August 30, 2009 GMT
Netherlands / Belgium

Left early the next morning as I wanted to make Calais and get on a ferry to England. The weather looked not to good so put in warm liner in my jacket (first time) and it wasn't long before it started to rain so had to stop and put on wet weather gear. Rained for a couple of hours and it was definately getting cooler. The worst thing was the wind, I was heading into a southwest gale (I later found out it was the tale end of a hurracane) and it was making riding really differcult and hard on the body.
Had a quick ride through the Netherlands (easy road signage!) and entered Belgium and headed for Brugge. Wow what a beautiful city center! took loads of video and photo's. Stopped for a quick snack and headed on towards the coast. The riding really started to get hard as the wind was still picking up and it got to the stage where it was getting dangerous as I was constantly getting bufferted across the road. In fact just before the French border I met a couple of other bikers at a gas stop who were not going to go on as the riding was so hard. Here I was thinking I'd have a easy cruise to England but no, my last days ride after all those Km was turning out to be as hard as some of hardest day's I've had. Riding in those conditions is really tough on the body as you are always braceing yourself against the gusts. The worst part was sometimes a gust would get under the peak of my helmet and suddenly wrench my head back putting a huge strain on my neck. After battleing these conditions I finally made it the Calais and the ferry port. I was concerned that maybe the ferries wouldn't sail but they were and managed to purchage a ticket (75!!) on the next crossing. The announcement on the ferry was that there was a strong gale blowing in the channel and that it would be an rough passage and so it proved to be. Quite a few people were sick so I headed up onto the top deck out side to enjoy the fresh air. After a delay of about 30 minutes waiting to dock we arrived. I had been concerned that maybe I hadn't secured the bike properly but she was still upright and so I unstrapped her and rode off the ferry into England.

Posted by Ross MacDonald at August 30, 2009 09:33 AM GMT
 


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