I think I share this feeling with lots of riders: participating in a cycling tour is a nice deviation from your cycling routine. Sure, most of the time you just want to focus on your own breathing, the sound of your own bike and the roads you have chosen to ride. But every so often you find yourself enthusiastically signing up with your friends to form a cycling team riding a pre-set course departing a long way from your own front door along with hundreds of strangers. And you have a blast.
On Sunday the 4th of October the first edition of the Meewind koers or Downwind tour kicked off from the Nieuwe Stad, an urban development in Amersfoort located in a former toothpaste (Prodent) factory. This also happens to be the address of the best bike shop in the area, Mechanieker. But more on them in a later post.
The Meewind organization had set up a unique course experience for the 1350 participants. And they somehow figured out which Sunday would have the perfect weather conditions for a cycle event.
Our route (the 115km variety) took us through some fine looking farmers fields, a magic forest, a classic Dutch river dike, a sprint over the airstrip and 200 meters of cobblestones. I talked to my teammates most of the time, cycled faster than I ever could have done alone and never had to think about where I had to go or if I had taken enough food. After 4 hours on the road we were awaited by a warm welcome of goodie bags, beer, French fries and other entertainment for our weary bodies. Thoroughly enjoyable, sign me up for next year!
You can cycle the Meewind koers anytime by downloading the route here. And check out this aftermovie too, it perfectly captures the days vibe.