A ride from Schiedam to Rotterdam

Some of my posts take shape by accident. This is one such post. I wanted to film for an upcoming post at a location south of the Beneluxtunnel in Schiedam. The nearest place to rent an OV-Fiets would be the railway station Schiedam. There are apps to check how many bicycles are available, but that information is notoriously unreliable. In this case the Dutch Railways app showed there would be 18 bicycles available. Reason to travel to Schiedam. I thought that would be a safe margin. Even if it was off by 50% there would still be 9 bicycles, right? Well, the app turned out to be 100% off… Yes, there were at least 10 bicycles parked in the racks, but none of them was available (they were apparently all broken in some way). The rest was missing (stolen or otherwise). I shared my thoughts about this with an employee who happened to visit the bike parking garage. I was very clear and very Dutch (blunt), and I got support from two other disappointed customers! (We did keep it decent, it wasn’t his personal fault!) But after this little chat I did have to find an alternative.

Annoying! The app claims there are 18 bicycles available at station Schiedam (left). But the machine on site disagrees! It states “0 bicycles to rent out” (right). That meant I had to find an alternative.
This was the nearest OV-rental bike station: metro station Marconiplein in Rotterdam. Also an automated station, but on the street and nowhere near a railway station. That is unusual. I only know a few OV-fiets bicycle stations that are not attached to a railway station. I hoped that would give me more chance that there would indeed be bicycles available and that was true.

According to the same app, the nearest rental station, that would not take me too far from the film location, was at Metro station Marconiplein in Rotterdam. That is about 2 kilometres east of Schiedam. It would add only about 1.5 kilometres of cycling extra to my round trip, so that was very acceptable. I went there by metro and I was lucky: the number of available bicycles there was accurate. This meant I could reach my film destination and, on my way back, I filmed the ride. I showed you the ride in the Benelux tunnel as a short video earlier, in this post, I will show the unplanned ride from the tunnel to the metro station in Rotterdam.

At this location I joined the main road into Schiedam from the motorway A4. There are very wide and smooth bi-directional cycle ways on either side of the big road.

Deeper into Schiedam I entered this area with larger one-family homes from the 1930s. This road has a cycle path in one direction on either side. For cars there is one travel lane per direction separated by a green median. The intersections come straight from the text book. Room for a turning car to wait out of the way of other traffic, continous raised side walks in the side street, lowered kerbs at the crossings and so on.

This is a ride in the outskirts of both Schiedam and Rotterdam and both places have excellent cycling infrastructure. At the risk of insulting people, I must say that I do not see any difference between Schiedam and Rotterdam in these particular areas of the cities. Even the Rotterdam tram runs in Schiedam as well. In most other countries in the world Schiedam would probably be a suburb of Rotterdam, but in the Netherlands they are two separate cities.

Closer to the centre of Schiedam there were mid-rise appartment buildings and the surface of the cycle way was a bit more old-fashioned: concrete tiles. The Rotterdam tram reaches Schiedam as well. The grey steel blocks are semi-underground waste containers.

I did cycle around the edge of the centre of Schiedam, where the infrastructure was a bit older. That meant there was an older type of surface on the cycle ways there, such as concrete tiles, and the cycle ways were a bit narrower. Other than that, the infrastructure was in top condition. I could cycle the 5.3 kilometres in 18 minutes, which meant that I reached an average speed of 17.6km/h including several (longer) stops at traffic lights.

At the edge of the built-up area of Rotterdam the cycle way became even wider!

A protected intersection. Note that the car turning lane has a red light while the cycle way has a green light. The detector loops are in the foreground, but even though I had not reached them yet, the light was already green.

When the protected intersections are this large there usually is no need for a swerve of the cycle way at the intersection itself. There usually also are bi-directional cycle ways then. In this case the cycle way from left to right and vice versa on this picture even has a median in the middle. On the right hand side there’s even a hedge on that median.

My end destination: Rotterdam metro station Marconiplein. From here I took a metro to the nearest railway station to get back to ‘s-Hertogenbosch again.

Map of the route.

An unexpected ride from Schiedam to Rotterdam, due to a mistake in the OV-Fiets availability reporting.

4 thoughts on “A ride from Schiedam to Rotterdam

  1. Mark, I am sure that many have ask, but my wife and I are hoping that you have fully recovered.

    According to this post it sounds like you have with that speed of 17.6 kp/h


    1. I’m fine thank you! This was recorded much earlier in the year and I’ve since become even better. I can do everything I want now. There are only a few minor complications with the scar mainly, but we’re working on it!

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