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Sunday, February 5, 2017

Twente 3.1


Let's go ... back to Almelo.

This fietstocht picks up where the last one left off--cut short due to storms. I would like to see more of the fabled Twente region, which comprises central eastern Netherlands bordering Germany. Today I'll travel to Denekamp, in northeastern Twente, right by the German town of Nordhorn, mostly via the Almelo-Nordhorn canal. Built in the 19th century it turned out unfortunately to be a 'mistake,' since by the time they were done (1904), the freighters were too big to use it. They gave up on it in 1960. I know I traversed this canal on a previous journey, thinking it would be fun to follow it. Now I'll do that.

From Denekamp I'll head south to Twente's main city, Enschede, a university town. This should give me a good overview of the area that Martin, my vriend op de fiets in Nijmegen last year, enthusiastically described as a "great garden." Today, Thursday, is overcast but it is due to clear up and warm up over the weekend. I have nothing else to do. It is mid-summer in Holland and I have a bicycle. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Special US edition: Buffalo, NY



General mills
Independence Day here in Buffalo is sleepier than I thought. It's very warm. I find myself in the middle of Deleware Park. I'll be here for another 12 days. Since there's nothing to do, I'll ride my brother's bicycle around. He's got a Marin San Rafael. Not the most comfortable ride but it has good suspension. I was cycling the track around the park, which is also a road, until it occurred to me: I was going the wrong way. All traffic--even pedestrians it seemed--moved in a counterclockwise direction. The place seems dull with its golf course, broad parched lawns and zoo that has a few sleepy buffalos. Some of the trees are nice: sycamores, elms, maples.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Twente Two

Zwolle
On my way to Zwolle. Rain is forecast but I'm itching for another fietstocht. I'm heading for the forests of Twente. I went there exactly one year ago on the third phase of guidebook research. I also cycled the initial stretch -- Zwolle-Dalfsen -- a few years ago but didn't see any of it as it was quite late and I was in a hurry to get to my vriend op de fiets. This time I'll take the LF-16 east along the Overijsselische Vecht as far as Ommen, which is the ominous start point for the Rondje Twente, a three-day jaunt through the eastern region.

I'm leaving it open-ended. Vrienden op de Fiets booked for tonight in Ommen, Monday in Enschede. Like last year it seems difficult to book a friend in between at Ootmarsum or Tubbergen.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Return to Drenthe IV - Reestdal route

Reest stop

kp 4 -> 2 -> 1 -> 85 -> 86
Today is very warm and I would like to do a brief fietstocht to the southeast of Meppel, De Reestdalroute--or just a piece of it, then relax at the Engelgaarde lake, then catch the train home from Meppel. That's the plan.

So far it hasn't been so thrilling though it's nice enough just to pedal in the sunshine. As the name suggests, the route follows the meanders of the Reest along the border between the provinces of Drenthe and Overijssel. The Reest is, along with the Drentsche-Aa, the only 'original' river in Drenthe, in the sense of being naturally formed. But I've hardly seen the river except crossing over it. I have seen plenty of highways and suburban estates, with plenty of dull-ass traffic. Still, the trail generally follows paths shaded by tall trees which keep me cool in the approaching Austinite heat (up to 80F today!).