Life in these turbulent times with climate change, political chaos (the Netherlands), the growing wealth gap, COVID-19 deniers, digital money, energy transition, resurgent populism, reduced reading skills among young people, neoliberal economy, etc. did not get any easier for guys like me who grew up in the turbulent sixties and seventies.
So even though I no longer have an employer, I still need a vacation. Not to escape from that non-existent employer, … but from all those other things from which no one can escape.
And then luckily there is my camera, my dog, my garden, my velomobile and my family!
Mother turtle-dove decided to make her nest in a wicker basket that is always on our porch. She laid two eggs which both hatched without any problems. So we could enjoy 2 turtle-doves growing up every day and have also gained a lot of respect for the turtle-dove that took excellent care of their young and defended with great courage against crows and other birds that were looking for food for their young. At the moment they can fly reasonably well and have good hiding places in our garden. They are still dependent on their parents for food.
I needed a new saddle for my Bullitt. The old one was made of plastic and because of the cracks in the deck I often got a wet butt from the rainwater that remained in the plastic foam for days on end.
On the old Batavus I still have an old “Lepper” saddle that suits me well. I know a leather saddle is best. This saddle is great for the Batavus because the relaxed posture gets good support while cycling. I can therefore keep cycling for a long time.
I used to ride a “Brooks” saddle for years. I also know from experience that you have to “ride in” a leather saddle. Only after a few hundred kilometers of intensive use in all kinds of weather does a leather saddle sit on your body. The first months it is therefore lousy. After that, you will be the first to transfer the saddle when you buy a new bike …
A different model of saddle is needed for the Bullitt, because the cycling posture is completely different. The sportier posture and the aging body require different support. Because I am used to the luxury and comfort of a velomobile, I have therefore decided not to make any concessions.
So it became a Brooks with “holes and tension wires”.
So today I started greasing the new leather. Much at the bottom and very little on top. This will last for years and years …
I was back in my native village for a while and then I can not resist taking a few pictures.
First some impressions from the ever-changing village center …
I got a warm feeling when I saw that the old forge / workshop of van Ark is still standing proudly, in the same condition as when I played there as a little boy. In my view this is a general heritage that must be maintained and preserved in its old state!
I am grateful to the people who have seemingly left it untouched so far. Beautiful single-brick wall, single glass in original windows, original hinges, no modernization whatsoever!
If you live in Zeeland, people often look at the shape of a velomobile with the eyes of a sailor.
But the fluid dynamics for water is fundamentally different from that for air.
The shape of a velomobile suggests that it has a high speed … and I think that is the big disadvantage of these bikes !
I’ve been riding a Quest for many years and I find it very annoying when the first question people ask me is “how fast is that thing going?” The question is posed from the paradigm that those people have. Then I tend to look at their shoes and ask the question back; “How fast are those shoes running?”
And then, if the situation permits, I try to explain that I am an old lazy man who finds it important to be able to ride a bike comfortably. Protected against rain, storm and bright sun rays, in short, against all bad weather conditions, while listening to a nice podcast or good music.
Traveling under my own power, with food, drinks and sweets at your fingertips, the Garmin with a planned route on the handlebars and if I want to take a break, I just stop in a safe place and rest in the same posture as I do at home on the couch …
Despite the cocoon that protects me reasonably against the weather and possibly pushy drivers, I feel free to move in the natural environment. So it’s not the speed … but the comfortably cycling (with a smile on your face) is the goal!
Therefore, I regret that the majority of velomobilists just do their best to race as fast as possible and forget to realize how comfortable cycling with a velomobile is, compared to a time trial bike as prescribed by the UCI.
In the Netherlands are political elections next week. The photographers who made the portraits for these election posters made my day!
The photos are taken like mugshots are made. With a frontal flash light, drop shadow on the white background and the harsh shadows not hidden … There is no compassion or empathy in the faces. Just a forced smile.
Does anyone know why the campaign teams of these two political parties opted for such bad pictures? Or is it the case that potential voters for these parties like to vote for criminals?
Portrait photography is a very difficult and underappreciated form of art … these portraits are an insult to all portrait photographers.
Or is it the case that the photographers secretly express their own (opposite) political color in their portraits … Than the photographers probably believed that this prime minister and minister of finance could only be depicted as criminals.