In Part One, we set up your computer so you can make your Raspberry Pi Pico creations in Visual Studio Code. This time, we’ll do the Pico equivalent of Hello World and make the onboard LED flash.

Starting a new project

Open up VS Code and and go to the File menu and then choose Open. Navigate to a suitable place and then create a new folder called LED-Flash. Once you’ve created that folder, select it and open it up in Code.

If you can’t already see a Terminal panel in Code, switch it on via the View menu. All being well and assuming…

I picked up my Raspberry Pi Pico on the cover of the latest HackSpace magazine last week and have been tinkering with it ever since.

It’s been a journey in multiple ways: this is my first real attempt at physical computing and it’s meant getting used to Python, which isn’t a language I’ve ever worked with in the past. I’m more of a C# kinda guy who prefers Node when leaving my .NET comfort zone!

All of the official documentation and tutorials recommend using Thonny to get started, which I did myself and was delighted to have the onboard LED…

What are your wheels?

Several factors led to the selection of my Brompton M6R as my bicycle of choice for touring in the Netherlands.

Firstly, cost. I already owned a bike and one that was perfectly amenable to air travel since it folds. I anticipated cycling in the Netherlands a lot and worked out that the cost of owning a bike would be less than hiring one over the medium-to-long term.

Secondly, time. For a combination of work and family reasons, I generally fly into Amsterdam on a Tuesday morning and back to the UK on a Thursday afternoon. …

The Netherlands has a wonderful, reliable and cheap public transport system that’s very well inter-connected and embracing of cyclists.

In many cases, you’ll need to use public transport to get to your starting point or back to the airport.

But even if your trip shouldn’t — in theory — involve any public transport, I’d urge that you’re at least familiar with how to use it and have a pre-paid card at the ready. You never know when a puncture, illness or downpours might mean you need to use it.

Payment: OV-chipkaart

All major forms of public transport — buses, trains and metro…

Any successful multi-day cycling trip in the Netherlands will require an up-front investment in planning. This is often one of the most enjoyable parts of the process!

The things you’ll need to figure out include:

  • where you want to go;
  • for how long;
  • how far you’ll cycle each day;
  • where you’ll stay;
  • how you’ll get to your starting point and from your end point;
  • how you’ll navigate your way around; and
  • how to get hold of a bike to begin with!

All of these questions have easy answers, even though they might look overwhelming at this point.

In this post…

Photo by sabina fratila on Unsplash

I’m not a cyclist; I just ride a bike.

Me too. I don’t own any Lycra; I’m not part of a cycling club; I really don’t like those sporty dropped handlebars and funny shoes with “clipless” clips in them, even.

I’m just a guy with a bike. I sometimes fall off that bike in comedy circumstances because — let’s face it — I’m also a bit of a klutz.

But my bike is increasingly a part of who I am. …

Chris Wood

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