Category Archives: Cycle touring

RIDING NORTH – from Amsterdam to Hoorn

A car-free road, a sunny day and a tailwind!

A car-free road, a sunny day and a tailwind!


A cool but fine autumn day. Indian summer in Nederland. Surely it can’t last much longer. Must make the most of it. Drop everything. Get out on the bike.

There’s a stiff southerly blowing, adding a wind chill factor to the 10 degree temperature. I decide to ride with it for once, heading north out of Amsterdam, without any particular destination in mind. It doesn’t matter. This is classic North Holland countryside; fields cut by drainage canals, flocks of geese and families of swans, sheep and cows grazing…and a few one-off surprises. Continue reading

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GO WITH THE FLOW – cycling by the Danube

It's one of Europe's most popular cycling routes - hundreds of kilometres of safe, car-free bike path.

It’s one of Europe’s most popular cycling routes – on safe, car-free bike path.

We cyclists hate stopping. When you stop pedalling a bike, it starts to wobble, then topples over. It takes far more effort to get a bike moving than it does to keep it rolling along at a steady speed.

That’s why cyclists run red lights and ring angry bells at pedestrians blocking their bike path. It’s also why, when enlightened planners lay several hundred kilometres of flat, smooth, wide, almost uninterrupted bike path along the iconic Danube River, we come in droves to roll along it. Continue reading

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Filed under Austria, Cycle touring, Cycling

THE BEAUTIFUL DANUBE – though it’s not really blue

I can't remember the name of this village...just one of so many.

I can’t remember the name of this village…just one of so many. Could look it up, of course, but it’s on the other side of the river. Just admire it instead.


I’m cycling along the Danube this week, doing Utracks’ Blue Danube Cycle adventure.

It’s almost the end of the season, so the Danube has turned a dullish greeny-grey; other things around it are still colourful.

Here’s a selection of my best shots so far… Continue reading

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ITALY BY BIKE – quietly adventurous

Cycling in Italy doesn't have to be tough.

Cycling in Italy doesn’t have to be tough. On Lido it’s quite relaxing.

We hadn’t planned to ride bikes on this trip to Italy, but once we started we wished we hadn’t waited so long before taking to the saddle.

We’re not talking major excursions here, no lycra-clad slogging up the big climbs of the Giro d’Italia; just a convenient way to get around in Verona and a pleasant day’s escape from the madding crowd in Venice. If we can do it, anyone can. Continue reading

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AMSTERDAM TO NAARDEN – a fine spring cycle

By the Amstel River. 'Amster-dam' = 'Dam on the Amstel', remember?

By the Amstel River. ‘Amster-dam’ = ‘Dam on the Amstel’, remember?

We’ve just arrived back in Holland, the breeze is gentle and the rain won’t be with us for two more days. So what better way to fight the jetlag than a ride through the Dutch countryside?

One of the most hit-on posts on this blog is my brief list of Holland’s Prettiest Villages. I decided I’d see how many of them I could manage to ride around in a day. My route took me through Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, Abcoude, Weesp, Naarden, Muiden and back to Amsterdam. A respectable 72kms, plus a few where I forgot to switch the computer back on.

If that seems a bit energetic for Day 1 in the saddle, let me confess up front that Mevrouw T kindly offered me use of her electric bike. I know, that’s cheating, but we thought the beast should be tested again, before we take it farther afield.

It was indeed a lovely ride, and the bike’s electric booster left me energy over for photography. Continue reading

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BIKES ON DYKES – planning a Dutch cycling tour

Cycling in Holland is a family affair.

Cycling in Holland is a family affair.



We’ll be back cycling in The Netherlands in less than a fortnight, so we’re planning some interesting routes.

Coincidentally, my correspondent Lianne just sent me a few questions (with attached compliments – flattery will get you everywhere!) about how to arrange a cycling holiday there.

So here it is – info on bike hire, route planning, weather, all the essentials to get started on planning a bike trip through Nederland. Continue reading

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CIRCUM-LAKE-UTION – cycling round the Bodensee

Will we have as much fun as the people in the picture?

Will we have as much fun as the people in the picture?

The Sydney Morning Herald recently published my article about our epic ride around Lake Constance on Europe’s most popular cycling route, so now I can release the full story on the blog…

I’m regularly reminded that my wife is smarter than I am. She doesn’t need to do the reminding personally; usually it’s only too obvious. On this trip she’s riding an electric bike. Continue reading

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Filed under Austria, Cycle touring, Cycling, Germany, Switzerland