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biking for day trip

virginia
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biking for day trip

We are arriving in Amsterdam mid september. We would like to bike at least one day or 1/2 day. We are considering either Zaanse Schans or Haarlem. How far would each be? how long would it take? Do we rent bikes at the Central Station in Amsterdam and go from there? What if we want to walk around when we get there? Do they provide locks? Which would be better?

Amsterdam, The...
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1. Re: biking for day trip

For the length of your trip and directions, you could use the ANWB route planner and select "fiets" (=bike) as your means of transportation.

route.anwb.nl/routeplanner/…

Cheers,

Dennis

Dallas, Texas
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2. Re: biking for day trip

Google Maps will give you biking directions and times. You can rent bikes from wherever you choose. I would suggest you rent a bike with at least a few gears though. Even though The Netherlands is quite flat a gears do come in handy when going longer distances. Here is list of bike rental companies. iamsterdam.com/en-GB/…bike-hire Of course locks are provided, two in fact. There is one on the back wheel and a chain lock. Just be sure to lock it to something sturdy. Which what would be better?

Amsterdam, The...
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3. Re: biking for day trip

Hi, nice idea to go for a bike ride. I bike a lot, within the city, daytrips out to the countryside, and bike holidays.

The above route planner would show you the fastest route, not always the most scenic one. It could be a bike path alongside a smelly motorway full of traffic.

This route planner allows you to use a system of signposted, numbered 'junctions', which you will see on the map as well as on signs in the city and countryside: www.nederlandfietsland.nl/fietsrouteplanner

It also calculates how long it would take without breaks.

But you will find that a ride that is in theory 2 or 3 hours return, can easily keep you occupied from 10 am to 6pm, because of breaks to rest, breaks to find your way when you get lost, lunch stop, sightseeing / photo taking stops.

I often go on bike rides out of Amsterdam but I have to say the ride to Haarlem is one of the most boring stretches. Haarlem itself is great but I'd recommend taking a train there.

The time I rode to Zaanse Schans there were numerous road works and I had to take detours all the time so I don't really know what the normal scenic route would be like. If you follow the scenic route along the numbered 'junctions' (instead of the fastest route) it will probably be a nice ride along a meandering river.

My favourite area for bike rides though is Waterland, the area northeast of Amsterdam (and some of the villages are technically still part of Amsterdam): Ransdorp, Broek in Waterland, Holysloot, Monnickendam, Marken, Durgerdam... You could even include Volendam, there is a ferry between Marken and Volendam which takes half an hour.

More info through my signature.

I always check which way the wind blows that day (headwind can be harder work than going uphill!! especially out in the countryside where the wind has free play) and choose a ride that allows me to have the wind in my back on the way home. Some gears come in handy if there is a lot of wind (which is often the case), so if you have a choice of 1 fixed gear or 3 gear bikes I would recommend 3 (or more) gears.

You can rent bikes at numerous places, see the link in post #2.

Have fun!

Cecilia

Amsterdam

…xs4all.nl/travel/amsterdam_tips.htm#bike

Amsterdam, The...
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4. Re: biking for day trip

P.S. The long distance bike route LF7 Oeverlandroute (Maastricht - Alkmaar also goes through Amsterdam and Zaanse Schans.

LF routes are signposted in both directions (LF7a, LF7b). You can pick it up from Amsterdam Central Station, there is probably a sign where the free ferries leave (north side of Amsterdam Central Station) and your start will be to take your bikes onto the ferry. Check which ferry you need because there are 3 different ones there (looks like you'll be needing the Buiksloterweg one).

On the map on the right you can zoom in and see the route: nederlandfietsland.nl/landelijke-fietsroutes…

Zaanse Schans is somewhere along that meandering river opposite Zaandijk. Compare it with Google Maps.

It's always a good idea to also bring a good bike map even if you're following signs. You can always accidentally miss a sign hidden by branches or by grass, or a sign sometimes gets stolen. Special bike maps of Amsterdam and surroundings are for sale at the airport and at most tourist shops.

I recommend doing this route only if the wind is coming from the west, north or northwest. It's no fun going back with headwind and when you're already tired and just want to go home.

Have fun!

Cecilia

Amsterdam

cile.home.xs4all.nl/travel/amsterdam_tips.htm

Edited: 8:17 am, August 30, 2013
Amsterdam, The...
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5. Re: biking for day trip

Oh - one more thing: yes the bike rental companies always provide locks.

Amsterdam, The...
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6. Re: biking for day trip

Another nice way to make your own bike routes:

1) Download the free Garmin Basecamp program: www.garmin.com/en-US/shop/downloads/basecamp

2) Download the free bikemap: http://www.openfietsmap.nl/

With the right settings, the planner tries to include as many dedicated cyclepaths as possible.

Especially great in combination with a GPS, but there's also the option to print out the route description.

Cheers,

Dennis

Appleton, Wisconsin
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7. Re: biking for day trip

We did a half day ride out of Amsterdam back in June. We rented bikes from the Macbike that was located at Centraal Station. They did include locks with the bikes. We did a short ride to Muiden and the castle located there which was a lovely ride. Our other choice would have been to ride to Broek in Waterland as another poster has suggested. I incorrectly assumed that the bike rental place would have bike route maps. I would suggest stopping at the VVV (tourist info) office across from the station to get a bike map before you ride. Also make sure to allow yourself plenty of time to return your bike. It didn't take us long to rent our bikes, but the line to return them was long and the crew at the shop was more interested in renting bikes than having them returned.

8. Re: biking for day trip

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