The "Vijfdorpentocht Avenhorn", North-Holland (may 18th 2003)

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The team. (except for Peter Stolk who took the picture, thanks :-)
 

After skating the Amsterdam Friday Night Skate, some of us decided to take part in the "Vijfdorpentocht" (Five villages tour) in Avenhorn. The weather forecast predicted lots of rain, so I didn't really plan for it, but Sunday morning I woke up and discovered a dry planet (at least the part where I live), so I rushed to Avenhorn, about 25km north of Amsterdam.

This was an organised tour of about 43km. To my surprise quite a few skaters had trust in the weather gods. After gathering in the hotel café and slowly continuing waking up, we got on our wheels for some nice skating. However, we overlooked one weather god: Mr/Ms Wind (5Bft). It was as if the wind was trying to push us back into the hotel (not bad), or into the canals (no thanks). But of course we are well trained FNS-skaters and we challenged the god on each dike we encountered.

Along the itinerary we had to collect stamps at checkpoints. Upon return, you will receive a certificate stating your heroic achievement. At some checkpoints there were drinks and food. Many thanks to the staffers who safeguarded at almost every intersection!

 
Movie: Vijfdorpentocht (8.5MB)

 

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Start at Hotel Restaurant Avenhorn
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First a coffee check.
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And off we went against the strong wind along the "Walingsdijk".
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Sorry guys I have to pass...
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...to climb the dike to take this picture. Erwin in the lead.
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Holding hands so nobody gets blown away by the blazing wind.
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Checkpoint "Ursem", where we got our first stamp.
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Wooden bridges everywhere in this resourceful waterland. Good work Sabine!
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Jos, Michael and Leen.
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Almost hidden, a checkpoint again.
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Many thanks to the staff for servicing all skaters!
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Finaly its me showing up in a picture :-)
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Because I like to work out, I volunteered to break the wind.
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Watch the traffic :-)
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At a decent pace crossing the villages.
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Checkpoint in village "Beets"
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And on track to collect the next stamp.
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Wow, créme de la créme this super cycle track to Grosthuizen (and tail wind!)
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Leen leading the pack.
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Hans, Henk and Waldo taking in new energy.
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Assistance from blockers to stop the traffic, good work guys!
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hmmmm..... which sign is ours? The yellow one of course.
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Skate safe, wear a helmet ;-)
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Anne, Edwin and Tineke.
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Some disorder at the beginning of this road,..
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...soon solved in a pack to pack race, chasing each other.
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Stamps again.
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And somthing to eat and drink.
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At every intersection a skate friend guided us in the right direction, some being very young.
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Full speed crossing the little bridges.
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Back at Hotel Avenhorn to sign off the finish.
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Our limo to drive us home :-)
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That day, rain everywhere in Holland, except in Avenhorn.
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Here is the proof: all checkpoints stamped. (on a 2001 form!)
Peter Nikkel.

peter@nikkel.nl