All about cycling in the Netherlands
A flat tyre is never convenient, but when I was checking the tunnel in Schijndel for my recent blog post earlier this month, 14 kilometres from home, without any repair gear on me but the pump that comes with my bicycle, it was especially inconvenient to suddenly have a flat back tyre. But I was also lucky! This happened on a Saturday afternoon close to 4pm, so I knew shops would still be open for at least one more hour. I looked for a bicycle shop nearby on my smart phone and fortunately there was one at a less than 15 minutes’ walk.
This bicycle shop is run by a member of the same family my own bike shop is run by. There are quite a few in the region, all distant cousins and descendants of the same great-great-grandfather who opened the first family bicycle shop over a century ago in 1911. I wanted to buy a repair kit and fix the tyre myself right there, as I was taught to do by my late father. But when I tried to pay for the box, explaining that I would otherwise not be able to reach ʼs-Hertogenbosch, the young man in the shop said to my surprise: “Oh but I can still repair it for you if you want.” The sticker on my bicycle, showing the same dealer name, may have helped, but I was very happy he could do it. “It will take about half an hour, sir.” I agreed and walked into the town centre of Schijndel. Killing half an hour was easy on market day and when I came back I had a new back tube. The hole had been too close to the valve and too big to repair and for just €18 he had sold me a new tube including the labour to get it around my back wheel, making it possible for me to cycle home.
I had intended to film my ride home, but with my delay it was now getting dark already. I still decided to film the ride, not because this ride is on exceptionally good cycling infrastructure, but rather because this is such mundane infrastructure. Nothing special (at least not in this country), but great for purpose.
I gave Jitensha Oni the chance to look at the filmed ride in advance, as I did with the Utrecht to Amersfoort ride and he again made a beautiful infographic about the type of infrastructure I encountered in this ride. On top of that he also counted the other riders and the motor vehicles I met on this journey!
The number of cars I had to share the 30km/h road with in Schijndel is surprisingly high. I think this had to do with the shops closing on a Saturday afternoon. This may have been the after-shopping rush hour. In the rest of the ride I encountered more riders than drivers. Mostly because I was on a parallel road to the main route for motor traffic. The ending in ’s-Hertogenbosch may be surprising to some. This was filmed on the eleventh day of the eleventh month and since 11 is the number of fools the people in ’s-Hertogenbosch celebrate the start of the Carnival season on that day. The season will last until Carnival itself, which is from 11 to 13 February 2018. That is why you can see dressed up people in the streets.
You can choose which speed you prefer to see. The original speed is a 40 minute video or the 5 minute hyperlapse at 8 times normal speed. Only the normal speed video has the traffic signals explaining what type of road I’m on. Which ever you choose: enjoy!
Long version of the ride.
(40 minutes, but you could watch it at double speed on YouTube).
Short version (5 minutes).
This is the original video turned into a hyperlapse.