Ascension Day plus the Friday after taken off from work so a nice long weekend.
The VFROC weekend had to be cancelled again made me get to plan B as you could have read in the “shorts or not” blog.
The Belgium TET and the 2 sections in the north of the Netherlands where on my short list but i’m also waiting for new dates for the Adventure Shield intermediate training.
That is in the north and maybe i nice combination putting Belgium at the top of the list.
On Wednesday i came across a video of a Belgium terrace where the parasols went up in the air and the rain poured down by the bucket.
The next morning over coffee i checked the weather report for Belgium and that didn’t looked promising.
Since i already had a mudmasters edition this year i checked what was going on to the north.
That looked fine and over breakfast the plan was changed from Belgium to the north.
The bike was packed for camping and there was no plan beyond that making it pretty easy to change the destination and i loaded all 3 tracks into the Garmin XT including a route to the end of the TET north NL… yes, to the end.
The TET was made from north to south but i live in the south of the Netherlands making it logical to go in the opposite direction.
It’s just a track, a line on the GPS without spoken directions like a route. That also explains why i sometimes miss a turn or suddenly get a bit slower seemingly without a reason. In that case i might be unsure if i’m on the right track.
Time to leave, i have a full tank off petrol and a route to the end of the TET with only a little part trough Germany because they are closed due to corona. We are allowed to pass through and if we do so within 24 hours there is no need for a test and registration.
Letting the Garmin make a nice route tot my starting point would be a risk as it was almost immediately into Germany via lots of small roads. I thought it might be hard to convince the police i’m just passing trough and fines starting at €150 up to €25.000 so i gave it a few extra waypoints.
The last bit still was trough Germany but over main roads (bundesstraßßen) and that was very explainable as i had to cross the river Rhine and in that region there is only a bridge in Germany and a few small ferry’s extending my trip with at least 30km.
After 140km i could start my next TET adventure.
Time to start the camera and put in a new element taking myself out of my element.
I finally have a working microphone but i still don’t know how it works out while riding.
Totally uncomfortable talking to nobody, yeah eventually to everybody who watches the video but it feels strange and i’m stumbling because of that.
I hope i get used to it but i don’t like speaking in front of large groups but also don’t like talking to nobody and talking into the mike of a camera making video’s possible to be seen by all the world is both at the same time.
As you might know i really like Itchy Boots and her video’s are easy to watch because she also tells things.
I’m not trying to copy her but i do want to learn from others. It’s also hard to find enough rights free music i like.
I only hope you don’t experience my voice as i do myself but there are several articles on that topic and it seems that it’s completely normal to not like your own voice when you hear yourself on recordings.
Please leave a comment what you think and don’t be afraid to be honest, i can handle it 😉
If you don’t like it there is no use to continue talking but if you do it’s a good reason to do my best to get comfortable with it. If that works out i can maybe tell more about where i am at that moment when i see something interesting.
Back to the ride.
The end is actually a good start as it starts out with some paved roads and then some easy going dirt and gravel roads.
Later on it gets more interesting or exiting and after the mudmasters edition of the south section it’s quite nice to have pretty good conditions.
With that i mean it’s not too wet that it gets muddy but also not dry making it dusty with lots of deep loose sand.
There where some puddles and it was slippery here and there but that was fine, otherwise it might get boring. There has to be some challenge otherwise i better stay on the road.
I even had some loose sand which i really don’t like but this time i get through without falling. I had some moments where the movements where the same when i was with Ragnarok and fell every time.
The 21″ front wheel and less weight really make a difference and who knows, part of the intermediate training is learn t ride in loose sand. Maybe after that i don’t mind it any more.
By now the restrictions are less but at the time of this trip the terraces where only allowed to be open from 12:00 ’till 18:00 and that forced me to go eat early.
Shops are not opened and the Reckless 40, even with the Stinger 22 is just a bit too minimalistic when you have a full camping gear. Taking food with you is not an option.
I did have 2 pack of survival food because i also wanted to test if it would work for longer trips so when necessary i could manage a few days but the Netherlands is too small to need that.
Even on this short trip it was clear that when you travel alone on a motorcycle you never are alone, you always meet people.
After diner it was time to find a campsite. I past a few but they didn’t appeal to me and knowing that i always can get off the track to go somewhere i can find in the Garmin or on Google which i did when it almost was 19:00.
Even for me there comes a moment when it’s time to stop. When i started taking the easy way via the paved bicycle lanes next to the unpaved tracks when it got muddy or loose i knew it was time.
If i didn’t had that option i still could manage the track but you have to stop before that moment comes. That is also something you need to learn before you go to the harder sections.
About 10km off the track there was a biker camping, Café Calluna, and that name sounded familiar because it also was mentioned as an option in the TET GPS file.
There where a few other bikers camping so it ended up being a fun evening.
The next morning it was grey and during breakfast it started raining slightly, time to pack up before it getting worse and it did.
Not really bad but when i checked the radar it turned out that it was a very slow moving front directly over the Drenthe section a was planning to ride staying there for at least 3 to 4 hours.
As i said i didn’t want another mudmasters so i decided to take a scenic route home.
Still have the intermediate training planned and then i’ll make another weekend out of it. After work to a campsite, one day training and the other day the Drenthe section.
No planning, nothing booked and no one to discuss it with.
When i go on a vacation or a TET section further away i have to plan the moment and then i probably will still go in these conditions but then i also hope i have a bit more experience.
At this moment my lack of experience makes me struggle too much to still have fun and i’m trying to avoid loosing the fun of it by riding too much in bad conditions while i still think too much about how and why i do or have to do things on the bike. I need i bit more confidence and learn at least how to properly corner in loose(r) sand and mud and slip on purpose.
Enjoy the first video with speech.
Today i installed the Hyperpro rear suspension on Ragnarok and i ordered a revision kit for the rear master cylinder plus a new rear tyre for Ecstasy.
More about that later on.