Kwiggle extreme: 300 km
A little bit like a new life
300 km in one day: Hard to believe – but true!
Until recently, he would never have thought that he would be able to ride a bike so far in a single day. But then Karsten Bettin, inventor of Kwiggle, drove around the Dutch Ijselmeer - 300kilometers in about 16 hours. In his review he explains how it came to this idea.
I am not an extremely sporty person. Twice a week I go running for 5 km and once a month bike racing for about 50km. Added to this are the daily journeys by Kwiggle, between 5 and 15 km - more or less regularly. That´s it. My longest day trip so far: 150 km with the racing bike, but only once. That was really a lot, considering my training. And then I just ride 300 km in a day by, without pain and without getting tired?
First tests showed the long-distance suitability
How did that happen? When the Kwiggle was technically well-engineered, we wanted to thoroughly test the movable seat post and related driving behavior over a few months to detect and eliminate any weak points: Stability and driving, driving, driving in many different urban everyday situations. After all, we want to offer our customers an all-round perfect product.
We also put some longer stretches in one go. After the first test drives we noticed two things: The upright riding is a lot of fun and even after long trips we were not tired at all. A friendly doctor had already predicted years ago that cycling with the Kwiggle allows you to ride long distances without fatigue due to the movable seat post. My own experience made me curious now and I wanted to know how long I can really ride a Kwiggle in one go.
The first long tour - carbs were missing
Whenever time allowed, I drove sometimes 30, sometimes 40 kilometers. The longer the better. Then we spontaneously made a first longer tour, from Göttingen to Hannover, always along the Leine - about 120 km! I ride a Kwiggle and Till - my son - with a famous folding bike. Once we changed and both had the same impression: 120 km with another folding bike is much more exhausting. Arrived in Hannover, I was a bit tired and thought, yes ok, 120 km is not trivial.
The next day, when I told a friend who has a lot of experience with long-distance tours, he advised me to eat a lot. Maybe the fatigue was also due to missing carbohydrates. I weigh 65 kg at 1.78 height, and therefore have no fat reserves as energy storage.
The next tour was then 200 km, accompanied by three well-trained athletic guys on touring bikes, 16,17 and 18 of age. We each had about 6kg of luggage. And we ate a lot of carbohydrates. After the 200 km the guys were, unlike me, pretty much finished. At 190 km I was still able to drive 25 km/h which even surprised myself.
300 km Ijsselmeer – and millions of flies
Ascension in 2018 we were then at the Ijselmeer in the Netherlands. And I thought, it would be interesting if Iget around there in one day. That would be about 300 km. At 5 a.m. I started with the single-speed Kwiggle. Unfortunately, it was really cold, 7 degrees celcius for 2 hours I was pretty cold.
I had plenty of luggage with me: 2kg of pasta, 1kg of bread, 2 liters of water and a few little things, a total of about 7 kg. After two hours, I thought that I probably would not be able to make it. Then came also track sections with thousands of flies, which flew in my eyes constantly, as I had forgotten my glasses. Thats why I had to slow down a bit for a while.
When the sun came out, it got a lot better. After 125 km I reached Amsterdam at 11 a.m.. There I took a break, bought pasta sauce, cucumber and tomatoes and filled up water. Eating all of it on the Kwiggle, with a spoon out of the noodle pot.
I went on further north. Millions of flies flew on the dyke paths! I have never experienced anything like it. Wherever possible, I went off the dike. Another speed killer were the passages through the charming brick-cobbled tourist towns. Therefore I gave Enkhuizen a wide berth later.
Then came the headwind
I knew that in the evening the wind should refresh, unfortunately in the wrong direction. From Hoorn, at km 175, that became reality. After a meal break, the energy supplies were replenished and I faced the wind. 50 km wind diagonally forward. Instead of 25 km/h only 22 km/h. Den Oever, at km 225, I reached at 5.30 p.m.. After another break, the hardest section came: the Afsluitdijk. The wind continued to freshen up - 35 km straight from the front with an average of 18 km/h.
I thought after the dike comes tailwind. But not a bit of it. From the land side, the wind continued to come from the side. It was not until 9 p.m. that it was windless and I could finally go back to my 25 km/h. When I arrived at the finish, I really wanted to know how big the impact of the lugagge was on the speed. I then drove a few kilometers without the 7 kg. The difference was a considerable 3 to 4 km/h.
Kwiggle is changing my life
Without the described influencing factors, like the weight, flies, full towns and headwind maybe even 400 km would have been possible. I am already organizing an appropriate tour. Not with the single-speed Kwiggle, but with the 3-speed version. That would have been helpful, especially when the wind came around.
At 53 years of age I am now doing things I thought I would never be able to do - thanks to Kwiggle. I am planning adventures that I could never have done with another bike. Although I invented the Kwiggle and developed it over so many years I was still amazed by those experiences. A little bit like a new life.