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Messages - Reinier

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General Discussion / Re: Bike Related Skin Rashes -- Please Help!
« on: June 20, 2009, 01:47:52 pm »
I won't give you a diagnosis of course, but some advice nevertheless. I'd try to find one good doctor and try to cure the rash with him, instead of jumping around from the one expert to the other. If the rash only gets worse while on treatment, he should switch to another treatment, if he's worth anything as a doctor. You don't have to switch doctors every time you switch treatment.

And rashes because of heavy biking are not that rare. Have you educated yourself on this on the web? First hit with Google is, looks pretty good.

General Discussion / Re: Shorts recommendation?
« on: June 06, 2009, 02:51:26 pm »
I was taken on a tour by my parents when I was 11, and I did just fine wearing just my regular shirts and jeans. I was already used to the bike I was riding though.

Europe has little truly remote areas, so you should be able to access the internet with a GPRS/UMTS card pretty much everywhere. I don't have a clue about how much it will cost. It may be that if you buy a prepaid SIM card in Amsterdam, you'll be paying high international rates a day's bike ride south when you reach Belgium.

I once rode from Utrecht (my home town at 25 miles from Amsterdam) to Dunkirk. You pass by a lot of interesting towns (Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges), and the Flemish countryside has lots of those flat, quiet roads along canals. It's a nice route for your first couple of days.

By the way, how are you planning to package your bike for the airplane in America? In Amsterdam you can buy special bike boxes at the airport, but I suppose such a service is not available in less bike-loving countries.

Routes / Washington, DC to Montréal
« on: April 04, 2009, 06:02:11 pm »
I am planning to ride from Washington, DC to Montréal this July. I chose this route because it looks like a nice first encounter with North America for a Dutchman. I plan to follow roughly the ACA Atlantic Coast Route from Washington to NYC, and then ride up north along the Hudson following New York State bike route 9, and then do a short stretch of the Route Verte to Montréal.

I have two questions about this. Is it a good plan to ride this route? Or am I missing even greater bike routes close by?

And does anyone know if there are printed bike maps of NY State for sale? There's a lot of information on the Department of Transportation web site, but I can't order it on dead trees anywhere.

Routes / Re: Prague to...
« on: February 23, 2009, 04:27:00 pm »
I have done some bicycle touring in Czech. (...) it was nasty and filthy beyond belief. I could give you detailed, vivid descriptions from my highly detailed journal, but let it suffice to say it was a very low-grade part of the world at that time which was 1994.

Much has changed since 1994. I was there in 2001, and by then old communist-era cars had become scarce. The streets where dominated by shiny new Skoda family cars. Around Prague, there was construction work going on everywhere. The standard of hygiene and living was lower than in my native Netherlands, but it still far above the sort of third-world level you describe.

And now it's 2009, so the Czech republic must have gotten even more developed. According to, the human development index of the Czech Republic was about equal to that of Portugal or Malta (both former West) in 2006.

Routes / Re: Europe North to South
« on: February 10, 2009, 03:14:40 pm »
A friend of mine did just that trip - from Utrecht (25 miles from Amsterdam) to Venice. He had an awesome time, so it's definitely ridable. Going from west to east or vice versa would give you the opportunity to see the differences that remain between the former West and the former East. I've done so and I enjoyed the differences in culture.

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