They say that preparation is everything, however, it is a little more tricky when venturing into the relative unknown. So far we have only been away on Talula for a few days at a time and have planned our trips around staying overnight with family. We have always wanted to go further afield, thinking perhaps France. However, a chance conversation and a little research had us decided on Holland for the first biggish adventure. Reasons? Well it is obvious really, and in hindsight we wondered why we considered anything else! Just a cursory look at the cycle maps of Holland brings home to you just how geared up it is for the cyclist. And then there are the hills. Or rather, there aren’t the hills. Not only that though, my research had led me to join Vrienden op de Fiets, which is essentially friends on the bike. A network of people who open their homes for a small fee (€19) to cyclists, offering bed, breakfast and a secure place for your bike. The membership pack includes a map and book of addresses and contact details by area. There are literally thousands.
In preparation, we have had Talula fully serviced. Mr V has informed me of all the new bits she has had but I’m afraid I zoned out, I do know the gears and brakes are in fine order so that’s good. We took her on a quick trial ride, with all the bags and tent on to see how it felt as this is the first time we have used the front panniers.
Though she felt heavy to hold, once we were going it was not too bad. On the flat!