Van Tuyl – The Element Cyclopaat

So, I was in for a new bike.


After an inattentive driver wrecked the Scapin, almost wrecking me in the act as well, I went shopping for a new one.

My previous bikes were assembled with a lot of love by my favorite LBS in the south of my country and the kind of expertise they offer is hard to find in Almere.

So, since we moved “back north”, I’ve been looking for a LBS closer to home and ended up at Van Tuyl.

I brought my Scapin there for maintenance a couple of times and decided I would buy my new bike there as well.

They have their own brand and recently introduced “Van Tuyl the Element” – it will be customized to (all) your needs, including the paint job.

Although I liked the “black-on-black”, I opted for some red touches in “my Element”.

I got my Twitter handle (@Cyclopaat) and the (un)healthy “IWBMATTKYT” motto on there as well.

Saturday, November 22 I picked it up, aptly dubbed it “the Element Cyclopaat” or “Cy 666” for short and went for a ride.

As it was little too late to be able to extensively test the bike and ride all the way home, I had to settle for a shorter test until it got dark.

First impressions were good – the bike feels just fine, does a good corner and power to speed ratio looks okay.

As I was perhaps a little (too) cautious to seriously test it, I can’t tell if the behavior of the bike matches its looks.

Besides, in the town of Geldermalsen, I nearly got hit by a car again and that didn’t help much either…

But I can’t wait to get out and test it for (quasi) TT capabilities, or a nice hilly ride.

Sadly, the outdoor season is all but over, so it may be a while before it comes to that!

Narrow Escape

(Note that this post was written almost a month after the accident – I’ve put off writing it too long, but now that I’m back on my shiny new bike, I felt up to it.)

I’m in for a new bike. Again…

Due to poorly maintained bicycle lanes, I completely wrecked my Columbus Galibier two years ago and seriously damaged the Scapin Etika last year.

This could still – at least in part – be blamed on myself for not noticing the bad road ahead.

However, last month – October 30 – a car driver failed to notice me on a clear crossing, the bicycle lane having priority, and without even so much as an attempt to brake, he hit me.

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Short Stories

Since my visit to the hospital in August I’ve been riding nothing but shorties. I was told that I should “minimize” my rides to no more than 60 kilometers – give or take an ear – and being a good little soldier, I complied.

I was probably more concerned with the whole situation than I care(d) to admit too. And although I’ve not experienced anything like that Saturday, I’m not yet feeling okay.

Further testing has not revealed anything useful, but – on the bright side – it hasn’t revealed anything “bad” either.

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A Very Dark Pit

Once again, it has been a while since my last blog entry here. There are several reasons for that, the most obvious being that I get just as bored writing posts as you get reading them.

Also, after my carefully planned seasons went to hell in 2012 and 2013, I drastically cut back on registering for and participating in Gran Fondos.

Which means there’s less to report…

We did spent a weekend in the Eifel (one ride being the Gran Fondo July) and had a short trip to the south of the Netherlands – on both occasions I enjoyed my rides so much more than the rides through the flats around my hometown.

One of those ended badly again, but this time not because of poorly maintained bicycle lanes. I set out to complete a Strava Challenge (Gran Fondo Dame Alissa Schubert), on the day the Sufferfest community learned we had lost one of our own, due to a tragic accident.

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Maintenance Week

Due to exceptionally good weather this week, I’ve been able to ride outside, which beats riding the Tacx trainer by a million miles, albeit that the latter is much safer.

Last year around this time, things were still covered in snow, pro races were cancelled and I was on my turbo trainer like a hamster in a wheel.

Two years ago, the weather was also very nice, I was riding outside – I had even done a Gran Fondo or two already – but ended up in the hospital after a bad crash, which left me with several broken ribs, a fractured shoulder and a badly bruised hip.

Needles to say that this time of year is causing mixed emotions and we haven’t even reached May yet, where last year I ended up in the hospital again after another crash

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