Welcome to Rob's World, the (cheesily titled) homepage of Robin Rainton.
Microblog... everyday ramblings interspersed with posts from trips and other activities.
Flogged myself up Hautacam in the rain. Reward was PR ~1min faster than 2012 time Still around 15 mins behind pro groupetto though
Felt guilty skipping Sweden on our trip so... Swedish lunch somewhere more ubiquitous to make up for it!
So, guns make you safer at home? But what if an intruder has one too & uses it more often? Maybe fighting with foam hammers would be better?
Dropped into a Dutch bakery. Just a sample of the wares we picked up... Nom, nom, nom!
On the ferry from Norway to Denmark. Looking back North. Yes, we're sad to leave but think it's for the best!
Cruising down the coast towards Kristiansand on our final days in Norway. Summer is definitely a fading memory here!
Views of Lysefjord as we head for the ferry at Oanes. Today is our last day in fjord county & will miss these scenes!
Won't say the hike back was bad. Views to the coast after all! Just think it will take time to get over Preikestolen!
Preikestolen from above. Almost beyond belief how lucky we got with the weather & light. So, so, so, sooooo lucky!
We hung out here for 20-30 minutes I think. Just gawking at the spectacle. Then time to climb up for a higher view...
The below are collections of posts/images organised by trip or subject or other events. Click on the title or image to view each.
France, Germany, Denmark - Summer '15
As previously mentioned - you do read everything here, right? - we had a short period at the start of summer in which to wait for some parts for our motorhome, which meant staying within easy reach of 'base' around Frankfurt.
This wasn't really a problem, as even a few hours from here will get you to the Black Forest in Germany and Vosges region in France.
We hadn't been to the Vosges before but there's plenty of great cycling there it would seem (the region is a regular feature in Le Tour) and upon arrival it didn't disappoint (well - aside from getting caught out in a brief rain shower that is).
The Black Forest was one of our favourite spots in German from a previous trip (Black Forest & Lake Constance, Aug/Sep '12) and again provided some fantastic cycling, walks and food.
This short interlude dealt with (and said parts fitted) we headed North for the main event. A quick stop in Copenhagen seemed a must and is included here, but for the rest of the summer it would be on to Norway! Or at least that was the plan!
Amstel Gold 2015
Close to the Ardenne in Spring, with a few days to 'kill' while waiting for our 'home' to be prepared... one has to take in one of the classics of course!
So we found ourselves in Valkenburg the day of the Amstel Gold race.
This actually proved to be an excellent place to watch. Most bike racing there's a lot of waiting around for a few seconds of action to pass. You go there to experience the anticipation, hang out with fellow fans, catch perhaps a glimpse of your heros before it's gone in a blur and a scramble to the nearest TV ensues to see what happened next.
However, here in Valkenburg there are four passages of the riders: One early morning for the die hards, one mid-afternoon then two more in quick succession which by now is the business end of the day and plenty of attacking riding is happening.
Of course between these there is plenty to do in this beautiful little town. Naturally though, that mainly involves food and drink! There are still plenty of TVs out on display to see what's happening elsewhere on course too.
We positioned ourselves bottom of the Cauberg climb for passing one, then found a spot on the rather crowded slope for later in the day. Nothing better than seeing riders attacking full on just meters away.
Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, UK, Luxembourg - Spring '15
The start of our second European adventure! We will be meandering all over this time so instead of trying to break down entries by country let's just call this, "Spring 2015".
After much deliberation I managed to talk Pratiwi into trying to live for many months - let's not tell her, "years" - in a motorhome. Neither of us have tried this before, but lots of people are doing it - just search the web for more useful blogs than mine regarding the subject - so how hard can it be?
Of course the first challenge is to actually acquire said vehicle for everyday living. A little trickier than you'd think, but after much research this saw us land in Frankfurt, Germany after the usual long flight from Sydney. We are so lucky that Pratiwi has friends in the area we can catch up with and get local advice from so that's a bonus.
We started by renting a car for just a week. The plan being to visit local dealers and line up the motorhome in this time. Fortunately this worked out well and we soon decided on the model we'd like that was in stock nearby. Sadly though, things aren't quiet as efficient in Germany as you might think paperwork along with other preparations would take a further two weeks. Doh!
Not to worry, we extended the car rental by this time (or rather, were forced to return the car we had and take another one for some unknown reason) so took the opportunity to venture to Holland and see this year's Amstel Gold Race, enjoying mostly German countryside along the way.
Once we took delivery of our new 'home' the choices seemed to be, head South for some sun or take a trip to the UK to visit family & collect a few things that had been left for safekeeping in 2012. Sadly, or happily - take your pick - the later won
Once in the UK it would have been rude not to see a little of the more picturesque parts (& a much hyped bike race there) so wondered around Yorkshire and up to the Lake District. Lovely but the weather reminded me why I moved to Australia rather quickly! Brrrrrr!
This was the cue to return to the continent. Our motorhome needed a little more work too so we did that and stayed close to 'base' to enable a quick return for parts fitting when they arrived. Not that this was a hardship - we've visited some beautiful parts of Germany while waiting.