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part 1

Actually I should be on the ninth stage of my tour, well recovered from my rest day. Instead, I'm sitting at home on my PC and writing these lines in frustration.
Right from the start, this tour was not under a good star, but I really didn't expect such a sudden end...
On the first stage, my dad accompanied me for the first few kilometers and then said goodbye at the German-Dutch border. I then went on for 105km in the best cycling weather, before it suddenly got very dark for the last 9km. I barely escaped the first rain because I had arrived at the campsite seconds earlier, but I got the second rain shower while setting up the tent. There wasn't a restaurant/snack place nearby either, so energy bars and ice cream (the only thing sold at reception) were available to eat for day one.
After I forgot my bottles at the start of the second stage and had to go back, this day was probably the last really nice day of cycling - especially as far as the weather is concerned.
Stage 3 started with light rain in the morning and ended with downpours, a sandy track that was almost impossible to ride on and a headwind (if I had known at that point what kind of wind was in store for me, I would have been happy about it).
On the fourth stage, my struggle with the elements began to increase, especially with the wind. Again there was no food available in the evening, but this time I had made provisions and bought some rolls and nuts.
Since some of the rolls were left over, I had rescheduled the fifth stage and removed the detour to the bakery (5km), which would have taken me away from the coast anyway. In addition to the wind, there was now even more rain and, especially on this day, a lot of sheep shit...
On the sixth stage, the wind and rain continued to increase, even if there were dry phases from time to time and I didn't just have to ride against the wind (due to the route).
On the seventh stage, however, the real drama only began. The entire morning there was drizzle and from noon onwards there was a heavy storm, wind speeds of 30-33 km/h, of course in the face. The ferry, which according to both komoot and google should have made it possible to cross the "Noordbuitenkanaal" (about 3 km before the destination) does not exist or at least did not go, which led to a detour of another 12 stormy kilometers. In the evening, however, after a shower, pizza & beer (a friend wrote to me that evening that shower, pizza & beer would probably someday save the world), I was in a good mood again and in good spirits, even if at that point in time a slight redness and slight pimples had formed on my index finger – in my opinion heat pimples, it does happen in summer, nothing wild… I was also looking forward to my rest day, together with friends and my Baybay – what a drame took place that day in Wuppertal does not need to be discussed further here - until I was informed on 21:00 that evening that the planned accommodation for the rest day was not available, which led to hectic rescheduling.
So the last stage - of course with plenty of rain and headwind - instead of going to Hellevoetsluis, initially went to the ferry in Maassluis and then more or less back to Den Haag / Delft, with the plan that my girlfriend would then take me to the other side of the ferry in Rotzenburg after the rest day and I would resume the tour from there.
Unfortunately, the rash had gotten much worse over the course of the night and especially during the day. Instead of only affecting one index finger, the backs of both hands, the fingers and both knees were very red, swollen and covered with pimples. Neither the ointment used nor the night brought any improvement and so I had to make a decision yesterday. Reason or Ambition?
Of course, I could grit my teeth and go a few more stages. But what are the chances that the rash will get better under the stress and constant rain? Or, which I think is more likely, will it only get worse? When I'm at this point alone in the middle of nowhere, it doesn't help me either...
And so, with a heavy heart, I made the decision to abort the tour and drive home with my Baybay (we still made a detour via Burgers' Zoo in Arnhem).
And even now that I'm sitting at my PC and writing these lines, I'm not happy with the decision, even though I know that it was the only right one. My hands and knees continue to be swollen, inflamed and itchy like crazy. The doc has prescribed me a cortisone ointment, which will hopefully bring relief. Even though the Doc was very short and didn't want to talk too much about possible causes - he was of the opinion that it was probably an allergic reaction to sun exposure... What sun?
Hands in cycling gloves all the time, ridden in long trousers 70% of the time, how is the sun supposed to get to these places, even if it was there? But hey, he's the Doc... But whatever it was, I hope the ointment helps...

For my part, I will of course still make a donation.
Instead of the planned €189.60 for 1896km, only €88.50 would actually have been due for 885km...
But instead of getting stingy because of the termination, I top up my donation to €200.
If someone still wants to contribute to the donation despite the termination, I would of course be very happy: Thank you.

part 2

... I will see, if I will go on with this tour...

a few figures for the tour

  • distance: 885 kilometres

  • time in the saddle: 45h 38min

  • average speed: 19,4 km/h

  • money spend: approx €505,-

    • accommodations: €340 (hotel: €230 / tent: €110)

    • food: approx €165,-

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