Why bike in the Netherlands?

So why did I choose to plan the 500 km cycle trip in the Netherlands?

because it is FLAT of course!!!

Haha. Actually that is not the reason, but that sure is a bonus!

There is a very interesting BBC article on why cycling is so popular in the Netherlands. One person when asked how come they bike so much, they said “I am not a cyclist, I am just dutch.” I think that just sums it up. If you are dutch, you have no choice but to cycle. You are born with it!

My roots are dutch. My parents immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands in 1952. I was always interested in travelling there one day, and visiting where my parents grew up. Finally I got there in 2015. One of the things on my list was to “bike!” I remember someone saying to me, “you don’t want to bike in Amsterdam!” Now I know why! Amsterdam is so crazy filled with people and bikes and trams and buses and at that time scooters! I would have got taken down for sure. Now that I have been there a number of times, and you can’t have scooters in the City anymore, I would bike there. And I am going to, since that is where we will rent our bikes from when we go on our cycle trip in May 2020.

So we biked on one of the Friesland Islands – and it was at that moment that I said – I want to come back and explore some of this country by bike!

The Friesian Islands

The Frisian Islands are a chain of islands in the West Sea off the coast of the Netherlands. I didn’t actually know until now when I was researching for this blog that it is a World Unesco site. Here is a really good article from national geographic on the islands. The islands are such a great place to bike.

In 2015 I biked on the Island of Schiermonnikoog. I recall the ferry taking about an hour to get to the island. You can not take your cars to this island. So many bikes going over. We rented bikes when we got off the ferry, spent the day touring around, went to the village, and to the sea. And of course stopped at the local pub to have dutch beer and food!

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2015 – biking on the island Schiermonnikoog to the North Sea. To this day I can not say that name – it is a mouthful.
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2015 – A quaint town on the island of Schiermonnikoog. A few of my sisters and relatives ahead of me.

In 2018 I biked the Island of Amaland. The population is almost 4,000 people. This island is bigger than Schiermonnikoog. It has 4 or 5 villages, and you can access the island by car via ferry. Again we spent the day touring around, going to the sea, and again ending up at a local pub drinking dutch beer and eating dutch food!

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2018 – Biking on the Island of Ameland. I love my selfie stick!

So why did I choose to plan the 500 km cycle trip in the Netherlands?

  • to see more of the country of my heritage and to mingle with the locals
  • to bike along the water and go from village to village
  • to see history
  • to sit at local pubs and patios drinking and eating dutch things!
  • to see the sites from a slower pace
  • because everyone is so friendly
  • because it is a beautiful country
  • and…….because it is so FLAT!!! easy to bike. 🙂

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