An 11-day, 250-mile bicycle tour through the northern part of The Netherlands didn't leave Bob and Audrey McBride feeling exhausted.
Rather, the East Mill Creek couple say they felt stronger and would now like to take another bicycle trip - perhaps to England - if the threat of possible terrorist attacks as a result of conflict in the Middle East diminishes."We were not tired but invigorated after the trip last year because we had been bicycling regularly for about five years," said Audrey McBride, a registered nurse and retired nursing instructor.
She worked 27 1/2 years at the Veterans Hospital and taught 15 years in the nursing program at what is now known as Salt Lake Community College.
She and her husband, who was part owner of KeddMac, a steel fabrication plant, and who is a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, average 10 miles per day bicycling while at home.
The couple retired in 1989 and enjoy bicycling trips into the canyons, through parks, along bicycle trails and participate at a yearly mountain bike festival in Fishlake National Forest. The McBrides are used to pedaling up and down hills on their 10-speed mountain bikes so the flat terrain of Holland was not a particular challenge.
Both in their 60s, the couple chose the 13-day trip, sponsored by Elderhostel Inc. in cooperation with International Bicycle Tours Inc., after reading a travel catalog. They flew from Los Angeles on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, landing 10 hours later at an airport just out of Amsterdam.
At the airport they joined 18 other Americans in a group that included people from diverse educational, cultural and other backgrounds. The bicylists included businessmen and women, lawyers and a retired member of the diplomatic corps.
"Some of the individuals hadn't been on a bicycle for about 20 years. As we traveled we became a very cohesive group," Bob McBride said.
They traveled an average of 21 miles per day but the trip was broken into small increments, allowing time for visits to beautiful gardens, a flower auction, windmills, a cheese factory and stops at scenic canals and waterways.
"We stayed in exceptionally clean, comfortable hotels and the food was great. People in charge of the tour took very good care of us. At most places we met people who could speak English. We found the Dutch people to be very friendly and hospitable," Audrey McBride said.