Tag Archives: Cycling

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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Filed under Cycle touring, Cycling, Holland

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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MY NEW RUNNING TOY – road-tested on wheels

The Garmin Forerunner 110.

The Garmin Forerunner 110.

My son thoughtfully gave me a heart rate monitor for my last birthday.

I was touched that he was concerned about his old dad’s ticker, but wait, there’s more… In the package with the heart monitor was a Garmin Forerunner 110, a GPS device designed for runners. It was a generous present, which I’ve been putting to good use, hoping to keep my heart going for several more birthdays at least.

The Forerunner 110 is really intended to adorn the wrists of athletes who care about their personal bests, their lap times and indeed, their heart rates. I’ve been trying it out on my cycling expeditions, on most of which I’ve left the heart monitor at home. Continue reading

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IT ALMOST CONVERTS YOU TO MONARCHISM…ALMOST!

Dutch King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima on their way to watch the speedskating in Sochi.

Dutch King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima on their way to watch the speedskating in Sochi.

Okay, the orange bikes are probably being provided by Dutch taxpayers, and the shot may be a strategically placed PR photo op.

But you have to like the idea that they thought it was a good idea. All it needs now is for the guys in the middle to be holding hands and discreetly waving rainbow flags…

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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

ANOTHER BIKE STOLEN – DAMN!

Mevrouw T’s bike was stolen last week.

Pouring rain, a dash into the supermarket, forgetting to fasten the lock, remembering too late, a dash out of the supermarket, a desperate search of the bike racks, questions to bystanders (who naturally saw nothing)…and a long walk home. In the rain.

It wasn’t only the bike she lost, and the just-purchased lunch of Hollandse Nieuwe herring she had in the saddlebag; self-respect and faith in humanity were stolen too. ‘How could I be so stupid?’ was closely followed by ‘How could anyone be so mean?’ and ‘What sort of sick town/society/world do we live in?’

Bicycle theft is falling from its highs in the early 2000s, but is still the most common crime in Amsterdam. I did some research on the figures. Sobering reading.
Continue reading

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Filed under Cycling, Holland