re The Netherlands and touring

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by rich p, 27 Apr 2010.

  1. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton
    I'll do a CGOAB when I get time about my recent trip but just a few thoughts on the tour and the country.
    First thing to mention is that, as many suggested, it is a fanfastically cycling-friendly place almost to the point of them taking precedence over pedestrians. I saw any number of near collisions but not one incident of rage from anyone. I do wonder if there are many ped/cycle accidents in the towns though; perhaps Alan or Delftse Post can elaborate.
    We stayed in small hotels where the food was almost unfailingly superb, the staff friendly and geared up (:biggrin:) for cyclists.
    We were unlucky, in that we had to face strong, cold headwinds formost of the time - even on a circular route! It made it hard going but at least we had clear skies and sunshine.
    The countryside was, of course, largely flat but never felt uninteresting due to the many features - windmills, dykes, varied architecture. The way that the Dutch have made a virtue out of necessity by cleverly incorporating water into housing estates, ponds, canals and irrigation was a delight.
    I'd recommend it for a tour and I'll certainly return to do the bits I couldn't reach.

    The group in the dunes


    Hand cranking a ferry



    Wind and water - eternal themes
     
  2. Haitch

    Haitch Flim Flormally

    Location:
    Netherlands
    Never seen or heard of any.


    Par for the course, I'm afraid, no luck involved.

    Glad you enjoyed your tour. How did the novices get on?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton
    The flat versus the wind meant that I'd have been wiser to have done 40 miles per day rather than 50 -55, but they loved it. We generally finished between 5 and 6 but one day was 6.45 which was a bit of a slog along a raised river path, into the teeth of the wind to reach Wamel/Tiel. To be honest the detour that day through the Hoge Veluwe park for 7.5 euros each was an unnecessary diversion. It was nice but not substantially nicer than some of the other areas.
     
  4. Haitch

    Haitch Flim Flormally

    Location:
    Netherlands

    Might be some confusion here. The Hoge Veluwe is a very large nature reserve. In the middle of it is the "park"; doesn't the 7.50 admission also give you entry to a Big House/Museum/English Gardens and free use of the white bikes?
     
  5. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    Location:
    oSLo
    I look forward to reading the full write-up, Rich! :eek:

    Sorry to hear of your mishap, though! :tongue:
     
  6. ComedyPilot

    ComedyPilot Secret Lemonade Drinker

    Nice appetite whetter, there Richp, I can't wait to go myself, or to read your CGOAB journal.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton
    Cheers mate. I've found someone who'll repair the hanger for £100 all in. Cheaper than a new frame!:tongue:


    You'll have a great time, CP. If the winds are not too bad you'll manage 75m a day easily.......unless you get lost! The LF1 signs weren't always easy through the towns but take a compass and you'll be okay!
     
  8. OP
    OP
    rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton
    I bow to your local knowledge but I understood that the region was Veluwe and the Hoge Veluwe is the National Park area. i.e. the bit with heath, dunes, deer and white bikes for which you pay. The museum is another 7.50 euros which I baulked at given the time constraints.
     
  9. ComedyPilot

    ComedyPilot Secret Lemonade Drinker


    Check!
     
  10. Haitch

    Haitch Flim Flormally

    Location:
    Netherlands

    Nope, seems like you're right. Wikie says:

    The park is surrounded by fences. These, combined with the required entrance fee, led to years of protests by cyclists and hikers who were forced to either pay the fee or otherwise make lengthy detours. In 2007 a solution was reached by charging reduced fees for cyclists who spend only a limited amount of time within the confines of the park.
     
  11. willem

    willem Über Member

    The Veluwe is the large bit of sand dune nature in the middle of the country. The south eastern part of this is a designated and fenced off nature reserve called de Hoge Veluwe, with deer etc. It is beautiful, but so is the wider area. In the Hoge Veluwe there is also the Kroeller Mueller Museum with a spectacular collection of modern art, including substantial numbers of Van Gogh paintings, but also much else. The park also has a very fine Arts and Crafts style hunting lodge, with completely preserved interior.
    Willem
     
  12. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    Sounds great - looking forward to the write up, Richp.
     
  13. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    It does sound great. So glad you had a good time.
     
  14. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    Salford, UK
    Well, the Netherlands is on my List. I did pass through on Sunday night, but I was asleep on a tourbus at the time.

    I was talking to a mate at the Spezi show, chap who emigrated to the Netherlands from England (and writes an excellent blog about cycling there http://hembrow.blogspot.com/).

    He commented on how bad the German cyclepaths were, compared with Holland. I was still getting over how good they were!

    I mean, you get to a roundabout, on the path, and while you're figuring out which direction the cars are going to be coming from, a car comes off the roundabout and WAITS for you to cross!
     
  15. NickM

    NickM Veteran

    If you have time and like paintings (even slightly) the Kroeller Mueller Museum is worth every cent - it has enough famous van Goghs to fill a skip. You've seen them in books, but there they are in the flesh - wall after wall of them :biggrin:

    Anyway, good write-up, Rich :smile:

    MsM is off to do Manche-to-Med on Sunday and I have to keep coming to work :biggrin:
     
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