About us

We are Tessel Linders and Oscar de Boer. We were both born in 1967 and started this site in 2022; hence the 55 in the site name ;). We have loved hiking and camping all our lives. Since 1996 we have been doing this by bike. Below and on other pages we tell about our cycling holiday story through time. We have the plan to make an 8 month long tour through Europe soon (hence the “.eu”). In the blog we will tell you how that works, starting with building a sprecial tandem.

How It Started

We met in 1990 at rowing club Proteus-Eretes. We fell in love and started dating. In 1994 we moved in together and not long after Oscar asked Tessel to marry us.

In August 1995 we married. We investigated whether we wanted to do something church-like. Neither of us was involved in a church community, and our search for where we would feel at home was deadlocked. The year before we had passed Ronchamps during a trek on the motorcycle (of Oscar’s father). There is a chapel on top of a hill that was rebuilt by Le Corbusier after the 2nd World War. We then visited that chapel and knew: we want something with this.

In the town hall the act signed for marriage

So we wrote a letter to the abbot in our best French asking if it was possible to marry in that chapel. We received a neat letter back in which he made it clear that this was not possible: they are a place of pilgrimage and not a regular church.

ready to go!

That’s how we came up with the idea to go to Ronchamps on pilgrimage. Only we found it a bit far to walk in 3 weeks time, Cycling seemed feasible. And so the idea was born to go cycling. We borrowed stuff from parents and friends and bought a suitable bike for Tessel (Oscar’s road bike still seemed OK enough for this).

We found a described route from Maastricht to the Midellandse zee (“the green route”) that runs almost past Ronchamps. Because we were not yet married, we were not allowed to stay in the guest rooms of the Abbije…

the chapel of Ronchamps

we enjoyed it immensely. Despite often rain.

From Ronchamps we cycled to Basel to travel back from there by night train

As a wedding gift we asked for contributions for a cycling holiday equipment. And we got it!

A year later, after we got married, we took the night train to Basel to continue the route via Ronchamps. Now we were allowed to spend the night in the guest rooms 🙂

Letter from the Abbot that we have a place in the guesthouse

Coming back to Basel was a completely different story. The bikes were not allowed and we had to send them with the railways. Of course, we weren’t allowed to lock them, because you can’t move them rolling. We were not very surprised, but very disappointed when Oscar’s bike arrived in The Hague a few weeks later and Tessel’s never… Fortunately, in the end the bike insurance did not bother and we were able to buy such a bike again (only now a black one) and we still have it!

The following year we took the bike bus to Florence to cycle from there to Rome; also a described route. Meanwhile, Tessel was pregnant.

That having children did not bother us, but rather spoiled our pleasure in cycling holidays can be read on the next page

En toen kwamen de kinderen …