Thursday, 3 April 2014

Checking routes.

Enjoying the view, sitting on potato sacks !!
Lovely Eliza.
Beautiful day here today in Drenthe.  Eliza and I decided to check one of our holiday routes, 37km on car free, quiet paths, through heath and forests.

Eliza will be one of the guides on our upcoming Ladies Only cycle weeks.

Storks guarding their eggs.

You can see the storks in their nests in April, May and June.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Out and about in beautiful Drenthe

Statue on the canal bank. I've ridden past here many times before, this time I finally got around to taking a photo.
David and I have spent a lot of time this spring out and about in the beautiful Drenthe countryside checking and planning routes for our summer visitors.  All sorts of people were out on their bikes enjoying the sunny weather. Why not be one of them this summer ? Book a holiday with us.

A well used cycle path with all types of cyclists riding on it.
Beautiful blossom in the forest
Other users of the cycle path

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Photos from May planning rides

Tjasker, a wind powered water pump, in the Drents countryside.

Baby storks waiting for food

Cycle racers

All age groups enjoy cycling in the countryside

These photos were taken last week whilst out route planning for our cycle holiday customers.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Cycling non-stop in Assen (including winter)

In the Netherlands, cycling continues in winter. The cycle-paths are regularly swept and people who have formed a habit of cycling for their everyday journeys continue to do so.

Mothers continue to take small children by bike (note extra seat in front for a slightly older child)

Children continue to ride home from school by bike.

Fathers do it too. In this photo you can see lines either side of the cycle-path. It was ploughed and completely clear earlier in the day, but snow more fell.

More adventurous people can be found riding out of town.
This winter took a long time to arrive. However, this week it's arrived at last. The temperature at mid-day today was about -5 C.

Of course it's rare that people come on holidays at this time of year. However, the same cycle-paths that provide pleasant cycle-routes for holidays in the summer remain in use through the whole year.

Once the snow stops, the ploughs come out again and clear the paths, which then look like this:

Sunday, 4 September 2011

A Saturday ride through quiet countryside

I went for a ride through the countryside yesterday. It took just an hour and a half to make a ride from home, through one of the heaths nearby, and back again. In Drenthe, it's very easy to find somewhere quiet to go for a few minutes:

There are many stiltegebieden or "silent areas" within easy cycling distance of Assen. Even though they are just a short distance from the city, they are about as quiet as it is possible for anywhere to be. The cycle paths don't stop at the city boundary, but continue in all directions through the countryside, so every location can be reached without having to ride on busy roads.

On the way out of Assen I came across a bridge which was opening for a boat. There was soon a queue.

Heading into the heath. This is the start of the stiltegebied. When you stop, you have only the sounds of nature to listen to.

If passing cyclists make the cycle path not quite quiet enough, there are places to walk to and seats to sit on where it is even quieter.

It's like being in the middle of no-where

It was a very nice day, so lots of people were cycling.

Cycling is something the entire population does. On average, Dutch people use bicycles just short of 6 times a week.

Even though this is only a 15 km ride from Assen, it feels remote, as if it is much further away.

The building in the background is in the city.

Some of the cycle paths in nature areas are made of crushed shells. When you read of the 29000 km of cycle paths in the Netherlands, note that recreational paths like this are not included in the total.

Some have been upgraded to concrete.

All sorts of people ride. Here a group of women on racing bikes have stopped at a cafe.

My bike on the other side of a field full of poppies
We came to live in this part of the Netherlands because we found it to be both beautiful and wonderful to cycle through. Our routes go through all the most scenic parts of the area. Book a holiday and you can experience it for yourself.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Planning a cycling holiday route at dusk

Judy and I went out yesterday evening to plan a new cycle holiday route. It's a time consuming thing to do as we have to stop at every corner and note what is around so that unambiguous instructions can be written for our clients. Nevertheless, I also managed to get a bit of video of Judy as she rode.

We now have a new shortish family friendly route to one of the swimming beaches in Drenthe. On the way, it passes over another "stiltegebied" or "silent area" where there is little, if any, noise other than that from nature. There are ten of these areas in Drenthe, most of them not far away to cycle. This is possible because the noise from traffic has been dealt with remarkably well.

If you'd like to ride this route for yourself, please get in touch with Judy to book a holiday.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Cycling Province of the year 2011: Drenthe

Our local paper reports that Drenthe has been voted as cycling province of the year for 2011. They say that "Recreational cyclists find Drenthe the most attractive". Who are we to disagree. We live in Assen, the capital of Drenthe, and it is from here that we organize cycling holidays.

One of the areas of Heath in Drenthe. Beautiful, and with no motor access.
5000 people voted in an online poll, giving a score for such things as the attractiveness of the countryside and the quality of cyclepaths. Drenthe scored well due to the amount of space (it's the least densely populated part of the country) and quietness.

Talking to a customer in May in one of the ten Stiltegebieden or "silent
areas" in Drenthe. This place is about 10 km from Assen and can only be
reached by foot or by bike. It's very nearly completely silent. You have to get
off your bike and stop to notice this. Usually you can't hear anything at all.
Drenthe really is a fabulous place to cycle. That's why we moved here and why we're sure you will enjoy your cycling holiday in this province.