze, reminiscent of Dubai but without the sand. The heavens opened as I approached Amsterdam, torrential downpour being a better description than a shower.
Finding the route through Amsterdam was challenging. I thought I’d make my way to the Central station and pick up my bearings from there. Few people in Amsterdam know the way out to Amersfoort which included a friendly policeman who tried his best. As luck would have it I passed ‘Mike’s bike tours’. Mike knew the answer and I left my bicycle in his tender care whilst I went to sit out the rain in a nearby cafe – kaas, broodje en cafe were delicious and welcome.
Armed with Mike’s map, I was onwards to Amersfoort via the scenic route. I soon left Amsterdam behind ans was riding alongside canals and windmills. I was assured that the picturesque village of Weesp has the best ice cream in the world.
Sadly I didn’t have time to stop to test the claim. A chap on an electric bicycle was going my way so we chatted as we rode and parted at Bussun. At Hilversum I decided that Mike’s scenic route had been a little over ambitious. It was 17.00 with another 20 km to go so I hopped on a train for the final leg. At Amersfoort station I rode along with a woman who showed me to my hotel. Such a lovely way to meet people. The hotel receptionist was willing to cover her eyes as I took my bicycle up to my room. The alternative was leaving it in the shopping centre car park. A quick meal and then time to sleep.