Planes, Trains and Bicycles – The bike saga continues

Waves of frustration. That’s the perfect way to sum up the last week, as we wait impatiently to get our bike on the road.

bike old peopleHopefully us someday soon!

Last week we arrived in Amsterdam chomping at the bit, ready to start our tandem cycle tour of Europe. The only problem being our bike had gone AWOL somewhere on route from the oversized luggage section at Luton Airport to the airplane.

48 hours later the bike arrived. All seemed well after a quick glance over. We unpacked it and assembled all the bits and pieces; quickly improving our novice cycling knowledge.

Annoyingly first appearances were deceiving. Those carefree baggage handlers had managed to buckle both wheels despite packing him in 150 metres of bubble wrap. We thought we’d been overprotective, on second thoughts they may have handled him more delicately if we had placed him in cling film.

The bike christening

You might have noticed I called the bicycle him a few times. It just doesn’t seem sufficient to describe something that will, eventually, be carrying our lives and possessions for many miles, as an ‘It’. We’ve christened him Donkey. It’s more affectionate than it may seem, we both love donkeys and they always seem a bit sad, which is definitely the case here with his wonky wheels.

Donkey needs repairs. Not to worry, I thought, Amsterdam is the king of bicycling. As you walk through town, the swarm of bikes is incredible. Like bees around a hive, somehow they never collide. Although near misses are plenty, as are bicycle repair shops.

It seems Donkey is a unique case though; his tyres are an odd size/gear combination (don’t ask). After calling what seemed like a billion repair shops, I gave up hoping for a quick fix that very day. It was Saturday; the quickest the new parts would arrive… Wednesday.

Be still brave Donkey, you will soon be fixed. He seemed unmoved by the news. Kellie and me decided to moan about it a bit longer, just to let off some steam.

In the grand scheme of things this wasn’t a big deal, but the delay then the damage made it seem so.

We decided to upgrade our accommodation, a little treat to boost moral.

The hut we are staying in (or shed as we call it) is an icebox at night. But the campsite is full of luxury accommodation, not too dissimilar to our tiny house dream. Budget happily thrown out of the window we headed off to reception. And then turned directly back again. We discovered the entire campsite was booked (besides the icebox sheds of course).

After another hour of futile internet accommodation searching, we raised the white flag and accepted our fate. Back to the shed for us, and wearing every single item of clothing we’d brought, making hot water bottles and maybe even sneakily using the hob to heat the place. We can live with that.

Time for operation restore positivity.

This mainly involves cake. We visit places (using the trains) and eat cake. Thankfully the Netherlands is not the worst place to be stranded, and the bits in between cake eating have been rather delightful.

I have convinced myself that the dessert eating is necessary training for our impending tandem escapade. Calories are important aren’t they?

I am not going to lie, it has been frustrating being stationary, but I tell myself soon this will be a distant memory. Instead we play tourist for a week, not the plan but still fun.

bike cakebike canalHaarlem bikebike crazy kelMental wife keeping me amused

flag bikemore cake bikeIf you like our pics follow us on

On the plus side I’ve had a good vibe from the people we have met and the places we have seen so far. Friendly, flat and picturesque are the things that stick in my brain. Obviously the flat part being the most important bit, for our unknowing legs.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the bike parts will be suitable for Donkey and our stuttering start will stop spluttering. We will know by Wednesday…

Don’t feel sorry for us though, tomorrow we are off to Haarlem for afternoon tea. Scones, clotted cream and English breakfast tea, more training innit.

13 Replies to “Planes, Trains and Bicycles – The bike saga continues”

  1. Oh, you poor babies! How frustrating. I can definitely confirm the flat part of this country. Zab and I cycled 18km yesterday in just over an hour, and that was with not the best bikes and without fully knowing where we were going (the signage is pretty good, though). And I am by no means a seasons cyclist. Oh, we’re going to Haarlem on Thursday with Zab’s family – shame that didn’t overlap! Hope you’re able to get going soon!

  2. What terrible luck you’ve had so far! Still, Amsterdam doesn’t sound like a bad place to be stuck for a while and you get to eat lots of cake, build yourselves up for the journey ahead! Hope you make it onto the road soon 🙂

  3. Don’t even get me started on baggage handlers. They don’t call ’em bag chuckers for nothing, and I am so angry they trashed your donkey! I know, I know, acceptance and all that… But how annoying! Hope you are mounting your trusty steed soon, and that you also get to ride your bike.

  4. Ha ha! Who can even top the last line of Sarah Somewhere’s comment?

    Sorry to hear that you’ve already hit some bumps in the road, but nothing cures derailed plans like cake. It’s so nice that you guys have the freedom to be flexible, and soon enough you’ll be on your way.

  5. When I think of donkeys I think of Eeyore – good friend of Winnie the Pooh. So I’m going to think of your donkey as Eeyore! 😉 I’m so excited to follow your upcoming bicycle adventure.

  6. I suppose there are worse places to be stranded, with all the cake to eat and all! When it rains it pours, right?? Super excited to hear about your biking adventures through Europe- when you get out your cake coma and Donkey gets fixed, of course. 🙂

    1. Oh goodness, I have no idea 🙂 but there are so many to chose from here you can’t go wrong. Donkey is good, he says thanks for asking.

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