Dolly's Bike Blog

Musings about fun between my legs

A shaky start


Don’s brother Ralph delivered us to Dulles Airport 2 1/2 hours before our flight time.  With the tandem, we know not to be in a rush..

At the ticket counter, the agent Terri was a bit harassed, but we remained calm.  The printer was out of stock and when filled kept jamming, so the process was quite time-consuming.  The tandem case weighed 82 pounds; we just paid the surcharge and proceeded to security.

Our TSA-Pre had no effect there, long serpentine lines.  And the TSA dog took a liking to Don, resulting in a full pat-down (I really wanted to take a picture…) and unpacking of his carry-on backpack.  Again we stayed calm.

We had day passes for the United lounge, which was full.  We walked to a second lounge, snagged some food and headed to our gate.  Overseas flights start boarding an hour before departure.

Once onboard and settled, the plane slowly exited the gate and wandered to the runway – and stopped.  There was a thunderstorm threat in the area and all take-offs and landings were delayed for an hour.  No clouds that we could see, but there we sat.  Final take-off delayed almost an hour and a half.

Flight generally uneventful, though the mild sleeping pill I took did not work, so little sleep for either of us.  We landed in Amsterdam around 9 am local time, retrieved our luggage and the infamous tandem case and were met by Jan, driving a large Ford van, big enough to hold the case and our luggage.

We are staying 2 nights in Abcoude, maybe 20 miles outside of Amsterdam. We will put the tandem together, explore the area, and get “settled” before we embark on our Dutch adventure.


  1. Oh boy!! Kudos on staying calm. Glad you have arrived safely!

  2. Your travel experience has served you well. I can’t even imagine you getting impatient or upset about things you have no control. I will be biking in Idaho this week but will be following your trip with interest. Enjoy!

  3. Staying calm is the key. No sense in getting upset over something you can not have any influence over. Hope you can relax, bike and get some sleep. Take care.

  4. Happy to hear you landed without incident. Btw, I would have loved seeing a pic of Don gettin’ jiggy with the TSA-canine. AND I get why you didn’t “shoot”! How lovely to be cycling through the Dutch countryside. Maybe catch you both in wooden clogs?!

  5. Coincidentally just came across mention of Giethoorn, “Venice of the Netherlands” 75 miles east of Amsterdam. They say there are no roads, just canals. So, evidently no biking there!

  6. Glad to know you are on the other side of the pond. As Winston Churchill supposedly said: “Keep Calm and Carry On.” In your case a tandem bike! Because of my multiple joint replacements I always forewarn I will need extra pat downs. I have never had a truly rude TSA agent. Enjoy the biking. And please post about the weather.

  7. Off to a good start, I can’t think of anyone who would have a better attitude about the delays. Have a GREAT time.

  8. Good job staying calm! I will try to emulate! Have a super fun and safe trip🚴‍♀️🚴‍♂️

  9. Bravo for calmness. Hope you have good bike riding weather.

  10. I so enjoy keeping up with your adventures. Even the ones in the airport. I keep having these hilarious visions of Don and a German Shepherd playing fetch in the TSA line, but I don’t think that’s what you meant about the dog taking a liking to Don. Enjoy,

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