The world keeps turning, seasons are changing but everything has stopped. I consider myself fortunate, as here in Amsterdam we did not have a strict lockdown, and I had plenty to do throughout the slowest time when businesses were shut. Having said that, all plans regarding riding were swept off the board, and preparing for the future is currently guesswork at best. Still, life goes on and shadows pass eventually.

This post was long overdue, sorry for the silence.

Turbulence and immobility

The beginning of the year started brightly, and there was a lot of riding in the pipeline. I planned to kick-off the season with mountain biking in Italy in May and training was going well. In March though it became evident that the Italian outing would not happen. Also an extensive two-month enduro expedition in central Asia with Walter Colebatch was in jeopardy. Our bikes were scheduled to be shipped out from Amsterdam June, but as the borders in the world closed one after another, it became evident that our expedition would not happen. As the riding and expeditions evaporated, so did my motivation for training. As many others I took a bit of a hit with body fat and fitness during the pandemic.

This too shall pass

But it’s not all doom and gloom. The future is obviously still hazy, But Walter and I have plans to ride out as soon as the travel restrictions are somewhat lifted. The central Asian expedition is pushed until next year, and this winter’s expedition will head to Northern Africa or the Iberian Peninsula. Time will tell.

During all this I have been thinking a lot about the equipment and bike preparation for expeditions, especially since we will be now be a bit of a mixed team split between rally and enduro styles. Secondly I’m increasingly curious about the potential of using an E-MTB for shorter expeditions. And finally, it looks likely that the Hobo ghetto rain shorts will see the light of day eventually as a more refined product.

As I mentioned earlier, I had a lot to do during the quiet time of the pandemic, as I was busy renovating our apartment in Amsterdam. But looking at myself after months of the life of a beer-fueled construction worker the reflection in the mirror was not impressive. In fact to was quite the opposite, and I decided to reboot my training and diet there and then.

It turns out a friend of mine, who is a professional paragliding pilot and mountain bike guide, is planning to start an online fitness coaching business. He was kind enough to ask me to be his first client on a test and feedback basis, to which I said yes. During the last years I have mostly been figuring out the nutrition and training cycles on my own, and while it has been somewhat successful it has always lacked sustainability. Having a little bit experience in the matter, it has been extremely fruitful to have someone with copious amounts of information to talk to.

Anyhow, I hope you’re all well and have been coping the best you can with the pandemic. Although right now the situation in Europe looks somewhat ominous, I feel there is light at the end of the tunnel and we will all be on the trails before too long.