Utrecht to Arnhem – Pancakes! Parks! Attempts?

Inside of Princenhoff, Pancake House and restaurant.

Inside of Princenhof, Pancake House and restaurant.


The second day of our cycle tour of the Netherlands, Rachel and I awoke early, but not early enough to see our host from Couchsurfing, scoot off to work. We were awoken by his furry friend, a forward feline named chip. We too scooted off, out of Utrecht, stopping at Princenhof for some Pannenkoekens and beer before heading out along the bikepath towards Arnhem. The trip had kicked Rachel’s ass yesterday. As previously mentioned, she had never cycled before and so the 60km, supposed piece of cake trek from Amsterdam to Utrecht, was more like a piece of metal shrapnel lodged into her legs, than delicious cake lodged in her mouth.

Princehof's famous chef

Princehof’s famous chef

The day’s ride took us through beautiful forest and countryside. Passed ba’ing sheep and woofing dogs and naying horses. Many people were out and about on their bikes, from very old to toddlers perched in makeshift baskets. Quite heartwarming to see a society promote the bicycle, as Netherlands tends to do. Needless to say, after another long day, Rachel’s legs were aching and so we decided to stop in Ede, a town I had been to before, on a previous bike trip through this region. Not much to this town, so we interneted it up at a Mcdonalds and found a good deal at a nice hotel, the Reehorst, to refuel for the next day, where we would cycle to Arnhem and on our way check on the Netherlands elusive desert.

For some reason, from this day, all I have is photos of Princenhof.

For some reason, from this day, all I have is photos of Princenhof.

Details of Princehof.

Details of Princehof.

More details of Princenhof.

More details of Princenhof.

Check out the accompanying video:

More info on this leg of the trip:

Pannenkoekenhuis Princenhof

Address: Hoofdstraat 1, 3971 KA Driebergen-Rijsenburg, Netherlands
Hotel Reehorst
Address: Bennekomseweg 24, 6717 Ede, Netherlands


Rhijnauwen is a castle, former heerlijkheid (fiefdom), and former municipality in the Dutch province of Utrecht. It was located northwest of the village of Bunnik.

The municipality of Rhijnauwen consisted of Nieuw- and Oud-Amelisweerd (red and orange), and the original heerlijkheid Rhijnauwen (yellow). Shown here on a map of the municipality Bunnik in 1868.[1]

The municipality existed from 1818 to 1857, when it was merged with Bunnik.[2] It consisted of the former heerlijkheden Amelisweerd and Rhijnauwen.[3] Around 1850, it had 50 inhabitants.

The name is still used to denote the small forest that separates Bunnik and Utrecht.
The name is probably derived from Rhijnauwen Auen, an old word for the wet meadows along the Rhine. The estate is probably from the 13th century. The first mention of the manor Rhijnauwen dates back to 1212. The House was in the first half of the 14th century it belonged to the genus of Lichtenberg. This family was one of the most powerful families of Utrecht and had also Lichtenberg House, which was located in a place now part of the town hall in Utrecht. Rhijnauwen was officially recognized in 1536 as a manor. After the marriage of John IV of Lichtenberg Aleid Renesse came from the farmhouse in the hands of the family Van Zeeland Renesse. In 1449, the brothers Frederick and John Renesse Rudolf after the victory of Deep Holt Zweder banned from Culemborg, and in 1450 the house was on fire Rhijnauwen commissioned by the city of Utrecht. After the house has exchanged owners several times. The last private owner of the house was the family Rhijnauwen Strick van Linschoten Rhijnauwen bought in 1773. In 1919 the estate was bought by the city of Utrecht. The then owner, the Dowager Strick van Linschoten should stay there until the end of her life. On April 1, 1933 was leased to the hostel Rhijnauwen Foundation, which gave the building its current destination.




She Will Be Mine, Oh Yes, She Will be Mine – My Travel Bucket List Part 1


The final resting place of many Orange/Nassau Royals in the New Church of Delft.

The final resting place of many Orange/Nassau Royals in the New Church of Delft.


If you didn’t get the Wayne’s World reference from the title don’t feel too bad (you should still see if it you would like to see a mocking satire of Middle America in the Early 90s or just want a silly laugh). The sentiment is, rather than wishing my travels to come to fruition, is see them as a very deliberate and calculated plan of my life choice. Wanderlust, isn’t lustful in that it is unattainable, it is so because it is unquenchable. Whether these places come into play on this World Tour or my next or next transcontinental excursion doesn’t matter, because for me, they are eminent either tomorrow or the near future. For me, the near future is in the context of the greater scheme of this universe, so 20 or 30 years, compared to millions, is blip, so small it is unavailable to the human eye. Wow. Deep intro mannnnnn. Without further adieu, in no order my travel bucket list at this second. Just to let you know, the pictures are simply things to look at from my past travels, not actual representations of the places on my list.



The main square of Delft

The main square of Delft

The Southern States


Now, I have been to So Cal, so let me clarify. When you think of Southern America, THAT’S the South that I would like to see. I needn’t say more to aid you in filling in such archetypal blanks. Not only does the South contain a very interesting history, seem to seethe with unpretentious swagger and have the coolest accents in North America, asides from Newfoundlanders, they also have a culture, that that contains many mouth watering, barbequey components. To be blunt, a trip down South for me, would be a 24 hour “stuff my face with all the food I see” kind of trip. Oh yeah, Graceland….BUT FOOD, OY VEY, FOOD. I wouldn’t expect leaving there without uncontrollable meat sweats and at least an appreciation for radio stations that do NOT play Kenny Chesney.




Italy – All of It


Continuing the theme of food, Italy has been on my radar for a long time. In fact, my first solo European bike trip was supposed to be through Italy. In a crumpled, well loved Michelin Map Book, I have outlined a route that would take me somewhere between 5 months to ten centuries to complete. Every town is dotted and jotted with notes about what to see, what to eat. The notes are additionally highlighted, bolded and underlined to express the importance and dire need to see and eat these places. Each small town has it’s specialty, that’s why it seems so unfair to blanketly describe it as all Italian food. It seems to disregard the intricacies of each region’s own flavor, each one’s own take off or complete abandon of an Italian culinary through line. History is also important to me, especially the detailed specifics about certain famous or infamous characters of the past. The histories written by Plutarch and Herodotus are rife with gossip, hearsay and blatant fabrications, but the stages for all these described events, still exists to be explored.  Italian pride in it’s glorious past has left much of it intact and yet I always have this fear that I have to see it sooner than later, before a natural disaster or violent upheaval takes them from us. I was in Rome for a month and I still feel like I didn’t see enough. I felt I merely glanced upon the surface without fully diving in. I think I would require forever times two to fully get the all-encompassing Italian experience.


The Old Church, Delft.

The Old Church, Delft.



If having some of the oldest and grandest cities in the world and being the cradle of one of history’s most powerful empires doesn’t spark any interest in you, then we probably wouldn’t make good travel buddies. Ancient civilizations fascinate me, in part due to their epic mythos, but also that their legacy is still prominent, echoed in large scale building projects that have stood the test of time and now act as story tellers for new generations who visit them. The centre of this world was Persepolis, where the seat of Darius the Great once sat, only to be topped by another great, a curly haired Macedonian, named Alexander. Iran is the classic new meets old, as a modern version of itself struggles against it’s ancient stereotype to be global relevant, as well as accepted. Iran is North Americancentrically portrayed as a bad guy and a generic one at that, similar to the Russian bond villains. This is also why I am interested in visit Iran and many other countries that are unfairly categorized as such. Because I am told not to go and when I ask them “why?”, the usual response is, because “they say it’s dangerous”. Who are these “they” that I am trusting? What’s at stake for them to keep me in line as such. Selfishly, I feel as it is a minor act of rebellion to do so. Or at least, that is how it could be perceived. Simple and plain, I don’t buy into the hype, unless I hear of it first hand.

Again, I will be posting my own wishlists throughout this process not to hint at where I’d like the bike trip to proceed to, but simply to spark ideas and create a dialogue between lovers of bikes and far off lands (or not so far off places). What’s on your wishlist? Post it in the forums and/or in a comment below!


Ira – The Misguided Guide of Each Mile


Beautiful stain glass, main church of Gouda.

Beautiful stain glass, main church of Gouda.

To Know or Not to Know: The Checklist of Bike Knowledge for World Touring

The Manchester Eye


Though it is early on in the game, with the World Tour commencing most likely in 2016 or 2017, being that I am an impeccably slow learner, especially when I don’t feel it is crunch time (ie, the night before the exam), I have spent a great deal of time scouring the Internets, pondering and considering what essential bicycle knowledge I need for the tour. As it stands right now, the tour could consist of many countries that include remote locations or simply no bicycle culture. What that means for me, is that not only do I need to know how to fix my bicycle, but also how to fix it without a bicycle stand, a vice or guidance.


Possibly Manchester at Night

Possibly Manchester at Night

While passing through one of the bicycle forums, a poster asked a similar question: “What do I need to know about my bicycle to tour?” One person’s somewhat agitated sounding response was that you needed to know EVERYTHING about a bicycle, if you’re even considering a world tour. While that makes sense and that I wouldn’t mind learning a bit about each part of the bike, I know that there are definitely more essential, need to know backwards and forwards, bits of knowledge than others. Like chain maintenance is invariably more important than handle bar tape (which I am as good at as birthday present wrapping (my birthday presents always look as if they were poorly handled baggage at the airport))

Restaurant in Geldrop, Netherlands

Restaurant in Geldrop, Netherlands



Like “pros and cons”, I always find it helpful to write a list to see of what you options you are working with. Since I am a somewhat impoverished artiste, using my printer as a foot stool due to my lack of funds to supply it with ink and also just like forcing strangers to read my “it looks like a writing with your bad hand, blindfolded competition”, I write it all out on lineless paper. I do this so that when I am done it, I can present it to others to consider my options. In this case, this list will consist of two columns, the knowledge that I have and the knowledge I that I must attain. I then have something I can present to bike shop employees as starting grounds to expand upon. Good bike shop folk, in my general experience, will not look down on you for admitting your lack of knowledge, but possibly praise you for your desire to learn more, rather than always relying on their expertise. It just shows your initiative and passion for cycling, which is something they probably understand all too well. My care isn’t being about to regurgitate the knowledge and names like a parrot, but to be able to practice these tools, commit them to memory and use them later when they are required.


So without further adieu, I present to you my list, of “Bike Stuff I Know and Bike Stuff I Think I Have to Know”




Tire and Tube – Tube patching, changing a tire

Wheel – Basic truing, removal, spoke replacement

Gears – Cassette removal, cleaning, basic knowledge of replacement

Chain – Replacement, fixing, lubing

Brakes – Minor adjustments, brake pad replacement, lever basic fixes

Seat – Raise and lower, removal

Handbars – Adjustment

Rack – Basic removal and replacement





Brakes – Brake cable replacement, better understanding of brake levers and adjustment

Gears – Better understanding of cable tension and limiters and setting them

Wheel – Better truing skills, if I run out of spokes, semi-fix solutions

Pedals – Removal and replacing

In General – Additional, non-bike stuff I need in kit for jerry-ed up situations


There is a lot more bike information that I haven’t even considered and that is possibly essential knowledge. That’s why having a list is a good starting point, to know what you are missing by showing it to others and getting their opinions to fill in the blanks, building a comprehensive, inclusive list. Readers, if you have any additional ideas and essential bits of knowledge that you feel I have left out, please feel free to comment below. Again, bike knowledge is about exchange and conversation. If you don’t ask, you will never know!