Sports, one of the ways to clear my head and to relax. And then preferably cycling, it helps you to stay in shape, you can put your mind to rest and use all your energy in doing so. I've been cycling for about 9 years now, and I've spent a lot of miles on the bike.
Last Saturday, that mileage counter went up again: for the 8th time I completed the Amstel Gold Race. Eight years ago, I finally decided to accept one of the many invitations to ride with a real estate agent team. A month before the race I bought a bike from Jochem Uytdehaage and for 100 kilometers it was a total struggle, I didn't manage to get up any mountain and I struggled with my breath. Afterwards I talked to a lot of brokers though, so it was good for my network, and I actually got the bike virus back that I also had during my student days.
We spent our holidays and long weekends with the Schaepmannen Tribe at the 'cote du Belgique', where I met the Casino Cycling Team Knokke every day in their striking blue suits. I joined this club and started to cycle more often. You can start in a group that fits you, with distances between 65 and 85 kilometers and with different average speeds between 24 and 36+ kilometers per hour. Soon the cycling virus turned into a regular routine: every day I spent in Belgium, I rode along with the blue suits and when fellow villager Eric Heijkoop from 3Stone Real Estate invited me for the Amstel Gold Race, I was ready for my 2nd edition! It even went so well that on the Geulhemmerberg I could say to Eric: 'I'm cycling with a club in Knokke, and we should have something like that in ‘t Gooi as well, don't you think?'.
Not long after that we decided to start that club. The experience of cycling in a club came from the Casino Cycling Team Knokke (now also our sister association) and all we needed was a clubhouse. My buddy Patrick Lommers was immediately enthusiastic, and the Moeke Spijkstra Cycling Club was born. In the beginning there was little structure, but with a lot of enthusiasm we kicked it off. The number of members grew steadily, and thanks to Jaap Kooijman's recruitment activities, we are only growing. At the end of 2012 we decided to give the club a more formal character and in January 2013 the Moeke Spijkstra Cycling Club was founded.
In the meantime, we cycle a number of tours with our club every year. The most important one is the Amstel Gold Race, because as long as you haven't finished the 150 km, you're still an aspirant member. An appropriate ritual, as the founding of this club was born during the race. So traditionally we dine the evening before the trip with the whole group, and we tell about previous trips; who walked which hill and couldn’t cycle it for example. The next day we jump on our bikes early, and this edition we have participated with the largest group of the Moeke Spijkstra Cycling Club so far. It was an incredibly beautiful trip, in which all aspiring members have completed the 150 kilometers and our club has grown again.
Of course, I also met a lot of friends, including a lot of 'Official Tribebuilders'! When I cycled on the Geulhemmerberg I got another idea. Shouldn't we put a team of Official Tribebuilders together, with whom we're going to ride that fantastic tour?