Where are you based?
I’m based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands and I'm currently working on a photography project for which I have set myself a goal: to cycle across all municipalities in Holland. This will result in the publishing of a book; Tussen Steden (Between Cities) in 2016.
Where's your favourite place to ride?
My favourite place to ride is in the woods. In the Netherlands there are no big and natural forests, but there is a big National Park; The Veluwe. This is the most densely grown and the greenest part of the Netherlands even though it is extremely cultivated. There are hundreds of miles of narrow, ultra smooth cycling lanes running through this area. It may be a bit too cultivated, but to me it is always very pleasant to feel like being far away from society and deep into the ‘wild’, while still traveling on smooth asphalt. In the off season and autumn this is the place to be for the best scenic photography. In summer it is the designated leisure area of the cycling elderly we call e-bike gangs.
What type of riding do you like to do the most?
I am a great fan of long rides and I think the best ones are from dawn till dusk. Short rides are superb for stretching the legs and chatting with friends, but on longer rides there's so many more levels of experiences. Especially on rides that last longer than 10-12 hours. I see a long day on the bike as a micro holiday with all kinds of impressions, phases and states of mind, especially when these rides are planned between working days. When I go for a long ride, I leave home very early and I can be in a totally different environment, far away from the city, at the moment my head starts waking up. The Netherlands is a very small country.
There are moments before lunch when I think about my mailbox, but by lunchtime I can be halfway across the country, having grown blissfully unaware of all the things I left on my desk, cycling through landscapes where I have never been before. This is like the golden hour for the mind. Around six o’clock in the evening, things get tiring, the miles start to count, there's people in cars heading home from work, concentration is fading. At that moment you sometimes start to doubt your own ideas of pleasure. The last 50km on the way home in the dark is just a long tunnel of trance. Eating pasta with a 1000 yard stare and fresh to work the next day... those days are the best.
How do you discover a new route? Do you plan ahead with maps or just see where the road takes you?
I’m relatively new to long distance cycling. I’m on the bike now for about four years. The first year I only free-wheeled around town on my own, but when the idea of crossing all municipalities came to my mind I started to plan my rides in advance. For this I usually create a list of ±10 routes that I want to ride for every month. Depending on the wind, weather or the people that want to join, I decide on the day before which route I’m going to ride . I try to fit as many new roads as possible into the routes and I also try to ride through different landscapes so the routes won’t get boring.
What equipment do you use to capture your ride?
I haul a D600 around on almost every ride. It is a bit of a hassle but there were some moments when I wished I had my camera but didn't, and I'd like to keep those moments to a bare minimum! The camera comfortably hangs around my neck from a self made strap. It is not the best solution though when you want to keep the photostops as short as possible; I still have to come up with a smarter ‘click and go' solution for that.
What destination would be on your riding wish list?
That list is quite long. As soon as I finish my Tussen Steden project I will start to work on that. Can’t wait. On top of my wish list and beyond any categorisation is my plan to cycle from San Francisco to Portland. The absolute headliner place to visit is Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park in Northern California, on the border with Oregon. In this Redwood park there is an undisclosed grove with a group of the largest Redwood trees (Sequoias) on the planet; The Grove of Titans. I want to find out about that. As a fan of trees, that is something I have dreamt of doing for a long time; riding foggy dirt roads between giant, sky-scraper sized trees.