Saturday, December 8, 2012

Bicycle Tour of South Holland in Winter Again..(1st Day)

 I took an early morning flight from Marseille , France to Amsterdam. My sim session had finished at midnight the previous day so I hardly had more than 3 hours of sleep. At Marseille I was caught by the one bag rule on economy class(I knew I should have gone by TGV, the fast train!) and was slapped with a 55 Euro penalty. I had to bite the bullet to pay or I have to leave one of my bags behind! My baggage weight was only 21 kilos so weight was not a problem as I always travel light.
Upon arrival Amsterdam was the one million dollar question..shall I ride or shall I take a train to Gouda my destination. There was a slight drizzle and the temperature was about 4C...not too bad so I decided to ride. The distance is slightly less than 45 km but I am not sure about the distance using the bicycle path. In Holland you must use the bicycle path and these paths link the whole country.

Exiting from Schipol airport was not that easy. i had my Garmin 60CSX GPS with me but it was showing me all over the place. Turn left at 30 m, Turn right at 50 m.....real headache but eventually I found the bicycle path.

 After a few kilos towards the general direction of Rotterdam I came across a lift that was made just to carry the cyclist and bicycle up to an overhead crossing!

Come out from the lift and just continue to ride across the highway.

Huge acreage of farm land were being plowed to plant the winter crop..maybe it is potatoes but I am not sure. this route is quite isolated with very few people around. it must have been because of the weather as it was getting quite cold.

Boats! yes..they are just in the canals along the road side. Sometimes the boats are higher than the road!
 There are numerous signs along the way. They showed directions to all the places except to my destination GOUDA!
 I met this elderly dutch couple on electric assisted bicycles and they spoke English so I asked them for directions to Gouda. The main problem is the bicycle path does not follow the highway but goes along the villages(which makes it interesting but confusing). This couple had been to Langkawi for their holidays.

Finally I arrived at GOUDA a pretty small town that is famous for Cheese .
 I felt very hungry so I made a stop at a food stall to have a kebab. this shop is run by an Iraqi who had served the army during the war.
 With the help of my GPS I arrived at the doorstep of my booked Bed and Breakfast..Ann B and B in Gouda.
 I was happy with the quality of the room that I had and the whole area is very clean.
 Not too bad.. i did 47 km for the first day.There was a lot of stopping along the way so I probably average about 12 km per hr although I rode at about 20 km per hr.. Then again, riding an empty bicycle and riding with a 7 kilo haversack in slight rain and 3 C is different!
 Gouda is a beautiful village. This is the town council and it was built about 200 years ago.
  Since it is winter and temp at night is about0C, there are very few people on the street.

I went to bed early after a meal of burgers and chips


  1. Don't you never have trouble by carrying the bike in a soft bag on planes ? anything damaged or crushed ?