Wind in my back


To be totally honest, I’m not much of a cyclist. I use my bike as a means of transportation, meaning that I don’t often do a distance of over 5 km. And my personal preference is to cycle downhill, wind in my back – a combination that is seldom available. Cycling against the wind, though – that I can write a book about.

My daily newspaper has a special about going uphill and downhill by bike. The article is subtitled ‘dutch elevations’ and it talks lovingly about the few mounds in the Netherlands that are high enough to be a challenge for cyclists. For we do have a few mounds, nicknamed ‘kopje’ –  ‘small head’ or ‘knobbel’ ‘ – ‘lump’  or ‘bult’ – ‘bump’.

Trouw, saturday Sept 17th: The Netherlands are flat, but not as flat as everyone thinks. We have dikes, man-made hills, dunes, sand barriers. And the province of Limburg, of course. Gerwin van der Werf travels to a number of locations in the Netherlands where the road curves towards the heavens a little. He takes his racing bike and asks questions. What bump is this? What grows on it, who lives on it? And how fast are the bumps taken according to the popular sport-app Strava, that makes every meter asphalt that points upward in the Netherlands a meter to be contested? And why, why  are we doing this?



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