My posts often focus on cycling in urban areas, but it is also really pleasant to cycle in the Dutch countryside! Although cycling in the city may seem more regulated – with all the separate cycling infrastructure – the exact same measures of road hierarchy and modal filtering also apply to the road system in the Dutch countryside. Through traffic is on main roads where there is protected cycling infrastructure or – in the case of a motorway – an alternative route for cycling. The smaller roads, used by local traffic only, can be shared. You can experience what that leads to in the ride in this post.
In an earlier post I showed you the reconstructed F50 fast cycle route from the village of Nistelrode to the town of Uden. To be able to film that before and after I had cycled from my hometown ʼs-Hertogenbosch via Oss to Nistelrode (twice!). From that village I filmed the ride to Uden and then then I could take a direct route back from there to ʼs-Hertogenbosch. That full circle was about 60 kilometres long. For the “after” images that was an easy afternoon ride on a nice Tuesday in December 2020.
I hadn’t taken the camera down from my handlebars and just as I had left the town of Uden I thought: “Why don’t I film some more on my way back?”. I didn’t plan this, so I wasn’t sure what I would do with the footage. Realising that I hadn’t filmed from the beginning of the route I thought it may be useless and I stopped filming after a while. Also because I thought the route had become a bit boring. But then I changed my mind again and I decided to film the entire ride back for as long as the battery would hold up. I only stopped filming for few hundred meters and they looked quite the same as what I did film, so in the end you missed nothing spectacular. Surprisingly the battery made it almost all the way to ʼs-Hertogenbosch. I could film the entire back journey but for the last 3 kilometres. If you want to know what that last part looks like, that route (in reverse) is featured in another post.
What this video documents, is a simple ride through the countryside. Not one of the more touristic routes on the more beautiful paths, no, this is simply the shortest way home. You will see that it is mostly away from through motor traffic. Motor traffic from Uden to ʼs-Hertogenbosch will use the A50 and the N279, a route of about 27km long. I used minor roads in a more direct route of about 22km long. Sometimes I should perhaps have stayed on the asphalt of the longer detours and not have taken the more direct dirt paths in the woods. But I knew this particular route from the time I filmed the before images in the summer and even in winter these mud paths were still sort-of usable. I did have to clean my bicycle afterwards.
I did encounter some car drivers on the rural roads and the behaviour of not all of them was friendly. You can read more about my findings in the captions. In the end you certainly will get a good idea of what it is like to cycle from town to town in the Netherlands. It is generally pleasant, even when there is no real dedicated cycling infrastructure. Mostly thanks to the nationwide traffic calming policies. The route I filmed is 16.8km long (or 10.4 miles) and there is a real-time version and a sped-up version. This was filmed on Tuesday 15 December 2020.