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Going Dutch

Amsterdame 2010Tomorrow is the big day… after many weeks of anticipation, I will finally be setting off on a fantastic cycling adventure with the aim of pedalling all the way to Amsterdam!

OK, so there is a boat trip in the middle of the journey (a full-size passenger ferry, that is, rather than a pedalo!), but it’s still going to be quite an undertaking – and a fantastic achievement once I’ve made it home again. I’ll be setting out from York alongside 59 fellow cyclists – including my Inntravel colleague, Michelle Fisher – at the stroke of 9.00am, and we’ll be heading across the beautiful Yorkshire Wolds (hopefully not via the infamous Garrowby Hill!) to eventually arrive in Hull tomorrow evening.

One overnight ferry journey later (after seeing what entertainment there’s to be had on board), we’ll disembark in the buzzing port of Rotterdam to continue our two-wheeled journey towards the celebrated Dutch capital. I can’t wait!... it’s going to be a brilliant time to visit, with the canalside cafés overflowing with locals and tourists having a good time, and with galleries, museums and bars aplenty to visit during our ‘rest day’ on Sunday (even the peloton in the Tour de France are allowed a rest day, so I’m told). After that, it’s more of the same – but in reverse – before we wind up back in York, all being well, sometime on Tuesday evening.

Cycling in HollandThe trip is being sponsored by Inntravel, and has been put together by a great little York-based organisation called Charity Adventure. As the name suggests, they take volunteers (all of whom pay their own way) on wonderful cycling trips. A group recently completed a ‘four churches’ route between York and Durham, but it’s our Amsterdame 2010 adventure that has the highest profile and is the most popular of all their events. The name hints at the fact this is a women-only expedition, and all the participants will be raising money for our designated charity, Marie Curie Cancer Care. Employing more than 2,700 nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals, Marie Curie expect to provide care to around 29,000 terminally ill patients in the community and in their dedicated hospices this year, along with support for their families – so it’s hard to imagine a more worthy cause.

As for the route, well, I know very little about it, and have never been to Holland before now. I suspect it’s pretty flat, and will be rather concerned if I’m proved wrong! I do know that the Dutch are extremely welcoming and hospitable people and, although we’ll be a bit late to enjoy the spectacular bulb fields, we’re hoping to see lots of interesting sights en route – perhaps even a few windmills, you never know!

It will also be good to witness, at first hand, some of the landscapes enjoyed by Inntravel customers on our two cycling holidays in the Netherlands, relatively new to our programme. Dutch Discovery, like my charity ride, has Amsterdam as its destination and even includes three nights in the picturesque and celebrated ‘cheese town’ of Edam. Rivers and Castles, meanwhile, begins at historic Arnhem, and meanders out west to Oudewater (famous for its witches’ scales), and then onto Gouda, another town with ‘cheesy’ connections…

One thing’s for sure, it’s going to be a fun ride, and – with a full support crew somewhere on the horizon – I won’t need to worry too much about repairing punctures. I just hope the weather stays fine, the sea’s not too rough, and I don’t become the second Charity Adventure rider to fall into a canal (yes, there’s already been one, apparently, but that’s another story…)

Wish me luck… I’ll be back on the blog as soon as I return!

Posted: 10/06/2010 10:10:10 by Peter Williamson, Inntravel | with 1 comments
Filed under: cycling, Holland, nature


Comments
Michelle and Susan
Good luck! Hope your training up Sutton Bank pays off. Hope you're not too sore for our meeting next week!!! Have a great time x
10/06/2010 12:07:44

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