Went for the first serious bike trip after the (sometimes busy) exam period yesterday. A great ride through my favourite corner of our country, de Westhoek ('the Western corner'): 110 km from Koekelare to Kemmel (Heuvelland) and back, via small towns and villages like Elverdinge, Vlamertinge, Bikschote, Esen and Vladslo (well-known for its German military cemetery and Käthe Kollwitz' statues 'The Sorrowful Parents') to name but a few.
The weather was excellent: not too hot and not too much wind, which enabled us to keep a steady but agreeable pace. An almost perfect day. Except for the puncture and the somewhat unforeseen fact that we were not allowed to climb mount Kemmel (a short but nasty climb) because of the Ypres Rally.
Now, of course, the latter was our fault. But what really spoilt it, was one of the volunteers for the race forbidding us to pop into Kemmel's bakery for a piece of rice cake. Even though we would have been on 'paid territory' for only a couple of minutes, "no is no." "But the policeman over there said it was not a problem." No way. And if we could bugger off , because "it's always the same with these cyclists." Something along those lines.
I don't think he's ever heard of the Stanford prison experiment, but he somehow gave me an awkward feeling. Put someone in a uniform and the power that comes with it, does take over at times...