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.
From there I let the wind blow me out to Aalsmeer, home to the biggest flower market in the world, housed in the world’s biggest building, by area. It’s an extraordinary place, but I’d seen it before, so I cycled on…
I followed the signs towards Lisse, the nearest town to the tulip gardens of the Keukenhof, and suddenly there they were…
I took a break for koffie and appeltaart in Lisse, then the north-west wind carried me further south-east.
When I saw roadside signs pointing along the Bollenstreekroute (Bulb District Route) I started to follow them.
By the time I sailed into the university town of Leiden I had more than 60 kilometres racked up on the bike computer. It also told me that I’d gained 310 metres in elevation and lost 2100 calories in energy. I don’t know what that translates into in centimetres lost from the girth, but with wind at my back it didn’t feel too bad.
It was a ride worth repeating.
Here’s the route I took:http://connect.garmin.com/activity/306121938
Apart from during weekday peak hours, you can take a bike anywhere on Dutch trains with a EUR6 day ticket. That’s very good value if it avoids a long push into a headwind!