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tips for amsterdam shops and others
#1
Question 
First of all, very sorry for not writing in Dutch. But I suppose it's better to write directly in English than trying to web-translate back to Dutch.

Arrow (you can skip my presentation and go directly to the questions below)  Exclamation

I've just registered to the forum, but I've been visiting for sometime. I also use to visit velomobilforum and velorizontal (oh, google translate helps very much!), and I'm quite a frequent BROL user. We also have a brazilian forum, the recliforum.forumeiros.com.

I'm from Brazil and have been riding recumbents for 8 years now. I can call myself mainly a commuter, cycle-tourist and randonneur. My main recumbent is MetaPhysic MetaPhysic, that I use for more "training-dedicated" commutes, weekend long-distance riding and for the brevets. For touring and off-road I ride a small but tough brazilian square-tube bent, and I ride upright bikes also (road, mtb and folding). Never had a car and prefer to continue this way.

After these years having a bike-addicted life in a car-oriented country, and not having the chance to test ride many recumbent designs that I admire, I decided it was time for a backpacking trip to Holland, ending in Germany at SPEZI.

I could have started this thread some months ago, while I was planning my itinerary, but I preferred to do my own homework. Briefly, I will spend somedays in Amsterdam, Dronten, Leiden, Rotterdam, The Hague and Nijmegen. Then I will head to Köln and Germersheim. Besides looking after bikes and bike culture, I'm visiting museums, attending to concerts (I'm a classical guitarist / teacher) and of course anxious for the landscapes! I live in a very hilly terrain, and riding through the lowlands will be absolutely new to me.

The shops that I will visit will be LigfietsWinkel, LigfietsTempelmann, Maia (Leiden) and Elan. I'll try to ride some models that I admire, preferably renting and spending a whole morning or day with it. For touring / commute I wish to test Flevo GreenMachine, Nazca FuegoHPVelo Grashopper and Azub Origami. For long-distance riding I would like to know better how I could ride the Raptobike (low and mid), the Challenge Chamsin and maybe the Nazca Gaucho (i guess it maybe too heavy or flexy for my hills). I love the M5 CHR, but I really doubt that I could fit (I'm 1,71m) and safely climb my mountains on such a big bike. So I'm skipping a visit to Middelburg, that could be nice, but I had to make choices. If I find other non-European bents like the Performer HR (i think Maia stocks), or just the Bacchettas and Cruzbikes, would be nice too, but maybe I will not see them, not even at Spezi. Well, in Köln there are two shops that I plan to visit (veloladen and low-rider), and I almost forgot that I would like to test ride trikes, especially the full-suspended - but if I do the trike tests only on the Spezi test track, is ok.

I plan to spend two days in Dronten to visit Velomobiel and Intercity / Alligt - and of course Flevobike. I've been studying the velomobile scene for sometime and, first, I need to know if I am a "velomobile person". I'ts a big dream AND a big money (here in Brazil the import taxes sum almost 100%, so a common velo purchase would easily beat € 15,000, plus a very expensive shipping), and I have some particularities, like the hot climate, the majority of climbing in my terrain, the many bad roads and the total absence of any kind of velomobile service/support here in south america. Ideally I admire the weight and probably the stiffness of the DF, but would prefer to have the easiness of maintanance of the WAW (I recall reading somewhere that maybe the WAW shipping can be lower, if they send completely disassembled), and the better climbing traction and even safety of the Quattrovelo - but having four CLOSED wheels looks like to much for me, changing tires/tubes and adjusting toe-in feels like a nightmare (i'm not very good at mechanics). The Strada and the QuestXS aren't out of my thoughts, also, as is not the Hilgo - I really enjoy the drivetrain, the compactness and having three small wheels can be a good thing. Hope that Harry shows out with one at Spezi.

I would love to hear what you would like to say about all that I already presented, please feel free to share your opinions. But I have also some more specific questions.

Arrow - - - . . . - - - QUESTIONS - - - . . . - - -  Exclamation

I look forward to come back from my trip, unfortunately, not with a new bike or new frame, but with some clothing and bike parts/acessories. Bringing in the airplane will be much more economical than importing from here (as I told before, the import taxes sum 100%). I think that most of you may buy things online, that's what I do here also, but as I will have no specific address I will have to buy locally there.

1) cycling rain jacket: big outdoor shops or bike shops?

I've read the reviews from http://www.oppad.nl/?uitrusting=fiets-re...-test-2017 and at first I would have preferences for the Vaude Spray, but any of the more "sporty" jackets will be nice. Here I've been using trekking rain covers that are very large and have absolutely no breathability.

Do you thing that, to be able to try the many models, is it better to go to someplace like Bever, Perry or Kathmandu, or to bike specific shops? Which shops could you recommend in Amsterdam? (I say amsterdam because in rotterdam and the hague i'll be on the weekend and monday. probably I'll find only Decathlon opened)

2) wide cycling shoes: where?

This question follows the other. I signed on my 'personal trip map' shops that stock Lake shoes (i know they have wide versions), like Mantel 2Wielers and Wijk Fietsen. But I know there are other big shops, like Kaptein. Am I missing any important? Is there a place where you can find the most variety?

3) battery headlights: in Holland or Germany?

I've been using dynamo-powered lights (started with the Cyo, then the Luxus U and finally the IQ-X) but I would like to also have as a spare a good set of battery-powered lights. Still don't know if I go with the ones from B&M or the fancy Lupines. Probably I'll leave this purchase to Köln, but I also mention here so that you can comment. Maybe there's a good place to buy or even test in Holland.

4) some recumbent-specific parts/acessories from brands that will exibit at Spezi: is it usually possible to buy at spezi?

Being more specific, I look for a new idler for the Metaphysic (from icletta/terracyle), a new Ventisit (mine is small for my seat - it's an M5 ventisit but my seat is Ocean Cycle) and maybe I'll take a Radical Solo Aero bag (still thinking because it's very expensive). Are such items usually sold at spezi? If not, is there a place I could buy, without perhaps ordering first? Probably the shops I will visit before stock these things, and I could always ask them before, but I ask here because maybe you have other ideas.

5) accomodation in Germersheim?

A bit of trouble with this, and I admit I did a stupid thing. 4 months ago I made all my reservations for my trip, EXCEPT the Germersheim night (only for the saturday - on friday before I'll sleep in Köln, and sunday I'll need to sleep in Frankfurt to take my flight), because they were very expensive and didn't find an easy way to do online. Recently I tried and had no luck with the two least expensive hotels I found: Hotel Post answered me that will be closed, and Hotel Kurfurst didn't reply to my contact. The other ones are quite expensive and found no contact online for the Da Michele, that looks like an italian-food restaurant that has also a hotel, that maybe cheap... The locations nearby also have expensive accomodations, and the AirBNBs or aren't available, or only book for two nights, and I need only one.

If some of you don't have any idea, I will post this question on the velomobilforum.de. Asked here before because my trip is more dutch than german!

PS: my sujects are varied, but as I asked mainly for shopping infos, I placed the thread in this section. if it shouldn't be here, I ask the moderators to move. Thanks!
Antwoord }
Bedankt door:
#2
If you visit Dronten in two days, you might as well visit Nazca in Nijeveen, just a bit north of Meppel. You can ask them all your questions directly regarding the Gaucho. About 45 kilometers by bike from Dronten. Giethoorn just west of Nijeveen is a big tourist attraction for (at the looks of it, mostly Asians), there are lots of little canals and bridges are the main attraction, which you might like to have a look at the town yourself too while on your way to Nijeveen / Nazca. Nazca also has ventisits, you might like to try (don't know if they are custom made for their bikes only, though), and of course try out their bikes. I have a 26 inch Nazca Gaucho myself.

Regarding your Germersheim question. In the Netherlands we have Vrienden op de Fiets. This is a network where for cyclists and long distance walkers to stay at peoples home for a fixed price range, depending on the quality people can offer (could be a complete guesthouse, could be just a simple bed and small room people have no use for themselves).
See https://www.vriendenopdefiets.nl. Maybe there is something alike in Germany?
Antwoord }
Bedankt door:
#3
Citaat:If you visit Dronten in two days, you might as well visit Nazca in Nijeveen, just a bit north of Meppel. You can ask them all your questions directly regarding the Gaucho

That's just a great idea. I actually reserved two days for Dronten because I was afraid of Theo and/or Ymte being too busy at their places - and I would like to REALLY talk about the velos and ride a bit more than around the corner. Well, if I visit intercity and velomobiel on the same day, on the next one I can pick a bike at Tempelman and will have about 8 hours (he opens 09:00-17:00) to ride to and from Nijeveen - although I think Tempelman stocks all nazca models, but sure would be nice to visit the Nazca daddy/mommy Big Grin. Thanks also for the Giethoorn tip!

Some years ago I changed some mails with Monique about the Fuego, Gaucho and the Fiero. One thing very important for me, in a recumbent, is the packability or transportability. Here in Brazil I travel a lot by bus. Usually there is space and I just throw the Meta laid down:

[Afbeelding: 38743560860_221b5f6af0_c.jpg]

When there is already more luggage I need to strap the bike vertically:

[Afbeelding: 40511118702_da221fcf5d_c.jpg]

There's always a lot of anxiety involved in this operation. You never know how the companies will react when you try to board with such a machine!

That's where the nazca gaucho could excel, for me, specially on an airflight:

[Afbeelding: 38743561130_0f080b9c18_z.jpg]

This is and old pic from a shop in USA. It's a great dissassemble, I would take hours to assemble it again, but for an international trip would be a great plus. Some months ago I asked Hans, from Elan, if such thing would be possible with the Challenge Chamsin. He didn't answer precisely, but said that he travel sometimes with the chamsin in a common bike box, with the wheels removed...

Citaat:Regarding your Germersheim question. In the Netherlands we have Vrienden op de Fiets. This is a network where for cyclists and long distance walkers to stay at peoples home(...)

Very neat. Thanks for the tip. I'll find if there's something like that - i know there is Warmshowers, but I'm still not a host. Wouldn't be nice to register just to be hosted.
Antwoord }
Bedankt door:
#4
I understand your anxity when you are taking your recumbent in your bus. I sometimes take my recumbent in a Dutch train and once in German train (in which it had te be hanged on). But never in a bus. I thought only Flix bus gives the opportunity to take a bicycle with you. I never read of someone who had taken a recumbent bicycle with Flixbus as luggage. 
Vrienden op de fiets has also some addresses in Germany, Mostly in the neighbouring states in Germany (i.e. Lower Saxony & Northrhine Westphalia). But also some in other German states. Near Germersheim there is an address in Sandhausen form Vrienden op de fiets.

According to Germersheim. On Googleplus I am  a moderator of a community about recumbents. The owner of the community, Gary Solomon visits every year the Spezi. He makes an video about it. Maybe he can help.

regards,

Marco
Antwoord }
Bedankt door:
#5
While on your way from Dronten to Nijeveen, you might also like to visit Schokland (https://www.google.nl/maps/place/Schokla...6587?hl=nl). It is a former island in the Zuiderzee sea, but was about to be washed over by the sea and left behind by its inhabitants. A few decades later the water surrounding the island was pumped out and turned into dry land (the entire province of Flevoland has been reclaimed from the sea, including the town of Dronten).

You can clearly see the shape of the island, and you can cycle right on the edges on the whole former island. On the most south point of the island you can find the ruins of a church of one of two towns that used to be on this island. Quite interesting.
Antwoord }
Bedankt door:
#6
(02-Mar-2018, 12:01 AM)Roepers schreef: I understand your anxity when you are taking your recumbent in your bus. I sometimes take my recumbent in a Dutch train and once in German train (in which it had te be hanged on). But never in a bus. I thought only Flix bus gives the opportunity to take a bicycle with you. I never read of someone who had taken a recumbent bicycle with Flixbus as luggage. 
Vrienden op de fiets has also some addresses in Germany, Mostly in the neighbouring states in Germany (i.e. Lower Saxony & Northrhine Westphalia). But also some in other German states. Near Germersheim there is an address in Sandhausen form Vrienden op de fiets.

According to Germersheim. On Googleplus I am  a moderator of a community about recumbents. The owner of the community, Gary Solomon visits every year the Spezi. He makes an video about it. Maybe he can help.

I forgot to give Marco a feedback! Yes, I'm a member from that G+community. Didn't realize you were a moderator. Looking forward to meet Gary in person! Well, I asked about Germersheim on BROL, and a member who did sometimes the trip from Copenhagen to SPEZI told me that recumbent riders and velonauts use to camp in a park by the river. Around here. And that there is a kayak club nearby with a hall that they let the cyclists sleep there two. So, at least now, I have a plan - and a cheap plan. Just need to be careful with the clothing, and take at least a sleeping bag.

(15-Mar-2018, 01:15 AM)Lopopodium schreef: While on your way from Dronten to Nijeveen, you might also like to visit Schokland (https://www.google.nl/maps/place/Schokla...6587?hl=nl). It is a former island in the Zuiderzee sea, but was about to be washed over by the sea and left behind by its inhabitants. A few decades later the water surrounding the island was pumped out and turned into dry land (the entire province of Flevoland has been reclaimed from the sea, including the town of Dronten).

You can clearly see the shape of the island, and you can cycle right on the edges on the whole former island. On the most south point of the island you can find the ruins of a church of one of two towns that used to be on this island. Quite interesting.

That's really very interesting! Actually, as Nazca will be exhibiting at SPEZI, maybe there is no need to cycle to Nijeveen, I could talk to Hank and ask my questions there. But this small trip to Schokland can't be missed, on whatever cycle I can rent or borrow. I usually take a lot of pics and make some videos, and that always takes a lot of time. So, many times a smaller trip can be better enjoyed than a longer one. Thank you for the tip.
Antwoord }
Bedankt door:
#7
Did you look into hostels for affordable accomodation? Most are quite comfortable these days and have an easy going atmosphere. Some are in quite spectacular buildings. While none is available right in Germersheim, there is a hostel some 35km away in Bad Bergzabern. Another one at 70km in Altleiningen (an old castle).
Antwoord }
Bedankt door:
#8
Have you already started your trip?
Antwoord }
Bedankt door:
#9
(23-Mar-2018, 09:14 PM)AZanNL schreef: Did you look into hostels for affordable accomodation? Most are quite comfortable these days and have an easy going atmosphere. Some are in quite spectacular buildings. While none is available right in Germersheim, there is a hostel some 35km away in Bad Bergzabern. Another one at 70km in Altleiningen (an old castle).

Yep, I stayed in 7 hostels, one quite different from each other, but all great! One of them was the Barbarossa in Nijmegen:

[Afbeelding: 27967008518_89fe5e8f54_c.jpg]

In Germersheim I ended up receiving a visit from my sister and she rented for us a very fine air b&b in Spöck, roughly 25km from Germersheim. It was the most comfortable accomodation I could have!

(27-Apr-2018, 10:35 PM)Lopopodium schreef: Have you already started your trip?

Oh, sure I did, and am already back to brazil! Thanks to all of you for the tips.

The 9 days in the Netherlands were a wonderful experience! Enjoyed very much the dutch spirit, the bike culture, the public transport and it was always so easy to communicate in english.

I must thank very much Gerhard from Ligfiets Winkel Amsterdam, Thys from Maia Ligfiets (Leiden), Herret (or Gerret?) from Ligfietsshop Tempelman, Theo&Allert from Velomobiel.nl, Peter from ICB and Hans from Elan. They were greatly kind and attentious to me. Learned very much from them. Because for them, I was able to try 14 recumbents before heading to SPEZI, with very quality test-rides - with almost each bike I rode something between 10km and 30km. Special mention to Andres at FlevoBike, who, in his Armadillo, guided me to a fine vegeterian lunch in Dronten. I also rented common dutch bikes in Rotterdam and Den Haag and rode quite a lot. In spezi was like I had imagined: you can try many bikes (in my case, 20) but is in a big hurry, not much more than 5 minutes with each of them. Of course, an experience that you can't have anywhere else. Well, thinking about Spezi experience I must also thank Henk and Monique from Nazca, who borrowed me the fuego, the fiero and the gaucho, and were very pacient with my, well... "brazilian style" Tongue

The list of bikes I rode is too long (34), but the top 5 aren't. Those were Azub Origami, Challenge Hurricane, Flux S600, Nazca Fiero and I must insert a trike here: ICE Sprint 20. The handling of these machines is SUPERB, very comfortable without losing the sportive feeling and, if some are not THAT fast, I find they are quite efficient. I must also mention the m5 shockproof 451 and the flevo greenmachine as great, too. Well, as you see, all small-wheeled bikes. As I ride mostly my high-racer, I think the 20 inch catched me, but I sure found the Challenge Chamsin a great substitute for my MetaPhysic, and I would like to had been able to test the Gaucho 26 side-to-side to the Chamsin. I rode the Gaucho, yes, but only the short rides you can do at SPEZI. That bike deserves an open road to feel its potential and, remembering the kind of elevation profile I have here, I really should take it to the mountains. I rode the Chamsin on some climbs around Nijmegen and it was really great, found it quite stiff.

Still about the Chamsin, a little espionage. Well, if Hans told me, it isn't a secret: he wants to build the Chamsin in carbon, and hopes to test a prototype till the end of the year.

I took so many pics and recorded so many videos that it's still a bit difficult to organize them, but I've already posted very few of them on the brazilian recumbent forum: http://recliforum.forumeiros.com/t1331-s...e-mochilao . I'm quite sure a google translation to english or dutch is pretty bad, but taking a look at the pics and vids usually doesn't need translation Big Grin (yet I speak portuguese on the videos)

Hope to come back in a few years, still got my OV-chipkart Cool !!
Antwoord }
Bedankt door:
#10
Good to hear you enjoyed yourself. I believe the weather was also in your favour.

Nice picture, this one...

[Afbeelding: 40935632775_fa8048962c_c.jpg]

Dodgy cars with a flat tire and windows taped up (after having been smashed) parked on the street. Looks even worst than the worst imaginable neighborhood we might have up here... Do you remember where that one was shot?
Antwoord }
Bedankt door:
#11
(02-May-2018, 02:32 PM)Lopopodium schreef: Good to hear you enjoyed yourself. I believe the weather was also in your favour.

The first days in Amsterdam, Dronten, Leiden and Rotterdam were quite a good reception from someone coming from the tropics... But, then, Den Haag and Nijmegen, for me, were FREEZING! But SPEZI was again fine and sunny; I heard that last year was only rain...

(02-May-2018, 02:32 PM)Lopopodium schreef: Do you remember where that one was shot?

That's in front of Gerhard's shop, exactly here. There's someone riding a trike in front of the shop at googlestreetview.
Antwoord }
Bedankt door:
#12
I see, so not a 'normal' street, but just a car repair shop parking some cars.
Antwoord }
Bedankt door:


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