YEAH I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 24-04-2010 Ronde van Noord Holland And what a day it was. Of course I hardly slept the night before as nerves had the upper hand and when I looked at my watch for what felt like the hundredst time I saw it was 5:00 am and realised I had it still on English time so I could get out of bed. The night before we had preparred evrything so time enough for stocking up on carbohydrates and water again. But because of the nerves I wasn't hungry at all. I forsed I banana in and 10 minutes later a sandwich with two more banana's. One glass with a sachet of sodium etc for my salt intake as it was supposed to become a very sunny day. Bikes in the car and we were of at half 7. It was only a short ride and we had not entered the cylosportive Ronde van Noord Holland´- The circle of North Holland yet. We ended up in a massive queue with 100dreds of cars but were fairly quickly parked. Bikes essembled and of to the start point. There were lots of people who still needed to enter and hadn´t pre booked but it all went fairly quickly and at 0845 we left. No fancing time tags just a card which needed to be stamped six times including start and finish. Before we took off we agreed to take it slowly as we feared we wouldn´t make it if we went to quick and because it was extremely busy we didn´t go fatser than 18.75 mph and a lot not faster than 15mph for the first half hour. Untill the first faster group passed us and we hooked in. We had a weak wind in the back and were cruising very easily. When we reached the coast and we ended up in the dunes on cycling paths where you could not ride with more than two people next to each other and it became a hill, well hilly, it became a bit technical because of the share number of riders, the pace, narrow lanes and lots of corners. But exciting. We are doing around 22mph but in a peleton at the front, I cannot believe it. At 29 miles is the first stop to get a stample. We are still excited of the pace and how easy it goes. We drink some and stuff each four figgs and an energy bar inside and of we go again. We are still going strong but we are starting to feel our legs a bit and at 44 miles in there is another stop where free energy drinks are given. Some new AA drink, it´s red and I forgot the name but my god it´s discusting. After the first zip I decide to put a sachet with salts etc in the drink as worse than that taste is impossible. Guess what it´s even slighty better. Unfortunately at this stop, which is in the middle of nowhere there is no coffee and no famous dutch apple pie. Bummer. We are also tired now and not so excited anymore to say the least. We saddle up again and take off. It is starting to ache. Around the corner just a few hundred yards away there is a pub with apple pie and I stop. My dad looks at me as if to say... Yeah dad apple pie lets have a coffee and some. So we do and we welcom the little more rest and hurry too. For long peroids there are no riders passing anymore and we have the feeling that we are the last ones. I quickly measure my bloodsugar level and see it´s 17.8. That is high, very high. I put some insuline in and we take off. My legs hurt and because of my high bloodsugar level it feels like trying to pump syrop through my vains. Then head wind and quite a bit. I though the wind wouldn´t blow today. We are struggling and my dad hasn´t smiled for awhile now. Everynow and then we are passed by a small peleton but my dad hasn´t got the strength to pick on and I curse inside as I am dowing all the head work and know it´s so much easier in a bunch. But before the start I said i will not leave you. We sart together and finish together or... we quit to getter. No not an option. We have another stop to get a stamp. It´s warm anw we are tired. For the first time I dare to look at our average. 16.9 mph. Bloody hell no wonder we are tired. I also look at how far we still have to go. 36.6 miles. What. Is that all. I think we will make it for the very first time. I eat more and drink more and take more go gels and we take off again. We are in a group again. The first since a long time and theyride an easy pace. 17.5 to 19 mph and we recover. And do we recover. At 75 mph we have another stop for a stemple and we take off with the same group again. Now I am even feeling strong. I am riding at the front of the group. One behind the other as we are on small cycling paths and havbe oncoming cyclist too. Every time I look behind me I have to freewheel as I am leaving the group, behind me... 87.5 miles in the one before last stop, another stemple. We don´t even wait for the other group anymore. My dad is smiling. We are passing another group and they all hook on. I am doing 22 mph still on the front and my dad is saying careful as we have head winds soon. I don´t care I go on. Then we turn up a dyke. Full against the wind and the speed is not going above 17.5 mph anymore. For 5 minutes I menage to stay up front but shout at my dad, Let someone elsedo the hard work but my dad takes over. 70 years old. His first 100 miles! Don´t be foolish, don´t blow up but he stays there and doesn´t give in untill 2 minutes later I take over to save him a bit. One other rider is brave enough and takes over for a bit then we turn of the wind again. Easy peacy now and I feel stronger and stronger. I can smell the finish. We pass the town my dad lives in but there is no thinking of giving up. Only a little further. Fast strong looking guys are taking over now and we are only with six people left. I rest behind the guys in front of me for the last time untill I am at the head again. 23.k mph I do now and nobody takes over anymore. The last 2 miles we have to let the big guys go. My dad is struggling again but I am inmensly proud of him. We see the finish and we make it! What an amazing day. What an achievement. I know it´s al flat but I don´t care. I promise you this though. I will do the next 100 miles here in the UK. What a day and for all of you who like a nice ride on the flat in Holland I can highly recommend this ride. Well organised and if you want to do a fast ride excellent conditions. But mind you. We were very lucky with the wind as It happens a lot that it will be agains you the whole 100 miles.