Day 43, 29th June 2011, Kapelle to Dordrecht

There are several different bicycle-travelling systems in Holland.

All towns have bicycle lanes on almost all roads.

There is a system of efficient bicycle tracks between towns, which usually parallel a main road, but not the motorway.  These tracks are around 2m wide, about 1.5m from the road, and built to a similar standard as the roads.

Then there is the knoppoint system.  This consists of a series of places scattered all over the country, and signed routes from them to adjacent points.  At each knoppoint there is a map showing the location of the point, and the location of neighbouring points, and there are signs defining the route from one to another.

Lastly, there are a large number of defined routes.  These are designed for tourists.  Some are national, but many appear to be the work of regions.  These signposted routes may be a day’s ride or a week.  They meander around to show the best of the country, and therefore are not efficient as point to point options.

Yesterday we followed one of the national routes and today we used the town-to-town system, in order to ensure that we will be at Schipol by tomorrow evening.

The difference in the efficiency of the routes should be obvious by comparing today’s and yesterday’s routes.  Of course, efficiency is not everything, and if time allows, we would usually choose to follow one of the national LF routes.

We rode 109km today, and there is not much to say about it.  It was easy and pleasant riding through flat country on well-defined high quality paths.  The objective was to get close to Dordrecht, where we eventually stopped for the night, to give us a straightforward ride into Schipol. We need to be there tomorrow night as we have to be at the airport by about 10.00am on Friday.

Drodrecht is a large industrial city in a heavily populated region, so we found accommodation, but it was not straightforward.  There is not much accommodation even in a city as large as this.

Even though we were generally travelling through villages that were on or near major routes, there is little travelling infrastructure, by which I mean coffee shops.

If you were to take the best of cycling in Holland, the marvelous bicycle infrastructure, and in the UK, the good accommodation options, coffee, pub culture and associated food you would end up with Germany. Only Germany offers even more sausages, and nothing wrong with that.

You will need to scroll and zoom the map to see the route.

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