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Preparing my crazy trip; ‘Ou est le fermier?’

· Behind the scenes

Yesterday, I talked with Miel d’Haens, already the 3d or 4th farmer who wants to welcome me for my crazy bike ride.

Actually all responses are overwhelming. It started with Theunis Jacob Slob, a dairy farmer who lives one kilometer from my home, whom I have know for a long time. When I explained my crazy plan he immediately responded positively. He will be my first farmer, in early January. Asking if he would know someone who would host me for the next night, he could think of someone immediately. The next day he gave me the name of Alex van Hotegem in Kruiningen, Zeeland. Google maps told me that that would be 111 km, south west! Probably a bit too long for my first day in January with prevailing south-west winds. Alex, equally kind, not only looked south for a next stop but also promised to look for another stop in between. South he found Miel d’Haens and he is still trying for an intermediate stop…

Meanwhile, luck is on my side once more. My friend, David offered me his super duper Santos bike, my former colleague Emeline offered to translate my letter to farmers into French, Marcel Schuttelaar offers his agency as mediapartner, my team and board gave me very nice waterproof bike bags, Martin de Vries (TV editor) gave me professional advise about the gear I need ‘to vlog’ during my trip, Rint shared a link to help improve my agricultural French (beyond “Ou est le fermier? Le fermier est devant la maison sous l’arbre….my first French sentences ) and last but not least my wife Karin offered to help organise my route and to pick me up in the south of Spain.

Sometimes I get a bit nervous, but most of the time I look forward to this exiting endeavour.

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