Former Lifestyle Editor of IamExpat, music enthusiast, social media aficionado and brand strategist ...
Spring / Summer Cycling in the Netherlands19 April 2012, by Ayu Mashita
Want to make the most out of the bicycle season? Here are some tips and ideas to enjoy the National Bicycle Month (Meimaand Fietsmaand) and the famous National Cycling Day that takes place in May!
Good weather brings more traffic and since Amsterdam is the most bicycle-friendly city in the world, cycling in the city can be hectic, especially for newcomers.
If your bike was stored (or at least not used often) during winter, make sure it is stil in good condition. How? Before you head out:
› Make sure the tires are all properly inflated
› Clean and lubricate the chains with grease for bicycles
› Make sure all nuts and bolts are tight. If necessary, replace the rusty ones
› Check if the brakes and lights are still functioning well
Photo by: Flickr user Chris P Jobling
Themed cycling tours
After making sure that your bike is good to go, how about enjoying some of the picturesque cycling routes the Netherlands has to offer?
› Dutch islands
Dutch islands attract numerous visitors not only due to the beautiful settings, magnificent beaches, sea and sand dunes, but also because of their excellent network of bicycle paths as well as cozy cafes and restaurants. Click here (in Dutch) to see the top 10 routes including the one at the National Park Dunes of Texel.
› Trough the borders
For those who enjoy the countryside and want to escape the city for a day, a journey through the Dutch - German border or the Dutch - Belgium border could be an attractive idea. Click here (in Dutch) to check out the most popular routes, such as the one along the German border via the Maasduinen National Park.
Photo by: Flickr user Amsterdamized
Cycling is fun but combining it with the famous local pancakes makes it a truly authentic Dutch experience. For example, De Lage Vuursche route goes through the woods of de Lage Vuursche near Utrecht. By following this route, you could also pay a visit to the Groeneveld Castle and try the traditional pancakes in the restaurants.
› Gardens & Parks
If you enjoy pretty gardens and beautiful parks, why don't you try cycling through some of the famous park and gardens in the Netherlands, such as the Hoge Veluwe national park? There is also a route specially designed to take you through the gardens of the castle in Arcen. The route starts at the Venlo train station and continues through different nature sites.
Cycle route planner
Google Maps' long-awaited feature is here to make the lives of those who are not very familiar with the biking routes in the Netherlands much easier!
OSM cycle route planner puts an extra layer on the map with step-by-step directions through the bike paths, bike-friendly roads and highways! A highly needed and helpful feature, especially for expats.