Yepp.. I'm in Holland!
I'm here for 2 reasons. First, to get some special attention to the bike. Captain Magadan emailed me weeks ago suggesting I come to see his best technician at Hyperpro to get my suspension worked on. His friend Bas was kind enough to make an appointment for me to come in on his day off!! You know he's good if he's booked that far in advance.. Secondly, I've heard so much about the Netherlands and always wanted to come, but didn't think I would catch it on this trip.. So! To be able to add another country to my list of places I've been is always a plus for me!
In the organizing of it all, I get to stay with wonderful Marco and Dorine, whom you might remember me meeting near Kos Turkey earlier this year. They are so fun and we've kept in touch.
I wasn't sure I was going to like Holland and quite frankly from the highway, I wasn't looking forward to it (highways will do that to ya.) Other than the odd windmill and cows, looking pretty flat and boring. This is why it's best to never take the highway! Because once I arrived, look what a fun trendy place this is!
First job is to get to Hyperpro in the morning to meet Bas and see what to do.. In all my photos and visuals, you never get to to hear the developed sound of my bike! My "sound" since I've been in Montenegro last March is that of a squeeky rusty old jalopy. So loud every time I got on the bike, and sat down.. rreeek.. rrrrrreeeek!! (not good at how to word the sound, but I tried..) It was well worth the chuckles it created from those around me..
Always hoping its just a squeek and not a warning of something coming. (yes, I know better..) I should have taken photos, when the guys in Italy I bought that rear tire just after Portugal were dead set on finding the source of the squeek.. They took oil spray to EVERYTHING! Both men on the ground, upside down, pushing on my bike, backwards forwards.. with all that extra oil, it squeeked just as bad as when I came in and they eventually got disappointed and gave up.
Bas on the other hand is on top of his game and goes right to the source.
The squeek is here, Sherri Jo..... (I knew that.. seriously! ;-) Not really, but now I see where the inside part was rusted out, which the oil could never reach.
This is going to be a day job.. executive decision is to send Sherri Jo on the train into downtown Amsterdam for a few hours as there's nothing I can do here. Feeling guilty again! Wish I could be more helpful.. but welcome the opportunity to see the city since I've heard soooo much about it.. Most comments I remember about Amsterdam is that it's so much more open and advanced about MANY things than we are in the USA.. is it true?
It's all about the "advanced" civilization of the bicycle around here! Keep in mind the parking "garage" in the background is all bikes too.. besides the masses of them parked in the city..
Amsterdam is a very good looking, unique looking town.. a style all its own. Only a quick look around. It is very touristy.. lots of 'tours' I could take.. but I was just happy to get a feel for the place and get the train back to the shop. When I did, I find Bas is nearly finished..Very precise, a true perfectionist!
Walter who knows my bike so well, wants to test it out.. I think he looks quite happy to be re-united with his little 690 Siberian friend.. look at that grin! ;-)
Bas put in many hours over 2 days to make my bike perfect.. in support of my journey.. The rear end is lower now. When I sit on it, there is a slight bend in my knee, and those who know I've been wobbly with the height of this bike all along (I was supposed to get used to it.. never did..) Thanks Walter for organizing it all and letting Bas stop his work on YOUR bike and spend that time on mine instead.. really appreciate it!!!
My bike feels really good, what a huge difference it makes to get the best surgeon on the planet to fix up the suspension. and I couldn't be more grateful. It's been a struggle with this bike for so long.. and as a bonus, Bas even perfected my wobbly side stand! I can park anywhere now! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
Still on the run and just in time, I will be able to make my ferry to England tonight.. but they convince I have plenty of time to come for their weekly club family super great Dutch meal at Peter's house.. hope that makes sense!
These guys are the best, including Peters' wife behind the camera..couldn't feel more welcome anywhere.. ;-)
Big thanks again (can't say it enough) to Walter and Bas at Hyperpro for working so hard and for so many hours over 2 days on my bike..