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Cycling in Holland

ben@31[email protected] Posts: 2,322
edited February 2017 in Road general
I fancy going away somewhere different, I'd want to cycle and it would be nice to get away from the UK nobhead drivers. Reading articles on Holland / Netherlands with its cycling culture and miles of cycleways sounds like a utopia. Im thinking of touring from Dutch city to city along the cycleways.

Has anyone been cycling there and able to offer any advice, please?

Thanks.
"The Prince of Wales is now the King of France" - Calton Kirby

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  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 15,959
    I fancy going away somewhere different, I'd want to cycle and it would be nice to get away from the UK nobhead drivers. Reading articles on Holland / Netherlands with its cycling culture and miles of cycleways sounds like a utopia. Im thinking of touring from Dutch city to city along the cycleways.

    Has anyone been cycling there and able to offer any advice, please?

    Thanks.

    I wouldn't call it a utopia for fun cycling. It's a utopia for safe, off the roads cycling with minimal elevation change and it is a utopia for cycling with children but otherwise it isn't exactly that rewarding. My experience of cycling around Haarlem, Utrecht, Delft, Den Haag, Utrecht areas is that you have some nice rivers to ride along but for much of the time you are next to dead straight roads with lots of right angle corners. Head winds can be tedious and the scenery isn't usually that exciting. That said, the little cities are superb but the only place I've ridden there where the route has ups and downs and nice curves etc is on the coastal dunes. The Southern part of The Netherlands is a bit more undulating so might be more interesting.

    I found Denmark rather nice - Jutland is scenic, there are ups and downs but not really big ones. The cities aren't IMO as nice as the Dutch ones but the Dutch set a very high bar. You could do worse than head for the Silkeborg area (Danish Lake district).
    Faster than a tent.......
  • pottsstevepottssteve Posts: 4,033
    I used to live in Maastricht, in the province of Limburg. It is touted at "fietsparadijs" and it's certainly well set up for riding. As mentioned above, there are no big cols or alpine passes to climb, but the drivers are generally very respectful and you can put in long rides through the undulating landscape. From Maastricht you can easily ride across into Germany and down into the northern Ardennes of Belgium. The scenery is not stunning but can be tiring - think lots of sharp little climbs. For example, the Amstel Gold Race is run around there and has over 4000m of climbing. You can drive there easily for the UK or get the Eurostar to Liege then change for Maastricht. It's fun to ride the AGR route, which is signposted, and you can also get over to the roads used by Liege Bastogne Liege very easily. Most people speak good English, there are lots of bike shops in case of problems, and the beer is good (especially the Belgian stuff). Yes, it rains, can be windy, cold, and the marl soils tend to mean you get lots of flints on the roads, so punctures can be more frequent that you would like, but I loved riding around there. IIt would also be possible to start in the north/Denmark and ride all the way down through Germany and the Netherlands to Maastricht, mostly on cycle lanes, which would be good fun, I guess.

    If you want more info please feel free to PM me.
    Head Hands Heart Lungs Legs
  • ham76ham76 Posts: 26
    We have a plan to visit Holland this summer and we just joined this club called “vrienden op de fiets”, a network of B&B aimed at the cyclists.

    http://www.vriendenopdefiets.nl/en/
  • Isn't it a bit boring riding somewhere with no hills?
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    Never been cycling there but every Dutch person I have met has been really cool and the women are generally lovely. Remind me to tell you about TDSFR one day....... Now she was lovely. As the bus drove away I said to myself "well, that's the one that got away ...."......
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • I have no idea what TDSFR means, but yes, most Dutch people I've ever met are pretty cool (cf. Alpe d'Huez) and yes, sex is marginally more important than cycling...so go for it!
  • Never done Holland but good cycling in Belgium especially the Tour of Flanders route around Oudenaarde and the world war one sites around Ypres usfull site here http://www.fietsroute.org/cycling/belgium
  • mamil314mamil314 Posts: 1,103
    I've cycled quite a bit in the triangle Amsterdam - Schiphol - seaside and its very family friendly with cute towns to stop in; very flat, very windy.
  • There are some good rides - the coast from around Zanvoort to Den Haag-ish is great with routes through the dunes. The loop around the Markermeer is great too. And plenty of twisty routes following rivers. The wind can be brutal though because there's absolutely no shelter - it makes climbing hills seem easy and infinitely more rewarding.

    Without knowing where you're planing to go, it's hard to give any specific advice. The only one watchout I'd say is that Dutch drivers are as bad as any when the roads have no cycle routes marked on them so don't get lulled into a false sense of security.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • robbo2011robbo2011 Posts: 1,017
    I would recommend the area around the Veluwe in Gelderland province. It's a beautiful area to ride around and less flat and windy that the coastal areas
  • chippykchippyk Posts: 529
    I lived in Almere for a time, the set up was great for using cycling as transport. Afternoon beer or two in Amsterdam? Ride in. Visit a friend in Utrecht? same. On the downside it's soul destroying on a dead straight path beside the Ijselmeer or Gooimeer into a block head wind knowing there's no downhill for a breather. And that if you leave your bike unchained for a nanosecond it'll be nicked.
  • lyn1lyn1 Posts: 261
    Isn't it a bit boring riding somewhere with no hills?

    Plenty of hills in the Limburg region. We stayed in Valkenburg and cycled much of the Amstel Gold route.
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