Day 3. De Bijland to Utrecht contd.

Fortunately for us it was less than a kilometre long although we both only just made it up. We could have done with a lower first as the advantage of a trike is you can go as slowly as you want and do not have to worry about falling over. According to my heart rate meter I hit 214 beats per minute on that climb as did Damae. We think there must have been something affecting our heart rate meters (we passed what appeared to be an electricity sub-station on the way up) as we both should have died at that heart rate.

Still as usual I arrived at the top well before Damae. She had a lower first which suited her and winched herself in a leisurely manner up the hill. We paused by a Tulip hotel and after a snack carried on towards Nijmegen. We popped out on to a main road and after some umming and ahhing and asking locals, headed off correctly towards Nijmegen. It was then we discovered that we didn't have Anke and Robbie's address and we could only get their answering machine. Luckily on entering Nijmegen proper we found a detailed map by the side of the road and I remembered which street they lived on by seeing it on the map. This was very close by and with Damae on the phone we found their house and proceeded to cycle round the side of the house.

It was lovely to see them again and we had a long drawn out breakfast chatting about this and that. After eating we left Damae and Anke to chat and the men of the house went outside to oggle the trikes. My trike had picked up a slight wobble in one of the front wheels and fortunately one of Robbie's sons works at a bike shop. He expertly tightened spokes and got the wheel true in no time. Wheel straightening is a black art I'd like to master sometime. The rain that arrived as we did had turned to drizzle by the time we were ready to leave. We extricated the trikes from the side of the house and waving merrily in a gezellig Dutch way headed quickly down the incline towards the centre of Nijmegen.

Most of the route back we have done before. We crossed the Waal on the new foot and cycle bridge next to the railway bridge and then took the long loop back to the dyke road, and headed to Oosterhout and Doodewaard. We planned to cycle as far as Ochten and then travel via Rhenen and the N225 back to Utrecht. Except for some confusion around Rhenen this turned out to be an easy route to follow. The dyke was damp and drizzly and the wind not favourable - it remained like this until we left the dike. We think again that we would have been working a little harder on our bikes. As it was we sat at a reasonable tempo swapping positions to even out the work.

We stopped for snacks a couple of times along the way. The problem of getting pins and needles in our toes had not got any better during the weekend. I figured that as at the high point our toes were level with our hearts our bodies were not used to pumping oxygenated blood upwards. On a normal bike the good blood flows downwards so getting a supply of oxygen is not going to be a problem.

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