Ride from Huis ter Heide to station Driebergen-Zeist (Province of Utrecht)

This week’s ride takes us from one blog post location to another. Starting just south of Soesterberg Air Base, featured in last week’s post, on the provincial road N238 in the province of Utrecht. Officially that is in a town called Huis ter Heide. From there I cycle to the station Driebergen-Zeist, an intercity train station in the woods between those two towns, that will be the topic of an upcoming post. I started filming a bit later in the ride, just before the overpass of the motorway A28 from Utrecht to Amersfoort. I had used Driebergen-Zeist station, because on the day I filmed there were no trains running from ʼs-Hertogenbosch to Utrecht due to track works. My forced detour took me half way across the country via Nijmegen and Arnhem to Driebergen-Zeist, before I would reach Utrecht. Soesterberg Air Base is closer to Driebergen-Zeist than to Utrecht and so it made sense to leave the train there and get a rental bike. In addition, that station was completely reconstructed recently and this gave me the opportunity to film material for 3 posts in just one afternoon. With my current health issues, I have to be very careful with my energy and this is how I make sure I can still have posts for you with as little effort as possible. I alternate between posts with narrated videos and these rides with a photo post for the same reason: they require far less time for me to create. Thank you for your understanding and do enjoy this week’s ride and photo post.

This week’s ride: almost 7kms from Huis ter Heide to the railway station of Driebergen-Zeist.
The cycleway next to the N238 has a concrete surface. Fortunately, the joints are less detectable than was usual in older concrete surfaces. That makes this surface almost as smooth as asphalt. The cycleway is wide and nicely away from the main roadway.
I reached the built-up area of Zeist pretty quickly. The cycleway is black asphalt now. Some municipalities only use red asphalt on potential conflict points. Built-up area is also a bit confusing here, as I rode around the town of Zeist more than through it. We only see one neighbourhood, the rest is mostly woods on the edge of town.
A cycle street and even here Zeist chose to use black asphalt rather than red. Thanks to the signage and the overall appearance of the street it is still clearly a cycle street. Only residents will use it, since it is a dead-end street for motor traffic.
The roundabout on the other hand does have cycleways with a surface of red asphalt. Apparently this is considered a potential conflict point or at least a place where it has to be absolutely clear what part is cycle way and what part is roadway.
The Dutch don’t generally like to put too many traffic signs up everywhere. But this was novel for me too: a sign with a sub-sign telling you to yield 3 times. This is one road where motor traffic has priority, but because of the two refuge spaces the road is divided in three separate lanes. I gather this is legal because it is technically still one road for which the one sign would be enough.
There seems to be good signage, but when you look at the map you will see that I did not take the shortest route possible. That is because I missed a turn and that is for a reason. When you look at this sign you may notice the station is not mentioned. Only very close to the station signs to it appeared for the first time. It is rather unusual that did have to rely on apps on my phone to find the way.
It is nice to show cycling in a different part of the country. You will not find many residential streets like these with this type of (very expensive) housing around ʼs-Hertogenbosch. It does look a bit like Vught, but there the streets would be narrower, I feel.
This is not the best type of roundabout. Roundabouts with on-street cycle lanes are less safe than roundabouts with a separate ring for cycling. The smaller the roundabout the less safe they are as well. Obviously, the Netherlands also has a legacy of older infrastructure that does not meet the latest design recommendations.
This is another type of infrastructure that does not quite meet the latest design standards. These are not cycle lanes (there are no bicycle symbols) but for advisory lanes they are much too wide.
This road is again perfect. Note that going around the bus stop does not require any swerving here, since the cycle way is so far from the roadway that there is more than enough room for the bus stop shelter and even a bicycle parking rack in the space between the two without the need for the cycleway to move further out of the way.
This street, however, is then again not very attractive. The speed limit is 60km/h here for motor traffic, because it is outside of the built-up area. Many buses use the street and there is only a small height difference between roadway and cycle way. This bus driver made a very strange manoeuvre which led to the bus mounting the cycleway briefly. When I turned right into this road, I made a strange manoeuvre myself. I had to swerve around someone standing on the corner and ended up on the roadway. Luckily the kerb (curb) is easily mountable thanks to its shape. I could get back to the right place on the road quickly enough. I could not find this type of road in my Design Manual for Bicycle Traffic. I couldn’t say if it does maybe meet other design recommendations, but I can say that it feels very unpleasant to cycle on.
The things you see… this man used his foot to push the beg button. Probably out of fear for COVID-19, but not very nice for the people who push the button after him. He could have done that differently, I feel.
I reached the station from the north side and thanks to the new underpass it was easy to reach the south side. It was probably a design choice to have a surface of bricks here. It is certainly not the smoothest option…
The entrance to the new underground bicycle parking garage where I rented a public transport bicycle (OV-Fiets). More on this station in an upcoming post.

Map of my ride. Not the shortest route, since I missed a turn, but it was convenient enough.

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