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Tulips and Others: Biking in the Netherlands

Tulips and Others: Biking in the Netherlands

Old Jul 3rd, 2016, 05:47 AM
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Tulips and Others: Biking in the Netherlands

We'll be in the Netherlands (first trip) next month based out of Amsterdam for two weeks with our adult son who moved there this past spring. I've been researching this trip for months and haven't gotten as much of a plan as I've had in the past when we've been fortunate enough to travel to Europe partly because we know we've got our own local guide.

That said we are looking for a couple of trips overnight for one or two nights just to see the country a bit more and to get out of his hair. Tulips I was reading your response to another thread recently and you suggested this biking route http://www.routeyou.com/nl-nl/route/...-plassen-49-km. I did google translate on the page and the information on the side is making my head hurt

Would you give me a more Fodor-style summary of the route? Where would you recommend an overnight? Any tips from your own experience? I would be quite happy with specific information as in: take XXX train at XXXX time from Amsterdam, arrive in Utrecht and go to XXXX cycle, ask for XXX (BTW husband is 6'9' tall, 300 lbs---I know that's a consideration) bike and whatever, ...... That's the kind of stuff I normally like to figure for myself but I don't have the time this trip and I'm getting anxious about our lack of direction.

I have a couple of other similar questions which I'll post separately and try to preserve this to cycling.

Thank you all very much!
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Old Jul 3rd, 2016, 10:21 AM
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There are so many bike routes, I think I did that one (more or less) about 20 years ago and there were still people then in trad dress up by the water (may have gone now).

Watch out for cobbles, they slowly hurt your bottom. Unless you are speed merchants I'd forget cycle helmets.

Do check local laws, this is a good link
http://www.holland-cycling.com/tips-...s-for-cyclists

many one way streets allow cyclists to ride the wrong way, look out for a little Icon bolted onto the no entry sign.

Me, I prefer Zeeland but the area you've chosen is fine.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2016, 11:26 AM
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The website is available in English, well bits of it anyway. It is intended to download to a phone or (bike) satnav.
If you opt to print it choose detail and you will find amongst the Dutch the detail route referring to "knooppunten", numbered junctions, and which way to go at them.

The tourist information office in Utrecht rents out bikes. There are other companies who do too. Google will help find them. The TI may also have routes in English for you.

The route you linked to isn't that long, and could be done in a day including stops, but there are also links to places to stay on that site - click on the bed on the rh side.

I would certainly recommend spending some time in Utrecht before you get your bikes and head off, so that would extend your trip and make it a multiple day trip. Don't be put off by the huge shopping mall you have to go through from the station. They city itself is well worth a visit.
You may enjoy the Rietveld Schroeder house, http://centraalmuseum.nl/en/visit/lo...chroder-house/ or the Railway museum http://www.spoorwegmuseum.nl/ as well as wandering the streets and visiting the Dom.
If you want to visit Domunder you must buy your tickets online in advance. http://www.domunder.com/en
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Old Jul 3rd, 2016, 12:10 PM
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I have biked all over The Netherlands in past life of leading bike trips for Americans in Holland and you cannot go wrong no matter where you go just about - some of my favorite routes:

Take a train to Gouda and rent a bike (many train stations have rentals)- neat old regional town and head southwest to Kinderdijk - the awesome grouping of windmills you can ride you bike straight thru - this is a flat ride of maybe 20 kms each way and goes thru the quintessential Dutch countryside of little villages and farms, etc.

Or take a train to Haarlem and rent a bike at the train station and cycle south thru the famous flower fields - always something in bloom in warm weather to Lisse and Delft - take train back to Haarlem with bike from there. (Need a Fiets Pass to take fiets or bikes on trains at several euros/day - in special Fiets cars on most trains.

These are easy bike trips - always check with the VVV or Tourist Office in cities for self-guided bike routes and maps.

From Amsterdam itself one of the prettiest and easiest rides take the free ferries across the harbor to the other side (duh!) and then you're quickly out of the city and going thru bucolic Dutch countryside and villages like Holysloot - check the VVV in front of central train station for route details or from where you rent your bike. MacBike in Amsterdam rents and provides self-guided tour routes and guided ones too.

Tulips route is sweet too - but there are so so many neat ones - Utrecht is a large city and be careful biking in large cities - not a piece of cake always as bike paths can be very congested and you should know the rules and etiquette of the bike path before biking anywhere in The Netherlands or incur lots of wrath from locals- like never ride two abreast if someone is behind you and wants to pass - using your horn before passing, etc.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2016, 12:48 PM
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There won't be a lot to see around Lisse next month, and there is the real risk of wind there, which, unless you hire electric bikes will make it a miserable experience.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2016, 05:14 PM
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This is how brain dead I am right now....we decided we wouldn't be biking in Amsterdam itself because of concerns similar to what Pal expressed. But then I go and decide that this route would be terrific because of castles and water and forts and villages and a loop route but neglect the part about THE CITY! sigh
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Old Jul 3rd, 2016, 11:17 PM
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That is a beautiful route! And short enough for a day, with a picknick, or lovely lunch somewhere along the route.

You can download it to your cellphone and getting out of the city is not to hard

If you want to avoid Utrecht bike traffic, an alternative could be to take the train to Maarssen (about 10 minutes) and rent your bikes there at

http://netjesverhuur.nl/

that also cuts about 7km from the route. you will need a taxi from the station though, but that won't be a long taxi ride in any case.

Vecht is beautiful, but the Loosdrechtse Plassen are beautiful too. Moneyed people go here to sail, and it shows in great places for lunch, even though Loosdrecht itself is still a somewhat authentic village.

Many, many wealthy Amsterdam business men from the golden age had their summer houses here, along the Vecht. At Zuid Loosdrechtse dijk Kasteel Sypestein is a good place to stop. I've always liked the stretch between Boomhoek and Tienhoven, but that's because I had my boat at Boomhoek, so I know that part of the Loosdrechtse Dijk really well.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2016, 11:19 PM
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btw, just call ahead to Netjes to make sure they have the bikes you need. The Dutch are among the tallest people in the world, so there should be no problem for your husband.
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Old Jul 4th, 2016, 12:05 AM
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Hi Sorriso, sorry didn't see your post until now, but Menachem and Hetismij know the area better than I do! I lived in the area for a while, but 30 years ago..

Try restaurant Tante Koosje in Loenen, or the beautiful Slangevegt in Breukelen. For an overnight stay; http://www.swaenen-vecht.nl/en

It's a beautiful part of the country, and very popular in summer.
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Old Jul 4th, 2016, 07:00 AM
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Thank you all for responding! Starting in Maarssen is the perfect adjustment and we could then stay one or two nights in Utrecht to explore the area. This was just the help I needed to get me back on track.
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