All About Sonya

“The best times are when I am riding my bike!” — Sonya

I have dreamed for so long to do a bike trip in the Netherlands and it is finally a reality. My blog is all about the planning of our cycling trip around Ijsselmeer Lake in the Netherlands. I will be travelling with 3 sisters, and we will be biking 500 kms in 10 days in May 2020.

I grew up in a large family in Niagara on a dairy farm. I am the youngest, having 9 sisters and 2 brothers. I am very proud of my dutch culture – my parents immigrated from the Netherlands in the early 50’s. I grew up with the love for many dutch things – food and goodies such as stomppot, dropies, hagelslag, gouda, boterkoek, bitterballen and frikandellen; games such as sjoelbak, drinks such as Heineken and Bols, and I think the love for biking! As I research my bike trip in the Netherlands you will learn more about about the country, the history, their food, and probably more about me.

Unfortunately I lost both my parents when I was in my young 20’s but from what I learned from them I always knew I wanted to visit their homeland. I first went in the Spring of 2014 with 5 sisters, loved it and went back the same year in November as I insisted my husband had to go visit as well. I visited again in the Spring of 2018, and am looking forward to May 2020!

Growing up in a large family my parents needed to be “frugal” but never did I feel I was at a disadvantage. I was happy in that I had lots of sisters and lots of fun!!! and I had a bike! So, other than tricycles and things when I was a little kid, my first 2-wheeler was a men’s 10-speed bike. (actually it wasn’t mine – my older sister bought it when she got her first job), and us younger ones could only use it once she got tired of it. Lol – I couldn’t even sit on the seat. But I jumped on that bike and rode down the grass lawn over and over and over again until I learned how, and many scars later. I so wanted to cut that darn bar out of the middle! So now I finally could ride a bike but felt like a prisoner on my own property. Both farms on each side of us had many very large and viscous dogs that all I could do was bike around and around our driveways. I am sure if anyone was watching me they would say “what a crazy girl – riding around in a circle for 2 hours day after day!!”. When I started grade 9 we moved to a small village and I felt free! I could now venture out on my bike.

I moved to Hamilton when I was 19 and have made this my home with my husband Bart, our 4 sons, and our newest addition – Lilly our Bichon Poodle. My family shares a love for camping and hiking and being in the outdoors!

I love Hamilton! Over the last 33 years it has been great to see Hamilton become more and more bike friendly.

I started working at Hamilton Health Sciences very soon after moving to Hamilton. Now that I had some money, I decided to start taking night courses, first at Mohawk and then later at McMaster. Computers were coming in and I wanted to know everything about them so I would always be relevant. So I bought a computer in 1990 when I didn’t even know how to use it – lol. I have never stopped taking courses and never stopped learning. Since I always worked full-time, was raising my family, and socializing lots, receiving my diploma in Web Design and Development was a slow process but I received it in 2015! I then decided to apply to move those credits towards a BA in Humanities, and started another diploma course in Marketing/Business Administration. And that is what brings me here writing this blog. I am taking “Building Social Media Relationships” and the major part of my mark is to write a (new) blog. Since I needed to research my bike trip to the Netherlands in 2020, I decided it would be a good topic. I do have another blog – I am hiking the entire Bruce Trail with 5 girlfriends and I share our pictures and blog about our trip!

I thank everyone for not only reading my blog, but commenting, sharing your stories, and helping me in the planning of this cycling trip.