Reduce your ecological footprint on Holland and explore the Netherlands by bike. In Amsterdam me and my bike took a train to Den Bosch and went to Utrecht. Whenever it was possible I stayed on the roads on river dikes up to 4 meters high. Taking four ferries crossing majestic rivers; eating pie (Bossche Bol) in Den Bosch; visiting castles and fortresses and bathing on the sandy shores of the river Merwede: it was a magnificent day.
Cycling in Holland: From Den Bosch to Utrecht.
When the Dutch think of Den Bosch they lick their lips because of the famous local pastry called the “Bossche Bol”. Moreover the world famous painter Hieronymus Bosch was born here. But today I not interested in his hellish pictures. Although the local pastry might originate from his painting “De tuin der lusten” (The garden of pleasure). So I go and ask the baker Jan de Groot. His bakery on Stationsweg 24 is right in front of the Railway Station.
Cycling holidays in Holland: along the dyke of the river Meuse to Heusden.
From Den Bosch Central Station I headed for the dyke along the river “De Dieze” and then to the river Maas. I passed the village of Bokhoven and planned a route over the dyke to the ferry service between Herpt and Bern where I crossed the river Maas. Before you cross the Maas though you should visit the fortified city of Heusden. Although the retreating German troops destroyed the 16th century town hall at the end of the Second World War – killing dozens of locals locked up in the cellars – the city has retained much of its former glory.
Visit the restaurated Fish Bank which had the function of a fish auction, where fish was traded. This also happened before 1796. In 1357, the Dutch Count Willem of Bavaria determined that all fish, fresh or salted, that was transported upstream the river Maas from Holland, had to be traded in Heusden. Heusden is a beautiful place to spend the night.
Cycling holidays in Holland: taking four ferries
Between the river Maas and the Merwede lies a dead branch of the Maas: the “Afgedamde Maas”. From the ferry in Herpst you continue to the ferry Nederhemert and then you pinpoint your route on your map to the ferry in Brakel. This route takes you to a breathtaking domain. Picture yourself on a bike on a dike under tangerine trees and marmalade skies. You are in a land of poets. Houses rest against an endless dyke. And cycling is quiet on weekdays. You can spend the night at campsites, in hotels and in bed and breakfast.
Cycling holidays in Holland: crossing the major rivers
From Brakel with its medieval castle ruin in the park near the church, you take a ferrry across the River Waal. On the riverside near to where the ferry moors you find some lovely beaches. But watch out these waters stream fast and are utterly treacherous. But it is safe to bathe your feet between the breakwaters. To get to Leerdam, famous for the glas produced by Royal Leerdam Crystal, you follow the N848 for ten kilometers.