At last, ready to ride!

It was a little depressing on the last day before the tour to have no information from British Air about my lost bike and bag. My old friend Petra and her boyfriend cheered me up by taking me out to a fantastic outdoor restaurant for a few hours.

Excellent “locals only” lunch spot in Tivoli Park

At 5, we had the Bike Dreams briefing meeting, received our jerseys, etc. A bit after 7, I finally heard that my bag and bike had been found and would be delivered the next morning. That was a bit late as we are scheduled to leave at 8 for our first (massive) ride. When I asked if I could come to the airport and pick it up myself in the evening, they said no because the plane would arrive after the office closed. But we knew from two other rider’s experiences that the office had to stay open until the last plane had arrived.

So our excellent driver Henk drove me to the airport, arriving at 8pm, just before the London BA flight arrived and just at official closing time. We talked to the nice baggage guy and he explained that he would bring out my bags after all other people had left, probably an hour after landing. Sure enough at about 9:30, he popped out and motioned me over. There it was! There was a little comedy with the customs guy who grilled me with a bunch of questions – turned out he was just really interested in our route.

What a relief!

We drove back to the hotel and pulled up at 10pm. There was Ype, our master mechanic, all ready with a bike stand, pump and tools.

Ype and Henk in the hotel parking lot

I made it to my room in the hotel around 10:30 to find my roommate, Bob, from New Hampshire, working on organizing his bike and gear. We had a fun time together getting things ready and went to bed before midnight.

Two Salsa Cutthroats, all ready to go

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