Tuesday, August 9th
I touched down in Amsterdam to rain and noticeably cooler air but by the time i’m outside the terminal it’s dry. The land is flat, the grass is green, the sky is blue. It looks like Europe.
I found my bike in the baggage collection area in the ‘Odd-size baggage’ section, and it all seems ok. I take it outside, cut off the plastic, remove all the tape, twist the handlebars back in place, pump the tyres, and reattach the panniers. The brake levers seem to have changed position but other than that it seems in the same condition it was half a day ago, 4168 nautical miles away in Vancouver.
The plastic wrapping is too big to fit in a bin but a friendly security guard takes it from me without any questions, and then I cycle off.
The 11 or 10 hours in the plane disappeared quickly. I’m jet lagged and a little dazed, happy to be on the ground. It’s just a week since I hit the coast in Anacortes, though it feels like a month.
Cycle paths lead almost directly from the terminal building into the city. I pass along quiet roads and paths, and of course over and along canals.
Before too long I find myself in De Pijp outside Jack’s house. He meets me downstairs. I take the stuff off my bike for the last time in a while and lock my bike outside. We have some tea then go for a beer. It’s not quite home but it feels like it.