Bike trip impressions

Actually, I haven’t planned to write a blog post about my bike trip, and write a series of twits instead. Unfortunately, I failed to find a reasonably priced pre-paid replacement SIM card for Netherlands, so most of twits had to be saved for the future.

So I just write them here up.

A little statistics first: I and my friend from Russia have been driving a bicycle trip starting from Düsseldorf, then Duisburg, Xanten, Kleve, Nijmegen, Utrecht, Amsterdam, Zaardam, Keukenhof, Den Haag (Hague), Delft, Rotterdam and Antwerpen. In total, we biked 600 km in 10 days. 

We have also planned to visit Brussels, some smaller towns in France and then Paris, but we didn’t really had enough time for that, given the daily distance we could travel. I was the limiting factor for the latter one: with my relatively heavy city-bike, and around 20 kg of luggage (at least 30% of which I took for no reason due to lack of experience) on the rack limited my average speed to 12 kmh.

Our bikes have endured the trip pretty well: I only had to replace my bicycle stand, a lost screw in the rack and two broken spikes on the rear wheel; and in my friend’s bike a tube had to be replaced.

All in all, I liked this format with free biking, stopping at will at the nearest camping, and reserving a whole day sometimes for interesting cities. Sleeping in a tent was no prob at all, the only thing I cannot grasp is why the toilettes on the campings are necesserily so awful? Autobahn service areas know how to have decent facilities, at least in Germany, so why not learning from them? I’d rather pay something for each usage than having to schlep a roll of toilet paper with me… The same rant applies to food and drinks in the campings. One camping near Antwerpen had completely blown our minds: its snack corner was opened from 17:00 to 18:00.  Again, autobahn service areas show how it can be done better.

And so, the missing twits:

  • A women in her 30ies: made up hair , tight business skirt, middle-high heels, riding 27 kmh on her bicycle. Uphill. Its Holland.
  • Geek experience: must kill the hanging MapDroid process using Android Task Manager while driving the bike at 20 kmh in the rush hour Amsterdam traffic.
  • The most dense bike traffic in the world is accomplished by least perfect bikes.
  • Two facts about Hague : it has a sandy beach, and it has a Chinatown with nice gates.
  • How do you know you have crossed the border between Netherlands and Belgium? People stop understand English and try to comminicate with you in French.
  • Bike tunnels across the river in Rotterdam are ingenious.
  • Did you know there is a huge technical univercity in Delft? I didnt know the name of the city until recently.
  • Staying in the Camping Vliegenbos in Amsterdam was not a good idea, despite what the travel guide says. They have blue lights in the toilettes, and thats for good reason.

Leave a comment