Sunday, May 29, 2016

Guidebook research V: the 'highlands' of Groningen

The hogeland of Groningen today. The train station, Groningen Noord, is a stone's throw from Vriend op de Fiets Jenne Oosting's flat. This corridor is served by Arriva trains (rather than the national NS line), and the machines are different: they suck in your chip card rather than asking the user to scan. When I reached the top of the ramp, the train to Delfzijl was standing on the platform, and I figured I'd miss it but ran toward it anyway. The conductor stuck his hand out the window and asked me if I was getting on. I nodded. "Scanner?" I asked, holding up my card. He gestured toward the rear of the train. "Quickly!" I scanned my card and got on.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Guidebook research III: Ooijpolder and the Liberation Museum

16 -> 48
Love this stretch east of Nijmegen. You're riding along a dike (with other cyclists, the occasional auto) between the swampy banks of the Waal river and meadows and pastures. A great birding zone with islands in the swamps for nesting. To the north is a renowned nature walk, the N-70.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Guidebook research II: Roermond -> Thorn

On the train to Roermond, in central Limburg. The corridor to the north of Maastricht looks mainly agricultural-suburban-industrial, highways and power lines. A warm, almost summery day so a good day for a ride to Thorn.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Guidebook research: Noord-Brabant (west)

Miniature carnival ride at Markiezenhof palace, Bergen op Zoom. 

Train to Bergen op Zoom. It is practically empty. How can they make any money on it? Pulling into Rosendaal. The day is gorgeous.

This is the beginning of my research for a guidebook on the Netherlands. I've got my bike along, though I won't be riding all the time. I'll use the bike to a) get to places that trains don't go, and b) to try out promising fietstochts (cycle tours) in the vicinity of towns.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Almere & the Spoonbill Reserve

1 -> 2
Almere, Dutch planned community par excellence. The usual shopping plaza outside station. I ride through parks, a skateboard park, suburban blocks. Almere is a workaday place. Many blacks and Asians, not unlike De Bijlmer. It's a mere half hour by train to Amsterdam, closer than my childhood neighborhood of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, is to Manhattan.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Amsterdam North via the Orange Sluice

I am working on a new northerly route, one which should surely earn a place in my series of local cycling circuits. It centers around my fascination with the Oranje Sluis, an almost unknown link between Oost (East) and Noord (North), yet a convenient one, as it feeds right into Schellingwoude, the picturesque old fishing village at the southeast corner of Noord. I figured out how to approach it from the south.

Nescio bridge