|Ride lighter on a "JOCO"|
It was easy enough to locate my vriend op de fiets (cycling friend) in Nijmegen, in a residential zone west of the center. Marina Pool lives in a curved apartment complex on Floraweg. Her flat is on the sixth floor with a balcony overlooking a park. Marina, in the same age bracket as Ricky and Mevrouw Janssen, speaks English perfectly, is rather shy. I noticed there were mezuzot in the doorways and I pretended to kiss one by my room.
"I figured you were Jewish," said Marina.
"How did you know?"
"Well, your name."
|Knooppunt 46: approaching Nijmegen.|
|Café de Fiets, Nijmegen|
We sat and chatted for a while. She showed me itineraries and maps from all the cycling trips she'd taken, including one from Amsterdam to Basel! For each section of the trip she had meticulously typed out itineraries. (Now she has a Mac.) She told me that the knooppunten network was a relatively recent development. Previously the LF (Landelijke-Fietsroutes) system was used (and still is) and cyclists had guidebooks with meticulously detailed route instructions ("Turn left at the canal"). The knooppunten system greatly simplified matters.
|View from the Valkhof toward the Waal.|
I took a shower and rode into the center. Following The Rough Guide's suggestion, I tried a restaurant called De Plak on Bloemerstraat. It had a hipster vibe and served some vegetarian meals. The weather was still mild enough at 9 pm that people were sitting outside on a terrace, though it was a busy avenue with cars and buses passing constantly. The waitress seemed uninterested in her job--she didn't even know what the soup of the day was. I had the mustard soup and a Moroccan pastry dish with salad and seasoned carrots, plus a cloyingly sweet Gulpener Oude Bruin beer. Cost: €17.
|Alexandre Urbain "handcar": France, 1819|
|"Handcar", Germany, 1818|
|Extra Loud in Tone!|
|Pedomotive carriage: France, 1860|
|Clipper Style Tricycle from Germany (1887)|