Author Topic: Cycling in The Netherlands  (Read 5465 times)

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Offline Peter Parfitt

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Cycling in The Netherlands
« on: June 23, 2014, 02:40 PM »
Hi Everyone,

You may have noticed my post rate has dropped a bit lately - I have been making a video in The Netherlands about cycling in that beautiful country.

My wife and I go to Holland every year to cycle - it is safe, relaxing and it helps that the Dutch almost all seem to speak such perfect English. We use camp sites as we have a motorhome but B&B is cheap and hotels are also very reasonable. We were in the Panningen/Beesel/Arcen areas of Limbourg - I wonder if we were near any FOGgers?

Here is the link:



Peter


Offline Jim Kirkpatrick

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Re: Cycling in The Netherlands
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2014, 03:26 PM »
We believe you, Peter.....you went to the Netherlands for the cycling.   ;) ;) ;)  Thanks for posting.....great video.  I was cycling around Amsterdam and Brugge last summer.  I went there for the same reasons......the cycling!  ;) ;)  Beautiful and flat peddling.

Offline Alex

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Re: Cycling in The Netherlands
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2014, 04:20 PM »
I must admit, I also always go to the Netherlands to cycle. [wink] Did about 280 kilometers of it last 3 days. Great place to ride, and our infrastructure and traffic mentality is completely adapted to bicyles. 

Only the wind is driving me crazy, at least where I live, near the coast in the Amsterdam area. One way I can drive like crazy, 35+ kph, and the other way I have to struggle to get 15 kph.

Your video looks very good, almost professionally produced. Good to mention the "fietsknooppunten" maps, they're very usefull and they have mapped almost the entire country like that. I hardly plan my routes, unless I have to pick something up, but mostly I just go anyway the wind blows, and the roadside maps are very usefull for me to find my way.

I see you also did the Kessel run, did you do it in under 12 parsecs?  [smile]

Offline Kev

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Re: Cycling in The Netherlands
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2014, 06:58 PM »
Looks just like cycling in Sydney, apart from the fact that here you would DIE AT THE FIRST ROUNDABOUT  [scared]

Alex, I have a morning and evening prevailing wind pattern that's always a headwind for my work commute - drives me crazy when it's strong ... I feel your pain.

I wish Oz took more from Europe and less from the US in terms of cycling culture [sad]

Offline Tom Bellemare

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Re: Cycling in The Netherlands
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2014, 07:11 PM »
I wish Oz took more from Europe and less from the US in terms of cycling culture [sad]


It really depends on where you are in the U.S., Kev...

Our public transportation is outfitted for cyclists and their bikes, we have hike/bike trails to a large part of the city, and the roads are fairly quickly getting outfitted with bike lanes.

The culture is not like Amsterdam but it is changing fairly quickly.


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Offline Kev

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Re: Cycling in The Netherlands
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2014, 09:04 PM »
I wish Oz took more from Europe and less from the US in terms of cycling culture [sad]


It really depends on where you are in the U.S., Kev...

Our public transportation is outfitted for cyclists and their bikes, we have hike/bike trails to a large part of the city, and the roads are fairly quickly getting outfitted with bike lanes.

The culture is not like Amsterdam but it is changing fairly quickly.


Tom

That's the point - we're putting in infrastructure but the culture and mindset aren't changing.

Driver awareness and courtesy is along the lines of "cars own the road, nobody else has rights" here in Oz.

... and it's not changing quickly here [mad]

Offline Tom Bellemare

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Re: Cycling in The Netherlands
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2014, 09:27 PM »
There are a couple of issues here that cause pause for me, and I have a couple thousand or more miles cycling...

First, cyclists here all too often act like kids with training wheels. They seemingly have no concept of, or awareness of, the reality that they are part of the traffic - by law and common sense.

They use the sideWALKS and crossWALKS as if they are for cyclists. They are NOT and using them for cycling poses a danger not only to pedestrians but to drivers and lastly, the idiot cyclist that is zooming through using something that is not designed or intended for them.

The second thing that ruins the world for sensible-minded, law abiding cyclists is those cyclists that are not obeying simple things that any member of traffic must, like their turn in line, obeying traffic controls, etc. The rogue, me-me-me cyclists poison the roads for those that cycle by the rules. It makes motorists less considerate and it is inherently dangerous for them, motorists, and pedestrians.

Here, there are a lot of cyclists sharing the roads with already crowded traffic and skirting the logic that is designed to make everything safer for all is a problem.

'Sorry for the rant but I like cycling and there is a right way and a wrong way. There are far too many wrong way-ers here to make it safe for all who want to enjoy the ride.


Tom
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Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Cycling in The Netherlands
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2014, 01:28 AM »
I must admit, I also always go to the Netherlands to cycle. [wink] Did about 280 kilometers of it last 3 days. Great place to ride, and our infrastructure and traffic mentality is completely adapted to bicyles. 

Only the wind is driving me crazy, at least where I live, near the coast in the Amsterdam area. One way I can drive like crazy, 35+ kph, and the other way I have to struggle to get 15 kph.

Your video looks very good, almost professionally produced. Good to mention the "fietsknooppunten" maps, they're very usefull and they have mapped almost the entire country like that. I hardly plan my routes, unless I have to pick something up, but mostly I just go anyway the wind blows, and the roadside maps are very usefull for me to find my way.

I see you also did the Kessel run, did you do it in under 12 parsecs?  [smile]

Hi Alex,

It is easy to clock up the kms - we cycled further than the drive to and from the Netherlands from home. We did not do more than 70 kms in any day and some days did only 50 kms.

Yes, the Fietsknooppunten system is brilliant and is major contributor to the enjoyment of cycling over there.

I know that some cyclists get criticised for their behaviour and I see it a lot in the UK. In 21 days of cycling on this trip there was only one case where I thought that a cyclist could have been a little more thoughtful.

I know what you mean about the wind. About 4 years ago we bought Dutch bikes whilst in Delft. On our first trip with the new bikes we were battling against a strong head wind when a little old lady overtook us. "Gosh the Dutch are fit", I shouted to my wife. "She's got a battery on that bike !" came the reply.

Peter

Offline Alex

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Re: Cycling in The Netherlands
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2014, 02:55 AM »

I know what you mean about the wind. About 4 years ago we bought Dutch bikes whilst in Delft. On our first trip with the new bikes we were battling against a strong head wind when a little old lady overtook us. "Gosh the Dutch are fit", I shouted to my wife. "She's got a battery on that bike !" came the reply.


And the wind is neverending. Even when it's great weather outside, 25 degrees C, there's still wind. Inescapable.

Funny you mention the old lady with the electric bike. I had the same experience a couple of years ago, when I first saw one, taking me over. I was very surprised she could drive so fast, but then caught up with her and saw her bike was electric. Nowadays they're pretty common here, and I can see how they're a bless for older people. I still feel cheated though, when I'm strugging against the wind again, and a couple of elderly people pass me by effortlessly.

   

Offline Kev

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Re: Cycling in The Netherlands
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2014, 03:48 AM »
There are a couple of issues here that cause pause for me, and I have a couple thousand or more miles cycling...

First, cyclists here all too often act like kids with training wheels. They seemingly have no concept of, or awareness of, the reality that they are part of the traffic - by law and common sense.

They use the sideWALKS and crossWALKS as if they are for cyclists. They are NOT and using them for cycling poses a danger not only to pedestrians but to drivers and lastly, the idiot cyclist that is zooming through using something that is not designed or intended for them.

The second thing that ruins the world for sensible-minded, law abiding cyclists is those cyclists that are not obeying simple things that any member of traffic must, like their turn in line, obeying traffic controls, etc. The rogue, me-me-me cyclists poison the roads for those that cycle by the rules. It makes motorists less considerate and it is inherently dangerous for them, motorists, and pedestrians.

Here, there are a lot of cyclists sharing the roads with already crowded traffic and skirting the logic that is designed to make everything safer for all is a problem.

'Sorry for the rant but I like cycling and there is a right way and a wrong way. There are far too many wrong way-ers here to make it safe for all who want to enjoy the ride.


Tom

You've described Sydney cycling exactly ... apart from the fact that we have insane killer bus drivers for extra spice [scared]

Offline Untidy Shop

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Re: Cycling in The Netherlands
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2014, 03:56 AM »

I know what you mean about the wind. About 4 years ago we bought Dutch bikes whilst in Delft. On our first trip with the new bikes we were battling against a strong head wind when a little old lady overtook us. "Gosh the Dutch are fit", I shouted to my wife. "She's got a battery on that bike !" came the reply.


And the wind is neverending. Even when it's great weather outside, 25 degrees C, there's still wind. Inescapable.

Funny you mention the old lady with the electric bike. I had the same experience a couple of years ago, when I first saw one, taking me over. I was very surprised she could drive so fast, but then caught up with her and saw her bike was electric. Nowadays they're pretty common here, and I can see how they're a bless for older people. I still feel cheated though, when I'm strugging against the wind again, and a couple of elderly people pass me by effortlessly.

   



Ah, but Alex they have served their apprenticeship!

In 2005 we day cycled (in the De Weerribben as I remember, certainly North), and I was very impressed with the number of  multigenerational groups we saw cycling. Possible because one or both the grandparents had 'assistance'.  [smile]

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Offline Alex

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Re: Cycling in The Netherlands
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2014, 04:20 AM »
In 2005 we day cycled (in the De Weerribben as I remember, certainly North), and I was very impressed with the number of  multigenerational groups we saw cycling. Possible because one or both the grandparents had 'assistance'.  [smile]

Here everybody rides a bike, young or old. In fact, on nice sunny days you'll see a lot of elderly couples enjoying a bike ride. Most of them ride normal bikes, only a small minority has electric ones. Riding a bike is something you can do until a very old age. I had a great-aunt who recently passed away at 92, only 3 months earlier she made a 40 km trip.

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Cycling in The Netherlands
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2014, 05:40 AM »
In 2005 we day cycled (in the De Weerribben as I remember, certainly North), and I was very impressed with the number of  multigenerational groups we saw cycling. Possible because one or both the grandparents had 'assistance'.  [smile]

Here everybody rides a bike, young or old. In fact, on nice sunny days you'll see a lot of elderly couples enjoying a bike ride. Most of them ride normal bikes, only a small minority has electric ones. Riding a bike is something you can do until a very old age. I had a great-aunt who recently passed away at 92, only 3 months earlier she made a 40 km trip.

My father cycled 30 miles every day until he fell off when he was 96 years old. He then terrorised the local population driving his car until he was 97. After we sold his car the guy phoned me to say that everyone stepped back from the roadside whenever they saw the car. Cycling kept Dad fit and the only time he ever went into a hospital in his life was after the stroke that lead to him pedalling off to see his Maker.

Peter