Boom…! 10 riders on this windy Thursday morning with two rookies, Nils and Sylvie. Nils rode la Marmotte this summer and newbie rider Sylvie is preparing for her first ever cyclo, la Vélomediane in La Roche en Ardennes. Tim took us over his old training route once more although every week there is a slight variation. As usual, Schermerhorn was part of the mix. The small town served a short breather in between to intense stretches of pushing hard into the wind. The lead-up and the cool-down were very mellow so a great ride once more.
Arm warmers, leg warmers, shoe covers, vests, rain jackets and more; the Jammers came well prepared for this Sunday ‘summer’ ride. It felt more like autumn with ominous clouds and strong winds. The forecasted heavy rains may have kept some regulars away but we were still with a double digits team. We added one more at Muiden as Hilversum based Perico joined us along the way. We looped around Het Gooi and added two more detours later into the ride. The 100k ride became a 140k ride and we were still back in the city before the rain started lashing down; that is what a 34k+ average does for you. Two new riders in the pack; Johannes who once rode a full ‘tourist’ Tour de France a day ahead of the pros and chance-meeting Daan who powered by us towards the end and may sign up for future Jammer rides.
Fish labeled it Early Morning Insanity and Fred called it Looking for Bertha; promising names of a pretty wild Sunday morning ride. Yvo’s loop was a beauty and with no less than 18 riders we had a proper little peloton. We almost had 19 riders as a young woman on a city bike latched on to the back of the group as we were doing our crosstown traffic Amsterdam stretch. It turned out that the woman was late for work and she was pushing hard to cut her losses. The Jammers offered a helping hand; a gentleman’s push can go a long way.
At the Haarlemmerweg windmill we joined forces with the rest of the crew and headed for ’t Kopje -greater Amsterdam’s only hill of note-. The pack was hungry and attacked ’t Kopje full force with the Team FAST crew setting the pace. Fixie Fred claimed KOM honors on the first steep cobbled stretch. A crown to be proud of, number one of well over 5,500 riders including some pros. Eat that for breakfast. The ride continued. We meandered to the South by villas in the upper echelon partially hidden along tree lined avenues. With nice little rises and some sharp cornering this was fixie territory; when we reached the straight and open roads the Windjammers moved to the front. It ended up being a fast ride. We hit the post-ride drinks at noon, well before Bertha spilled her clouds, wind and rain over Holland. Insanity on wheels, bring it on!
Gliding along with a seagull along Zandvoort boulevard. Alone but never alone.
The Windjammer Classic in the Flevopolder, a ride with a bit of everything. A brisk start -not quite the mellow two-by-two as it should have/could have been- followed by a stretch of easy riding along the Vogelweg, a strong burst towards the what’s-in-a-name Knardijk, photo-opps at the halfway point, a well-oiled team effort into the Oostvaardersdijk headwind and a Muiden big ring lead-out by Opa. We were back early so plenty of time for generous portions of cake at café Polder. Good start of the month of August.
The tools for a solo spin.
A mellow Tim’s Thursday ride à deux. We went by the ‘angry farmer’ at Middelie to break JW’s BozeBoerKOM through the pasture. The No Trespassing gate had been firmly closed so we went back and around it as law-abiding cyclists. Despite the beautiful weather the roads were quiet and empty. Summertime.
Welsh Wizard Tom Davies and one-legged-marvel Dax Jaikel from Costa Rica rode up the tough and challenging HC climb Porte de Bales in the French Pyrenees. With just one healthy leg, Dax is an awesome rider. An inspiring person with a happy smile; he’s got the Windjammer spirit alright.
A Saturday ride in the summer heat with a gruppetto of four; an American (Jon), a Swiss (Olivier), a New Zealander (Kruno) and a Dutchman (Paul). Conversational pace as promised and it was all smooth sailing until we had a little crash with upcoming traffic along the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal. A narrowing road, street furniture, leaning in, a bump and a push; that was all it took for Jon to run into a fellow American who came from the other way. No major damage and the New Yorker was apologetic and friendly. Jon’s Speedvagen survived the unexpected encounter. We wrapped up with a Coke, a coffee and the obligatory apple pie at café Polder.
We got ourselves a new Sunday ride, the Yvo Classic. This Southwest loop fits in beautifully with the Windjammers Classic -the Flevopolder loop to the East-, Tim’s Thursday ride to the North, the Spekko Classic to the South, the Perico Clásico to the Southeast and the Fish Ride to the Northwest. We’re heat mapping the roads around Amsterdam and we love it. Yvo’s route was the perfect combination of what the Windjammers and Team FAST enjoy in a ride. A few windy dikes, the cobbled Kopje, some fast and smooth rolling tarmac and a few technical turns.
We were well in time for a coffee and cake stop. Café Hesp was not ready for us -our bikes were not welcome at their empty outdoor terrace- so we rolled towards the busy Ysbreker café where we were welcomed with a smile. Exit Hesp; welcome Ysbreker.