Hubby and I packed up the kids (ages 15 and 17) for a 45 kilometer trip to Bourtange, a military fort in the Netherlands built in the 1500's and expanded in the 1700's. It's a flat trip mostly, but we noticed on the way back home that the entire route had a very subtle downhill slope... just enough to notice at all.
We took the train from our village to Winchoten, then got off the train to bike the rest. Bourtange is not accessable by bus easily. You have to take a bus to the neighboring village of Vlagtwedde then phone for a special van. Totally not worth it! It's actually quicker to bike!
We started off okay, taking the white signs to Wedde, which put us out in the country more than I had planned. This probably added an extra 5 kilometers, but it sure felt like time was slowing down and we were drudging in molasses. The oldest child half the time stood up on his pedals and wavered all over the bike paths making me want to choke him silly. He's naturally athletic and hyperactive and more than once got too close to my tires for comfort.
Hubby and I prayed after a while he'd start to get tired and calm down.
Meanwhile, my knee was doing okay after injuring it on the 15th and switching out the Superbe Pro drivetrain with the old Shimano 300 Exage biopace triple. I really don't like the triple, but I do have a wider range of gears. Meh.
We made it to Bourtange and had a lovely time. On the way back the trip was full of squirrely older child tearing his seat apart because it kept going nose up on him. Youngest child had grown quite a bit since his last big bike outing and we had to raise the seat 2 inches!!! Thank goodness for toolkits. It started getting dark and we had to deal with some lighting issues, but nothing serious.
I think the most disappointing part of the trip was finding out once we were at the train station that if we had hustled a little more we could have made the train that just left. We wound up sitting for 45 minutes waiting for the next one. Over all, it was a good trip... but hyperactive squirrely teens can make us slower chubby ones go nutty. I did get this lovely shot of a Batavus "Old Dutch" though.... totally worth it.