Snow ride from Vught to ʼs-Hertogenbosch

A “code red” weather warning was issued Sunday 7 February 2021 because the snow storm “Darcy” hit the Netherlands that day. A code red means “stay indoors as much as possible, do not go out onto the roads unless you absolutely have to”. Of course that sounded like I had to show you what it was like to ride in such weather conditions. It had started to snow on Saturday night at about 21:00 hrs (9pm) around my hometown ʼs-Hertogenbosch . It didn’t stop snowing until 24 hours later. The teams clearing the streets and roads of snow and ice had been out and about all night, but due to the Corona curfew the salt was not spread well enough due to the complete absence of moving vehicles. The heavy snowfall also meant that streets had to be treated more than once. In the video you can see that only some streets in the route I took were clean. Others were very slippery. Enjoy this extra post of my way back from Vught to ʼs-Hertogenbosch. In one of my future regular posts I will show you the other way (also a slightly different route). It may be interesting to know beforehand that I didn’t stay upright all the time in this ride. I announce the fall in the video, so you can’t miss it. Enjoy!

Billet en français

The railway station of Vught was my starting point for this ride back to the centre of ʼs-Hertogenbosch. You can see the railways had cleared a path to the platforms, but the train service had stopped altogether by the time I took this footage.
This street in the centre of Vught was cleaned very well. It was probably treated shortly before I used it. Vught has quite a number of on-street cycle lanes. In this case the road way for cars has a brick surface and the cycle way smooth red asphalt. Because the street wasn’t cleaned all the way to the kerb the cycleway is a bit narrower than usual.
The municipality of Vught was also trying hard to clean the streets. Such vehicles were busy around the clock and all over town.
This was a very bad move by this driver. This is the behaviour on-street cycle lanes provoke. The lines make people believe that they don’t have to move further to the left when they overtake. This car was way too close for comfort, especially since the cycle lane was cleaned badly at this location.
It was pretty clear in this ride that the detection loops for the traffic signals kept on working. The lights turned green often, just before I reached them.
Around the municipal border the lens had some snow on it, of course right at the spot where you would want to see what the cycleway was like. I didn’t know this at the time. I can’t see what I am filming when I ride. It got better again later on in the ride.
A cyclists approaches me here. That is not allowed, this is a one-way cycle path but under these conditions I can understand people do this. It was no problem to pass each other here.
Also not a real problem were the pedestrians who used the slightly better cleaned cycleways to walk in. Some responded well and promptly to my ringing and ‘pardon’, others were sometimes not so quick. If you are going to walk in the middle of the road, such as here, you do need to be aware of other traffic, I think.
This is where I fell and I now know why. The road cleaning vehicle had been a bit too much to the right. That means the kerb on the right hand side was now -invisible- in the middle of the cleaned bit. They are forgiving kerbs (under an angle) but I fell anyway. My low speed and the thick layer of snow made the landing very gentle. I was up again in an instant, no harm done.
This two-way cycle path was cleaned, but that is never to the full width. With the lower traffic volumes that is usually never a real problem.
This street in the centre of ‘s-Hertogenbosch has a counterflow cycle route that only seemed to be cleaned. I had a close pass in this street as well. That is why I stopped halfway to let two drivers pass who were behind me for a while. I did not need yet another close pass.
The same street even more in the centre is not accessible to cars. These pedestrians did not seem to have any idea that people do use the street for cycling, in the end they did make way.
City hall of ʼs-Hertogenbosch, the end point of this ride. It was doable, but not very easy to ride in these conditions. The snow will be around for at least the rest of the week, so it will be interesting to see how the conditions will improve.

The route I took in the video below.

Video of my snow ride from Vught to ʼs-Hertogenbosch.


4 thoughts on “Snow ride from Vught to ʼs-Hertogenbosch

  1. Being a cyclist I would say that slippery is risky when I break or turn, but to a pedestrian every step is a risk to slip.
    I would say do the sidewalk first (you can bike on it) then the bike path.
    Cycle lanes always is the place where snow, rubbish and cars tends to gather…..
    Narrow cycle lanes easily makes drivers keep less than safe distance.

  2. Pedestrians (joggers) on the cycleway, normally I do not get it but understood when the cycleway is the best option in these winter times.

    Looking at the interactions with pedestrians I would say, get a better/louder bicycle bell, that works (at least for me) better than saying pardon. Typically I say something like thanks when I pass them.

  3. This would be just a regular winter day here in Calgary, Alberta. Hardly enough snow to mention. But of course it’s unusual for you. Your fault could have been avoided if you rode with a studded front tire but since Snow is so rare for you obviously it doesn’t make sense. I see that the snow is rather slushy, add this actually makes it harder to ride then when it’s colder.

  4. Would be interesting how e.g. children get to school in such conditions. Do they give up cycling? But now schools are closed due to COVID.

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