Looking back at The Ride
Sorry guys but the last few days of the Ride were hectic and we couldn’t find the time to write our story about the last days of our amazing adventure The Ride.
How come? Let us explain what the days during The Ride looked like:
It starts (if you are lucky) at 6 o'clock, the first zipps of the tents are your wake up call.
You put on your cycling kit, pack your bag and line up for the breakfast buffet. No wake-up-shower, no hair-dryers, no make-up, there’s no time for that! You have to take time for eating, because it's very likely that you eat much more for breakfast than back home. Also there's the possibility to make a packed lunch for that day.
After breakfast you check your bike (better to do this the eventing before) and head towards the start looking for Tineke. Tineke is the woman who checks which biker has started that day. At the two checkpoints and at the finish, you have to register yourself as well. So your family doesn't have to be afraid that you'll disappear somewhere during The Ride.
You navigate with your gps or follow other cyclists but there is always a possibility that there’s nobody around, so gps is a must. During the ride there’s a lot of support like: motor guidance, an ambulance, the jury car, mechanics and the closing car with the red lantarn. Beware you are not overtaken by this last car!
There are two well-equiped stops with all kinds of food, (sport) drinks and even an option for massage in case one of your muscles hurts. The mechanics are also there if you need technical assistance for your bike.
When you arrive at the finish there's a big chance you'll get an applause, you feel like a pro!
You grab a recovery shake to tone your muscles and maybe a little snack. Most of the time you're in a little hurry (unless you are Dumoulin, then of course you have lofts of time left..!), because you have to pick a tent, grab your luggage, take a shower and go for diner around 19 o'clock. In between there is a possibility to make an appointment with the massage-team or with the ambulance-team for other little or big inconveniences…
During diner you can watch the beautiful pictures of the day made by Eppo Karsijns on large screens. After diner it's time for the daily briefing by the organization, they really put up an entertaining show! They discuss the day, the results of the challenges are presented, there’s a briefing about the route for the next day, the wheather forecast and last but not least the highlight: the movie of the day, professionaly put together by Cut to Black.
Around 22:00 it's time to go to sleep because the next sunrise is there in no-time. (don’t forget your ear-plugs, that’s essential!)
In other words, you live in a cocoon, a big bubble, and cycling is all that exists.
Cycling however, is one thing. But participating in The Ride, is different story. 8 Days of rolling through beautiful landscapes, most of the time is like riding through a post card.
Together with other nice, sweet, funny, helpfull and bike-loving people.
It was a lot of fun, sometimes very difficult and several times I thought to myself: why am I doing this? But once you pass the finish line you’re so proud of yourself and your team-mates! Every day you get a little bit stronger and, of course, closer to the finish, closer to home!
What remains are only mixed feelings: happy that we reached our goal, but now we miss the great atmosphere and the endless fantastic cycling days. So if you have any doubts to enter The Ride next year, don't doubt, GO FOR IT!! It was an incredible journey we'll never forget.
8 stages, from the foot of the Stelvio in Italy to the top of the Cauberg in Holland, the ulitmate cycling challenge. 1.300 km and 17.000 am through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands.
With climbs in the Alps, Black Forest, Vosges and Ardennes. It is tough, indeed, but if you train a lot this is the ultimate experience on your bike!
If you want more information about this great cycling adventure, don't hesitate and send us a mail via Strongher, or take a look at www.the-ride.cc there you will find all the info you need!
About Anne van Leeuwen
Started cycling 5 years ago and straight away addicted to the relaxing feeling that cycling gives her. Anne (aka Docter An) puts in many miles every year. She loves to go for long rides with friends. Upcoming year her biggest challenge will be the Ride. Riding from the Stelvio to the Cauberg in 8 days, 1300km and 17000 elevation meters.
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