Tag Archives: Netherlands

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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CLASSICO BORETTI 2013 – a snapshot and some snapshots

Of course there are windmills along the route.

Of course there are windmills along the route.

6000 Dutch cyclists, some very expensive road bikes, an awful lot of bananas, boxes of krentenbollen (currant buns), thousands of litres of sports drink, several tonnes of penne bolognaise at the finish and, for us, a little over five hours in the saddle…the 6th annual Classico Boretti ride. Continue reading

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HOW FAR TO THE TULIPS? – cycling there from Amsterdam

This is what I want to see. Can I get there on the bike?

I’d seen them before, but I never get tired of them.



The Dutch countryside is nearly all beautiful. The nice thing about cycling out from Amsterdam is that you can ride in any direction with the wind at your back, then take the train back home.

I did just that today. I set out with no plans, and found myself blown inexorably towards the tulip fields. Continue reading

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QUEEN’S DAY – enter the king…

So relaxed and natural. Not protocol fascists.

So relaxed and natural. Not protocol fascists.

Our Australian friend John met the new Dutch king on his trip down under a few years ago. Like me, John has a Dutch wife and speaks fluent bad Nederlands.

He and his wife were invited to an official reception for Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and the immensely popular Princess Maxima and checked on the correct way to address the royals. ‘Uw koninklijke hoogheid’ (‘your royal highness’) is a mouthful, even for Dutch people.

John practised the phrase faithfully on the way to the event. ‘Uw konning likker hoe geid…you konick linker hog height…’ It wasn’t going well. Continue reading

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HORIZONTAL RIDING – Texel Island

Riding with the wind for a change.

Riding with the wind for a change.

This island is 20 kilometres long, 10 kilometres wide and has more than 135 kilometres of cycle paths. It’s not hard to guess which country we’re talking about.

Texel, the most southerly of the Dutch Wadden Islands, is flat. Mostly. Continue reading

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A KINGDOM FOR A BICYCLE

Richard Tulloch:

I’m an avowed republican in Australia. Nothing personal, your majesty Queen Liz, though you and your family don’t interest me all that much. I just think we should have an Australian as head of state and get rid of that anomalous Union Jack in the corner of our outmoded flag.

I have less problem with the Dutch having a royal family to reign over them. At least they’re Dutch and people rather like them. Okay, they may be one of the richest royal houses of Europe, but they’re not above going for rides on the bike, at least for photo ops. That prejudices them in my favour.

Well reigned, Queen Bea, and good luck and happy riding King Willem-Alexander.

And thanks, Mark Wagenbuur of Bicycle Dutch, for another post on your excellent blog.

Originally posted on BICYCLE DUTCH:

It is a historic day in the Netherlands. Queen Beatrix announced she will abdicate in favour of her son after a 33 year reign. This is in line with Dutch tradition, the Netherlands does not have a tradition that the monarch rules until death. So on April 30th 2013, the Netherlands will have a new head of state: King Willem-Alexander.

Queen Beatrix

Queen Beatrix on a bicycle

It was also announced that Queen’s Day, so far celebrated on April 30th, the birthday of the mother of Queen Beatrix, will from 2014 on be celebrated on the new King’s actual birthday, April 27th, and from then on be called King’s day. This was very unexpected and that will take some getting used to! No more Queen’s Day Cycling!

Dutch Royal Family 2012

The Dutch Royal Family in 2012. Prince, to be King Willem-Alexander, Princess, to be Queen Máxima and their three daughters, Amalia, Alexia and Ariane.

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