Travelsonabike2 Holland This Day 17th-May-2010

This week’s Travelsonabike2 bicycle touring on this day post comes from The Netherlands on the 17th-May-2010, and I’m in Holland on my way to Italy, having a nightmare trying to navigate the cycle paths.

There is a more embellished version of this post, along with all the posts from my ride to Italy, in my “Travels on a Bike 2 Italy” tour book available to buy from Amazon.

Monday 17th May 2010. De Haan, Belgium to The Hook of Holland, Holland. 118 Miles.

It rained overnight, which kept me awake for a while. But when it was time to get up, it had stopped, and the sun was shining.

I crossed the border into Holland this morning, not that I would have known it! I only realised when I caught sight of a ridiculously small sign. That was more fitting to a sign you’d see entering a small village.

There are even more cycle paths here. Unfortunately, they don’t follow the roads, which is a big problem for me. The signs on the cycle routes tend to give you the name of the next village, which would be fine if I knew where that village was. Villages aren’t marked on my maps. According to my map, there’s only a handful of towns between De Haan and the Hook of Holland. So telling me that so and so is only 3kms away is no good. I need to know where the next big town is.

I cycled on a few of these routes but found it all too frustrating. Not knowing where I was or if I was even going in the right direction. I had to keep stopping and asking for directions. Thankfully, most people speak good English.

Bicycle in tree
Maybe they’re not so cycle friendly after all

Eventually, I gave up on the cycle routes and went back to cycling on the road, where I knew where I was going. That didn’t go too well, either. I’ve never had so much abuse from motorists or anybody else. They were shouting, they were beeping. And I was a little surprised, considering they’re such a cycle-friendly nation. But with such a good cycle network, there’s no need to be on the road as long as you know where you’re going. I think I’d just as well throw my map away!

Because I’ve had to stick to cycle paths, It’s been a long day, zig-zagging between towns, and I didn’t finish until nearly 8 p.m. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.

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