I was heading on this 80km bike ride from Nieuw- Vennep to Oud Alblas (start of trip, middle). I was now leaving Gouda. I was sure to have an easier time getting to my destination as there were no more large cities to navigate. Notice the route through Gouda seemed to be made by some drunk person winding through neighborhood streets I started getting the feeling again that maybe this city much like Alphen aan den Rijn was trying to keep me within the city limits. I was feeling a sort of “Hotel California” syndrome. Notice the circle around the bike point 29.
At this point I knew I had made it out of the city and was heading into the countryside with long stretches of open land and easy to read signage.
But, first I had to wait for the boat to pass through this lift bridge.
This bike point 29 is also where I made a mistake. When the lift bridge closed, I crossed the canal on the bike.
I stayed straight and ended up taking a street that lead in a direction away from where I needed to be at my next point 23, the crossing over the Hollandsche Ijssel River.
Just like in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota where all trees look the same when trying to navigate, here all water canals look the same to me. I knew I needed to have a large canal of water on my left hand side as I was biking but that was not the River I needed to cross. I started getting that feeling again I was not on my route. I stopped and asked an older lady who was walking some questions and indeed I was not on the right bike path. I needed to backtrack to point 29 and then cross over the canal that I thought was the river and then follow that path to the bike point I needed in the town of Moordrecht.
Once again for as many times that day I was back on the right path and feeling good. The rain had slowed down a bit and the wind was now behind the large dike that contained the River. I pulled into Moordrecht and started looking for the bridge I needed to cross to find only a ferry boat. As I waited the rain came down in buckets as I stood and watched the water run down the street and into the waiting river.
When I arrived safely on the other side of the River the rain stopped and I had a very long and uneventful ride along the River. I stopped at one point and caught a picture of a ship that I had seen going through the locks at Gouda and now was going to pass me on its trip down river.
This part of the trip was relaxing. I came to an area surrounded by farms and had a nice stop to snack and contact the hubby who was working at his day job. He planned to meet me at the camping that night after work. I let him know that I was still North of the Lek but I should make it to the campground before he did.
Just North of the Lek and my river ferry boat crossing I came into a nature area. I looked off to my left and found a picnic table with a canoe landing! I stopped and looked around and noted the location so we can place this canoe route on our need to do list.
The grey sky followed me the rest of the trip but the rain held off. I crossed the Lek River at Lekkerkerk on the bike ferry. The ticket sales man finding out I was American had to tell me how much he paid for gas on his recent trip to Florinda. He thought it was a great deal paying only $4.03/gal. Compared to Dutch prices he was correct.
I landed on the other side of the Lek River and headed along the dike towards Kinderdijk where I would ride my last part through the tourists and then on to our camping. I arrived late afternoon and was proud I had made it to my destination without many issues.