Day 1. Utrecht to Loosdrecht.
Distance Cycled 18.3kmkm. Average 19.5km/h.
The season has started! The first trip was up to one of our Friday night Favourites, Fort Spion (Dutch language website) in Loosdrecht. There are about five campsites that are within 25km of Utrecht one of which is open almost all year round and Fort Spion is the closest of all of them. They are all members of the Dutch Natuurkampeerterreinen Charity and offer basic facilities at very reasonable prices. You have to buy a membership card the first time you stay at one of their sites. The card (together with a listing of campsites) costs Eur10, but it is then valid for the rest of the calendar year.
But I digress! After a Saturday doing normal things we packed up the bikes and headed off up the Vecht in the direction of Breukelen. There was not too much wind and the sun was shining. Coming out of Maarssen we discovered that the road was closed to everyone except residents. The partial closure made for very pleasant cycling, as the restriction continued almost all the way to Breukelen. This road can get extremely busy on warm summer days, and some car drivers behave very inconsiderately indeed. So that was a nice plus.
It felt good to be back on the road again and on our trusty bikes. We're thinking of changing them to something better, but expect to do at least this summer's long trip. After commuting with a Brompton in the train it was strange to be sitting on something else with two wheels that felt so different. A Brompton is for me a bit like a racing bike, crossed with an ATB; I whizz gleefully through town accelerating quickly.
Our touring bikes are solid and have the benefit of closer gears, which is nice even if there is only a slight headwind. Also, we load them up with lots of stuff, which is something we don't usually do with the Bromptons.
We took the Ninja Pumpkin, otherwise known as an MSR Wind 4, as it has the luxury of lots of space inside whilst only weighing (around) 8kg. I think that is about the limit I want to carry on my bike with regards a tent. The urge to take it with us this summer is getting a bit too strong, I must admit.