It was sometimes hard work, but the ride has a lot going for it. The path along the winding Gein River between the villages of Abcoude and Weesp is one of the prettiest in Holland.
The Amsterdam Rhine Canal carries enough interesting heavy barges to keep a rider’s mind off his legs, some of the time at least. But during an hour of riding into the wind on a dead straight track, broken only by the cycle path corrugations caused by poplar tree roots, the novelty wears off towards the end.
It was nice to see Breukelen. It’s fairly well known that New York was once called “New Amsterdam”, Harlem was once “Haarlem”, but perhaps less well known that the Bowery comes from the Dutch for farm – “boerderij” – and Brooklyn was “Breukelen”, named after this unpretentious little village a few kilometres north west of Utrecht. There’s not much there now – a couple of churches and a pleasant canal, but it does have a “Breukelen Bridge”.
Ride time to the centre of Utrecht 3hours 30 minutes, including leg stretching, backside massaging, photo taking stops.
You can take a bike on a Dutch train outside peak hours – all day ticket for anywhere in the country costs 6 euros. Honour had been satisfied, so that’s what I did to get home.