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gpx tracks: getting out of amsterdam

These trips start in Amsterdam and lead you somewhere on a bike’s day travel. The normal thing to do than is to take a train back to Amsterdam. Don’t forget also to buy a ticket for the bike — it is valid the whole day.

These trips follow the ‘Bob-den-Uyl-principle’, which is that you don’t bother torturing yourself with circular trips where you have to fight against the wind somewhere, but rather go into the direction where the wind is going. With winding roads and detours when one arrives in a uninteresting area, you will still get your share of head wind. I have not (yet?) perfected this principle in the way he suggests. The obvious problem is that when one lives in Amsterdam, as I do, and there is eastern wind, one ends up at the beach in no time. The proposed solution then is to have a bike located somewhere in the eastern part of Holland. On such a day, one takes a train to the east, and then bikes back home. You need two or three bikes for this system and a good administration of where your bikes are located — and if you cannot remember where you left one of your bikes just count it as a loss, he suggests, and buy a new one. See ‘Wat fietst daar?’ by Bob den Uyl, the only philosophy of bicycling ever written (I am afraid it is not available anymore).

To Arnhem
This trip passes through the Gooi, the estuarium of the Eemland, and then over the Veluwe, past the National Park De Hoge Veluwe. If you have time, you can bike through the park and visit the Kröller-Müller Museum (though you have to pay a fee for both).
Trip: 99km

To Assen
My brother lives in Assen, and that is the only reason I made this trip … You will go along the dike of the new Flevoland, and through an older piece of reclamed land, the Noordoostpolder. Also on the route: Blokzijl. Once a harbour, now connecting land with land via a canal and a lock. It is a nice old town, home to Kaatje bij de Sluis, one of the first restaurants in Holland to receive a Michelin star (it lost it in the mean time, I believe). Trip: 161km

To Den Helder
Along major roads maybe not very eventfull. You mostly follow the Noord Hollands Kanaal whcih was digged to provide a more direct route from Amsterdam Harbour to the North Sea.
Trip: 80km

To Deventer
Through the estuary of the Eemland, the little village Nijkerk, over the Veluwe to Apeldoorn, and than over the IJssel into Deventer, famous for books, stilts, and Dickens! Very scenic!
Trip: 103km

To Dordrecht
Through the ‘Green Heart’ of Holland, and the land of the big rivers, Lek and Waal. Because of road works, the end is a bit of a mess.
Trip: 95km

To Leeuwarden
Lots to see here: the Noord-Hollands Kanaal out of Amsterdam; then the east ring dike of the Beemster, and through old and new agricultural land up to the Afsluitdijk. This 30km-ish dike turned the Zuiderzee into the IJsselmeer. Then through the Friesian country to Leeuwarden.
Trip: 143km

To Vlissingen
This one you must do!! Finally, I have been able to add my favourite ride: from Amsterdam to Flushing, via the Green Heart (the leg between Ouderkerk and Waddinxveen), over the waterworks of the Delta Works, and through the lovely islands of the Province of Zeeland (roughly from Barendrecht to the end). This ride is a bit of a pelgrimage for me, I have done it several times. I would pick a day with NE-wind and not too warm (or SW wind when going from Vlissingen).
Trip: 190km

To Zutphen
Zutphen is a very old town on the IJssel, part of the Hanze-league (together with Zwolle and Deventer). I just like the city, and the route, via Apeldoorn through the forests, is a treat.
Trip: 113km

To Zwolle
Why Zwolle? Well, they have a train station, so one can get back to Amsterdam. This trip leads you mostly over the dikes of Flevoland, reclamed land that was developed since the 1960’s/’70’s. It is fascinating to see it. At the end, the trip leads you through Elburg, an old town, and then over the IJssel towards Zwolle, also a Hanze-stad.
Trip: 105km