Riding from Veghel to ʼs-Hertogenbosch

For this week’s ride I cycled to the town of Veghel, to film the ride back from the edge of that town to ʼs-Hertogenbosch. The main cycle route runs alongside a canal named Zuid-Willemsvaart. This route was opened in November 2015, after a private path from the canal authorities (used to check the state and safety of the canal) was converted into a public cycle way. The new path was connected to existing minor roads to form the continuous cycling route. I did feature this route before, but for that post I cycled in the opposite direction, in a completely different time of the year and I filmed it with a different camera. Three things changed since the 2016 video, the striping on the surface in the municipality of Sint-Michielsgestel was added, a cycling bridge to Berlicum was built and at the edge of ʼs-Hertogenbosch a minor road was changed into a cycle road. The new stripes stand out most. There are now solid lines on the edges. This makes the cycle way appear narrower, but in lower light conditions it is much better to see the edges of the asphalt. This is a measure to improve safety. I will show both versions of the path in the pictures.

I filmed this ride on Wednesday 2 June 2021, starting at 16:07 hrs (4:07pm). Well over 46 minutes later I arrived on the market square (Markt) in ʼs-Hertogenbosch at 16:54 hrs (4:54pm). Since the route I cycled is 17.5 kilometres long, my average speed was 22.6km/h (14mph). This is considerably faster than my usual average speed of just under 20km/h. That was because I had a relatively strong wind in my back for almost the entire distance. This is exceptional in the Netherlands, where the wind usually always seems to be in your face!

Billet en français

I started this ride at the edge of Veghel because the cycling bridge to the centre of the town was closed. That bridge is being relocated about 50 metres to make the new main cycle route from Veghel to Uden (The F50 extension) straighter.
On the sunny Wednesday afternoon that I filmed this ride the route was especially busy with couples cycling for recreation.
But there were also some racing cyclists, alone or in pairs, who used this very straight path for a ride.
Some people call a route like this boring, but I like the open landscape where almost every single tree is a landmark and the people you meet really stand out.
There are some bridges over the canal. Making use of the height of the abutments of the bridges the path is easily led under the roads it crosses, such as here.
Near the lock of Schijndel there is a closed canopy of trees, which is nice for the shade, but also to see something different for a while.
At this location the route uses a minor road. Although red, this is not a cycle lane, that would require bicycle symbols on the surface. These strips are only there to keep the speeds of motor vehicles below the maximum speed of 60km/h. Traffic was light enough and drivers passed at enough distance to not make this part of the ride unpleasant. Such wide advisory lanes are advised against in the Dutch manuals. In an earlier post I explained why.
This is the part in the municipality of Sint-Michielsgestel that got new stripes on the surface. This optically narrows the cycleway, but it is better in the dark. There are no street lights here. That is also why this route does not qualify as a “fast cycle route”.
In this picture and the previous one a man was waiting for his wife to do something. This woman had picked some flowers. I found it amusing that I saw a similar scene twice in a very short amount of time.
This cycling bridge to Berlicum was opened in January 2017. I wrote a blog post about it.
The same location as the previous picture as I filmed it in the opposite direction in March 2016. At the time the works had just started to build the bridge to Berlicum. The then freshly planted trees have really grown in 5 years. Without the stripes on the surface the road looked wider, but it is the exact same width. This is not officially a cycle path. It is a road closed to cars. However, residents may use the road with a motor vehicle. You could also encounter agricultural or maintenance vehicles.
Another woman was picking some flowers. Again a scene that was repeated in a short time. Only now the waiting husband was not present. When the ride is not very eventful these sort of things are what stands out.
At this point I enter the built-up area of ʼs-Hertogenbosch. That means the speed for motor traffic drops from 60km/h to the default urban speed limit of 50km/h. In the 2016 video this road was not yet a cycle street. It is hard to see, but the asphalt is red with darker strips at either side. That means cars are guest here. Unfortunately, the car to bicycle ratio is not ideal here. There are too many cars and that means drivers don’t really behave like guests.
This example of a cycle street a bit further into the city works much better. Fewer cars at lower speeds and more people cycling is the key to a better functioning cycle street.
In the historic city centre the street changes to a minor one-way street for car traffic (speed 30km/h, as indicated by the brick surface and signs). The street has a counter-flow lane for cycling and a separate raised walking space on either side of the street.
This is the same street as in the previous picture, but now it has changed into a pedestrianised zone where cycling is permitted. That means people can walk where they like (and they do) and the “side-walk” is no longer raised but flush. Since people may walk everywhere it is no problem that there is an outdoor café on what may seem like the pedestrian space. In this location the people on bicycles are the ones who have to behave like guests. ʼs-Hertogenbosch is one of very few Dutch cities to allow cycling in the pedestrianised city centre streets. Most people, and the authorities as well, are generally happy with how that works out in practice.
This ride ends in front of ʼs-Hertogenbosch city hall where two small children pass on bicycles without pedals (balance bikes or training bikes). These are great for children to learn to keep their balance before they move on to bicycles with pedals.
My 17.5km long ride from Veghel to ʼs-Hertogenbosch in real-time.

Map of the route I took

2 thoughts on “Riding from Veghel to ʼs-Hertogenbosch

  1. Every time I watch one of your videos, I am reminded of how advanced The Netherlands is – and how backward the UK is. Here, our local authorities have no power or money, and the national government is just fixated on wasting money on corrupt contracts, bribes to make multinationals stay here after Brexit, or buying even more nuclear weapons. So the streets and roads in almost all of our towns and cities are in a much worse state than they were in the 1980s or 1990s, rather than steadily improving like those over in NL.

    Oh, how I wish I had been able to move there before Brexit.

  2. Beautiful day for a ride. Thanks for sharing. Here in New York
    City, the scenery is not quite so rustic, although we do have some hidden jewels for bicyclists in the know.

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