Of Gel Seat Covers, Vaseline and Ambience

Back to the bike hire place this morning as the sun streamed through the trees. I was handed a key with a number on it and sent to find the bike that matched it. A blue bike today, still a Gazelle, but this time the Ambience model. On Monday I was, fittingly enough, given the Surprise Hills, cycling a Chamonix. Apparently Gazelle is a major Dutch make of bike, going since the C19 and still made here.
However, despite its name, the ambience on my new bike wasn’t great. It slipped back from third to second gear all the time. At our coffee stop, I bade it a not very fond farewell and acquired a new bike, also an Ambience. During the stop, one of my fellow travellers remarked on the efficacious nature of Vaseline. Does it work, I asked. She was surprised I wasn’t already as lathered in the stuff as she was, and she’s the only rider with the JLo shorts. I trotted across to the mini market and made my second purchase of the day. So combined with the new gel saddle cover, I am walking more normally this evening than I was on Monday.

The rain has just bucketed down, but we were lucky all day, enjoying almost constant sunshine. We stopped for lunch at a place the BroekerVeiling Museum. I would happily have missed the mock auction, but the boat trip around the polders was great, and interesting to see and learn that more have come back into use in recent years. All produce there has to be organic. We saw vegetables and flowers being grown, and birds swam by us. Pretty idyllic. Then it was back on the bikes and a gentle ride back to Alkmaar. We came through the town and you could hear us exclaiming at the clever way the cycle paths work at roundabouts. We are keeping today’s bikes for tomorrow. I am hoping the weather will be fine as I think the route is taking us to the seaside. We walked the coast at Den Helder on Sunday, and it put me straight into a holiday mood. On Monday, we had lunch at Bergen Aan Zee, but I didn’t get a paddle on either occasion. Obviously the ideal would be if there were a nice friendly dog to play with too…


14 thoughts on “Of Gel Seat Covers, Vaseline and Ambience

  1. If you wear cycling shorts under ordinary shorts or a skirt, it is not too obvious 🙂 Much more important than the saddle in the end I feel.

    • I think a combination of biking and boating would be fun, but boat accommodation might be a bit cramped. Maybe I need to find a holiday where I could stay in comfortable hotels, but travel by bike and boat.

  2. I used to think that the wearing of bike shorts was an affectation but have since seen the light. Enough with the misery of chafing seams, saggy, soggy fabric and creeping-up legs! A well made and properly fitting pair makes a world of difference.
    Isn’t cycling one of the better things in life?

    • Yes, I think a good pair of shorts is on the shopping list if I do this sort of holiday again, and I think I should like to. I am reflecting on what I have liked, and what I should have liked to be different. I have had a quick surf, and lots seem to be about cycling with gourmet dinners. I would rather eat normally. Our evening meals are overlong and over large. I have half of mine to eat for my packed lunch tomorrow.
      Yes, cycling, even as I do it, is a Good Thing. 🙂

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