Jan’s birthday earlier this week was celebrated in style. The Durgerdam café served post-ride coffee and cake first, soon to be followed by cognac for the happy threesome. It ended with a Dutch ‘polonaise’ and Jan was not pulling the train. He was in the back for a change. Happy birthday, Opa.
Fast women on wheels deserve a podium. A video shoot in the Alicante/Murcia area should take care of that. Directeur sportif Koos Moerenhout was pacing behind the video car before the Rabobank-Liv women were doing interval sessions on a local climb. The girls looked strong.
Ouch, those steep climbs hurt. Even more so when it’s the very first climb of the year and you have a strong headwind on a 13% gradient.
Tim and Sergio, 70 and 17 years old. 75 km of windjammin’ over windy Dutch roads. The beauties of the echelons and a classic ‘bonk’ for young Sergio. A wonderful guy who’s learning fast.
Three Windjammers are for work at the Rabobank-Liv training camp. This women’s pro cycling team is one of the world’s best and also the staff take their riding seriously. Jammers Tom, William and Paul found themselves in a group of riders challenging each other on short rises and into long headwinds. Team manager Koos Moerenhout stirred the pot more than once; Koos can still ride. Multi-talented Pauline Ferrand-Prévot joined the group ride and got her training session in. The two-time junior world champion complimented Paul with three words he loves to hear. "Tu roules bien". Real life kudos in French beat virtual ones on Strava. He is still glowing.
The Windjammers span all age groups, all walks of life and all continents.Yesterday we introduced aspiring pro rider Sergio Tu (Taipei, Taiwan) to the hallowed Windjammers training grounds. Tom and JW took the confident 16 year old over dikes and cobbles and to tourist landmarks such as the Marken lighthouse, the Monnickendam smoked eel shops, the Volendam harbor and the Edam canals. A blitz visit with some sprints, echelon riding and long pushes. Sergio loved it and so did the Windjammers. Remember the name, Sergio Tu. You heard it here first.
Stefan ‘Fish’ Vis was on point today. Our fixie legend had mapped out a unique route that took the group via the IJmuiden locks, through the dunes and up to Bergen and Alkmaar. From there down to Uitgeest, Wormerveer and back to Amsterdam. Fish the Fixmeister had brought his four man posse, Team F.A.S.T.; a fixed gear team with fearless riders that are true contenders in the city crit circuit. Windjammers or Fixjammers, I guess a bit of both. Halfway into the ride the pack of 13 riders broke in two. The first group -with the pace up- missed a turn despite shouts from the back; the second group with captain Fish stayed true to the course. A beautiful day for a great ride; the riders applauded the scenic route. The one thing that was missing was a coffee at the end with the whole group together.
Photos: Maarten de Groot & Tim Krabbé
We had to be back by noon. That could have been the reason why the pace was up. The wind was up too; there was no hiding. The group was motor paced by Jan, Nico and new recruit Friso. Nico and Friso had completed a Rondje Markermeer the day prior and they showed good form indeed. We started with nine but a few peeled off early to catch a meeting or to catch their breath. No coffee and Bossche bollen this time; just a solid Thursday morning ride in the wind.
"Riders on the Storm" is a song by The Doors from their 1971 album, L.A. Woman. It seemed like an apt title for today’s ride. Most cyclists decided to stay in and opted for a spinning lesson or a training session on the rollers. Not the Windjammers; they have to live up to their name. Thirteen riders showed up of which Roland was a rookie rider. The first hour was quite tough with the small roads and hard crosswind; there was little room for catching a good wheel and expletives were muttered in the back. Roland hoisted the white flag and decided to turn around; he’ll be back on a ride in friendlier conditions.
With a dozen riders we continued. All was good until we hammered into the wind over the Bovendijk, just south of Wilnis. Fish crashed, out of the blue. A gust of sidewind, slippery road welds and on the tarmac he was. Tom went down the same way a few minutes later. We called it a day to make sure we all got home safely. Matt and Mark revved up the engines on the Hoofdweg from Waverveen to the Ronde Hoep. KOM’s in the house. As we rolled smoothly back to the city Mark turned left and added another 80km solo over the ringvaart, totaling his ride at almost 150km. Kudos to Mark. It was a weird ride but it was epic once more. Never a dull moment with the Windjammers. Matt called the wind ‘biblical’ and despite crashing and tearing up a pair of bib tights, Fish posted on Facebook ‘Love this shit’.
Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we’re born
Into this world we’re thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out alone
Riders on the storm
Windjammer worthy weather. Air in natural motion, moving horizontally at velocity along the earth’s surface. The velocity was significant and that made today’s ride intense and rewarding. The eight riders that showed up needed to work together in good harmony to keep the echelon going. Sometimes the chain broke and we clustered over windswept dikes.
With a tailwind we pushed hard over the Spijkerboor-Schermerhorn segment. A 7km big ring effort with podium finishes for Casper, Tim and Paul. Paul was the lead-out man for Tim’s sprint at Schermerhorn. Absolument KOM il faut. Of the top 10 riders on this popular segment 9 riders are Windjammers; and not all there from today’s ride. The Bossche Bollen and coffee at CycleYou were equally glorious as the ride. Tim’s Thursday. Another good one.