All about cycling in the Netherlands
Some European countries are just starting to relax the rules on being out and about. In the Netherlands we were fortunate enough to be allowed to go out for fresh air during the entire crisis. As I wrote before, I will show you another one of my rides which I made on my free Wednesdays. I specifically didn’t ride in the weekends to avoid the times that more other people would ride. And you can see that in the video; it is very quiet on the cycle paths. So why don’t you ride along with me, virtually?
After riding to Waalwijk (West) and Nature Reverve De Maashorst (East), I headed south this time. I didn’t film the entire ride, only where I thought it was interesting enough. I started filming very close to home, in Vught, when I cycled past the man-made lake of IJzeren Man. From there I cycled alongside a boring road, the N65 from ʼs-Hertogenbosch to Tilburg that is about to get a complete re-design. It will look much more like a motorway without any level crossings. The reconstruction will start in 2021. Today this is still a provincial road as they were made from the 1930s on. With a separate one-way cycle path on both sides. Since this road is the same for a very long time I didn’t film much there. Only a bit in Helvoirt, because there you can find a little bit of the original road that was cause for the beginning of the movement “stop de kindermoord” or stop the child murder. Nowadays the main road is diverted around Helvoirt.
I cycled south-east all the way to Oisterwijk. For this particular ride I didn’t use the numbered junction network. I just rode the quickest and most direct route to the over 750 hectare large nature reserve “Oisterwijkse Bossen en Vennen”, which means the forests and fens of Oisterwijk. That was not only to get there quickly but it was also a way to avoid places where more people cycle. Wherever I did end up on the numbered junction network it was immediately notably busier.
From these beautiful but almost deserted forests with its many fens I cycled east to reach another nature reserve called Kampina. This is a nature reserve with woods, heather fields and stream valleys over 1,200 hectares in size. Together with a number of other nature reserves it forms “the Green Forest” a vast nature area in the triangle of the cities ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Tilburg and Eindhoven. The Kampina is owned by the “Society for preservation of nature monuments in the Netherlands” since 1929. The society tries to return the area from a planted pine forest (for wood production) that it was since the mid-19th century, to the original wet heath landscape it used to be originally. Like in the Maashorst there are larger animals roaming free here. But unlike in the Maashorst I did meet them here. The ponies were blocking the cycle way for quite some time. I didn’t mind, but some people got impatient and started to cycle in between the animals, which didn’t seem to be completely without danger. But after a while the animals did get a bit out of the way and I also passed behind one on the horse’s behinds.
From the Kampina I cycled again almost directly north back to ʼs-Hertogenbosch, most of it alongside the A2 motorway. Not the nicest route, but the fastest and most convenient route. All in all this very enjoyable ride was 43.8 kilometres long. I filmed 30 minutes of it; on the map roughly the black parts in the route. You can see that most of what I filmed was in the actual nature reserves.
A 30 minute video showing parts of the cycle tour I made on Wednesday 8 April 2020.
The entire route which I cycled anti-clockwise. The black parts are roughly the parts that appear in the 30 minute video.