Saturday 15 September 2012

"Team building ?"

On Thursday Judy and I both finished all the work we had to do by mid-day. In the morning, Judy had been busy organising holidays while I'd packed 20 parcels and taken them to the post office in the usual way. For some time we'd been planning to visit a bicycle museum 25 km West of Assen. Over lunch we decided that's what we'd do in the afternoon.
Museum owner Anne Maris

I got to try out an understeer bike. It's surprisingly easy to ride.

The museum has many bicycles of different age, method of design and manufacturer. Almost all were real workhorses intended for daily use.

A "Bartje" brand child's bike - from Assen of course. Bartje is a symbol of Assen and Drenthe. There is a statue of this fictional character in the city. Because the books were not translated into English, I didn't get to read them when I was young, but I'm catching up now.

As well as complete bicycles, many of the sort of components that you need for a bicycle which provides reliable everyday transport were in the exhibit.

The museum also has a collection of sewing machines. This might seem odd until you realise that they were manufactured by the same companies, both being examples of the highest technology that you'd find in a home in the early 1900s. Gazelle and Union sewing machines are seen above, also there were examples of Burgers, Simplex and other Dutch bicycle manufacturers. There are Singer bikes and Singer sewing machines as well, but so far as I'm aware they were always different companies.

Riding home from the museum on the usual wide and smooth cycle-paths

We stopped on the way home to visit a butterfly garden...

... and also refreshed ourselves at a cafe which, as is normal in the Netherlands, made cyclists very welcome by providing cycle-parking

We took it easy for the rest of the way home and didn't make any attempt at all to keep up with racing cyclists that overtook us on the cycle-paths.

When we reached road works, we were not at all inconvenienced.
A very pleasant afternoon of cycling and visiting interesting places is the closest we ever want to come to a "team building" exercise for our business.

We were back to work again on Friday morning. The museum and butterfly garden are amongst many nice places to visit on our holiday routes. You'll find components for everyday reliable bicycles in our webshop.


  1. I think I like that version of "team building". My wife's company has come up with some goofy notions over the years. The men in the group don't seem to mind some of the shenanigans, but if there's only one or two women in a group of about a 100, she'll just tell them it's not going to happen. When, as part of the invitation there's a note saying, "be sure and bring some old clothes to wear"? Not usually a good sign.
    She doesn't mind when they go out in the community and do something like work at an orphanage or something. That's at least constructive "team building". But if it's some silliness like zip lining? Thankfully there's never been any paint ball. That would be over the top.

  2. Bartje also came as a tv-serie in 1972/73 In fact I never read the book....


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