6 years cancer free, please donate $6 to the Lance Armstrong Foundation!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Day 12

Tulsa-McAlester: bike ride 79 mile or 127km and 27 miles by car.
This morning after my shower I went down to the lobby to get the Tulsa World newspaper. The article can be read on http://www.tulsaworld.com/NewsStory.asp?ID=060929_Ne_A8_Cycli1957
We had breakfast in my parent’s room before packing up the car and set out the meet up with Mike.
He was going to ride the first miles with me out of Tulsa. We started on the River Side bike path and met up with rest of the team on Memorial and 101st. The wind was coming from the south blowing in our faces, but the sun was out and the temperature rising, an other nice day to ride.
Mike road 20 miles before it was time for him to turn around and enjoy the wind in his back. Thanks Mike for riding with me, it was great of you to come out and meet me for this ride.
The ride was a straight shot south; we had lunch at the side of the road after Morris. Than Peet jumped on the bike and pulled for the next 16 km, nice and easy for me, drafting all the way. Dad did the next shift promising Peet she could do the last part with the wind in the back if she could get us an other free hotel. No problem, although it took a few more phone calls than she is used to.
The price was, not as sweet as expected because the wind was dying down and we had to climb a couple of hills that were not on the map!
At the Indian nation turnpike we had to get into the car and rode 27 miles to McAlester were the Holliday Inn Express was waiting for us. This hotel was only open 1 week and very nice and fresh.
For dinner we walked to a pizza place where we enjoyed after a long wait, but we couldn’t leave since mom already paid, 2 good pizzas.
Coffee and tea in our room and now it’s time to turn in. Tomorrow the plan is to ride to Durant; 74 miles if we could take the freeway.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Restday 2

The day started with an interview with the Tulsa World newspaper, thanks for listening to and printing my story!
Than we were off to get some errands done; laundry and bike repair. Lee’s Bike store hooked me up with 20% discount on tires and a great deal on my repair, thanks Mark.
Breakfast at BBD’s a waffle for dad, toast for mom and a light pancake, scrambled eggs and toast for Peet.
Back at the hotel, Peet and I decorated the room with laundry, good thing we have such a big room. The housekeeping lady thought it was a funny sight.
We checked out the Kansas River from a walking/bike bridge that used to be a railroad bridge. We saw big fish, turtles, white and gray herons have an all they can eat fish buffet in the shallow water behind the dam.
The Philbrook museum was next on the agenda, a nice collection including Native American paintings and pottery and beautiful gardens.
For dinner me parents and I met Mike, Steve and Ginny from CCC at PF Chang, a tradition I heard.
It was great to meet some fellow CCC-ers in person and we had plenty of things to talk about. Plans are made for Mike to ride with me tomorrow morning, sending me off for the second half of my trip. Thanks Tulsa for your hospitality!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Day 10

Columbus Kansas-Locust Grove Oklahoma 88 miles or 142 km.
An other day of early awakening! Country music woke me at 7am to get ready for my interview with the local Columbus paper.
I totally missed the reporter walking in, while I walked out to check the oil and cooler fluid in the car. A short interview and some pictures in front of the hotel and we were ready to roll!
The sun was out, the wind was from the south/west and not to strong, so a beautiful day to ride! The first 60km without a problem and a little on the freeway! But than boredom and pain in my feed got the best of me. I had to stop and ask Peet to join me riding and singing to get to our lunch spot. Mom got us a place in the yard of a breast cancer survivor with a great view of the “Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees”, nice work mom!
After lunch, mom got in her shorts to join me on the bike, how cool is that! The both of us survivors paddling for this wonderful cause! We were able to support each other during our fights with cancer and now we are riding together through the US to fundraise for more cancer research! Mom also decided to pay for any extra costs during this trip so I can donate every dollar that I fundraised to the Lance Armstrong Foundation! I might get enough to ride with Lance after all!
After an hour mom thought she had done enough and passed the bike to my dad to ride the last part of the day. We got a few nice hills to climb but eventually rode past Lake Hudson to Locust Grove the end destination of today, We quickly put the bikes on the car and drove to Tulsa where Peet had arranged yet an other night free this time at the Ambassador Hotel. We just finished a nice dinner with lot’s of beef for my parents and are ready for a good night sleep.
Tomorrow will bring a rest day with an other interview, laundry, bike repairs, a museum visit and diner with Mike and Steve from the CCC (Cyclists Combating Cancer).

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Day 9

Sorry about the delay, but we didn’t have WIFI the last days but I did keep up the writing so this should be plenty to read for everybody.
Today started in Garnet and about 100 miles later we arrived in Columbus, both in Kansas. The originally planned finish town didn’t have a hotel.
The day was a beauty; no wind this morning and a blue sky. I started off nice and early and the speed was around 25-30km because of the limited hills and good quality roads.
I had 100km in my legs when we stopped for lunch at a gravel road under a tree for much needed shade. We hadn’t seen very many cars so far but now everybody decided this quiet gravel road was the place to be, so dust was added to our meal! Close the peanut-butter quick, there’s a garbage-truck coming!
After lunch it was time for dad to join me on the road, a few adjustments to the bike and we were ready to go. The road even had a nice shoulder for a long time so we were able to talk a little. Than came the railroad track! Unexpected and very uneven, BOOM, I felt my back tire go! Good thing Peet and mom just arrived to check up on us, like the cavalry just in time!
I changed my tire: which had 2 large slits in it, and Peet got ready to take dad’s place on the other bike. We got on the road only to discover that the other bike had a flat as well! Stop the engine and take out the pump again, change number 2. This time mom did take some pictures a job nicely done.
Peet lead the last 9 miles to Columbus where we are staying at the Maple UnCommon Inn, down town Columbus. Thank you for yet an other free night stay, this place is great! The interview with the local paper is set for tomorrow morning 8 am.
This was a great day!

Day 8

Sunday was my first rest day, so planned to sleep in! But around 7.15 am I was wide-awake and ready to get up. Peet did a little better job sleeping while I changed my outer tube and cleaned my bike.
We had brunch and then were off to the Mall, shoe shopping. No results but we did have a good time. Than we were on our way to find a bike store, for a quick tune up, but no luck here either, the stores were closed.
Off to the airport to pick up my parents, finally some good result. They were waiting at the curb for us, ready to go.
The late afternoon we spend in the sculpture garden of Nelson Atkins Museum, which was very pleasant because the weather has turned warm and the sculptures were interesting.
We enjoyed diner at the Sidewalk Café and then turned in early.
Today we packed up the car, and took of the find a grocery store for breakfast and lunch items. The weather was beautiful and I was ready to ride again.
Kansas City- Garnett 132km (including a few km extra because the navigator in the car was to busy talking with the driver!) A nice ride south parallel to the state line to a small town called Amsterdam. We had to stop and take some pictures, see results. Than we crossed into Kansas and the wind! We had lunch in the city park of LaCygne and Peet changed into her bike outfit! She bought her shirt at the silent auction last week!
It was great to have company again on the road and we made good progress riding 30 km together. The last 20km I was on my own again but with the hills less frequent I finished up quickly.
Peet had jet again arranged a free hotel room, this time at the Garnett Inn Suites. A brand new hotel in Garnett, with very nice rooms!
After a little relaxation time and a shower we drove to town to find restaurant where we had a pleasant diner.
No WIFI at the hotel so you read this story later.

Day 6

We got up to face a bus full of senior citizens at the continental breakfast. Then it was out of town trying to find the 371 towards Kansas City.
The ride was a short one because we had to drive to St Joseph last night to find a hotel. So at 11.30 am I had 40km in my legs and we arrived at Platte City, north of Kansas City and put the bike on the car to get safely to our hotel. The InterContinental Kansas City provided us with one free night and 2 rooms with a discount for Sunday night when my parents will be here.
When we unpacked the car I noticed my front tire was flat, I’m very happy that didn’t happen when I was flying down yet another hill this morning. Time to put the new outer tube on and fix the flat.
We had lunch and celebrated a very belated birthday for Peet, but better late than never!
The 75th annual art fair is going on this weekend right below our window so we can enjoy free music; let’s hope they stop before bedtime. We did walk around to look at the art until my quads decided that strolling is not a good plan after riding your bike for 6 days.
I did pick up my free LIVESTRONG survivorship notebook at the Discovery store this afternoon. A nice binder with way more info than I’m willing to read at this time, but will safe for after I get back home.
Dinner was Sushi at the place to be on the Plaza, good stuff!
Now back in the hotel and ready to rest, no free WIFI here.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Day 5

We woke up way to early, because the alarm went off at yet again 7 am!
Dark clouds and a lot of wind, coming out off the south! My riding direction today……yes also south! We had breakfast in yet an other buffet version, which took us longer than realized so we left again around 9am. Peet drove me out of town and started at the beginning of yet an other very long straight road with lots of rolling hills!
The wind and hill slowed me down but at the end of the morning the sky started to clear up. Peet started riding in front of me to block the wind, but this didn’t really made a difference other than it made driving for her more challenging and gave me something the chase.
We crossed into Missouri around 2pm and had lunch by the side of the road. Bagels with peanut butter, diet coke and trail mix. I decided to try my book on tape to entertain myself a little on the rolling hills. It worked great I got in my zone and made it 132km today. Not all the way to King City but more than the schedule that I set up for myself. One important lesson I have learned so far is that all cities I planned on my trip are further apart than I measured in my planning. So far every day has been longer than I anticipated and even than I wasn’t at the city I had on my schedule.
The great thing so far is that we have had the hotel stay donated every night. Today we are staying at the Stoney Creek Inn in St. Joseph, a wonderful room and great pool. We just finished dinner and are ready to sleep to get ready for tomorrow.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Day 4

Newton to Osceola 124km or 77 miles
The clouds were back this morning, but no rain so far.
We got up around 7 am because the local reporter would be there at 8 am and we wanted to get on the road right after that. The interview went well and I’m becoming a professional model for the picture.
Back on the bike, off towards Pella, the little Dutch town complete with windmill, people in traditional Dutch clothing and canals. It’s weird to ride into an American town and see a working windmill turning above the houses!
We visited the local newspaper, the editor promised to run the press release in next week paper. Than we got some coffee and tea with some excellent snickers cheesecake.
Next the Vermeer Mill, I told the lady my connections with Verbij, which gave me the special treatment and an option to climb up all the way into the top. I talked with the miller for a while and we shared the love for windmills.
Than it was time to go down and find Peet getting her own private tour of the miniature village and museum from a friendly volunteer in original “Groningsche klederdracht”.
A few pictures later we were back on the road towards Osceola. The wind was picking up and starting to drive me nuts, as were the rolling and rolling and rolling hills. Who ever said that Iowa was flat, never tried to ride their bike through this State!
Luckily I finally got to go east and the wind started blowing me into the right direction. We had a short lunch at the side of the road and than speeded on, to try and beat the rain. Peet left me to find reception and yet an other free night stay and I finished the day riding.
We are staying at the Terrible’s Lakeside Casino in Osceola, complete with free dinner. The only thing they asked us to do is the sign up for the Player card, so we did. They gave us a free T-shirt or baseball cap and a $5 play card. So off to the $1 machine we went and at my first try I won $30! So it looks like we’ll have free breakfast as well tomorrow, nice!
Now we’re ready to turn of the lights, I hope tomorrow won’t bring the storm they predict!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Day 3, from the driver

The first thing we did this morning was checking the weather…. cold and sunny, frost on the roof of the car… Annemiek took off, fully geared up in layers. To find out after a few miles that there was hardly any wind and the sun was actually very warm. I was driving with the windows down and managed to get a tan! It turned out to be a very long ride today, all the way up to Newton, Iowa. Over 180 kilometers through hilly roads that seemed to go on and on forever!!! Many cornfields, lots of squealing insects, all day long beautiful butterflies passing by and , hum, lots of flat creatures on the road. We stopped for lunch in Eldora, where we managed to find the only restaurant in town, or so it seemed, and they were about to close within 10 minutes. We ordered 2 great burgers and to our surprise were offered free ice cream after that. No –no- to that of course! Back onto the bike/ in the car we ran into a roadblock. After explaining the purpose of the ride and the hope of not making too many detours, they cleared it so we could get through!! In the meantime I had been able to get a complementary room at the Quality Inn in Newton, and had set up an interview with the Newton Daily Post that will cover Annemieks story. Arriving in Newton, we unloaded the car, stretched and sat in the hot tub. Then time for a quick dinner, a stop at the grocery store and finishing up the day with writing the blog and a massage… tomorrow on to Osceola
Mason City- Newton 182km=113m

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Day 2

My morning started with an interview with the Owatonna People's Press in the lobby of the Grand Hotel Owatonna. In the mean time Nia and Nancy cleaned the bikes and Peet served me breakfast. It's great to be famous!
We are slowly finding out that more radio stations have featured my story in Minnesota and that my story was on "the wire".
The sky was still gray but no rain and a favorable wind for our ride today.
Owatonna to Mason City Iowa, 70 miles or 112km. Nia saved me with her legwarmers because the pant I brought for cold days turned out to be very uncomfortable. The ride took us through a lot of cornfield with even a handful of chasing dogs. We crossed the border into Iowa before lunch and had the wind blow us down highway 65 into Northwood. Here we stopped at a small local coffee shop for "Taco Tuesday" lunch, Nia had some of Barbie's homemade chili, which was very tasty.
Than it was of for the last ride with the three of us. Through Manly playing a game of name that shape with new patches of asphalt into Mason City. Peet had gotten yet an other free room for the night, this time in the Holiday Inn! Thank you for your support Holiday Inn, Mason City.
We finished this part of the trip with a diner at the hotel and than it was time to say "See you later" to Nia and Nancy. Thanks ladies for getting me on the road, I'll miss your company. Who is going to call at almost every town we pass "I love....." and who will make laugh making wild gestures while riding along side me!
I'm of the bed to get ready for my first sole ride! Goodnight!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Day 1

Minneapolis to Owatonna 74 miles or 120km.
The day started with an early wake-up because Deb had to go to work, but before she did she dropped of some copies of the St Paul Pioneer Press. My story was on the front page of the local section, with a couple of very nice pictures. http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/living/15545611.htm is the link to the article.
Then Peet and I got ready to go, packing up the car and awaiting Nia's arrival. A quick tire change and a call to Nancy and it was time to head to the Capital. I picked Nancy up at our regular meeting place, which felt so normal and not at all like the beginning of a great adventure.
At the Capital a reporter from WCCO was ready to tape my story and take our picture. A quick pits-stop and of we went out of St Paul and into the rain. Peet was following us closely in the car with blinkers and heater on.
The morning brought us through cornfields and over rolling hills to Northfield for lunch. The sun came out as soon as we went inside the restaurant. Peet tried to get a discount from the manager but he wasn't able to help. One of the customers how ever was very interested in my cause and promised Peet a 300-dollar check, if she waited for him to finish his lunch. We got on the road without Nia's security blanket but in the end it was worth it. An other donation for a great cause.
The sun was still out which made the riding much more pleasant and I was even able to get rid of my warm-up which where causing me some discomfort.
Nancy was my personal tour-guide pointing out all the road kill and trash on the road; we saw a lot of frogs! Nia loves Northfield, Faribault, Medford and finally Owatonna! We pulled into the Owatonna Grand Hotel right before a big storm, nice timing! They sponsored us with a free room for us and one for our bikes and set up an other interview with the local paper tomorrow morning.
After a tasty diner it is now time to get some sleep and get ready to ride again.

Send-off Party

Saturday evening, the last fundraiser took place before my take-off today.
After a few weeks of trying to get Silent Auction items together it was finally time to party. Saturday night all my Minnesotan friends came to send me off towards Texas. It was a wonderful evening with great company and wonderful music. Thanks everybody for participating in the auction, good competition for my Party in Leiderdorp. The grand total was almost $1600! How awesome is that! But the best part of all this fundraising is the positive reactions I get from everybody. Support from family, friends and people I don't even know but that are touched by my story.
I will never be able to say thank you to everybody in person, but please know I'm very grateful to all.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ready to leave

Only 3 more days of work before I leave. I'm trying to get everything ready, last minute silent auction items, haircut and color, date night and pictures for the Pioneer Press.
Floyd came up with the idea to e-mail the Governor to send me off on Monday. Since I'm riding from Capitol MN to Capitol TX maybe I can deliver a flag to his colleague down South.
After work I met up with the photographer 2x during my ride home, I made sure to wear my CCC jersey, looking all sharp with my helmet on.
After this it was off to Donna for a haircut and color always fun. She decided on fall colors and leaving my hair a little longer. The colors didn't come out as dramatic as she hoped for but it looks good, ready to meet Lance:-)
Deb and I walked to a Thai restaurant across the freeway and had a wonderful diner.
Now it's time to go to bed, tomorrow "Blondie" gets 4 new tires.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Do I need to say more?

Getting ready for my ride and the silent auction this weekend!
Today I was interviewed by Rhoda Fukushima for the St Paul Pioneer Press, finally a positive reaction to my quest of media attention! She's planning on getting my story in on Monday, so everybody go out and buy a copy!
Lou donated an other beautiful bowl for my silent auction and I got to pick up my bike from the shop. A new seat and shiny like new!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Jesse James 100 miles

Saturday morning 5.30am, the alarm goes off, Why? Then I remembered today was the day to ride my first 100 miles bikeride, the Jesse James ride in Northfield MN.
I had to go and pick up Nancy around 6am so we would be at the start before 8am, all this on the weekend!
After a short delay for a later very important I.D. we were on the road heading South. We found our way around the detour by following the other cars with bikes and had a quick breakfast of cranberry scones (delicious) and hot chocolate and coffee.
It was cold and windy so we decided to wear our windbrakers and long sleeved jersey or arm-warmers. We payed our entry fee and after one more bathroom break we checked out the sponsor tables. At one of them a friendly young man told me everything on the table was free, yes even that bike tools bottle opener! He even offered to keep the free kids bike helmets he gave me for my Silent Auction next week.
Than it was time to get going, Nancy was planning on riding the 100 miles in 6 hours or so! Going into the wind starting of was not to bad at least when also going up hill, because the hill blocked the wind. Who ever said that Minnesota is flat didn't visit this part of the state! Nice rolling hills covered in feed-corn and soybeans reminding me of the North of France.
We skipped rest-stop 1 only 10 miles into the ride but were happy to see #2 because it was time for a bathroom brake. Who would have thought I would ever by happy to see a porter-potty! After filling up with small snack size candy bars and other sweets we were on the road again. The wind made my windbraker flap loudly which made it hard to keep up a conversation or keep track on who was or was not behind me. We sometimes teamed up with other to form a little train fighting the wind on the flats. It sure felt like the old days, riding my bike to school as a kid when it often seemed that you were riding against the wind both ways.
The sun tried to break through the clouds for a short while around midday but that wasn't more than a little tease. I was never able to take of my windbraker and show of my CCC longsleeve jersey that Jim gave me to wear!
We visited every reststop, many to use the restroom (that might be a little to fancy description of the porter-potty) and eat more mini-candy bars. After reststop #4 we started discussing our after finish beers and burgers, because we longed for something salty. The last miles brought more flats with wind and one more long hill and, Oh I couldn't let those guys making smart remarks about us chasing them to the Twin Cities, beat me up this one. See you later Nancy! It' was a good feeling to find out that my legs are ready for my adventure, hills and wind I can handle it all!
We crossed the finish in 7 hours and 40 minutes, not bad for a windy day. Cheers to my first 100 mile ride, only 2 to go and yes also about 1100 miles to TX.
We changed into warmer clothing and took off in search for a burger and beers, we found them at Appelbee's, good thing we went back for the I.D.!
When I got home Deb treated me to a massage and my lights were out at 10pm, it was a good day!

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Zie hier de lekkerste actie om donaties te verzamelen voor mijn fietstocht. Bedankt E en E!
Tante A

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

STOP sign

Dear Dad, I'm standing in front of a STOP sign so people will STOP and give a donation!

Today I met Jim a fellow CCC-er here in the Twin Cities. He has been involved with the LAF for a long time and rode the Tour of Hope a few years ago. Now he's on his way the the Philly Livestrong Challenge this weekend, but had a little time to give me some good advice.
Hopefully he'll be able to get my story in the media here before I leave, my 5 minutes of fame!?
I also recieved a possitive reaction from the Owatonna Grand Hotel, they will sponsor me my first night with a free room in Owatonna.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Vandaag kreeg ik een e-mail vanuit Nederland met goed nieuws. Het sponsorbord in de Hollandsche Tuyn heeft tot nu toe $750 euro opgebracht! Euronet, Barendse loodgieters, Safecare L'dorp, AKRO L'dorp, Rob en Puck, Hollandsche Tuyn, VDK Beheer, AKA trading, Rob en Anneke Kortekaas, Neuteboom Tweewielers, van Haasteren Toyota, Kookplanet en Stucadoors van Best zijn de sponsors die op het bord hebben ingeschreven. Bedankt allemaal, ik kan niet wachten om aan mijn avontuur te beginnen! Zaterdag komt er een foto van het bord, de dag van de sponsorfietstocht.
Vandaag weer meer dan 60 kilometer in de benen, ik ben er klaar voor!

Monday, September 04, 2006


It's just an other Monday, at work. The day started of well because I found another therapist that was able to do cardiac rehab so I could be in the gym and do my "lead" duties. It was a lot better day than Saturday, everything moving along the way it should. Resulting in an early leave for everybody, PT's leaving before OT's I don't think that ever happened during a holiday I worked.
The weather cleared up during the day so my ride home was nice. Deb and I did a little photo sesion with my new CCC gear, taking advantage of the nice weather. Than I went for a nice run while listening to a book on tape, much better than music. Since I speed up and slow down with the beat of the music.
I can't believe it's only 2 weeks before I'm leaving! I should start packing and getting ready, because I'll be working the weekend before I leave to be able to use my OWE days for my ride. It's been a lot of planning to get all the days of, working extra holidays, using the weekend compensation days and all my vacation days. One of my collegues offered to donate a day off but that was not possible, bummer!
My nieces are planning a fundraiser for my trip, but they are not telling me what they're doing. I'm getting very curious?!