Day 0. Chocolate, tea and plans.

I arrived home on Thursday evening to see that our guest and fellow Easter cyclist had arrived. Damae was out at class and Karen was happily sitting in the sun knitting. It was nice to see her again.

The plan mooted much earlier in the year, was to cycle from Hoek van Holland to Delfzijl in the four days from Good Friday to Easter Monday. As we were planning on doing this early in the season we decided to take the alternative route across the Afsluitdijk as some island ferries only operate in the high season. Paul from Brabant who had got us into cycle holidays was going to meet us on Saturday morning and do the rest of the trip with us including the aforementioned Afsluitdijk. From the NSCR website it appeared to be a do-able three hundred and twenty kilometres, but more of that later.

Karen and I ate together and a little later, after we had finished, Paul turned up. We were busy fitting a handlebar bag to Karen's bike when he arrived, as she wanted to try one out during the weekend. According to her, handlebar bags are not very popular in the UK even though we find them very handy.

Having finished with the bike, we headed off to the map table to start discussing the route. Damae then turned up around a half hour after Paul, and we all joined in with ideas of where to start and where to stop.

The weather forecast indicated that it would be warm and sunny all weekend, and that the winds were likely to be more favourable if we started in Hoek van Holland. First night was going to be on the coast somwhere between Heemskerk and Alkmaar. It became clear that on Saturday evening we would have to be on one side or the other of the Afsluitdijk. From Egmond it would be a bit of a long day to the other side of the Afsluitdijk and too short a day to stop on the west side of the Afsluitdijk. The preference seemed to be on the Harlingen side of the dyke.

We should have gone early to bed, but as it was, it was gone eleven thirty by the time we turned in. This was partly due to us being a bit slow, and Karen putting the finishing touches to my new water bag holder. Another job done and a whole weekend to test it out.

All terribly exciting!

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