Eric D. Schabell: DamTotDam Cycling Classic

Monday, September 22, 2008

DamTotDam Cycling Classic

Yesterday I completed my first ever organized cycling event, the DamTotDam Cycling Classic. I was to ride with two friends who have not put in too much training kilometers, so we only signed up for the 60 km ride (you could chose from 40, 60, or 140 km).

The day started out rather misty, with a sun just rising above the waters of the Ij as we crossed on the ferry at around 0830 hrs. As it was a car free Sunday in Amsterdam, we had to park in the north of Amsterdam and cycle into the city. The picture in the top left corner is at the starting line just before departure, with our hopes high and our spirits soaring!

After a very crowded and slow departure though the very crowded and cobbled canal streets of Amsterdam we were off through the various villages that have 'dam' in their names. This was the theme of the ride, a 60 km circle taking us through all the 'dam' villages and along the Ijsselmeer lake. Temperature was around 12 degrees by departure, finished up at around 20 degrees. Took us about 3 hours to complete the ride with two stops at 'refueling' stations on the way.

One of the two main attractions of this ride was the Ij tunnel that they opened to us, so we left the city through a freeway tunnel exit! The second was the route along the Ijsselmeer lake, as shown in the beautiful misty morning sun in the accompanying pictures.

I actually kept track of the calorie buring and for the complete ride it took over 2400 calories. That is a days food for a grown man, so guess I was doing something right. We also ended up with a total of 75 km for the entire ride, between the 60 km for the actual course and the extra 15 while trying to get from the start to the car in Amsterdam north.

This was a very well organized ride, with plenty of markers, good refueling stations, friendly riders (including a good mix of children and lady riders), and very good helpers along the route. There were even professional photographers from should you be so inclined to want to buy a photo. A beautiful ride in the Dutch landscape, a free water bottle, and a silver medal upon completion. What more could a cyclist ask for!

All in all, it was a fun day on the bike and I would recommend it to anyone for next year. I plan to be there!