Another charity event and a chance to play our respects to the men and women that serve our countries.
30 June 2010
27 June 2010
Day 4 is not quite over. We have just boarded the ferry for home after a palavver over changing our ticket. On P&O coming back a day early costs a ticket change cost plus additional fare amounting to £60. I kid you not. In the end we got it down to £29 but even that is a disgrace when the website return is £19! Maybe when I next travel I will remember this rip off?
The problem was that Claire's hip wasn't causing the expected problems so we cancelled the night stay in Breda and had the run to Calais.
We left the hotel around 9.45am and wasted a bit of time getting to the Motorway. We had Steve in tow until the motorway when he shot off.
We stopped for petrol pretty quickly as I wanted to make sure that when we arrived at the badlands of the N49 between Antwerp and Brugge that we has loads. We made good time until I followed the overhead signs for Brugge. We had a tour of the Antwerp ring including three tunnels. The middle one carried a toll... So once you arrived at the Liefkenshoek Tunnel you were committed to the €5.50 toll. No going back!
We then lost another 40 minutes detouring into Eeklo for petrol. The station we had in mind from a previous trip was closed.
Had we turned right off the N49 there was an open station that didn't need us failing to get VISA and Mastercards to work. Belgium is generally fine let down by crap automatic fuel stops.
The last few petrol stops had revealed that fuel consumption peaked at 55.38mpg but was generally around 52. Not bad two up with luggage.
We stopped at the services near Middelkerke for a sandwich making the total time lost at about an hour.
We pulled up to the passport control the first time at 3.58pm. Not bad going for the 300 or so miles from Wapse. According to the satnav memory from Calais back to Calais has been a mere 667.5 miles. Add in the 30 miles to Dover from home and back again when we get off here in the next 20 minutes or so and 700 for the weekend is quite reasonable.
26 June 2010
Race day. A short ride after breakfast to the circuit. Within 45 minutes we were parked and looking for our seats.
The Winterdijk stand was full to busting. We sat for over six hours in the burning sun to watch the main races.
Hopefully when we download the pix from the camera we will have a few decent ones.
On the way back we got separated but arrived in Diever for an ice cream about the same time.
Tomorrow James and Steve ride home and we head for an overnight near Breda.
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25 June 2010
We were up early enough to nosh through a large breakfast and it was about 930am when we finally left Zonnemaire. The plan was to go back to the N57 and continue island hopping towards Rotterdam and then head north. Once we were in Maasland we seemed to be heading east before a 180deg turn brought us to a ferry.
It made a change and €5.05 later we were aboard and soon whizzing across the Maas.
My Garmin interprets routes created in Mapsource and Tyre with Google Maps as it sees fit. So after the ferry we had a tour of some housing estate before we emerged on a road roughly north and roughly towards Amsterdam.
Eventually we joined the A4 to the east of Den Haag and headed north at a greater speed, under the runway at Schiphol and onto the A10 ring. Eventually onto the A6 running along the eastern side of the Ijselmeer.
We made one stop for petrol and a snack, otherwise it was non stop to Wapse and the hotel.
Once checked in we had a walk into the village to see if de Wapser has a rival; it doesn't. Cameras were exercised....
We settled in for a beer and James had arrived. He'd made good time using a borrowed satnav. We chewed the fat and then had dinner before retiring early to bed for an early start for Race day.
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24 June 2010
We were up early and away by 0715 for the short run to Dover. The checking in was pretty simple and quick and we were loaded straight on the ferry.
We were at the back of a large group and the rings in the deck were rusted tight so we were moved to the other side.
The sailing was relatively painless and we were soon on the way out of the port. The other group were all over the place in the road out and we slid past.
The idea of island hopping seemed a good one. I topped the tank up on the outskirts of Bruges and then we seemed to get in a tizzy as the GPS mapping is out of date.
The roundabout trip to the tunnel underneath the West Schelde eventually came up in sight. Just not from the direction I had expected.
The day has been warm and sunny and we are both glad we are wearing our vented jackets. I've ridden all day with just a T-shirt and mesh Joe Rocket Phantom jacket. Only cold in the 6.6 kms long tunnel.
We had a Coke break in a small place called Boekhoute in East Flanders. Once remounted and on the way we noticed the registration plates has changed and without any signs we were in the Netherlands.
After the tunnel we had another GPS moment but made the right road to Middelburg and the N57 That snakes across the islands that make up Zeeland.
We had another stop to buy strawberries before the first of the longish dams. The wind socks were at 90 degrees to the roadway. We had yet another stop for lunch and to have a look at the sea and miles is sandy beach.
It was gone 4.30pm as we rolled up at Villetta B&B.
Once checked in we needed a little run to Brouwershaven up the road to get some cash as the B&B is cash only.
After a shower we were ready to go and were just thinking when Steve rolled up.
A quick change for him and a walk to a local restaurant. Luckily Claire has her wallet as I forgot mine in my jacket pocket. A good but very expensive meal of fish soup and mussels later we wandered back to the hotel.
Day Two will see us ride to. De Wapse for the race weekend.
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23 June 2010
|Got an email this morning.... I forgot I had even entered. Typical!! Win tickets and won't be here as we will be in Holland!|
Dear Standard Reader,
Congratulations - you were successful in your application to win a pair of tickets to see Bon Jovi this Saturday (26th June) at the O2 Arena.
Please report to the main box office (outside the arena – far left window as you face the entrance) between 5.30pm and 7.30pm to collect your tickets. Please have some form of ID with you. You will be on the Evening Standard competition winners guestlist.
Enjoy the gig!
Evening Standard promotions
And they aren't transferable.
21 June 2010
14 June 2010
Okay it might not be the "Mother Road" but until our French cousins renumber many of the Routes Nationales to Departmental roads, RN43 still exists and runs from Calais to Metz.
The trip may have to be undertaken in the car rather than the bike, but it takes in places that have figured heavily in 20th Century French and World History.
I'll see what there is to see along the way... Ligne Maginot, Vauban Forts, Sedan, Malmedy....
So far I have this as the route from the Shuttle terminal and the start of the N43 near Calais to just outside Metz when it eventually runs out and joins the N3 for the run into the city.
As for the way back? I have no idea.
12 June 2010
The Kent Centre AGM is going to be held at the Britannia PH at Dungeness on Sunday 20th June. We kick-off at Noon and have lunch before getting down to the nitty gritty of electing the new committee.
I am looking forward to standing down this year and letting other capable people take on the Centre and take it into the next decade.
11 June 2010
The trip has been on the cards from way back in 2009 when we had to pre-order the ticket. Then my brother decided to go on a trip along Route 66 (http://ndr66.blogspot.com/) so we made a team change and old mate Steve Hazlehurst stepped up to the plate.
Now with just two weeks to go we have had a small change to our part of the trip. To save Claire's hip we have already broken the outward journey into two days with an island hopping first day Zeeland and a second day to Wapse and the hotel.
On the way home we are going to break the trip again to keep the riding and subsequent pain down a bit. To keep the costs down I have booked a Premiere Classe hotel in Breda. It's not quite half way but will be okay I hope to save Claire's hip from hurting to much. It should make for a more relaxed holiday!
8 June 2010
It may have been a bit of a rush, but in less than two weeks we have managed to get a large rectangle of land at Detling and some stuff and bikes to display on it.
GEMS here we come.
The Kent Centre "Regulars" have risen the the challenge and will man the stand. It's going to be hard work as there are only three people each day to keep awake (!) and welcome visitors to the stand. Due to other commitments Claire and I will make an appearance on Sunday.
I have only lived here since 1999. We have a nice little town. Once the town was on the coast directly but over the years our side of the ...