Day 9 – 1,425 km to the Finish by Public Transportation

I was up and ready to roll at 0600. With the deadline to the finish 12 hours away, it was clear that goal was beyond my scope. The only sensible decision was to find a close train station and use public transportation to get the tracker back to the race organizers.

I was disappointed. On reflection, it was easy to identify the mistakes I made early in the race which left me in this situation. I will return to complete this event in 2020. I have Unfinished Business to take care of.

The closest train station was in Essen. It was a 7 km ride to the station. I took a train from Essen to Utrecht Central Station, parked my bike at the station, and took a bus to race start at De Proloog in Amerongen.

The organizing team at the finish were gracious with their welcome and I think they understood my disappointment. My ride was not a failure but by the same token was not a success. To put the distance I completed in 8 days is some context, I rode from the front door of my house in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia to about the border between Quebec and Ontario.

After spending about an hour in Amerongen, I took the bus back to Utrecht where I met my good friend Wietse. We had a wonderful meal, retrieved Kermit from the bike park, and took the train to Amsterdam.

Prior to getting cleaned up, I packed Kermit for travel and started organizing my cycling kit in my suitcase to travel the next day.

There was a funny moment when I removed my cycling jacket and Wietse commented “You stink!” Removal of the jacket released aromas that build up in the base layers after a couple of days of riding. I guess I had gotten used to the smell but it was good to know that the jacket trapped the smell from the rest of the world.

At moments like this, there is nothing that compares to a warm shower. All the clothing on the ride went into the washing machine in preparation for my flight on Friday.

Wietse and I headed out to pick up some groceries for breakfast on Friday morning and to have a celebration drink. It was a fine way to spend my final night in Amsterdam. This is a rocking city and staying on the edge of the Red Light District proved highly educational.

I can’t wait until RATN2020!