When the alarm sounds at 8 am on a Saturday morning I wake up and the first thing I do is look out the attic window to check the weather. It looks promising, because a ray of sunlight pokes through a crack next to the curtain. You’re thinking: “Why is this so important”. Well, today is the day that the tenth edition of the annual CoNet cycle tour takes place. Not just another bike ride, it is a bike ride that CoNet organizes and clients, suppliers and a genuine CoNet sponsored bike team take part in.
After a hearty breakfast, enjoyed while frequently checking the weather conditions outside, I gather everything I need for a 120 km trek. At the last moment I decide to pack my rain jacket too.
When I arrived at Westzijde 186B, the first person I saw was Diana, taking pictures of all the participants as they arrived, paparazzi style. All of the riders were invited to park their bicycles in the room made available for this purpose. They then had to follow a carefully signed route to the meeting point where they could start the day with coffee and cake.
After everyone had been introduced or had shaken hands with friends, John Koot took to the floor.
John held a presentation, clearly showing everyone that CoNet is a fast-growing business which is also developing itself evermore and at the same time he introduced the new managing director, Erik Bakker. Once this official part was taken care of, it was time to present the new outfit, a very smart bike kit perfectly representative of CoNet’s vision and growth. Sensibly contemporary and innovative at the same time.
Our guest and cycling star for the day was Maarten Tjallingii. He is one of the team managers at the SEG Racing Academy and his main role is mental coach for the team’s young riders. Using case examples and including the SEG riders that were present, he outlined the way in which he fleshed out his role.
After these interesting speeches it was time to put everyone’s fitness to the test. The new clothing was handed out, the traditional group photos were taken and we started our 120 km long ride through the province of North Holland. Because of the large turnout two groups were created, accompanied by SEG riders. The itinerary started out from Zaandam, of course, and led through the beautiful landscape of this typical region, via Purmerend and Edam, along the IJsselmeer through Hoorn to Schellinkhout, where, in an oasis on the banks of the IJsselmeer (bistro “de Midget”) there was time to recover with the help of coffee and apple pie and of course some tall stories. Before we started the journey back, there were also bananas, currant buns and chocolate bars available to help replenish lost energy. Again, the landscape was breathtaking, and we had the wind in our backs pushing up the tempo. In order to not let the owners of rain gear down, a nice rain shower was delivered. But luckily that did not last long and the sun returned to make sure everyone finished dry.
As usual there were hot showers waiting for us in the neighboring gym. Once we had showered a delicious buffet awaited, lasagna, chicken thighs and potatoes au gratin. Looking back, this CoNet cycle tour was again a great success, in spite of the high number of flat tires (in group 1), sun, rain, great support, good food, a record number of participants, relaxed ambiance, a very smart outfit and zero crashes so that everybody got home feeling fulfilled and happy.