Saturday, August 18, 2012

Electroworld Skating 2012--Looking Out for Each Other

Saturday, 18-August-2012 - Boekel - This summer, I averaged 80 km a week, and I was going to once more try to finish the 100 km distance for the  Electroworld Skating Tour.  That was until the weather forecast predicted 34 Degrees Celcius for today.  I knew that would be pushing my luck to work so hard in such hot weather. I got up at 0500 to see Marij off to work. I had a good breakfast and got ready. Three raisin bread rolls (one for each 20 km-leg), lunch, spare socks, sunscreen, bouillon cubes (to replace salt sweated out), and an Arab-like headress to shade my neck from the sun. Yesterday, I made sure my skates were in good order--one last check.  I made it to Boekel at 0910. I saw familiar smiles, and met new friends along the way.  At the start Gerard emphasized looking out for each other, and that choosing for 60 km would be a good decision this year for those unsure about the 100.  I told Fun-on-Wheels skater Astrid, I'd watch out for her--it was her first time for the 60-km in Boekel.  As it turned out, I had a rough time myself getting to the first resting point.  I was skating near the leaders, but I started to fall back.  The skater behind me asked if it was okay if he gave me a push to close the gap. I appreciated that helping hand.  Three cups of sport drink, a raisin bread roll, a few minutes sitting in the shade, some cool water splashed over me head, and some more sunscreen. I felt a lot better.  Astrid was doing okay.  The next 20 km was enjoyable.  Changed my socks at the 40 km stop in Rijkevoort.  More sun screen.  Astrid was ready for the last leg of the tour. Talked to Sijtze. He also got up a 0500 this morning. But unlike me, he first had to milked his cows and drive 200 km to get to Boekel from Appelscha, Friesland.  I first met Sijtze two years ago at the 60-km rest stop.  Astrid ran out of gas halfway back to Boekel. I stopped to see if I could help. She was glad to hop in the safety vehicle for a ride back.  I started skating to rejoin the group.  Jos was on bicycle, and I asked him to ride in front me to shield me from the wind. I asked him to step it up to 22 km per hour. We caught up in five minutes. We rolled over the finish around 1400.  Met a smiling Astrid back at the meeting point.  I was happy to find some nice grass in the shade.  Thanks to all the volunteers and participants who made this a great day! I'll try again next year for the 100 km. pics (159)

No comments: