24 Jul Bicycling in Netherlands? Connect the nodes!
The Dutch and their bikes. It’s one of the first impressions you will get when you come to The Netherlands. Everybody is biking. People use their bikes to commute, to take the kids to school or to do shopping.
Biking in Netherlands is also a form of recreation. People bike just for fun, or to stay in shape. If you want to get to know The Netherlands a bit better, biking is the way to go.
There is a great network of connected bicycle routes in Netherlands called “knooppunten netwerk” or “network of nodes” It’s a great way of bicycling on the most beautiful routes in every region of the country.
The basic working of the network is pretty simple. You have numbered nodes with signs on the route that point to the node. At every node there is at least one sign pointing to the next node. In most cases there is a map showing multiple nodes in the area.
You can rent a bike, and ask for the nearest node or “knooppunt” At that node you look at the map, and decide on the next node. Then simply follow the signs to the next node. Distances between nodes on average are 5 – 8 km. The node system is suitable for bike trips of 20km, but also for trips of 100km or more.
The system is well maintained, you won’t miss a sign, and you will see the most beautiful villages and landscape. Pictures below are from a 40km trip in the central part of the Netherlands, including passing the river on a small ferry, just for bicycles and pedestrians.
It’s easy to go unprepared, and just bike from node to node. But if you want to plan ahead, there are route planners online and maps for sale. Details can be found at hollandcyclingroutes.com