Bruges To Amsterdam Newbie

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
JAXX
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Joined: 26 Jul 2018, 3:30pm

Bruges To Amsterdam Newbie

Postby JAXX » 26 Jul 2018, 3:44pm

Hey All,

Im 18, I have a good level of fitness but I've never done any long cycling before (genuinely my max is around 35k).

I got bored the other day so I decided I'd cycle to Amsterdam, as you do :D . I have a Coach booked to Bruges and I plan on spending a Day there before heading off on my trip.

I know there is a good route called the Lf1 Noordzeeroute which follows the coast all the way round, I have no idea how many days it should take, but I think I can probably manage about 60km a day (some days are more some are less). Ive also bought the maps for zeeland and Zuid Holland to help me along the way, but I have heard its a well signposted route. Im hoping I can find my way from Bruges to the Lf1 Route by finding a map on my day there at the start.

My second night I've booked a hostel in Vlissingen (the first island)

My third night im trying to find accommodation near Burgh (Haamsteed?), Ive been using Vrienden Op de Fiets, but I haven't got anyway yet as they are all booked (if anyone has any advice on where I could sleep around there that would be great, do people think I should bring a sleeping bag just incase I need to sleep in a field or something (although there are obviously the implications of added weight)

My fourth Night I hope to get the the Hook of Holland, where Im also looking for accommodation still

My 5th night I have accommodation booked in Harleem.

6th Night I have accommodation booked in Amsterdam, then I get a coach back to London when I'm done.

The other issue is that I only have a Hybrid Bike, not a road bike, so I'm going to be using that :D for food I was hoping I can just buy like baguettes or cheese or something from any old shop along the way and eat it as I go, same for water really but ill bring bottles and fill them up as often as I can, if the worst comes to the worst I can just knock on a house and ask for tapwater.

Has anyone got and advice or knowledge from experience? DOes my plan sound ok/realistic? Is the route safe/busy/nice? I know I should have planned more in advance (im going next Wednesday), but I wanted to be spontaneous and If I get lost or something, that's part of the fun. Its sort of just a big challenge for myself I guess.


thanks very much

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mjr
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Re: Bruges To Amsterdam Newbie

Postby mjr » 26 Jul 2018, 5:51pm

JAXX wrote:Ive also bought the maps for zeeland and Zuid Holland to help me along the way, but I have heard its a well signposted route. Im hoping I can find my way from Bruges to the Lf1 Route by finding a map on my day there at the start.

You could but you don't need it. In Bruges, head for the city centre ring road with all the old town gates on it (it's pretty obvious), then aim to leave it alongside the canal heading roughly NW, signposted Damme here. The south side cycleway is quieter and starts off more sheltered in that direction, although if I remember correctly, it crosses the road at some point... EDIT: it seems the canal towpath cycleway is two-way from where it starts after the first car parking spaces, so I'd move into it as soon as you like, rather than ride among motorists any more than necessary.

Then at Damme, cross to the north bank to node 34 and turn right onto LF1. You'll soon be over the border at Sluis (it's not signposted) and onto your maps.

JAXX wrote:My third night im trying to find accommodation near Burgh (Haamsteed?), Ive been using Vrienden Op de Fiets, but I haven't got anyway yet as they are all booked (if anyone has any advice on where I could sleep around there that would be great, do people think I should bring a sleeping bag just incase I need to sleep in a field or something (although there are obviously the implications of added weight)

We ended up staying at Hotel Renesse in, well, Renesse, which isn't that much further on. It was fine, including a bike shed. Maybe more expensive than you'd hoped, though.

JAXX wrote:The other issue is that I only have a Hybrid Bike, not a road bike, so I'm going to be using that :D for food I was hoping I can just buy like baguettes or cheese or something from any old shop along the way and eat it as I go, same for water really but ill bring bottles and fill them up as often as I can, if the worst comes to the worst I can just knock on a house and ask for tapwater.

You may need to: Belgium is rather short of water fountains. A hybrid bike is better-suited to the cycleways than a road bike IMO. Take food where you can find it and beware Sundays and early-closing.

JAXX wrote:Has anyone got and advice or knowledge from experience? DOes my plan sound ok/realistic? Is the route safe/busy/nice? I know I should have planned more in advance (im going next Wednesday), but I wanted to be spontaneous and If I get lost or something, that's part of the fun. Its sort of just a big challenge for myself I guess.

It's a great route IMO. I rode north from the Hook two years ago along LF1 but turned off before Amsterdam and Bruges-Hook last year. Your plan sounds fine, although I was travelling in a larger group so couldn't really leave the accommodation as late as you have. My only advice would be not to take chances with your bike when you don't have to (I bumped up a kerb with full luggage on, on the way to the ferry, necessitating a detour to a bike shop to fix it on the first day...) and to travel as lightweight as you feel is reasonable - few people ever wish their luggage was heavier when they're carrying it up to their room at the end of the day!

I hope you enjoy it!
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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iandriver
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Re: Bruges To Amsterdam Newbie

Postby iandriver » 26 Jul 2018, 10:35pm

Wouldn't bother with a sleeping bag this time of year, but an emergency foil blanket or a couple of bin bags would see you fine in a bus stop if worst came to the worst. Go for it, it will be a great adventure. Your right not to worry about getting lost, it's not the Australian outback. They just don't find the bodies of lost travellers in Flanders.
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

LollyKat
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Re: Bruges To Amsterdam Newbie

Postby LollyKat » 26 Jul 2018, 10:52pm

You'll have a great time, and be more comfortable on a hybrid with its bigger tyres than on a 'road' bike. Make sure you are happy with your saddle, though. Because it is so flat you spend a lot of time pedalling in the same gear - less chance to coast and ease off the saddle for a bit.
Last edited by LollyKat on 27 Jul 2018, 12:58pm, edited 1 time in total.

JAXX
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Re: Bruges To Amsterdam Newbie

Postby JAXX » 27 Jul 2018, 10:42am

Thanks very much everyone, it really helps.

bg
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Re: Bruges To Amsterdam Newbie

Postby bg » 27 Jul 2018, 11:08am

Just a thought, which coach companies take bikes?

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mjr
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Re: Bruges To Amsterdam Newbie

Postby mjr » 27 Jul 2018, 11:52am

bg wrote:Just a thought, which coach companies take bikes?

Most of them, if the bike's bagged and possibly slightly dismantled to fit a size. Search for the one your considering and look for the luggage policy, such as https://www.flixbus.com/service/baggage
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

Mud-Plugger
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Re: Bruges To Amsterdam Newbie

Postby Mud-Plugger » 27 Jul 2018, 4:40pm

Sounds great. A hybrid will be ideal. (Spare tubes?) Toilet paper.

" I can just buy like baguettes or cheese"

I usually carry protein: hard boiled eggs, little processed cheeses, blocks of Jarlsberg/Edam, crackers, apples. The route isn't entirely un-inhabited by shopkeepers though.

Space blanket at least is a good idea. That coast is notoriously windy.

I also take a backpacker's stove and an enamel mug. Great for roadside hot drinks, soup sachets, corn flakes, noodles (not at the same time) :-) . Stealing little packets of salt and brown sugar from cafés along the way.

The army type hexamine stoves are tiny and very light.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kombat-UK-Port ... =hex+stove

Ron
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Re: Bruges To Amsterdam Newbie

Postby Ron » 30 Jul 2018, 3:23pm

JAXX wrote: I was hoping I can just buy like baguettes or cheese or something from any old shop along the way and eat it as I go,

Keep a lookout for cafes or small restaurants with 'uitsmijter' on the menu. They are a knife and fork job rather than carry out, but provide a good feed for a hungry cyclist. Basically fried eggs and meat on toast with local variations.
I like your plan, just wish I'd had the opportunity to do it when I was 18 :) .