That’s what Ad Raaijmakers and Wil Scheepers told each other a few years ago. And now the time has come! On the 25th of June they get on their bikes in the morning, together with their two bicycle mates Henk Huijskens and Jan Versteden. 18 days of cycling that will bring good experiences and memories!
Of course they are not biking-novices! As a member of De Pedaleur from Oirschot they have biked quite a lot so far. The four of them already biked one of the Tour of all Tours: the one leading to Santiago de Compostela. “Those memories … the people we met … we will NEVER forget that!”, according to Wil. Especially the people. A pub owner who actually did not serve food but felt he couldn’t leave 4 hungry man in the lurch. A garage owner who helped them out when one of their bikes had a problem. Will is still laughing about it: “And then you just have to know all the French words for those particular parts you’re looking for!”
Henk adds: “You also meet like-minded people, it seems like you’re in the ideal world.” They may be sober, those pilgrims’ huts, but obviously people do not need more anyway. The book they made after the trip shows it all. They really enjoyed themselves, so much is clear! And now they are eagerly looking forward to the bike ride to Rome.
“After Maastricht, nothing is flat”, according to Henk. “So we have to make the most from the flat part when it comes to making mileage”. A route has already been mapped out and even a barbeque appointment in Italy has been scheduled. “You choose one route and that immediately means you do not choose another. So you will always miss out on things, and that choice is difficult to make” according to Wil. “But the things we WILL see are so beautiful! You can see so much more details when you’re riding the bike instead of a car!” The small villages in Tuscany and Umbria, for example, which they will pass. However, they skip Florence, because “That city would take too much time to experience it in full”.
The four guys are a perfectly fit. Each of them has his own specific task: one deals with all the finances, the other with all the technical stuff for instance. When it comes to navigating, they are all involved. “Because otherwise it will become so boring” according to Henk. “It’s less romantic, a navigation system compared to a good old-fashioned map, but it does save up to two hours of cycling a day!” That comes in quite handy. Because using navigation also means less stops to look at the map.
I was still under the impression that they would also cycle back from Rome to Holland, but that is not the case. “I can not stay away so long”, Ad notes. And cycling back home is of course less fun, at least, that’s what I think.
Maybe the Rome-bikers keep me posted? In that case I will certainly write about it! But for now: GOOD LUCK TO YOU GUYS!