Sunday, 1 May 2016

A Dutch “Cycling Super Highway”: Amsterdam’s East Corridor

A lot has been written and said about London’s Cycling Super Highways. Various sections are still lethal to use, but there is gradually more good cycle path design appearing in Britain's capital city, thanks to relentless efforts by the people of the London Cycling Campaign. The Thames Embankment section opened in 2015 and shows how it should be done (see picture). The “good stuff” is still very localised though, especially if you take the whole country into account.

In many other places in Britain, a person on a bicycle remains a pariah of society. You don’t have to go far on a London Cycling Super Highway to experience that (see picture). Just the name Cycling Super Highway keeps making me laugh. Even at its very best, we are just talking “cycle paths”. The Dutch never call their cycle paths “super highways”. The Dutch routes are still by far superior though and truly deserve this name!

There are many worthy “cycling super highways” to cycle in and out of Amsterdam. In this article I focus on just one of these; the East Corridor. It is just a name I have given myself, as all Dutch “cycling super highways” are doing their excellent jobs anonymously. When still working for Dutch television, I cycled this route regularly from home to the TV-studios at Artis Zoo. Let’s get on that  bike together and appreciate its quality and continuity...

0.0 km: Our journey starts on the N236 national road in Driemond village. The eye catches immediately the excellent information signs. You could literally just go anywhere on your bike from here and it would just be as smooth and comfortable as the route we are going to experience now.

3.7 km: The cycle path next to the N236 national road keeps us away from the fast moving traffic on the main carriageway for its full length, on smooth tarmac and with plenty of riverside park views, on the edge of the vast Amsterdam South East “Bijlmermeer” development. Motorised traffic on the N236 is light these days, as motorways A1 and A9 carry most of today’s traffic, but I can recall the days when this road was hammered with heavy traffic, easy to avoid by the off-road path.

4.9 km: The continuous cycle path has now taken us into Diemen industrial estate. When I used to make my commutes here, the cycle path was still paved (as the side walk still is). The new tarmac of the cycle path shows the continued commitment to cycling by Amsterdam City Council. There is more to it than just a new surface. Although priority over turning traffic in and out of driveways has been established in The Netherlands for many years, the new design makes it impossible for drivers to turn on high speed across the cycle path. Drivers have to move up a dropped kerb now, rather than being able to make the turn on street-level.

5.8 km: Amsterdam has over 1500 canal bridges and this is just one of them. With the bridge being up we even get a better view of the typical Dutch main road lay-out with its separated traffic flows. In the foreground on the cycle path, you can just notice how I am bound to turn with my Bike City rental bike onto the bridge. The typical Dutch shark teeth in the path surface show how we have to give way here to users on the other cycle path before turning right.

6.3 km: The cycle path takes us under exit 13 of the Amsterdam orbital motorway. One press on the button at the lights ensures that people on bicycles never get dangerously close to that HGV turning onto the motorway. This infrastructure is so safe to use that even “gray oldies” don’t even think twice about going into town by bike. They do it without thinking. On lucky days, they don’t even have to stop at these lights, as the green light for cyclists appears every couple of minutes anyhow, without having to press that button.

7.1 km: We are now on the Middenweg Road in the Watergraafsmeer district, heading towards Amsterdam’s city centre. The scene is becoming more urban, with drivers, cyclists and pedestrians all doing their thing in their own comfort. Note this cycle path is a one-way. For travel in the opposite direction, you would use identical facilities on the other side of the main carriageway. Naturally, pedestrians can enjoy their own wide pavements on both sides of the road, regardless the direction they want to walk!

8.6 km: We have arrived at a typical Dutch urban intersection. Until well in the 1980s, this particular junction had a dual carriageway arriving here, with three lanes for cars queuing for the lights. This is a location where the Dutch cycling revolution of the 1970s truly shows its legacy. Thirty years ago, this particular junction had a layout similar as many junctions in the UK still have today. By giving priority to cycling, walking and public transport, these modes of transport have become much more appealing then driving. You won’t drive into Amsterdam by car today, unless you really have to!

9.8 km: See them all go! The leading man in this group of cyclists may be suspicious about a ferocious cycling campaigner taking a picture from the road-side, but he is simply not aware of the unique infrastructure arrangements of his country. Young and old, see them all paddle away, healthy, safely and in full comfort. No lycra, no high-vis, no helmets; just cycling to work or school. If the same people in this picture had travelled by car, at least five more cars would have been clogging the roads, polluting the air and filling lots of public space with their metal boxes on wheels…

10.5 km: We are approaching our destination now. This is Plantage Middellaan Road, next to Artis Zoo. What I like about this picture is how the available public space is utilised to the max. Walking, cycling, bike parking, car parking, driving, public transport; it all fits in that space together and they even didn’t need to get rid of the old line of trees to make it happen. Many roads in the UK have similar space available, but it keeps being dominated by motorised traffic. If “wasted space” was utilised with vision and dedication, the provision of real transport choice would be in reach for many people in Britain too.

10.7 km: Arrived. Mulling over “the good old days” when I was a youngster, working at the TV Studio next to Artis Zoo. When I worked here and made this seven-mile commute two days a week, I didn't think much of it. I never went by car. I went by train and tram, or by train and by foot, or cycled. Of all available choices, I found the bike the most convenient way, an enjoyable half an hour of fresh air. Even back in the 1990s, away from the obvious, but safe crossings at junctions, this cycle route was 100% off-road. In other countries, they may call it a Cycling Super Highway!

Cycle Amsterdam's "East Corridor" with a "Cycling Dutchman" guidebook:

Cycling in  Amsterdam and The Netherlands - The very best routes in the cyclist's paradise features the “East Corridor”, with directions, visitor information and much more. All other 650 miles of routes in the book focus on cycling sightseeing, rather than just cycling commuting. The book provides multiple circular rides in and around Amsterdam, various world-class one-day excursions and the very best of The Netherlands in multiple-day itineraries. The book also features special chapters explaining the unique Dutch cycling-minded traffic rules and its cycle route signage systems; 164 pages, colour, wiro bound, fits in standard handlebar bag, see also http://www.cyclinginholland.com.

The London - Land's End Cycle Route Book is designed for those who LOVE cycling, but don't like traffic. The book takes you onto the most beautiful cycle routes of southern England, including the Camel Trail, Devon Coast to Coast Route, Bristol and Bath Railway path, Thames Valley route and many more! What makes the book unique is that the route is completely continuous, including detailed directions and local knowledge all the way. Get inspired; choose your favourite route sections or go for a full summer holiday adventure; 164 pages, colour, wiro bound, fits in standard handlebar bag, see http://www.london-landsendcycleroutebook.com.

Other popular Cycling Dutchman blog articles:

Explaining Dutch cycling infrastructure:



Dutch bike rides and Dutch cycling culture:

Dutch style bike rides in the United Kingdom:

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Great ideas for the 2016 holiday season with EOS Cycling

With the spring in the air, I thought it might be nice to provide you with the latest news of our EOS Cycling Holidays. The holiday season of 2016 is the 9th in our existence and we have come a long way since we welcomed our very first guests from The Netherlands in 2008 on our Ancient South Engeland Tour.
Today, we not only cater for cycling holiday makers from The Netherlands and Belgium, but are we serving a cycling audience from Sao Paulo to Hong Kong and from Seattle to Sydney. Our high quality cycling guidebooks take an important role in this. We take pride in helping approximately 1600 people per year to high-quality information about cycling in southern England and The Netherlands. 
Our guidebook Cycling in Amsterdam and The Netherlands offers more English-language information about cycling in The Netherlands than any other printed matter. We published the second revised edition in autumn 2015 and ensured the book is a must for any international visitor who shows an interest in the Dutch cycling culture. Various pages are dedicated to the unique history of cycling in the lowlands and all unique cycling-minded traffic rules are explained, just as the features of the standard infrastructure. More than 1000 kms of routes in the book (that is well over 600 miles) have been reviewed and improved. The book is now also attractive if you are only paying a short visit to Amsterdam, as the book features six circular day rides in and around the Dutch capital. Our website www.cyclinginholland.com provides you with full specs!


Meanwhile, the word is also spreading about our London-Land's End Cycle Route Book. This guidebook is designed for people who love cycling, but don't like traffic. It will keep you away from Britain's hazardous main roads all the way, providing the ultimate tourist touring route. The annual mini invasion of Dutch cyclists via Harwich and Belgian cyclists via Dover (additional routes from both ports to London are also covered in the book) results in positive response from service providers on the route. Especially in rural areas, our route book makes a difference for local businesses. Local cyclists are starting to find our route as well, just as people from Germany. We now regularly receive book orders via our German-language website, showing the potential of international cycling tourism; herzlich wilkommen! 


For both books, we do our best to keep its content up-to-date. By the end of March, all service providers on our routes in both The Netherlands and the UK will have been checked once again and we are keeping a close watch on any route diversions and alterations as well. If you purchased on of our books and are ready to go, don't forget to make a quick print of the route updates, whether it is the Dutch book or London-Land's End. Further, to make things easier for people visiting The Netherlands, we also started a partnership with Ticketbar, meaning you can purchase on-line discounted tickets for famous museums and attractions on the way, such as Heineken Experience (see picture). 


Over the course of the winter we have also been working on improvements on our self-guided holiday packages. With these packages, we make bookings for accommodation, bike rental, train journeys and luggage transport on your behalf, providing you with a convenient one-stop-shop for all required services. We have found some new accommodation partners, improved bike rental options and also completely revamped our guidebooks. Guidebooks for our holiday packages have now a similar format to our two main publications (see above). Visitor information, directions and maps are now presented in full colour and in the perfect convenient size to fit in a standard handlebars bag. 

Our self-guided holiday packages consist of two groups. In Cornwall and the New Forest, you can make multiple day rides from one accommodation. Our Devon Coast to Coast and Ancient South England tours are designed to cycle from one accommodation to the next. 


We have also re-designated our Devon & Somerset Explorer Tour into a four-day-walking package, taking you on the South West Coast Path in Exmoor National Park. It is now possible to book this tour as a circular walk & train ride adventure from either Exeter or Taunton and to do this four-day walk as part of your fully independent London-Land's End adventure. In this situation, we provide the unique service of looking after your bicycles and pannier bags while you are on your four-day walk. 


Our website www.eoscycling.com provides full information about all our updated holiday packages and guidebooks, with various new pictures added to give you a good impression on what our routes are about. Thank you to all who send their best holiday snaps to us! We also wish to thank all who show an interest in our products and objectives; please keep spreading the word. Don't forget we are also on Facebook and Twitter. Wherever your bike will take you this summer; have fun!

If you are after some food for thought on cycling; have a look at our popular Cycling Dutchman blog articles:

Explaining Dutch cycling infrastructure:



Dutch bike rides and Dutch cycling culture:

Dutch style bike rides in the United Kingdom:

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Tax on bicycle-ownership; even the Nazis got rid of it!

We live in a precarious time age. “It is all about money, money”. At the same time, numbers of cycling participation are on the rise and as a result, also the call for better cycling conditions. These two cycling movements seem to infuriate various small-minded people around the world who can’t think beyond the safe confinements of their own car. Whether they are a politician, celebrity, a “letter-writer to the editor-pages” or just a grumpy old man, there is that claim again: “cyclists should pay road tax!”

The people who shout this forget that they don’t pay road tax either, as such a thing doesn't exist.  Whether you drive, cycle or walk on the public highway; nobody pays road tax! People get taxed on car-ownership and the tax rate is based on engine size, fuel type and the amount of C02 emissions. The DVLA (The British Driver andVehicle Licensing Agency) publishes these rates via tables and the Department for Transport itself responses generally that “if we required cyclists to be register and carry number plates we’d have to do the same for pedestrians”. Cycling campaigner Carlton Reid runs a dedicated website to fight the claim that cyclists should pay road tax, supported by lots of evidence against the short-sighted ridicule of the claim.

To illustrate this, I thought it might be fun to make a calculation for tax on my own bicycle, based on the fees I pay for my vehicle, just to see how much I had to pay for my bike if it was indeed to be taxed. By doing so, I will be completely ignoring that my bicycle doesn’t generate harmful CO2 emissions, doesn’t have an engine and doesn’t need fuel. So let’s forget all these things and have a look at my own car.

Now; my car is an environmental time bomb! It weighs 2260 kg (gross weight), has a 2.5 Turbo Diesel engine and was built in 1996. Not exactly what you expected from a cyclist who “doesn’t pay road tax”?  Well, here is the surprise for “road tax”-campaigners; most people who ride bikes own cars and pay taxes too! If you see a cyclist on the road, chances are high this person made a deliberate, practical choice not to drive, but to cycle on that particular journey. And, hey; that is good for the environment, good for personal health, good for the wallet (no fossil fuel burning) and good for those still driving, as there is a car less clogging up the roads at that moment!

So why do I have such a tank to take the road? Well, there are various reasons, but one of the reasons is that this vehicle can take my family unit and all our bikes to a place where we want to go on a bike ride. Stop there. From a Dutch perspective, this sounds odd; why would you go in a car to be able to cycle? This is what a road network with hostile cycling conditions does to a “Cycling Dutchman”. I never owned a car when I lived in The Netherlands, but as everything in Britain seems to be designed for driving only, I had to up my game; sad isn’t it?

My latest DVLA-bill states £230 vehicle tax for a full year, so let’s now compare the impact of my car to the impact of my bicycle on the road network and calculate my bike tax proportionally. I think we all agree that weight should be a factor, as the heavier something is, the more it will wear out the road surface. The average bicycle weighs under 15 kg, so the average bicycle is 150 times lighter than my car, which creates a “bicycle tax” of £1.53 per year per bike.

Another factor to take in is that a car does much more annual mileage than a bicycle. The estimated average mileage per car in England was 7,900 miles in 2014. To come up with such a figure for bike riding is harder. Bicycles get mostly used for journeys of three miles or less, so let’s take a three mile one-way commute for five days a week, fifty weeks a year. That gives us a total mileage of 1500 miles. If we also allow 40 miles per weekend for twenty weekends a year (sunny leisure rides), this will add 500 miles to our grant total, bringing the mileage per bicycle to 2000 miles per year. Most bikes will get much less use, but let’s take this figure of 2000 miles. Comparing it to the estimated average mileage per car in England, I come to the conclusion that my proposed bike tax rate has to be reduced further with the factor of 3, 95. My £1.53 rate of the previous paragraph comes then further down to £0.39 per bike per year!

The next factor we need to talk is the occupancy of public space. With a bicycle, you simply need much less space than with a car. I can simply demonstrate this with a picture of 8 bicycles chained up together, taking less than half a space a parked car would need. I could now simply divide the figure of the previous paragraph by 16, but let's be generous. To keep myself safe when cycling on the road, I am sometimes forced to claim the whole width of the lane, but my bicycle is still about twice as short as a car. I think it is justifiable to reduce my subtotal of the previous paragraph by half. So, if “bicycle tax” was to be introduced, a fair tax rate, in proportion with current UK vehicle tax rates, would be less than £0.20 per year per bicycle. Don’t you think we are saddling up Mr Tax Man with a hopeless and unprofitable job?

Funny enough, in the cycling paradise of The Netherlands, exactly such a ridiculous bicycle tax was in effect between 1924 and 1941. In the book In the City of Bikes, American author Pete Jordan vividly describes how impractical this tax was. Bike owners had to pay three Dutch guilders per year at the post office. In return they received a copper plate, imprinted with the current tax year, to be affixed to the bike and replaced annually. Immediately after the tax was introduced, thieves started to pry the plates from bikes and counterfeiters produced fakes, all to be sold on the black market.

At the same time, eagle-eyed police offers were needed to enforce the tax. They were posted at busy cycling junctions during rush hour and faced an impossible task. Those who didn't cough up the required fee (or the discounted fee on the black market) could simply escape from the police checks by walking the bike, telling the officials to be on his or her way to the post office to pay the tax. The whole thing was just a farce. When the highly effectively organised Nazi powers took charge of the lowlands during WWII, one of the first things they abandoned was this much-hated bike tax. Given the facts that the Nazi regime invented the Autobahn, was promoting driving as the means of transport for the future and actually detested the Dutch cyclists (see again Jordan's book), this was pretty surprising. The Nazis were far too practical to keep something ineffective like this going!

It is also interesting to have a look at why the bike tax in The Netherlands was introduced. In the book In the City of Bikes, it is also explained how the Dutch discovered the bicycle as means of transport in the early 1920s, perhaps comparable in the same massive way how Londoners have re-discovered the bicycle in recent years. Videos of mass-cycling in Camden today provide images not far off from the cycling crowds in Amsterdam’s Leidse Straat in 1924 (see picture). Although the total number of cars in The Netherlands was very low, the image of “cyclists being in the way of drivers” started to appear in Dutch media and in Dutch policy making circles. Today’s “cyclists-should-pay-road-tax”-claim seems to go with the same emotional sentiments as in the Dutch 1920s. Also, these claims made by minorities seem to receive a similar out-of-proportion attention by media and authorities.

Infringing cyclists’ rights by authorities on demand by an influential minority became common in The Netherlands of the 1920s. For example, in 1927 it was officially proposed to ban cycling from Amsterdam’s most popular shopping street, just to make way for on-road car parking. One Amsterdam cyclist responded: “Despite all our democratic airs, a delusion is now developing in the heads of our authorities and of ourselves; the idea that ten cyclists are less important than a single motorist. Therefore, cyclists of Amsterdam, unite. It is about time!” The person who wrote this probably won’t have lived to experience the Dutch cycling revolution of the 1970s (see picture), but his/her words are still very valid today, even if it was to fight a couple of small-minded people shouting loudly for “road tax for cyclists”.

Let's be frank, we all love the convenience and luxery of our cars, but the burden motorised traffic has on our society and planet is enormous. Harmful emissions are an important contributor to global warming and are also bad for human’s health. Just look at the interactive air map of London to see in how many places the PM10 particle pollution is beyond the annual set limits. According to Asthma UK, one in five British homes has someone living with asthma. 

Also, the driving culture is a main contributor to inactivity and obesity. The Association of Directors of PublicHealth expects the nationwide expense on obesity-related health issues to be £20 bn per year by 2020. The UK has one of the lowest levels of children walking or cycling to school in Europe, with shocking percentages of pedestrian road fatalities. I am not even writing about traffic noise affecting mental health and the amount of public space our “King Car” absorbs in town and city centres. The ability to keep a road network with so many cars on the move comes with an enormous public expense. These costs are never show in full when comparing it with the cost for the creation of good facilities for walking, cycling and public transport. In summary, taking in all factors, whether we like it or not, if there is one means of transport which should be taxed, it is the driving

You do not need to pay vehicle-, bicycle- or road tax when cycling with our "Cycling Dutchman" guidebooks:

Cycling in  Amsterdam and The Netherlands - The very best routes in the cyclist's paradise makes you travel beyond Dutch cliches like clogs, windmills and the Amsterdam red light district, allowing you to truly explore the lowlands. The book features 1064 kms of routes and has special chapters explaining the unique Dutch cycling-minded traffic rules and its cycle route signage systems; 164 pages, colour, wiro bound, fits in standard handlebar bag, see also http://www.cyclinginholland.com.

The London - Land's End Cycle Route Book is designed for those who LOVE cycling, but don't like traffic. The book takes you onto the most beautiful cycle routes of southern England, including the Camel Trail, Devon Coast to Coast Route, Bristol and Bath Railway path, Thames Valley route and many more! What makes the book unique is that the route is completely continuous, including detailed directions and local knowledge all the way. Get inspired; choose your favourite route sections or go for a full summer holiday adventure; 164 pages, colour, wiro bound, fits in standard handlebar bag, see http://www.london-landsendcycleroutebook.com.

Other popular Cycling Dutchman blog articles:

Explaining Dutch cycling infrastructure:



Dutch bike rides and Dutch cycling culture:

Dutch style bike rides in the United Kingdom:

Friday, 18 September 2015

Cycling in Amsterdam and The Netherlands - The second edition of our guidebook!

There haven’t been updates on the Cycling Dutchman Blog for a while. This is not because I have run out of things to write, but simply because I have been very busy working on the second edition of our English-language guidebook about cycling in TheNetherlands. It is out now!

With the established demand for good, quality information in English about the cyclist’s paradise and knowing that the first edition of our guide would sell out autumn 2015, I set off about a year ago, asking myself how I could make the guidebook better.  How could I make the pack even more informative and how could I make best use of the available pages? Where could I make improvements on the established routes and what were those world-class destinations not yet on the itinerary?

One thing that really had started to bother me about the first edition of the book that it was really exclusively about cycle touring from one accommodation to another, not catering for those who just like to do day rides from one accommodation. At the same time, when making my regular visits to Amsterdam, I noticed an explosion in the availability of bicycle rentals in the city. Where there were about five rentals catering for tourists about five years ago, there are now nearly fifty!

This all has to do with the increased popularity of Amsterdam around the world as one of those cities you want to visit once in your life. Flights are cheaper than ever before and if you have London, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin and Rome on your wish list, Amsterdam is easy appearing on it too. The only problem with Amsterdam is that its historic World Heritage canal belt city centre is only a couple of square miles wide, where other European capitals have much larger city centres, capable of “storing” many more tourists.

Within 15 years, the number of international visitors to Amsterdam has doubled from 4.5 million per year to 9 million visitors per year, with the number of available hotel rooms growing from 16,000 to over 26,000 in the same period. The public space where the visitors wish to roam remained the same though, causing stress on the existing infrastructure. In Amsterdam, locals call this the Disneyland Effect. There is serious concern that Amsterdam’s City Centre starts to become like a 24 hours theme park, not a place to live, work or to do business.

With the City of Amsterdam and the government of The Netherlands now actively seeking ways to attract tourists away from the Amsterdam historic canal belt to other highlights of the country, and at the same time many people still flocking to the Dutch capital, wouldn't it be neat to use the bicycle to get people to explore beyond the obvious and to provide multiple day rides from Amsterdam’s Central station, all with their own themes and sights and all truly showing what the Dutch cycling culture really is about?  

This is how I came about to create six Amsterdam day rides for my new book, all with flexible distances to cater for everyone. Still starting and ending in the historic canal belt, the routes truly show you the great Dutch capital at its best, keeping you away from the rushed locals as much as possible. The green oasis within the city, such as River Amstel, Vondelpark, Westerpark and the Amsterdam Forest (“Amsterdamse Bos”) are all part of the pack, such as are the mighty trading ship “Amsterdam”, Artis Zoo, the Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam’s famous multi-storey bike park fietsflat, the stunning Rijksmuseum cycle tunnel and the sublime NEMO-rooftop (with the very best city views).

If you like design and architecture, you'll enjoy the rides in the revived eastern docklands. Surprisingly green is North Amsterdam, very close to the city centre and trending with the locals as a desirable place to live. In West Amsterdam, the book takes you to its garden cities and on the south side of the city centre you can experience Amsterdam's Expressionist's building style from the 1920s.  



The Amsterdam day rides also leave the city boundaries to explore Amstelland and its patchwork of scenic waterways, superb Muiderslot Castle, the straights of the busy Amsterdam-Rhine shipping canal, World Heritage Sea Fort Pampus, the old Waterland seawall with magnificent views over Lake Markermeer and last but not least, the popular Zaanse Schans windmill reserve. Altogether, the Amsterdam rides in the book cover a distance of 232 kms (143 miles) of routes; good for a great week of relaxed cycling from one accommodation only!


Of course, the original framework of the first edition of the book is still present in the second edition. There is so much more to The Netherlands than just Amsterdam and our Randstad Circle Route is in many respects a Best of The Netherlands Route, showing you as many aspects of the country as possible within a reasonably small distance. The 337 kms (208 miles) circular starts and ends at Amsterdam Central Station, but also connects to all ferries from/to the United Kingdom. With a route from/to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport included in the book too, you can now truly start cycling straight away, whether you arrive by plane, ferry or train. 


A main feature of the Randstad Circle Route is the excellent tarmac cycling highway through the sand dune reserves of the Dutch coast, providing continuous access to Holland's sandy beaches. The city of The Hague features the country's seat of government and some world-class museums. At Scheveningen, with its stylish Kurhaus, The Hague can easily compete with English seaside resorts as Brighton and Blackpool. Other seaside towns on the route are Katwijk, Noordwijk and Zandvoort. Away from the coast, Haarlem, Utrecht, Gouda and Delft have all scenic medieval city centres with historic canal lay outs and great shopping opportunities. 


Of course, the book couldn't miss out on the Dutch tulip fields. A section of the Randstad Circle is especially adapted to be utilised as a day ride from Amsterdam when taking bikes on trains. We did something similar for World Heritage Kinderdijk Windmills (missing out in the first edition), so you can choose to access this special area as a day trip from Amsterdam (again taking bikes on trains) or as part of the Randstad Circle Route. Other highlights of the Randstad Circle are the River Vecht, the Green Heart, a new route through the City of Glass, Holland's lowest lands (6.7 meters below sea level) and the world's largest steam engine.  


The Randstad Circle should easily cater for another week of relaxed cycling fun. If this wasn't enough, the second edition of the book also keeps featuring the Northern, Eastern and Southern routes of the first edition. These routes all link with the Randstad Circle (and thus with Amsterdam) and provide another 428 kms (264 miles) of routes; good for a third week of great cycling! These routes provide further variety on what the Netherlands has an offer. Utrecht Ridge National Park, the River Rhine, the famous Delta Dams, the world's largest reclaimed island and even some real Dutch hills are part of the pack, bringing the total length of routes in the second edition to a staggering 1,064 kms (656 miles)!


So, how was it possible to include so many more routes in the book? Well, I decided to completely redesign the book, making much more effective use of the available page space and also to rewrite all text. In the new book, the 125 maps (with multiple scales for urban and rural areas) are still at the heart of the navigation, but the many directions in the first edition have truly reduced to those which are essential. This has resulted in less fluff and greater clarity! You can see an example of the new design of the pages here. There are more examples shown on the offical website.


Another important content improvement is the facility listings. In the second edition of the guide, you'll find that the number of listed venues is doubled from 150 to 300, now all with full contact details, such as address, phone numbers and website URLs. Besides hotels, B&Bs, hostels and camp sites, bike shops and bike rentals are now included too! Just for Amsterdam, we now show the 25 most conveniently located bike rentals!


Last but not least all general information in the book is also completely reviewed. Besides chapters about the special cycling-minded traffic rules of The Netherlands and the cycle route signage systems, the second edition also puts the history of the Dutch cycling culture in a wider context. With the international interest in the Dutch cycling world at an all time high, the available information is growing by the day. The guidebook provides a great summary of the Dutch cycling story and also pinpoints you towards the best further background reading sources. 


Altogether, I regard Cycling in Amsterdam and The Netherlands as my best guidebook yet, providing an outstanding pack of information and routes, all in a format that easily fits on your handlebars in a standard bag or cycle map. It is not only good for on-the-road, but also provides great prior-to-the-trip planning fun and can serve as a treasurable long-term memory to a great experience. Given the fact that the book provides three weeks of cycling fun, it could even serve you for three one-week holidays! The GPS-tracks download pack also ensures that all routes of the book can easily be cycled with Navigation App of your choice. If you order the book via www.cyclinginholland.com you'll receive the GPS-tracks pack at no extra cost. 

The book with 164 full colour pages (page size 225 x 120 mm), spiral/wiro bound and the electronic GPS-tracks pack costs £18.95 for deliveries within the United Kingdom, £22.95 for deliveries in all other EU-countries (including The Netherlands) and £24.95 for deliveries world-wide. Find out more and order the book via www.cyclinginholland.com. Retailers interested in stocking the book should be in touch with our distributor Cordee (ISBN 9780957661714). 

What about another great guidebook by the Cycling Dutchman?

The London - Land's End Cycle Route Book is designed for those who LOVE cycling, but don't like traffic. The book takes you onto the most beautiful cycle routes of southern England, including the Camel Trail, Devon Coast to Coast Route, Bristol and Bath Railway path, Thames Valley route and many more! What makes the book unique is that the route is completely continuous, including detailed directions and local knowledge all the way. Get inspired; choose your favourite route sections or go for a full summer holiday adventure; 164 pages, colour, wiro bound, fits in standard handlebar bag, see http://www.london-landsendcycleroutebook.com.

Other popular Cycling Dutchman blog articles:

Explaining Dutch cycling infrastructure:



Dutch bike rides and Dutch cycling culture:

Dutch style bike rides in the United Kingdom: