The Dutch Know a Thing or Two About Bikes

I’ve just received some encouragement and advice from the incomparable Geert Alkema, Head of Sports at my lads’ old school, The Rudolph Steiner School Kings Langley. He’s a keen cyclist, amongst many other sports, and he’s Dutch. He and his German wife Sabine, who is an inspirational German teacher at the school, lent us their cycling maps (and their knowledge) of Holland last summer when Susie and I had a week noodling about on the superb Dutch bike-path network.

I’m sure you’ve heard of this system, but if you’ve never had a cycling holiday before then I can’t recommend enough just hopping on the ferry at Harwich with your bike and setting off along whichever route takes your fancy. You follow numbers, which are intersections. So you get to No.28, have a look at the map, and head off for No11. Its SO simple, with prominent signs, and runs throughout the whole country, including the cities. And of course it’s flat. One number will take you to a crossroads in the middle of nowhere, another to a towering cathedral. Sadly you will not lose weight from all the exercise, due to the lack of hills and the generosity of portions of Dutch Appeltaart. It’s often served with a little amaretto-and-whipped-cream livener, but always with superb coffee, another thing that the Dutch take very seriously indeed. 

Anyway, back to the cycling advice for my trip from Geert & Sabine. 

“Hope you cycle on an old Dutch bike ,yes, the one without gears……..
It might take a little longer but you are more upright in order to take in the scenery!!
With admiration,Geert and Sabine”

I’ve done a little research, and given all the kit I’ll be carrying I think that this might be the sort of thing:

The top box is for Appeltaart and the churns are for amaretto. The Rockies will sail by. 

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