Two weeks ago the Netherlands was covered with a thin layer of snow. Enough snow to make cycling very uncomfortable if the roads and cycleways hadn’t been treated, but they were. Luckily it is customary in the Netherlands to treat the cycleways as well as (or sometimes even better than) the travel lanes for motor traffic. In this week’s double post I have two examples for you, showing how it is to ride in these conditions in the Netherlands.
Cycling to school in Culemborg
The morning of Wednesday 23 January I had to be in Culemborg. This smaller town between Utrecht and ʼs-Hertogenbosch has featured in some of my previous posts already. From the train on my way to Culemborg I could see that the main cycle route many school children take, coming from the direction of Geldermalsen, was perfectly cleared of snow and ice. On top of that it was a beautiful sunny winter day. After my appointment I did not take my rental bike back to the station right away. Instead, I cycled to the municipal border between Geldermalsen and Culemborg and I filmed the route the school children took that morning. Obviously the country road was almost deserted at noon: everybody was already at school, but at least it gives you an idea of what a cleared route in the countryside looks like. No wonder everybody can just cycle on in winter. You don’t need special tyres, you don’t need special gear. Just wrap up warm and cycle as you always do. If you want to see the route in the summer you can see it in this post from 2011 already! Enjoy the ride!
My ride in the countryside of Culemborg.
An evening snow ride in ʼs-Hertogenbosch
The night before, on Tuesday 22 January, I had cycled in my hometown ʼs-Hertogenbosch. I had seen complaints from some people on the internet who wrote that the cycleways weren’t cleared well enough for the evening rush hour. I cycled after dinner, at around 8 in the evening, to see how things were at that time and found the routes to be much better cleared by then. It had snowed all of that day. (The video from last week’s post was also filmed that very afternoon in Utrecht.) It was obvious that part of my route was cleared during the snowfall and some new snow had fallen after the path had been cleared initially. Another part of the route was clearly treated when the snowing had stopped. You will see that the beginning of my ride was in the car free shopping centre of the city. Those shopping streets were also cleared of snow, even though those pedestrianised streets are only used by people on foot and on bicycles. Some parts of the route were not (so well) cleared. I used some captions in the video to explain some of what you see. I rode all the way to the depot of the city. The facility where all the snow ploughs are stationed and where also the salt that is used to treat the roads, cycleways and footways is stored. I visited that facility for an older post. In which I explain how the gritting of the cycleways in ʼs-Hertogenbosch works. Enjoy the ride!
My night ride in the snow of ʼs-Hertogenbosch.