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Re: The Netherlands...

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:20 am
by Cosmo
xnavalav8r wrote:I just found it odd as I am used to every cyclist back home asking stopped cyclists if they are OK or need help. In my case, I am usually very self-sufficient. But I had two flats and only one tube. It's one of the few times I would have liked an offer of help from someone. But no luck...

As a 4th year expat from the US there is no "wave at other cyclists" here. Everyone rides as others have pointed out. (not that I ever waved in the US-that's a RBR discussion board topic) If you need help on the road people will but you have to ask. Oddly enough I get stopped all the time for directions-as soon as my American accent comes out there is a bit of disbelief I know where the little roads and paths go! :D

Re: The Netherlands...

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:20 am
by Weenie

Re: The Netherlands...

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:51 pm
by Mapei down under
When I was racing in Belgium it was much the same way, no-one would even raise a hand from the bars to acknowledge you let alone stiop to help with a flat.

A few of the other Aussies and I used to go out and deliberately make a big deal out of us all waving and calling out g'day en mass to riders for a whole ride and laughing at their almost stunned response.

Re: The Netherlands...

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:25 am
by xnavalav8r
Well that explains the lack of response when I wave or say, "morgen" to other riders I encounter. It also explains why those I have stopped to help seem astonished when I do so... and even more so when I speak Dutch (poorly).

There is an older gentleman I see almost ever day. I encountered him on one of my first rides and was mystified when he pedaled away from me into a headwind... resplendent in his tweed coat and matching panniers. I chased him down that day and smiled, only to have him grin back at me, point to his electric assist motor, and shoot off again. We've been playing this cat-and-mouse game for weeks. It's a great workout for me... intervals.

The other day I found him standing with his bike, fumbling about. It turned out his battery had died. He's in his late 60s or early 70s and rides that bike 10km each way to his work and back home. I hooked a bungee cord to my seatpost and his handlebars and towed him most of the way home, until our paths diverged.

I've helped with jammed chains, flat tires, rubbing brakes, etc. It just seems kind of cruel to leave someone stranded on the side of the road and keep pedaling by. But if that's the way it, then that's the way it is. I'll keep stopping to help when I can. At least it makes me feel better... except when I get grease and grime all over my brand new goretex jacket. That was a bummer.

Re: The Netherlands...

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:54 pm
by xnavalav8r
32mm Maxxis Detonator tires are now my commuting tire of choice. A little heavy and sluggish, but once they get rolling I don't notice it. I can run them at a lower pressure than the 23mm tires they replaced (also Detonators) so they provide much improved traction now that the roads are snowy/icy/wet. The only downside is the fact that my fenders don't fit. Raceblades are OK, but I can't use full-coverage fenders.

Re: The Netherlands...

Posted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:51 pm
by Franklin
I grew up close to where you live now. I assume you work in Den Helder, so you ride past the "Hondsbosche Zeewering"? Now you probably have a higher tolerance for trafic than I do, but if you want to ride decent mileage I have some tips.

First find the "Westfriese Dijk" It starts on the other side of the canal. Cross at Schoorldam. And just follow it, it's one of the best way t see "De Noordkop". A dutch site with the map:" onclick=";return false; . Note that a lot of the "towns" at that map are town in a sense of three houses, a church and a bar :mrgreen:

General notes:

South from where you live you ride into Bergen, Egmond etc. It's pretty urban. You can take the coastal roads which are fine now, but hella crowded in the summer.
Southeast are pretty heavy urban areas. From Zaandam in the South up to Heerhugowaard above Alkmaar is pretty grown together. It can be confusing to get out of it.
Straight to the east past the urban stretch you hit the Beemster and can go on to Hoorn/Enkhuizen. That's a pretty nice ride with decent views (see the above comment about the Westfriese dijk).
North towards Den Helder is okayish if you stick to the sea/dunes, but otherwise it's pretty dull.
Northeast past Schagen you hit a similar dull part (The Wieringermeer).

If you want more varied scenery you need to go southeast past Amsterdam, towards Hilversum and further on towards the Veluwe. Considering that you live quite far from a train station I guess you would need to load up your bike in a car and just drive there.

And for bragging rights: Real men do the IJselmeer roundtrip in one day. Wave your wife and kids goodbye, as you will be gone for the day. Wise men take a friend to accompany them :mrgreen:

Re: The Netherlands...

Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:27 am
by xnavalav8r
Thanks for the great information. I have discovered some of these places already, but will definitely have a ride along the routes you've mentioned. Even the less scenic rides are pleasant because traffic is relatively light (compared to my riding in the U.S.). The only real downside to riding here is the wind. It can be really frustrating hammering away for two hours into a 60+ kmh headwind. But when home is at the other end of the road, it's the only way. hahaha

Re: The Netherlands...

Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:06 pm
by asphaltdude
I assume you already tried the "Afsluitdijk" and, if you're into somewhat longer distance riding, a "Rondje IJsselmeer"?

Re: The Netherlands...

Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:27 pm
by asphaltdude
Eekz wrote:Being Dutch ánd a cyclist I just love reading comments from foreigners regarding the Dutch cycling culture...

You probably know this one

2. It’s flat!
Yes it is. I don't know if you're into Strava, but because of the lack of hills, Dutch Strava users sprint for KOM on viaducts

7. The Dutch don’t wear helmets… and find it amusing that I do.
True. Commuting short distances / running errands etc on a Dutch bike is not regarded as a sports activity nor as a dangerous activity, so no one get specially dressed for it. People who commute for like 10km or more, or ride their bike as a sports activity are usually better prepared and wear helmets

11. Lights are to see as much as to be seen.
True. You can get ticketed if you don't have lights, btw.

14. Bike lanes serve double duty as local car access to smaller villages.
You mean something like this?
That's a normal local road with 'fietsstroken' to remind drivers that there may be cyclists on the road

15. There is always at least one idiot driving 100 km/h on the bike path.
Hardly ever happens to me

21. Kids here can ride no-handed while listening to music and texting simultaneously from an early age.
:lol: so true

24. If you are travelling 20 km or less, take your bike… gas and parking are too expensive.
We're used to gas being expensive. A 20km one-way commute by bike would be considered quite hardcore, but for trips under 5km everyone takes their bike. Lots of people combine cycling and public transport for their commute, too.