Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rondje Gelders Rivierengebied - Day 1

I was at another Mezrab event last night, chatting with some kids, an Aussie/English woman named Leni and her Dutch boyfriend. Leni asked me what I do for a living and my first answer was, I ride my bike around. "I like taking trips around the Netherlands," I said.

Her boyfriend's response was typical: "There is nothing to see in the Netherlands." Typical of an Amsterdammer, that is, the smug perception that there is nothing worth experiencing beyond one's own city. I vaguely protested but what's the point in arguing.

Instead I am back out there, this time going to Nijmegen, "oldest city in the Netherlands," to embark on a three-day tour of southern Gelderland, the zone that spreads around the Waal river.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Wet IJssel, west side. 
So here it is, the day of my big bike ride and ... it's raining. A light rain, as predicted. Maybe I'll have a leisurely breakfast here in Deventer and hope it stops. The idea is to take the IJsselvalleiroute, which starts on the west side of the river, a part I have not explored yet. The route follows the IJssel valley south, crossing the A1, then going by a ruin of some sort, then striking west through woods to reach a recreational lake, the Bussloo. Then it skirts the lake, crosses back over the A1 and meanders around the town of Twello before heading back to the river: 40 km.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Potential soccer louts arriving outside Bijlmer Arena.
Approaching Hilversum. The skies look tropical with low-hanging bluish clouds, sun poking through at times. At Amersfoort I will change for a train to Deventer. I missed an earlier direct train to Deventer due to a delay, probably not related to the masses of soccer fans out today for the Ajax match. When I arrived at Bijlmer station, fireworks were exploding rousing the throngs to a peak of excitement. Bellowing Ajax war chants.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rondom Watergang-route Part 1

Het Twiske nature reserve, North Amsterdam
It's my last day catsitting at Nina's place near Westerpark. It's a bit cloudy but still warm and summery. I was thinking of taking the fast ferry to the coast, but I'm getting a late start. So instead I opt for a fietsrondje. I take the ferry from the Oude Houthaven landing to the NDSM Werf. Then it's a right on Klaprozenweg, a high-traffic warehouse zone, across the Zijkanaal, then up through North Amsterdam along a trail that is frequently interrupted by construction sites.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Duin-en Strandwalroute, part 1

Out on another spring jaunt, this time around the town of Castricum. The weather continues to be eerily summery so the thought of heading for the dunes and beach appealed to me. I had not expected it to be so busy but on a day like today (Easter Sunday), why wouldn't it be? The trail through the Noord-Hollands Duinreservaat looks like a bicycle highway with riders of all ages in huge family groups, all welcoming spring with gusto.