A ride from Market to Market (1)
A fast cycle route from ʼs-Hertogenbosch to Veghel was opened in November 2015. The route runs parallel to the canal between the two cities on what was a private maintenance path for the canal authority before it was updated. The route is a 4 metres wide smooth black asphalt path which may only be used for cycling. Mopeds and scooters are not supposed to use it. This sounds like great news, but unfortunately this new route doesn’t cover the entire distance between ʼs-Hertogenbosch and Veghel, only a part. So I decided to ride from Markt (Market Square) in ʼs-Hertogenbosch to Markt (Market Square) in Veghel, which is exactly 20 kilometres (12.4m), to show you which types of infrastructure you get to use. A wide variety as it turns out. The ride is very convenient, even when it is not all 4 metres wide dedicated cycle space. Note that you do not encounter any signals and my ride was completely non-stop! I filmed on a colder Thursday morning, so not many people were out on the streets, apart from the many people in the pedestrian zone in ʼs-Hertogenbosch. So a great ride in this photo post with also a video showing the entire ride. The video comes in two speeds, so you can choose which you prefer.
The route starts on the market square in ʼs-Hertogenbosch at the foot of the brand new reconstructions of a 500-year-old well house and Virgin Mary shrine.
Going east, riding through the pedestrian area where cycling is allowed, but not very convenient. I usually avoid the area, because going around it is usually quicker than going right through it.
Past the city’s cathedral we can see that the streets in the historic city centre are 30km/h (18mph) zones that do not require separate cycling infrastructure.
The street around the city centre has a one-way cycleway on the south side. This crossing of an entrance to an underground parking garage is new and you can see that the block markings are now on the outside of a crossing. This ensures that the crossing is not optically narrowed. Needless to say that people cycling have the right of way here.
Going due east we get to cycle in a cycle street. The city of ʼs-Hertogenbosch doesn’t actually use this sign (yet). Probably because it has no legal status yet (but it is used in most of the country and that is why I use it too to indicate that this is indeed a cycle street). Note that the sign informs me my speed is 19km/h here. Apparently I picked up speed outside the built-up area, because my average speed over the full hour was 20km/h. Usually the sign informs drivers of their speed, which should be below 30km/h (18mph) in a cycle street.
ʼs-Hertogenbosch does have some on-street cycle lanes, but relatively few. Motor traffic may use this street in both directions, but the lines of the cycleways are interrupted, so that motor traffic may also use the cycleway to make way for oncoming traffic (and to reach the parking bays).
This is an upgraded cycleway from ʼs-Hertogenbosch to Den Dungen. This part is marked as a cycleway that can also be used by mopeds/scooters. This part of the route alongside the canal was already there, but much narrower.
This is a part of the route that has no cycling infrastructure at all. The lines you see are only there to optically narrow the road and to indicate that the speed limit is 60km/h (37mph). That is the standard speed limit on smaller rural roads. Some cars passed me on this part, but it was never scary.
This is the actual new cycle route that was opened last November. The path is 4 metres wide and only accessible for people cycling, not for scooters and mopeds, as indicated by the sign with the word “Fietspad”, meaning “bicycle path”. Walking is always allowed on a cycleway. It is no longer mandatory, but still customary, that you walk against traffic on such streets. As demonstrated by this man, one of the few people I saw on the route. Note that he shows me his finger (not that finger!). Pointing your index finger upwards is generally meant as a friendly greeting in the Netherlands, which I returned with a short nod. The cycleway is very straight, very long and frankly very boring…
Here the approach to Veghel and the underpass of the motorway A50. Although this is marked as a cycleway only, I did see a scooter illegally using this cycleway.
You enter Veghel via an industrial zone. The road was obstructed, so a short detour was signed out. This is the largest vehicle I encountered in the entire ride, and it was on that detour. But as you can see, I had more than enough room to safely pass this lorry.
In the outer areas of Veghel there was a nice bi-directional cycleway. This particular sign indicates that it may be used for cycling and the slow type of mopeds and scooters.
Veghel has a rather large 30km/h (18mph) zone. Again, these lines are no indication of cycle lanes, they are just there to optically narrow the street (similar to the lines we saw on the rural road before). Only when there is also a bicycle symbol on the street, such lanes become on-street cycle lanes.
Approaching the town’s centre we are still on rather busy 30km/h (18mph) streets.
The destination: market square in Veghel. I rode the 20 kilometres (12.4m) in exactly one hour. Which means that even with the delay in the pedestrian zone of ʼs-Hertogenbosch, the fact that I did not even have to stop once in the entire ride, made my average speed also 20km/h.
Ride from Markt in ʼs-Hertogenbosch to Markt in Veghel at 10 times normal speed.
The same ride at double speed.
(You can choose a playback speed of 0.5 in YouTube to see the ride in real time.)
The 20km (12.4m) route as it is shown in the route planner of the Cyclists’ Union. The route is clearly very straight and it could hardly be more direct.