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Nature on Willem's Blog

Replacing a Shimano shift cable

Fixing the cargo bike after hunting for bears

Nov. 22, 2020
After some adventure with our cargo bike, the Shimano Nexus 7-speed shifter cable got damaged and needed replacement. Read my blog post to learn how to do this yourself.

Last week my son and I where looking for bears in the local park... a child's fantasy is priceless! Unfortunately, during some off road riding with our cargo bike, one of the cables got tangled up with a sturdy branch! Our wounded carbo bike was in need for a repair!

Solo around the Markermeer (211KM)

Tips to prepare, to endure and to enjoy long distance cycling

May 29, 2019
This week I took my bike for a long distance (211)KM ride around the Dutch Markermeer, solo! Read along for practical tips for long distance cycling.

This week I took my bike for a long distance (211KM) ride around the Dutch Markermeer, solo! Unlike participating in an organised event with service, support and company along the way, going solo requires a different preparation, mindset and planning. Read along for some practical tips for long distance cycling.

Space travelling from El Teide

Visiting Tenerife's volcano at the Canary Islands

Aug. 21, 2018
On Tenerife you'll find Teide, the world's second highest volcano with extra terestial views and a perfect altitude for stargazing.

This summer holiday brought me to Tenerife, part of the Canary Islands, Spain. It's a popular destination because of the climate, but it's also the home of Teide, the world's second highest volcano (7500 m, measured from the sea floor). The incredible views reach way beyond earth, into outer space, the Milky Way and other distant galaxies.

Creating a minimal iPhone stand

Routing oak wood for a custom fit

June 2, 2018
Today I created a minimal iPhone stand from oak wood. I used a single piece of wood to get it done.

Today I created a minimal iPhone stand from oak wood. While it's much faster to buy one online, I wanted one to fit my phone horizontally, with its case on. I like minimal design, so I opted to machine a single piece of wood to get it done.

Lunch by plane

Flying from Hilversum to Texel in a Tecnam P2002JF

May 9, 2018
This week I went out for lunch by plane from Hilversum to Texel with a good buddy of mine.

This week I was invited to fly along over the Netherlands in a small aircraft, from Hilversum to Texel. A good buddy of mine is a pilot and planned to fly to the Texel island for lunch (and good fun!). The weather was excellent, so packed with my photo camera, I didn't hesitate for a moment to join him for lunch!

From tree to table

Designing and creating a night stand

Oct. 23, 2017
Creating a night stand from a raw slab of chestnut wood.

Right next to the house were I was born there was this chestnut tree, sadly it died one and a half year ago. When it was taken down, my brother saved me a slab of wood. I intended to create something from it, a nice "do it yourself" adventure, worthy of a blog post!

Climbing Mount Etna

Visiting an active volcano on Sicily, Italy

Sep. 2, 2017
Climbing Mount Etna, an active volcano on Sicily Italy.

Last week me and my wife went to Sicily for a little summer holiday. It is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is an autonomous region of Italy, along with surrounding minor islands. It's home to Europe's largest active volcano: Mount Etna. We had a chance to visit this lava spurring monstrosity and it was quite the experience.

One year of cycling

GPS recording an entire year of bike rides using Garmin and Strava

Dec. 31, 2016
GPS recording an entire year of bike rides using Garmin and Strava.

One year ago I started recording all my bike rides, including commutes, short grocery trips and long Gran Fondos. I equipped my bicycles with Garmin Edge computers that recorded location (GPS), speed, cadence and my heart rate. I covered more than 7683 kilometers during 320 hours of riding. It's time to review all the data and share some photos I took along the ride!

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Me and the Milky Way (photo by Ellen Middelkoop)
Me and the Milky Way (photo by Ellen Middelkoop)
Lacquer finish is fantastic
Lacquer finish is fantastic
Tecnam P2002JF dimensions (source: Tecnam)
Tecnam P2002JF dimensions (source: Tecnam)
Marken from the west
Marken from the west
From above you can clearly spot buildings with solar panels, Smak Tulips near the N240, south of Medemblik
From above you can clearly spot buildings with solar panels, Smak Tulips near the N240, south of Medemblik
Prototype from spruce wood to determine the routing profile
Prototype from spruce wood to determine the routing profile
My bike prepared for long distance cycling
My bike prepared for long distance cycling
Loosdrechtse Plassen
Loosdrechtse Plassen
Vliegschool Hilversum
Vliegschool Hilversum
ESA's fast-moving Heavy Duty Planetary Rover (HDPR) at Teide (credit: ESA)
ESA's fast-moving Heavy Duty Planetary Rover (HDPR) at Teide (credit: ESA)
The smartphone case fits perfectly
The smartphone case fits perfectly
Rounding edges of the piece of wood
Rounding edges of the piece of wood
The El Chinyero vent on the Santiago Ridge, still black from the 1909 eruption
The El Chinyero vent on the Santiago Ridge, still black from the 1909 eruption
On top of the Los Gigantes massive, with the La Gomera island on the horizon
On top of the Los Gigantes massive, with the La Gomera island on the horizon
Properly tension the Nexus 7-speed gear hub by aligning the two yellow lines when you have selected the fourth gear
Properly tension the Nexus 7-speed gear hub by aligning the two yellow lines when you have selected the fourth gear
Speed (blue) en effort (red, heart rates) around the Markermeer through strong winds (6 beaufort, 39-49KM/h)
Speed (blue) en effort (red, heart rates) around the Markermeer through strong winds (6 beaufort, 39-49KM/h)
The shifter cable underneath the cargo bike was pulled apart by a branch...
The shifter cable underneath the cargo bike was pulled apart by a branch...
Encountering an unexpected road block, about half way on the Houtribdijk
Encountering an unexpected road block, about half way on the Houtribdijk

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