Amsterdam bike rides and maps

Jul 25th, 2016, 10:37 AM
  #1  
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Amsterdam bike rides and maps

Hi everyone,
I am going to be in Amsterdam for 2 1/2 days in October. My husband and I would love to rent a bike for casual stroll with stops for a couple hours. We love to ride bikes but are not interested in the longer routes from Amsterdam to other cities, as this would take longer. Nor do we want to deal with the hectic bike traffic from locals within Amsterdam. We simply just want to ride bikes to for a short time to commute within towns rather than walking.

Some of my ideas that would fit into my itinerary are

- Train to Zaans Schans, then rent bikes to get around
- Train to Haarlem, then rent bikes
- Rent bikes in Amsterdam

I would probably do one of the 3 (or more depending on mood/weather). For Zaans Schans and Haarlem, I was having trouble finding bike maps/routes that show the area. Are these towns generally safe and easy to navigate?

If I decide to rent a bike within Amsterdam, where can I find bike maps that show easy rides with minimal biking in vehicle lanes? I am walking or taking trams/ferries during my other days to visit main attractions but if I can find an easy bike path to stroll around the river, then that would be ideal.

Any feedback or advice for easy bike rides or online maps are appreciated!

(This is my first post in the forum!)
Cheers,
Jen
msjen112015 is offline  
Jul 25th, 2016, 11:05 AM
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Zaanse Schans is in an industrial area - some paths amongst the group of windmills but not ideal biking.

Haarlem is a big city with Amsterdam-like biking chaos.

Good option from Amsterdam - rent bikes and put on free ferries behind Central Train Station and head for Holysloot and environs - neat bike paths and cute villages well out of the Amsterdam metropolis.

If into longer rides train to Gouda - rent bikes and cycle the 15 flat miles or so to Kinderdijk - Holland's largest windmill group with bike paths going right thru it.

https://www.google.com/search?q=kind...w=1745&bih=868

Or train to Rotterdam, rent bikes and put them on a boat that will take you to near Kinderdijk.


In Amsterdam itself you can rent bikes in Vondel Park - the Central Park of Amsterdam with lots of bike paths.

If you've never been to Amsterdam I'd perhaps spend the entire time there - how about renting a pedalo and cycling on water thru the ancient canals? Several places to do that.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 25th, 2016, 11:13 AM
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Last fall, we rented a tandem bike from MacBike at the Amsterdam train station. The rental included a good map which showed the less congested streets for bike riding.

I will say this: we were glad we had a tandem, so one person could navigate and help with the intense traffic. There are separate bike lanes and bike traffic signals. Locals take their rules very seriously. Also, I couldn't believe this, but motorcycles use the bike lanes. So there we'd be, putzing along deciding whether to go left or right, while a quick moving motorbike was passing us within a few inches. Not trying to scare you, but MacBike also offers guided tours, so you may want to go that route. Riding on your own is not for the faint of heart!

(We also rented bicycles for casual rides in Bruges, Cochem Germany, Amboise, and Riquewihr - all easier and less stressful than Amsterdam)
joan is offline  
Jul 25th, 2016, 12:04 PM
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Cycling around Zaanse Schans: https://www.dezaanseschans.nl/discov...outes/?lang=en


http://www.holland-cycling.com/where...ns-cycle-route

If you would rather go somewhere else: http://www.holland-cycling.com/where-to-go/day-trips

http://www.holland-cycling.com/where...al-cycle-route This one is near where I live and is a lovely easy ride.
hetismij2 is offline  
Jul 25th, 2016, 12:06 PM
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Follow PalenQ's suggestion for a cycle trip north of Amsterdam: Holysloot (with a mini ferry), Monnickendam, and back via Broek in Waterland. Beautiful area. Quiet roads. Much, much better than cycling in an busy and unfamiliar city.
The Kinderdijk trip he suggests, is a beautiful and nice one, especially when you continue to Dordrecht, but the logistics are more complicated for getting the bicycle back to where you hired it.
tonfromleiden is offline  
Jul 25th, 2016, 01:10 PM
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and yes do learn the etiquette of Bike (fiets) paths - don't ride two abreast if someone wants to pass - tinkle your bell when passing someone -don't scream out 'on the right' - wait at the special bike lights at intersections even though no one is in sight and it is red (this one I at times break but out of concern for local custom) -don't stop in the bike path to say read a map or phone google map, etc.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 25th, 2016, 01:15 PM
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1. Rent bikes in Amsterdam

2. Nor do we want to deal with the hectic bike traffic from locals within Amsterdam.


I believe if you do the first, you will end up in the second situation. Have you been to Amsterdam before? The bikes within the city are am AMAZING thing to witness... but nothing I'd want to try to do myself as a newbie.
suze is online now  
Jul 25th, 2016, 01:25 PM
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If you rent at the train station then put them on the free bike and foot ferries out back you are instantly out of the city - much more leisurely once on the other side - rental agencies like MacBike give our tour maps and guidance too.

Bike theft used to be a big problem in Amsterdam too -not sure right now but you will have to put a deposit on your fiets I believe so always lock it securely.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 25th, 2016, 01:27 PM
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Tram tracks can be nasty in Amsterdam - I once led thousands of bikers into Amsterdam, on the periphery to the then Ijsclub Camping near WTC station and told them or advised them NOT to bike in Amsterdam itself - needless to say some did and a few bikes got their wheels stuck sideways in tram tracks and that could have been serious.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 25th, 2016, 01:34 PM
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Bike theft continues to be a huge problem, not just in Amsterdam. Always lock your bike.
hetismij2 is offline  
Jul 25th, 2016, 01:41 PM
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Do rental agencies provide liability and personal injury insurance - may be worth it to ask - not for the bike but for youse.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 26th, 2016, 11:18 PM
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PalenQ's suggestions, all wonderful. Just off the ferry, there's a great loop via Nieuwendammerdijk (beautiful old area) via Durgerdam, Ransdorp and Zunderdorp back to Amsterdam. You'll cycle along the IJsselmeer coast, then through the pastures back to Amsterdam and the ferry. Many good places to stop and have lunch.

"If I decide to rent a bike within Amsterdam, where can I find bike maps that show easy rides with minimal biking in vehicle lanes? I am walking or taking trams/ferries during my other days to visit main attractions but if I can find an easy bike path to stroll around the river, then that would be ideal."

That, of course, is an impossibility. Within Amsterdam there are no "easy bike paths": they're all used for ordinary, daily traffic.

I'd advise to stay off the bike in Amsterdam proper. Yesterday, coming back from a bike tour in North Holland, I had to cross Amsterdam to get to Rotterdam. The main danger is tourists on bikes! Can't ride at speed, unsure of direction, stop in the middle of the path to find their bearings, often under the influence of something. I hung on to an office worker going home, who did ride at speed and knew where she was going. A nice speed of 20 km/h, that's how fast it can go.
menachem is offline  
Jul 26th, 2016, 11:19 PM
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"I was having trouble finding bike maps/routes that show the area. Are these towns generally safe and easy to navigate? "

In NL you can safely assume that wherever there are roads, there are also bikepaths.
menachem is offline  
Jul 27th, 2016, 01:41 AM
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You can also make use of the numbered junction system. At certain points along the bike paths there are numbers and a map and you can use the map to find the next number you want, to make your own route. http://www.hollandcyclingroutes.com/ explains them in English, and has tips on cycling in the Netherlands.
hetismij2 is offline  
Jul 27th, 2016, 01:45 AM
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the ferry idea of P's is great and watch out for tram lines if not going straight across and if it is raining, nothing is as much "fun" as having your wheels slip away from under you on wet steel.
bilboburgler is online now  
Jul 27th, 2016, 07:20 AM
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In NL you can safely assume that wherever there are roads, there are also bikepaths.>

and don't ever ride in a street that has bike lanes along it! Not sure it is illegal but unwise if not.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 27th, 2016, 02:49 PM
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Only the ones marked with a large round blue sign must be used. There are also paths marked by a sign reading FIETSPAD and these are optional to use. You'll find these in the countryside, mainly.
menachem is offline  
Nov 19th, 2016, 03:58 PM
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Haarlem is a big city with Amsterdam-like biking chaos.

Good thing I didn't know this when we went biking in Haarlem.

Made our way to the beach roughly like this:

http://www.holland-cycling.com/where...es-cycle-route
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Nov 19th, 2016, 04:09 PM
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From a thread in 2007:

For biking from Haarlem you have three choices.

The north route takes you through Overveen and comes out at the Bloemendaal beach, after a long up-dune finish. Then you can pedal south past beach campings for about 2 miles to the beach center of Zandvoort.

The south route goes through Aerdenhout and is flat all the way to the heart of Zandvoort. Then you have a very steep walk street up to the beach, or bypass southerly on the left to ride to the top of the dunes with a more gentle climb, still within the village.

The third choice goes through the dunes from the west side of Haarlem. You have to find a classic cafe/restaurant on the west side of Haarlem on Duinlustweg. I can't remember the name of it though I've been there a number of times and could find it in my sleep. It is famous with locals. The bike trail starts on the north side of this place and goes ambling through the dunes. You come out into Zandvoort and from there you can find your way through the village to the beach. I'll get the name of the restaurant from my friend over there and post it later if you are interested. This is my favorite route from Haarlem to Zandvoort. There is some exercise riding up the dunes but then you can coast down also. Wheeeeeeee! Watch the turns. ***************

***I think we took the third choice. It wasn't that long or difficult, we just followed a local one lazy Sunday (rented bikes at Haarlem station.) very relaxing ride.
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Nov 20th, 2016, 07:15 AM
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Sue_xx_yy on Nov 19, 16 at 8:09pm
From a thread in 2007:
The third choice goes through the dunes from the west side of Haarlem. You have to find a classic cafe/restaurant on the west side of Haarlem on Duinlustweg.


The name of the cafe is the Kraantje Lek. Here is the G map. https://www.google.com/maps/@52.3829218,4.5893775,17z

I did that route a few times last year. There is also a cut off to Bloemendaal Beach, but there isn't much at Bloemendaal Beach. Zandvoort is the action.

Not only is the Kraantje Lek route more scenic and rustic, there are no motorized brommers on this route. Teeners on brommers are amazingly adept at speeding on bicycle paths. They are courteous but they make me a bit uncomfortable. There are many brommers on the south route.
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