A Holland-touring newbie seeks wisdom...

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
HobbesOnTour
Posts: 101
Joined: 20 Feb 2017, 5:12pm

Re: A Holland-touring newbie seeks wisdom...

Postby HobbesOnTour » 5 Sep 2018, 9:01pm

Psamathe wrote: I don't know if it was just because it is such a densely populated area, just because of my departure/destinations or because of the routing algorithms my GPS used to create routes.
Another thing I found (mainly in S) was that I'd create a route and set it to go via a town that maybe looked an interesting detour and I'd not look at where I'd be cycling through and on occasions I'd end-up cycling through miles and miles of built-up areas (housing, business parks, more housing, retail ...). On one ride I had 18 miles continuous built-up areas. So in creating your routes do look at what you are cycling through.
Ian


Hi Ian,
You've posted before about issues with your (I thought) Wahoo on a trip to NL and promised to write a review. Have you done that yet? I'd be interested to read it.

In any case, I'm fairly sure the issue was with your GPS device and not the routes. There are "main" routes everywhere, often beside the roads, but there are (longer) routes you can take avoiding almost all of those (knooppunt network).
As an example, the most direct route for me to work is 21 km, along roads. A pleasant cycle. For 500m longer I can cycle through a series of sand dunes/forests. No contest.

I use https://cycle.travel/map frequently and it works great too. Handy if you want to plan a round-trip. Tends to avoid town centres which can be a bit of a pain when they're very small, and besides, cycling in a town is not an issue here.

As to the OP, if you are considering a different route, bear in mind that it need not be a round-trip. For (I think) Euro 6,20 you can bring your bike on the train with you for a day - any destination. (You're extra!). That means you could, for example, grab a train to Maastricht and cycle back. Check out the Maas cycle route. I could imagine a lot of that being spectacular in Autumn.

Someone pointed out that a map was a good idea for when you lose the route (and you inevitably will, at some point). OSMand is an app that you can use offline (so long as you've downloaded the maps) to navigate, but also just to see where you are. By setting it up correctly, it'll show you the knoopunten (numbered signs that join together to make long routes) so you need never be lost and can make routes on the fly. Jot down the numbers and off you go.

Jezrant
Posts: 701
Joined: 14 Dec 2007, 8:11pm

Re: A Holland-touring newbie seeks wisdom...

Postby Jezrant » 5 Sep 2018, 10:51pm

Northumberlander wrote:Thank you, all, very much. Some really helpful insights there. I was completely oblivious to the possibility of causing offence by calling it 'Holland'! I wonder how and why the name associated with just two provinces became so widely used when referring the whole country... But I shall avoid that mistook now.

The advice to head east is also interesting. I live (and cycle most days) by England's most beautiful coastline (imho 8) ) here in Northumberland, and so cycling by the Zuiderzee doesn't hold any specific attraction. I chose it mainly because of easy route planning and (hopefully) easy navigation. But if navigation around the whole cycle network is as easy as many folks say it is, then perhaps that's not so important. (And I've read about cycling across the long dikes being 'boring' or 'interminable' - not what I'm looking for!) Heading inland, away from below-sea-level stretches of exposed water with potentially strong winds does carry some attraction. I may go back to the route-planners. A tour incorporating a loop around Amsterdam - Apeldoorn - Arnhem - Gouda - Ijmuiden might work. If anyone has any experiences of cycling in those areas, I'd be glad to hear - enthusiasm or caution!

Thanks again for your helpful contributions. Much appreciated.


I found cycling across the Afsluitdijk deadly but also totally surreal. I think my friend saw it as the Dutch equivalent of the Alpe d'Huez. However, the Woudagemaal pumping station was impressive, if you like that sort of thing. Anyway, wherever you go, it's a wonderful country for cycling.
Image Attachments
Woudagemaal.jpg

m-gineering
Posts: 88
Joined: 23 May 2015, 12:01pm

Re: A Holland-touring newbie seeks wisdom...

Postby m-gineering » 6 Sep 2018, 7:04am

Psamathe wrote:I did the Houtribdijk but not the Afsluitdijk (I was surprised that the Houtribdijk was only a couple of miles shorter than the Afsluitdijk) and I expected it to be really dull, but I actually enjoyed the ride; maybe because it was a sunny calm day and there were quite a few boats out.


The dike is being reinforced and the cyclepath is unavailable. The contractor runs a shuttle service, works will continue till july 2019
Marten

Touring advice for NL: www.m-gineering.nl/touringg.htm

Ron
Posts: 1160
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 9:07pm

Re: A Holland-touring newbie seeks wisdom...

Postby Ron » 6 Sep 2018, 9:02am

I found it interesting to visit Schokland, an ex-island!
https://www.werelderfgoed.nl/en/world-h ... rroundings

Psamathe
Posts: 9066
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: A Holland-touring newbie seeks wisdom...

Postby Psamathe » 6 Sep 2018, 9:31am

m-gineering wrote:
Psamathe wrote:I did the Houtribdijk but not the Afsluitdijk (I was surprised that the Houtribdijk was only a couple of miles shorter than the Afsluitdijk) and I expected it to be really dull, but I actually enjoyed the ride; maybe because it was a sunny calm day and there were quite a few boats out.


The dike is being reinforced and the cyclepath is unavailable. The contractor runs a shuttle service, works will continue till july 2019

Which dike? I cycled across the Houtribdijk 17 Aug this year and there were quite a few piles of rocks on the bank (water side of the cycle path) but not closed and no signs of closure and I was not the only cyclist.

Ian

Northumberlander
Posts: 13
Joined: 31 Aug 2010, 5:09pm

Re: A Holland-touring newbie seeks wisdom...

Postby Northumberlander » 6 Sep 2018, 12:35pm

Psamathe wrote:
m-gineering wrote:
Psamathe wrote:I did the Houtribdijk but not the Afsluitdijk (I was surprised that the Houtribdijk was only a couple of miles shorter than the Afsluitdijk) and I expected it to be really dull, but I actually enjoyed the ride; maybe because it was a sunny calm day and there were quite a few boats out.


The dike is being reinforced and the cyclepath is unavailable. The contractor runs a shuttle service, works will continue till july 2019

Which dike? I cycled across the Houtribdijk 17 Aug this year and there were quite a few piles of rocks on the bank (water side of the cycle path) but not closed and no signs of closure and I was not the only cyclist.

Ian


This page talks of a 'diversion' on Afluitsdijk, but not closure: https://www.nederlandfietsland.nl/lf-ro ... -info/lf21

This is the page showing the 'closure' on Houtribdijk: https://www.nederlandfietsland.nl/lf-ro ... -info/lf15
I guess it must be intermittent closure, if you cycled by on August 17!

Psamathe
Posts: 9066
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: A Holland-touring newbie seeks wisdom...

Postby Psamathe » 6 Sep 2018, 12:45pm

Northumberlander wrote:
Psamathe wrote:
m-gineering wrote:
The dike is being reinforced and the cyclepath is unavailable. The contractor runs a shuttle service, works will continue till july 2019

Which dike? I cycled across the Houtribdijk 17 Aug this year and there were quite a few piles of rocks on the bank (water side of the cycle path) but not closed and no signs of closure and I was not the only cyclist.

Ian


This page talks of a 'diversion' on Afluitsdijk, but not closure: https://www.nederlandfietsland.nl/lf-ro ... -info/lf21

This is the page showing the 'closure' on Houtribdijk: https://www.nederlandfietsland.nl/lf-ro ... -info/lf15
I guess it must be intermittent closure, if you cycled by on August 17!

From a link on that page and passed through Google Translate

So, despite the limited abilities of Google Translate I assume that means they are leaving the dike cycle path open to bikes July & August (holiday season) so I guess I caught that time slot (by accident not design as I was unaware of the closures but did see the piles of rocks beside the cycle path).

Ian

m-gineering
Posts: 88
Joined: 23 May 2015, 12:01pm

Re: A Holland-touring newbie seeks wisdom...

Postby m-gineering » 6 Sep 2018, 2:17pm

Northumberlander wrote:
Psamathe wrote:
m-gineering wrote:
The dike is being reinforced and the cyclepath is unavailable. The contractor runs a shuttle service, works will continue till july 2019

Which dike? I cycled across the Houtribdijk 17 Aug this year and there were quite a few piles of rocks on the bank (water side of the cycle path) but not closed and no signs of closure and I was not the only cyclist.

Ian


This page talks of a 'diversion' on Afluitsdijk, but not closure: https://www.nederlandfietsland.nl/lf-ro ... -info/lf21

This is the page showing the 'closure' on Houtribdijk: https://www.nederlandfietsland.nl/lf-ro ... -info/lf15
I guess it must be intermittent closure, if you cycled by on August 17!


No mention of resumed service during the holiday here: https://www.rijkswaterstaat.nl/water/pr ... outribdijk

It certainly reinforces my recommendation to cyclist to ignore all yellow/black signs for diversions ;)
Marten

Touring advice for NL: www.m-gineering.nl/touringg.htm

Northumberlander
Posts: 13
Joined: 31 Aug 2010, 5:09pm

Re: A Holland-touring newbie seeks wisdom...

Postby Northumberlander » 9 Sep 2018, 7:36pm

Ron wrote:I found it interesting to visit Schokland, an ex-island!
https://www.werelderfgoed.nl/en/world-h ... rroundings


This does look interesting! Thanks for the pointer.

Thehairs1970
Posts: 22
Joined: 11 Aug 2018, 9:30am

Re: A Holland-touring newbie seeks wisdom...

Postby Thehairs1970 » 9 Sep 2018, 9:12pm

Holland has lots of bikes so you might be going to the wrong place if you don't want to meet too many! :lol: Seriously, we have only been in the school holidays and apart from Amsterdam, there are no problems. Do keep an ear out for mopeds as they can use some paths too.

Only camped, so can't help with accommodation questions.

We have cycled the western side of the Zuiderzee and it's all good. There is a great museum at Enkhuizen. It's a great way to spend a day. Edam, Volendam and Monickendam are all lovely but Edam can Ben very busy with coach tours. south of there to Amsterdam is good too but quite empty of towns.

The west cost is good too. You could head up there to Texel. Lovely place.

Buy a map. Use the fiets planner. Be prepared for wind. It can get really blowy.

Have fun.

Northumberlander
Posts: 13
Joined: 31 Aug 2010, 5:09pm

Re: A Holland-touring newbie seeks wisdom...

Postby Northumberlander » 9 Sep 2018, 9:43pm

Thehairs1970 wrote:
Buy a map. Use the fiets planner. Be prepared for wind. It can get really blowy.

Have fun.


Thanks! I've ordered the basiskaart set of maps. I have mastered the fiets planner tool, I think - it's great. I'm working on a sail attachment for my bike :lol: And I'm looking forward to some fun.

skelo
Posts: 36
Joined: 12 May 2016, 2:52pm

Re: A Holland-touring newbie seeks wisdom...

Postby skelo » 15 Sep 2018, 2:11pm

My brief experience of 5 days through the Netherlands cycling last summer left me with the feeling that a detailed route is not necessary, you can 'wing it' with a vague plan of where you want to visit, there is an abundance of well signposted cycle paths and the Dutch are so friendly and accommodating so if you get lost, ask a local (they speak better English than many of our countrymen!) if all else fails buy some data for your smartphone and use google maps.

Next May we plan to cycle York-Hull, ferry to Rotterdam, and try a vague route taking in Kinderdijk, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges and on to Zeebrugge and ferry back to Hull. plenty of beer and cheese, not a hill in sight.

i hadn't thought about Newcastle so i am now thinking we could cheat a bit and get dropped off in Newcastle, or somewhere close, get the ferry and start in Amsterdam and go south towards either Europoort or Zeebrugge?

willem jongman
Posts: 1941
Joined: 7 Jan 2008, 4:16pm

Re: A Holland-touring newbie seeks wisdom...

Postby willem jongman » 15 Sep 2018, 2:18pm

You will not get lost, of course. However, it is a densely populated country so you would have a much nicer route if you use the fietsersbond routeplanner. Arriving in Europoort means arriving in one of the world's largest harbour areas with many refineries etc. The Newcastle ferry gets you to IJmuiden and within minutes you would be riding south on nature trails through forest and sand dunes.

MrsHJ
Posts: 578
Joined: 19 Aug 2010, 1:03pm
Location: Dartmouth, Devon.

Re: A Holland-touring newbie seeks wisdom...

Postby MrsHJ » 16 Sep 2018, 7:14pm

Northumberlander wrote:
Thehairs1970 wrote:
Buy a map. Use the fiets planner. Be prepared for wind. It can get really blowy.

Have fun.


Thanks! I've ordered the basiskaart set of maps. I have mastered the fiets planner tool, I think - it's great. I'm working on a sail attachment for my bike :lol: And I'm looking forward to some fun.


Strongly support the sail attachment plan. Try to do some sections of forest etc for a break from the wind.

Louise Clines
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Joined: 1 Oct 2018, 12:29pm
Location: Sheffield, UK
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Re: A Holland-touring newbie seeks wisdom...

Postby Louise Clines » 11 Oct 2018, 10:38am

skelo wrote:i hadn't thought about Newcastle so i am now thinking we could cheat a bit and get dropped off in Newcastle, or somewhere close, get the ferry and start in Amsterdam and go south towards either Europoort or Zeebrugge?


I would do it the other way round, so you have the prevailing wind behind you.

willem jongman wrote:Arriving in Europoort means arriving in one of the world's largest harbour areas with many refineries etc. The Newcastle ferry gets you to IJmuiden and within minutes you would be riding south on nature trails through forest and sand dunes.


This is true, but if you cycle the 8km from the P&O ferry to Pistoolhaven and get the RET fast ferry to Hoek Van Holland, you are out of the industrial bit reasonably quickly.