Ride Cuijk – Nijmegen
In my previous post I showed the new cycle bridge near Cuijk, which was the missing link in the fast cycle route from Cuijk to Nijmegen. With the opening of that bridge on 26 September last the MaasWaalpad is now complete. After filming the bridge I had to ride back to Nijmegen to return the shared bicycle (OV-Fiets) I rented there and to go back home by train. I decided to go to the railway station of Cuijk first so I could film the entire MaasWaalpad. The route officially ends in Nijmegen near the University Campus, but I decided to cycle on to Nijmegen’s railway station. This is the second in my series of nine rides. I will publish one ride every Monday in October and November. Below you find some pictures first and then the map of the ride and the video.
The first part of the MaasWaalpad runs through residential streets of Cuijk. They have very recently been transformed into cycle streets where cars are guest. This is clear from the red surface and the central division which is slightly raised to optically narrow the street, but can be used to drive or ride over.
It is clear which type of transport the cycle street was designed for. Where the street becomes a cycle path motor traffic needs to turn away from it. The cycle route continues, motor traffic really has to make a turn to the right.
There are some crossings with streets for motor traffic. The minor roads need to give way to cycling, there are two bigger road crossings too where motor traffic has the right of way. The latest design recommendations advise to have the white blocks (indicating the crossing and the priority for cycling) outside the cycleway. Here they are on the inside, which optically narrows the cycleway unnecessarily.
The approach cycleway to the new bridge is very gently sloped. The landscaping has already been finished too. A lot of young trees were planted.
Some banners of the opening festivities remained for the time being. Here you can see the name of the MaasWaalpad. The route is now in the province of Limburg, the province with some hills as can be seen in the distance.
Most of the MaasWaalpad runs parallel to the railway line “Maaslijn”, which is the mostly single track railway line from Nijmegen to Venlo that was never electrified. This is now planned for 2024.
A short part of the route was constructed on former dirt roads. These paths, on the provincial border between Limburg and Gelderland got an unusual yellow asphalt surface to preserve that dirt road look.
Because this ride was filmed on an afternoon, many children could be seen cycling home after school.
At the border of the municipality of Nijmegen and Heumen there is one of very few intersections where motor traffic has priority. Some drivers gave the many children the right of way, but others speeded right through the stream of crossing children. This unpredictable human behaviour makes the crossing dangerous even though it was designed in a very clear way.
This is where the route reaches the edge of the built up area of Nijmegen. A right turn would take you to the university campus. A left turn takes you to the city centre of Nijmegen, the official route continues to the left for a few hundred metres more.
Right about here is the official end (or beginning) of the MaasWaalpad according to the official map of it. On the right is the University Hospital of Nijmegen, behind it the rest of the University Campus. For this video I continued straight on to the railway station of Nijmegen.
It is clear why this is not part of the official fast cycle route; it is too narrow for the traffic volume. There are too many people cycling for the width of this one-way cycle track.
Closer to the railway station the cycling infrastructure is again perfect. This bi-directional cycleway runs parallel to a bus-only road.
After a little over 40 minutes I have reached the Nijmegen railway station, 14 km from the starting point. That means I had an average speed of 21 km/h (on a single speed OV-Fiets).
Map of this ride
Video of this ride