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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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Inside the Hiversum Airport control tower.
Inside the Hiversum Airport control tower.
Rounding edges of the piece of wood
Rounding edges of the piece of wood
Middelie, with some colourful flower fields
Middelie, with some colourful flower fields
Some rocks are unbelievable in size and shape
Some rocks are unbelievable in size and shape
Urk, the former Island in de Zuiderzee
Urk, the former Island in de Zuiderzee
On few occasions I crossed international borders. This photo was taken in Germany next to an Autobahn.
On few occasions I crossed international borders. This photo was taken in Germany next to an Autobahn.
Just you and the road ahead (Zeedijk near Marken)
Just you and the road ahead (Zeedijk near Marken)
Not your typical busses. These 4x4 vehicles double as emergency escape cars in case of eruption.
Not your typical busses. These 4x4 vehicles double as emergency escape cars in case of eruption.
Our guide, Peppe, uncovers some dark patches on the crater. Steam escapes from it - you can literally feel the heat!
Our guide, Peppe, uncovers some dark patches on the crater. Steam escapes from it - you can literally feel the heat!
Encountering an unexpected road block, about half way on the Houtribdijk
Encountering an unexpected road block, about half way on the Houtribdijk
Bring food that has a high energy level due to sugar, not fat!
Bring food that has a high energy level due to sugar, not fat!
Ecoduct
Ecoduct "Natuurbrug Zwaluwenberg" over the A27 near Hilversum
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
Result (design fully visible)
Result (design fully visible)
Makkumerdiep and Makkum beach, you can clearly see the differences in water depth from the sky
Makkumerdiep and Makkum beach, you can clearly see the differences in water depth from the sky
Rotax 912S2 engine with 100HP
Rotax 912S2 engine with 100HP
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)
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)

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