My husband is one of those ‘cycling indicator species’ that people are so fond of discussing. Like women, children and the elderly he just won’t cycle unless it’s convenient, safe and pleasant. So on Saturday morning we found ourselves pushing heavily laden bicycles around Newcastle city centre trying to find NRN route 72, the fabled cycle path out the ferry terminal..
Compared to most of the cycle infrastructure I’ve encountered in the UK it was heavenly; relatively well signposted, only a few opportunities to get mown down by a truck and some jolly pleasant green sections highly suitable for a 3.5 year old to dance on his pedals.
Cycling at our #familycycling speed of around 5mph we reached the ferry terminal in plenty of time ready to start the next stage of our adventure, and third mode of transport (our first stage, trying to get two touring bikes/luggage, a child’s bike, a folding trailer and a small child on the train required a great deal of resilience and effective marital communication. I’m pleased to report that no lives, bikes or marriages were lost in the operation).
And so to the Netherlands..
I failed on the whole map thing straight off so we aimlessly cycled out of the ferry terminal and headed towards a motorway sign that said ‘Amsterdam’ on it. We hopped onto the cycle path beside the road and just followed the signs. This is what we found:
Nothing really prepares you for what it’s like to actually cycle here. I’ve seen the photos, read the blog posts and sent the cycle campaigner tweets. Yet the flat, deliciously smooth tarmac, the continual signage, roundabouts where you don’t fear for your life and unbelievably wide paths are magical. It’s only been 12 hours but so far cycling here is like a dream.
I hope it’s all still there tomorrow morning..