Well, we’re back! Our trip to the Netherlands was superb; mostly good weather, great people, interesting sites and amazing cycling. We did a lot of tenting at various campsites and had a few nights at some very nice B&Bs around the country. With the exception of the last three nights, typically we did 3-4 nights camping and then one a night in a B&B. Our route was similar to our pre-trip map but we didn’t make it to the North-East at all – next time! The distances are tiny but we didn’t want to stretch ourselves too far and we wanted to really experience places and people, not spend all our time on a bike seat!
Cycling infrastructure in the Netherlands is the best in the world. Often times, we would do a 50km ride and 47km would be on dedicated cycle paths. In the towns, roundabouts and traffic lights were specific to bicycles. We’re so far behind in Canada.
Overall, it was a great trip. I did learn a few things:
- Most bike shops in the Netherlands have an outdoor air hose; take every opportunity to use it.
- Don’t pass up an opportunity to use a toilet or fill a water-bottle.
- With the exception of the coast areas, the wind was never as bad as everyone warned us.
- The LF routes (national cycle routes or fietspads) are fantastic but circuitous; distance between two points was typically at least 50% greater than the same route via car. Take this into your calculations when ride planning!
- Camping is a great way to get around; lots of sites, most of them with excellent shower facilities.
- Pack light; our travel mantra but one which bears repeating.
- Have fun, laugh and realize that the worst situation we were in was about 1% of what some people suffer. This made the rainy rides and soggy camping a lot more tolerable!
I would highly recommend a cycling trip to the Netherlands. The cycling infrastructure is amazing and the scenery and people wonderful. I hope to have my movie made in the next few days and will post it when complete.