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Nature on Willem's Blog

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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Rotax 912S2 engine with 100HP
Rotax 912S2 engine with 100HP
Encountering an unexpected road block, about half way on the Houtribdijk
Encountering an unexpected road block, about half way on the Houtribdijk
Flight route indicated in purple
Flight route indicated in purple
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
Flying to Texel (the Medemblik Kaapstander towers clearly in sight)
Flying to Texel (the Medemblik Kaapstander towers clearly in sight)
Wind blowing strongly over the water with Amsterdam on the horizon, as seen from Almere
Wind blowing strongly over the water with Amsterdam on the horizon, as seen from Almere
First connections made
First connections made
Relaxing in the pool
Relaxing in the pool
Raw piece of oak wood - right before machining
Raw piece of oak wood - right before machining
First gran fondo was cycling around the Dutch
First gran fondo was cycling around the Dutch "Markermeer", a 208.5KM ride.
The completed stamp card of the
The completed stamp card of the "Fietselfstedentocht", with 231 kilometers the longest single ride of 2016.
Wheel with ring
Wheel with ring
This detailed astronaut photograph features two stratovolcanoes, Pico de Teide and Pico Viejo (taken from the International Space Station, public domain)
This detailed astronaut photograph features two stratovolcanoes, Pico de Teide and Pico Viejo (taken from the International Space Station, public domain)
Heatmap of my bike rides in The Netherlands. Red indicates frequently driven routes.
Heatmap of my bike rides in The Netherlands. Red indicates frequently driven routes.
Oostvaardersplassen near Lelystad
Oostvaardersplassen near Lelystad
The wood nerves provide a natural pattern on the stand
The wood nerves provide a natural pattern on the stand
Looking over the Markermeer at the (former) island of Marken
Looking over the Markermeer at the (former) island of Marken
Lacquer finish is fantastic
Lacquer finish is fantastic

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