Last night I looked at a calender and realised that in a week -almost to the hour- I’d be leaving Amsterdam along the Rhine-Amsterdam canal with a very new Bakfiets. My first thought “This is really going to happen” was rapidly followed by “Can I do this?”. Never mind the 750km to cover on the Bakfiets, there’s a lot that needs to happen in the next week, not least a flight from Japan to Germany. After 12 hours in cattle class we’ll be arriving in Stuttgart on Monday evening, which leaves very little time to do the washing, meet up with the two other team members, test the cameras and other bits and pieces, build the two borrowed tents, take them down again, pack the easier one into the bikes, (in the process forgetting a small but vital part which we’ll probably rediscover in a pannier on the final night) and generally get ready.
After saying goodbye to the boys and Beautiful Wife on Tuesday night (I don’t want to think about that yet) we’ll travel to the Station where we’ll wait on a near-deserted platform in the hope the sleeper train to Amsterdam turns up and that it has our berths reserved. All being well, if I’ve not messed the dates up we will arrive in Amsterdam Centraal at 0859 on the third of September, whence we’ll walk to the Henry’s Work cycles shop in the Lijnbaansgracht to pick up a nice, shiny black Bakfiets -and then the work really begins.
750km. Hopefully my legs are up to the challenge.

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