The people running the hotel I was in said they did breakfast at 8 but if I wanted earlier they would arrange. I asked for 7.30 which they seemed very happy to do. Unfortunately when my alarm went off at 7.10 and I opened the shutters it was clear I was going nowhere for a while. It was torrential rain and storms.
I stuck to my word and ran through the rain for breakfast knowing I'd be going straight back to bed after.
I waited in the room until about 9.30 when the weather seemed to ease a little. It was predicted to be sporadic and slowly getting lighter over the next few hours and I needed to set off in order to finish the day at a half respectable time.
I then proceeded to do something I've never done on this bike..... and crashed. That's probably a bit over dramatic but I guess it's accurate.
To give you an idea of the seriousness, if I was a football player I'd have been rolling around in the street for about 5 minutes, and posted a picture on twitter sticking my bottom lip out - so not serious at all.
The first 300 metres after leaving the hotel were big old (wet) cobblestones. I wasn't even sat for this stretch because I didn't want my ass to get a hammering off the bat.
So I was stood on 1 pedal until I got to the end of the street, was probably going a bit too fast and swerved to avoid a hole or something. I underestimated how slippery it would be in the rain and crashed down on top of the bike. Luckily there was no one there to see my embarrassment.
I was concerned about the bike though! Just as I was dusting myself down the rain went from medium to torrential, again.
I was only 100 metres from the hotel so myself and the bike limped back to where we came from.
I'd managed to completely twist the handlebars round 180 degrees, the front brake had almost snapped off jamming the front wheel, both mudguards were twisted and rubbing on the wheels and the pannier bags had flown off.
I trudged back into the hotel courtyard with blood running down my leg (but more concerned about my transport because it was the tiniest of cuts) and waved hello again to the lady that 1 minute ago had waved goodbye to me. I said "I'm back", and she said "goodbye".
I explained I was staying for a little while and we both looked at the torrential rain as if to confirm that was why - and we both carried on doing our thing.
I got to work fixing up the bike. She sat 5 metres away looking at some paperwork. She was a lovely lady but slightly had her head in the clouds.
Luckily I don't think anything major was wrong with it. Upon turning it upside down the disk brakes seemed to be straight. The bags, slotted back on. I was able to twist the mud guards back into place. I thought the handlebars were bent but it was just the brakes pointing off in weird directions. I also managed to push the snapped handlebar brake back into position. It's actually only a tiny bit of the mechanism which had gone and it still works fine.
When I get to Amsterdam I will take it to a bike shop because the gears are a bit clunky now and there's a slight squeak when I'm going slowly.
Once I'd sorted the bike and the rain had eased off I left a second time at about 10.20. I then proceeded very gingerly for the first few hours not wanting a repeat. What a nightmare start to the day.
5 miles after setting off I reached Holland which was a welcome boost.
The rain did completely stop by about 11.30 but the day stayed windy (bad) and overcast (good) most of the day.
I reached about 30 ish miles and felt fine when I stopped for lunch at 1.30. I wasn't dreading the last 30 miles to Apeldoorn which was the original plan before the shitty start. Reaching here was going to be excellent considering the earlier problems.
However, re starting after a quick lunch, the wind had turned against me. I made it in the end but it sucked big time. It took ages and I felt the pain. Really, really sore ass, thighs completely tender, knees stiff and I discovered on arrival a nice little bruise on my thigh too.
61.5 miles in 7 hours.
Bring on Amsterdam!!!!!