Bike Tour 2017 – Groningen to Amsterdam

Aug 7 – To Apeldoorn

We wanted to stop for lunch at the Schortinghuis restaurant in Spier, but the train south from Gronigen was not in service and the alternate bus service did not take bikes. We had to take 3 trains to Hoogeveen and then cycled 12 km to Spier.

Then back to Hoogeveen and 2 trains to Almelo where we went to the childhood house of Arno’s mother. While there we came across a section of the F35 Fietssnellweg (literally Bicycle Freeway). When completed, this will become a 60 km cycling highway which will connect the cities of Almelo and Enchede in the eastern part of the Netherlands.

Then one more train to Apeldoorn where Arno was born. While in our hotel, we tried to fnd locations of any war memorials that recognized the Canadian soldiers that helped to liberate the Netherlands near the end of WWII. Imagine our surprize at locating two memorials just across the road from our hotel.

Memorial honouring Canadian soldiers who helped ro liberate the Netherlands

More pics here

Aug 8 – ToAmersfoort

Cycled mostly on paths parallel to 2 lane highways, the fist portion being past the former royal summer palace (Het Loo) and through the royal forest.

 More pics here

Aug 9 Wijk bij Duurstede via Utrecht and Houten – 67 km
Nice ride into Utrecht. At one point the bike path we went straight under a road roudabout. Beautiful city centre with lots of pedestrian streets in rhe city centre.

Lots of bikes in Utrecht

We found out later that the first section of the biggest bike parking facility in the Netherlands (room for 12,000 bikes!) had opened the previous day in the rebuilt central station.

Found one of the many cycling highways in Utrecht. This section followed Kanalweg and was oriented in a north-southish direction.

Rode south to the relatively new town of Houten. This town was built around 8 cycling paths. Portions of some parhs are of a style called Fietsweg (literally Bike Street) where cars are guests. The town centre is car free and features a 4m wide bike path. On the way out of town, we saw a car rou dabout with a bike roudabout below. We could cycle from the southern edge of Utrecht, through the centre of Houten and some distance further without encountering traffic lights or regular roads.

More pics here

Aug 10 – Oss – 51 km

Nice ride along dikes which included a couple of ferry rides across large canals. 

More pics here

Aug 11 – Eindhoven via ‘s Hertogenbosch (aka Den Bosch)

We discovered a cycling highway between Oss and Den Bosch and followed it for about 8 km out if Oss. This is a mostly 2 way path which is 3.5 to 4m in width and has many road crossings with cycling priority.  At one point the path went around 1/4 of a road roundabout with cyclists having priority in both directions!

An intersection in Den Bosch where the path switches from ine side of the street to the other, there is an indicator which shows the fastest path through the intersection (straight-right-left or right-left).  More  here: http://www.beezodogsplace.com/2014/11/08/dynamic-sign-to-indicate-the-fastest-cycle-route/

We cycled on to Eindhoven mostly along a cycle path parallel to a highway.  That night, we rode to the “Starry Night” section of the Van Gogh bike path ineastetn Eindhoven. This is an art work comosed of light emitting “stones emb3dded in the bike path to create images reminisce t of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” painting.

Van Gogh starry cycle path

More pics here

Aug 12 – To Terheijden

On the way out of eindhoven, we went for a ride on the famous Hovenring elevated cycling/walking roundabout.

Hovenring cycle roundabout near Eindhoven

Managed to ride most of the way to Tilburg along paths beside canals. 

Took the train to Breda and then cycled to my cousin who lives in Terhijden.

More pics here

Aug 13 – To Zoetemeer via Gouda and Boskoop

My cousins kindly drove us to a nice route which winds along a river toward Gouda.

Gouda is a beautiful snd very car light toepwn with a lovely central square.

My father was born in Boskoop and his family had a lovely house.

Some kind people who we met nearby told us about a new bike path to Zoetermeer. This was a delightful ride through fiels and forests on a super smooth paved path! Heaven!

More pics here

Aug 14 – To Kudelstaart

Had a nice  ride to Leiden with my cousin. In Leiden there wewpre many gouups riding bikes inthe city and every rider was wearing the same blue backpack. We found out that this was frosh week and all the stusents were getting a city tour by bike.


Aug 15 – Back to Vancouver from Schiphol (Amsterdam) Airport – 12 km

Short ride to the Airport. Our airline (KLM) insisted that bikes be boxed so we had to pay E23 for each box on top of the E125 fee for bringing along each bike on the airplane. Boxes were quite large which made packing fairly straight forward.

 

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