Friday, 3 October 2014

Long distance cycling with two toddlers!

How did you do it? What did you bring? Which routes did you take? How much distance did you cover in a day? These are all regular questions to be answered by those who completed any long-distance multiple day cycle trip. I can usually answer such questions myself, but when talking long distance cycling with toddlers I have to turn to a friend of mine. Tom Burslem is a GIS and mapping specialist who recently spent the summer cycling across The Netherlands, Germany and Denmarktogether with his wife and two small children. This is their story:

We have always enjoyed cycle touring, and have undertaken numerous trips both in the UK and Europe. However since having children we’ve had to hang up our panniers thinking that touring with babies, toddlers and the associated paraphernalia which goes with little ones would be too difficult.

Emily (3) and Sebastian (15 months) are both very used to travelling on bikes in either a seat mounted to the rear rack or in a trailer, and they seemed to be happy to be transported this way for just as long as they are willing to sit in a pushchair. This got us thinking - maybe a cycle tour would be possible.

We were still put off a bit by thinking about how much stuff we would have to take. Clothes alone for 4 people would require pairing down to the bare minimum. But what is the bare minimum? How many t-shirts do you take for a 15 month-old boy who has a magnetic attraction to all things messy? With this, and a thousand other questions in mind, we did a mini cycle tour close to home and decided what was essential and what wasn’t. This trip gave us confidence and we started to think about where else we could go. It needed to be easy to get to. It needed to be flat, and there needed to be plenty of campsites and playgrounds. 


We plumped for the Hook of Holland to Denmark for a number of reasons, the main one being the cycle friendliness of the countries we would go through. With this in mind we booked a one-way ticket from Harwich to the Hook and started worrying about how long we would be able to last. From the Hook we travelled north up the Dutch coast, via the Afsluitdijk to the Frisian part of the Netherlands, and then via Groningen into Germany


In Germany, we took ferries across the Weser and Elbe rivers and then headed north to Flensburg, where we crossed into Denmark. In Denmark we cycled and took ferries via Sonderborg and Svendborg to end up in Rodbyhaven. We then took the ferry back to Germany, got a train back to the Hook and a ferry back to the UK. We cycled just under 1000 km (over 600 miles) and were away 6 weeks.

Equipment

Travelling with kids meant taking a lot of stuff – hence the need for a flat route! We took a bike seat for the back of Tania's bike and a 2 berth trailer (Burley d'lite for those interested in such details) which I towed. Our trial runs taught us that it would be good to have options in swapping the kids around, and they tend to start unsuitable hitting competitions if they are both in the trailer. The Burley was excellent, but not perfect. It is waterproof but water does get in when it is raining very hard. The straps are a bit fiddly and the tyres supplied aren’t great. However the kids are happy in it so must be comfy, and the boot is nice and big, even with two children in the front.

Our decision to take a bike seat in addition to a trailer meant that we could not take rear panniers for Tania’s bike. We therefore needed the boot space in the trailer. We also took a rucksack which we attached to the bike seat when both kids were in the trailer. We allowed Emily one bag of toys and books, which she chose when we were packing. Space was also made for two favourite soft toys, both of which very much enjoyed the experience.

A typical day

We very quickly established a daily routine. Seb usually wakes us up at about 6:15. He is very vocal until he has breakfast so we rush to do this before he wakes the whole campsite. We then packed up and were away by 9:00. Both kids loved camping. However Seb got very nervous when he saw us packing up in the morning. He worried that he would be forgotten so we put him in a sling to assure him he wouldn’t be left behind. This made packing quite a time consuming process.

In the morning Seb went in the trailer and Emily in the bike seat. Seb went straight to sleep and we cycled until he woke up. We tried to get the majority of mileage done while he was asleep. He could easily do 90 minutes. Emily loved the bike seat and was constantly asking questions about the passing scenery, most of which started with 'why'. 

When Seb woke up we would have a long break at a playground and lunch, and then they swapped berths for the much shorter afternoon cycle. The daily distances covered were typically 30 to 40 km. We would arrive at the campsite early which meant we could put the tents up, make dinner, find yet more playgrounds, wash and get the kids to sleep by about 7pm.

The kids' appetites increased hugely on this trip and they started eating - something we didn’t anticipate, and our small Trangia stove wasn’t big enough to cook a meal in one go so we ended up cooking and eating in shifts.

I love cycling in The Netherlands. There cycling is the norm and you become one of the crowd. You don’t get strange looks from onlookers, and your fellow road users are so polite. We’ve never experienced threatening behaviour from drivers, or the impatient revving that you get in the UK. We put this down to cyclists having their own space and the fact that most motorists are also cyclists, but maybe it is just because the Dutch as a nation are not in so much of a hurry to get from A to B.

I find crossing borders very exciting, but the crossing from the Netherlands into Germany was a bit of an anti-climax. It was nothing more than a bridge over a canal and a man gave us a very strange look as we stopped to take a photo. There wasn’t even a sign mentioning the fact we were going from one country to the next. 

I'm always surprised how different things are immediately after you cross a border. The scenery was the same (flat and agricultural) but everything else was completely different. In the Netherlands most villages have a playground, whereas in Germany it is rare to find one. The campsites have a very different feel to them as well. The Dutch use campsites as places to spend a family holiday, but in Germany were quieter and a little run down.

The other main difference was of course the language. We immediately went from being understood by nearly everyone to being understood by almost no one. The Dutch spoke English very well, which made us very lazy about learning their language. We were just catching on to saying ‘hello’, ‘thank you’ and simple phrases by the time we left. However in Germany we learnt much more very quickly.

The border between Germany and Denmark was similarly unremarkable but still an unmanned hut on both sides where once upon a time you would have had to show a passport.

The journey home

To get home we travelled by train from Puttgarden in Germany to Hook of Holland. We did it over a number of days to ease the pain. I was expecting problems travelling with two bikes and a trailer on a train, but it couldn’t have been easier. We travelled by Deutsche Bahn Regional train to Hamburg. These were double-decker trains, and they have a dedicated space for bikes on a lower deck of one carriage. You buy a ticket for your bike and can just turn up and get on. There is plenty of space and we didn’t have any problems. We then travelled from Hamburg to Amsterdam on an Intercity service. We had to book this (ourselves and the bikes) but it was not a problem either. We needed to book three bike spaces (two for the bikes and one for the trailer). Amsterdam to the Hook was also not a problem.

The most stressful part of the return journey was wondering whether the British rail network would accept two bikes and a trailer. It is not possible to book and there is nothing telling you whether you are allowed to take a trailer. We were lucky and had no problems travelling on quiet trains in the middle of the day. I would not like to travel on a crowded service however.

Would we do the trip again?


Cycle touring with toddlers is hard work. The cycling was the easy bit as they are strapped into the trailer and bike seat. However once you have done the cycling, they jump off the bikes full of energy, wanting to run around and play just when we wanted to sit and relax.  But we had a great time. The kids were outside almost continuously for six weeks. They became urchins and looked ridiculously healthy. We stayed in 25 different campsites and visited about 50 playgrounds, and Emily learned to say thank you in three languages. We worried that the children would get both sunstroke and hypothermia (though not on the same day). We questioned our sanity on a daily basis, but are very glad we did it. Maybe next year we’ll head for France...

For a full account of the cycling trip see Tom's Cycling Toddlers Blog.

What about going for a traffic-calmed cycling holiday yourself with a high quality "Cycling Dutchman" guidebook?

Cycling in The Netherlands - The very best routes in a 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 over 700 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:

The 12 best bike rides of The Netherlands

Dutch style bike rides in the United Kingdom:

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Case Study: Barnstaple: How to make a town cycling-friendly

With the Department for Transport not committing to expenditure on cycling infrastructure beyond 2016 (when it is already doing so for rail and roads) and the 18 recommendations by the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group published early 2013 still waiting for official Government’s response, I thought it was time for taking action myself to speed things up in Barnstaple, the town where I live.

Together with some other local cycling enthusiasts I set up the North Devon Cycling Forum in association with the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain in 2013. We embarked on a journey to get in touch with as many local cyclists as possible and also touched based with some local Councillors who showed an interest in our mission, because...

Where is that long-term vision on a local level on where we want to be with our cycling infrastructure by 2020? What about 2025 and 2030? Politicians and policy makers all say the support cycling, but where is that “commitment” translating into clear action plans

The local Draft North Devon and Torridge Local Plan features many upcoming new building projects, but only proposes the bare minimum proposals for cycling. These proposals will only marginally provide a choice between driving and cycling for some, but for most people, it will still be driving, causing more congestion and more health problems as a result of inactivity and obesity. Where is that real choice between cycling and driving for all?

The majority of car journeys in build-up areas are about three miles or less. If we were serious about proving good, attractive cycle routes, up to 35% of all our journeys in build-up areas could take place by bicycle. Less cars on the road, so less congestionless emissionshealthier lifestyles and happier people; and it won't cost the earth.  

In the detailed study, which I compiled with help of other local cyclists, we show how it is possible to connect Barnstaple town centre with its surrounding areas for a total cost of £806.500. If this cost was spread over five years, costs per year would be £ 161.300. On a population of 30.000 people, this works out to about £ 5 per citizen per year!

The recommendation by the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group is to raise the expenditure for cycling of the current £ 1 per citizen per year to £ 10 per citizen per year, so this project would be half of the recommended expense. To put things further in perspective, a high-profile local multi-lane roundabout extension scheme (with only short-term relieve to congestion and without giving the public a real choice between modes of transport) costed £ 2 million. So, for just 40% of the expense to upgrade one roundabout it is possible to make an entire town accessible by bike for all. Where is the political will to make it happen?

There is no excuse. And it is all in there. Whether you are that local councillor in North Devon, a keen cyclist in the Cotswolds or an opinion maker in London. Read for yourself the tools to create good cycle routes. Learn where 20 mph zones should be implemented and why. Find out about shared space concepts and what the specifications are for a real cycle path. See also how a good signage system is such a simple and low-cost-tool to make cycle routes visible in the eye of the public.  

The Barnstaple case study shows what can be done on a local level to make towns more cycling-friendly. You'll find clear action lists in this document, rather than just well-intended, but hollow phrases. 

Our Small Schemes BIG Changes listings show how many easy fixes can be made on the existing network. Overgrowing bushes, hostile barriers, confusing signage and, in one case, just a hole in a hedge could improve things massively already. View the study now by one of the following links:



For us, now the next job starts. Convincing local councillors, council officers and the public. Making it happen. But we have done our homework and have clear plans in our hands.

How often have I heard this line now from parents in my role as Bikeability instructor?

"I would love it if my child could cycle to school, but it is just not safe".

Come on Britain! To become a true cycling nation, you have to stop talking. Map your desires, visualise where you want your cycle paths and why. Put a budget to it and put those routes into place! Force the reigning Highway Departments to change their ways. Their designs from the 1950s and 1960s are truly out of date! The Cycling Dutchman is at hand to help!

What about going for a traffic-calmed cycling holiday with one of my "Cycling Dutchman" guidebooks?

Cycling in The Netherlands - The very best routes in a 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 over 700 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:

The 12 best bike rides of The Netherlands

Dutch style bike rides in the United Kingdom:

Monday, 14 July 2014

The spirit of cycle touring: The Straight Story


“We saw castles, canals, cottages, boats, churches, Roman ruins, a steam train, ancient forests, smuggler’s towns, hedgerows, roses, butterflies and birds. We had rain, blue heat, storms and soft clouds over rolling meadows. We saw the ocean, walked beaches, headlands and woodlands. We cycled canal paths, train tracks, country lanes and hills. We met nice people, grumpy people, alien worshippers, fellow travelers, bakers, fisher folk, happy hotel keepers and cheerful folk on the side of the road wanting a chat. We freewheeled down and climbed agonizingly up. We cursed and sang and laughed and told stories. Finally, we arrived at Land’s End.”

Susan Brown who lives in Gland, Switzerland, truly has a talent to put into words what you can experience on a long-distance cycle touring journey. She cycled my London-Land’s End Cycle Route last summer and clearly had a great time. This year, I have more people on the road with my guidebooks and holiday packages than ever before. This fact fills me with feelings of joy and pride.

This mood makes me inviting you to watch a piece of art that in my opinion very well reflects the spirit of cycle touring. The film I want to write about really shows how it is to be out there on a bicycle, on your own, on the road, absorbed by the surrounding countryside.  In David Lynch's 1999 film The Straight Story, the main character Alvin Straight is on a long distance journey on a lawn-mower (!) and the are many parallels with cycling in this film... 

Although the speed of the lawn-mower (and the film itself) might be lower than the average speed of any cyclist, the film beautifully captures all issues long distance touring cyclists face. During the first half of the film, we see Alvin Straight struggling to get his long distance journey off the ground. It parallels the emotional process an individual has to go through before being mentally ready for a long distance bicycle ride. We also witness how Alvin builds his relationship with his means of transport. Don’t we all have a relationship with our bicycle too?

It is the second half of the film where the parallels with cycling really kick in. The beautiful photography and amazing soundtrack (featuring great music by composer Angelo Badalamenti) and "landscape" sound effects (by David Lynch himself) pull the viewer with great emotions into the beauty of "slow travel". The film magically shows how you can become part of your surroundings if you take the effort to t-r-a-v-e-l  s-l-o-w-l-y

The film also defines all inconveniences of being on the road. Alvin Straight and his lawn-mower have to deal with typical cyclist's issues such as  bad weather and overtaking fast moving traffic. Also that desperate desolate feeling a touring cyclist can have when his/her equipment has a serious break down is shown; Alvin's breakdowns are heartbreaking. 


The film also beautifully witnesses the daily routines of finding shelter for the night and food and drink to keep going. Last but not least, there are all those wonderful encounters with other people who either live en-route or who are on a journey too. It is all very much like how a real bike ride is. And yes, there is also an amusing scene with a stressed driver who "must drive the car to work and must drive the car home every day", as she says so to herself, oblivious to her surroundings...

Most magic moment of the film from a cycling point of view is the short scene in which Alvin and his lawn-mower are actually overtaken by a large group of cyclists 
(see also top picture of this article). This special scene with its unique sound effects and amazing imaginary should thrill every true touring cyclist, because it embraces so close the magic of cycling!

The scene of the "grand depart" (see below) gives a good idea of what The Straight Story has to offer (even when dubbed in Italian). A true touring cyclist should watch the film over its full length...



Copyright notice: this article intends to raise renewed interest for "The Straight Story". Copyright holders will hopefully excuse us for using "Straight Story" film captures and "You Tube embedding" in this article!

What about becoming a long-distance touring cyclist yourself  with one of our "Cycling Dutchman" guidebooks?

Cycling in The Netherlands - The very best routes in a 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 over 700 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:

Cycle paths and cycle lanes; the full story!




Dutch bike rides and Dutch cycling culture:

The 12 best bike rides of The Netherlands

Dutch style bike rides in the United Kingdom:

Monday, 9 June 2014

The Netherlands’ Top 12 Cycle Routes

The Netherlands is famous for its amazing cycling infrastructure, but what are the most amazing cycle routes which will really blow your mind and give you the very best cycling experience you can have in this world? I decided to treat you with a personal Top 12. Together, these routes represent the different types of cycle experiences you can have in The Netherlands. All listed routes are included in my Cycling in The Netherlands guidebook

1. North Sea Cycle Route: The Hague – Zandvoort

The 6000 km long North Sea Cycle Route is nowhere more splendid than on its traffic-free track across the extensive Dutch sand dune systems between The Hague and Zandvoort. On this 40 km (25 miles) stretch, cycling truly comes “home”. Whether you are on a Dutch shopper or on a racing bicycle with all the gears, this is truly one of the very best cycle paths in the world with fantastic scenery to take in. Every other mile, there is access to the beach for cyclists and pedestrians only; providing plenty of opportunities for the perfect seaside break!

2. Amsterdam Forest (Amsterdamse Bos)

With paths either dedicated to walking, cycling or horse-riding, the Amsterdam Forest (Amsterdamse Bos) is probably the best park for cycling in the world. Three times bigger than New York’s Central Park, it has 50 kms (30 miles) of smooth, wide, tarmac cycle paths, dedicated to cycling only. The routes take you through a mosaic of wooded areas, grassland, reed lands and open water. With a high density of things to see and do, it is the perfect playground for youngsters getting used to explore by bike!

3. Vecht River: Weesp – Utrecht

There are probably only a few places more tranquil in the world than the sleepy Vecht River. The merchants of the Dutch Golden Age built their country mansions on these Vecht riverbanks, in between the numerous dairy farms and windmills. The country lanes on both sides of the river are a cycling heaven, taking you through a leafy, green, Dutch landscape, with another peaceful view awaiting you every 100 metres or so. The 35 km route (22 miles) has its epic final stretch alongside Utrecht’s “Old Canal”, without doubt the most scenic canal of the country…

4. Oosterschelde Barrier

Fancying literally riding the waves on the most expensive cycle path of the world? The traffic-free cycle path on the Oosterschelde Estuary Storm Surge Barrier gives you premium sea views and a unique smell of fresh sea air while riding your bike! The average maintenance bill of this route is about 10 million Euros per year, so you better enjoy this thrill ride on the floodgates. The total length of the flood gates is about 2 miles. The experience is best the first hours after high tide, when over 800 billion litres of water squeeze through the dam, back into the North Sea…

Note: the second stage of the 2015 Tour de France will finish on the Oosterschelde Barrier!

5. Dutch cycling rush hour – Utrecht

To truly experience a Dutch cycling rush hour, you should get on the bike between 8 and 9 am on any main cycle route between a Dutch city centre and its suburbs.  To be truly amazed, head for a place where there are few alternative routes, for example the bottleneck bridge over the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal between Lombok and Terwijde in Utrecht. You’ll find yourself cycling in a fast moving cycling crowd on a truly Cycling Super Highway. Cycle route builders in London must take notice; this is what a Cycling Super Highway really looks like!

6. Waal Dyke, Nijmegen

For grant open vistas, where you can cycle high above the surrounding landscape, you should head for one of the Rhine branches in The Netherlands, such as Lek, Waal or Nederrijn. We favour the traffic-calmed dyke of the Waal River between Dodewaard and Nijmegen. On this 20 km (13 miles) dyke ride stretch, you look down on fruit orchards on one side and Europe’s busiest inland shipping lane on the other side. The views over the City of Nijmegen, with its stylish river bridges, are fabulous. The Snelbinder bridge is a truly unique way to enter a city entirely traffic-free!

7. Utrecht Ridge National Park: Hollandse Rading – Amerongen

Large parts of The Netherlands lie below sea level, but there are also a few distinctively higher lying areas, such as the Dutch Moors Veluwe and Utrecht Ridge (Utrechtse Heuvelrug). Heavily forested, both moors have an extensive network of cycle paths, well away from motorised traffic. I favour the 40 km (25 miles) section between Hollandse Rading and Amerongen. Where else can you eat as many pancakes as you like, play crazy golf on three full-size 18-hole golf courses, visit a Napoleon pyramid and ride your bike on a former NATO-airbase runway?

8. Lange Linschoten: Woerden – Gouda

The Dutch Green Heart may well be on its prettiest alongside the “Lange Linschoten” stream, on both sides lined with (knotted) weeping willows and old, scenic, dairy farms with their thatched roofs. Cows graze onto the horizon here. Buy authentic Dutch Gouda cheese straight from the barn, go for a canoe adventure on narrow countryside canals or check whether you are a witch at the old weighing table of Oudewater. Just having a pint on the medieval town square is very well possible as well. This 20 km (13 miles) stretch is a favourite among many cycling Dutchies.

9: Waterland “Sea Dyke” Amsterdam – Marken Island

A few places in this world are more wind-swept than the old man-made sea defenses alongside what is now “Lake Ijsselmeer”. Ensure only to embark on this route when winds are light or when tailwinds blow you strongly towards your destination. In direct reach from Amsterdam station, this 20 km (13 miles) route via a cycle path on the old sea defenses’ ridge provides splendid views over Lake Ijsselmeer. Marken Island, with its traditional wooden houses build on wooden pillars, represents the natural history of The Netherlands as no other…

10: Dyke Enkhuizen – Lelystad

Cycling on dams and dykes; it is a must in The Netherlands. There is one more which truly deserves a spot in our top 12. Not to be confused with the "Afsluitdijk" (between North-Holland and Friesland at the north end of Lake Ijsselmeer), the dyke Enkhuizen – Lelystad is the truly ultimate dyke ride for cyclists keen on a challenge. What makes the route special is that you’ll cycle away from the main road most of the way (which is on the other side of the dyke ridge), allowing you to feel truly on your own, cycling on a 27 km (16 miles) long cycle path in the middle of a sea

11: Windmills Rottemeren

Oops; I nearly forgot. Of course you’d like to cycle by some authentic Dutch windmills! To be honest, the best bike windmill ride is at Unesco World Heritage Kinderdijk, but this was a bit out of the way to include in my guidebook. Zaanse Schans, the second most important windmill location of The Netherlands, is in the book, but doesn’t provide much of a bike ride. In that respect, I feel the cycle path alongside the Windmills of Rottemeren does a better job! It is a popular route with Rotterdam folk and provides fantastic windmill scenery for 6 kms (4 miles) or so…

12: Vogelweg, Flevoland

If you enjoy cycling broad, empty stretches and like to experience cycling on the former seabed (over 4 metres below sea level), you should ride the Vogelweg in Flevoland. The scenery reminds me of grant, flat, open vistas in America’s Midwest; a crop farming landscape, interceded by long, straight roads and scattered with wind turbines. There is not much out there, large scale and very unusual. Where else can you experience such a landscape while cycling entirely traffic-free on a smooth cycle path? It can only be in the cyclist’s paradise of The Netherlands

All routes above feature in my book Cycling in The Netherlands - The very best routes in a cyclist's paradise. From June 2014, we also offer free GPS-tracks (for Outdoors Navigation devices such as Garmin or Smart Phone Apps) on all book orders via our websites www.cyclinginholland.com and www.eoscycling.com. If you bought the book somewhere else, you can also purchase the tracks separately via these two websites. Before you head out, also check our free route updates with the latest on route diversions, new accommodations on the way, etc, etc. 


For those keen on cycling beyond the routes in the book, also have a look at the brand new Green Heart Cycle Map, now available via our Cycling in Holland website. This overview map shows the central so called "Randstad" area of The Netherlands and displays 12 circular rides varying in distance from 70 to 125 kms (43-77 miles).

Remember the "Cycling Dutchman" has an excellent guidebook about cycling in England too: 

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, £ 15.99, see also http://www.london-landsendcycleroutebook.com.