Cycle Tour of Holland
Holland with a bit of Germany and Belgium By Bike
In September 2012 myself and a few mates toured Holland for a week on road bikes covering about 700km in a week, not Tour de France standard but OK for our first time.
This is a rough guide for anyone thinking of doing anything similar.
We camped some nights and since we went in September the weather wasn't always great so we used Hotels on some nights.
Learn from our mistakes so you don't have to make too many of your own.
Amsterdam to Amsterdam
All roads lead to Amsterdam
We got the ferry into Amsterdam and the plan was to start and finish there. The advantage to this was we could do as much or as little as we liked during the week. The aim was an average of 100km/60miles per day but if we felt a bit lively we could do more or if the weather was against us we could cut it down a bit.
Most places have their quirks and oddities and Amsterdam is by no means an exception. We we're only there for 2 days so I'm sure there is more to the place but the sex and drug trades and their effects are what will stick in my mind.
However as the picture shows a quick trip down the road to Gouda and it's all a bit different.
Cycling in Holland
The great thing about Holland on a bike is that its flat, I mean really flat. The only hills we found in Holland were man made, for example the approach to a bridge. Pretty much everything else was flat. Like all things this does have a downside, in this case it was the wind (hence all the windmills). There aren't any mountains or anything to act as a wind break so the wind howls across the place and somehow it's always in your face.
The cycle lane infrastructure in The Netherlands is outstanding and often cyclists have right of way at junctions. In the UK cycle lanes are an after thought, a bit of paint on a few roads but in Holland when they build a road bridge they build another bridge as well for the bikes!
Belgium and Germany
Just for a bit of a change we strayed into these counties.
We nipped into Belgium Just to say we'd done it but to be fair it was hard to see the difference from Holland which is no bad thing. Germany though, I have to say, was a bit of a shock (sorry German readers). Motorists seemed to change almost as soon as you crossed the border, we stopped being other road users deserving of respect and became obstacles and annoyances, rather like being in the UK.