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Lightbulb Biking in Holland!
Old 07-14-2008, 02:58 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Biking in Holland!

A brand new idea for my hubby and I...a bike and barge tour of parts of Holland next Spring! A beginners trek, and reportedly flat terrain. We look forward to experiencing a vacation slightly out of our comfort zone and experiencing the infamous tulips farms up close and personal. Has anyone out there enjoyed this mode of touring Holland?
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Old 07-14-2008, 10:01 AM   #2
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Talking

My DW/me were in the Benelux countries this spring to see the flowers bloom.

What's nice about the Netherlands is the mode of transportation (bicycle) for a lot of folks. Understandable when you consider that the price of fuel (converted from Euro/litre's) was over $9/gal at the time (and that was a few months ago).

Of course, you do have bike lanes and you must adhere to the traffic signals (including walking your bike across the street). This is not so different than other countries (such as Sweden) that use bikes as "normal transport".

Since we're "old folk", we did not partake (we were on a bus tour).

Anyway, I'm sure you will have fun.

- Ron
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Old 07-14-2008, 10:22 AM   #3
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We haven't done it, but it sounds really great. We've been to Holland, but we were staying with a friend and mostly traveled by public transportation.

I'm actually fascinated by this idea. Have you already signed up? I'd be interested in hearing details like where you'll go, are the bikes supplied, etc?

Maybe we'll run into you there. Been meaning to go back for years. Have a great time.

Harley
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Old 07-14-2008, 11:35 AM   #4
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DW and I took a Vermont Bike Tours (VBT.com) tour through Tuscany last year and loved it. We are going with them to Spain in November. Their bike/barge trips look very good as well. We will probably try one one of these years. Since the bike paths follow the water they should be quite flat and easy.
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Old 07-14-2008, 12:11 PM   #5
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I spent a year biking in northern Belgium (as a exchange student going t high school) and can attest that "mostly flat" is incredibly true -- Holland is pretty much a pancake. I spent many weekends on my bike touring the southern part of the Netherlands and always had a really good time.

Dutch bikes are very comfortable, very "upright" and the Dutch have a fantastic bike trails system throughout most of the country (you'll be on your own "road" a lot of the time, not constantly sharing the road with cars).

One thing to be aware of is the wind -- with no hills to slow it down, it can be a bit windy, especially by the North Sea. It'll just slow you down a bit.

This is a vacation we'd love to take with our kids in a few years; let us know how it goes!
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Old 07-14-2008, 12:24 PM   #6
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Thanks all! We are pretty excited as this will be our first international travel experience together, my first ever. Holland was not on our to-do list, but the idea of a bike and barge tour was too awesome to resist. Our only concern is that I injured my lower back discs (two bulges and one herniated disc) in June 2007. I am still recovering. I have avoided surgery but the natural healing does take time. It has taken 13 months to be able to stand on my feet longer than 5 minutes without extreme pain or an ambulatory aid. A scheduled epidural injection this week will give us a better idea on entertaining a biking tour. Thanks RS0460a for a gorgeous photo! I am even more excited now!
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Old 07-15-2008, 05:58 AM   #7
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On dutch bikes you will sit more chair-like than on touring bikes, where you would bend over. The dutch bikes are said to be better for spinal problems.
My husband had severe spinal surgery in October 07, was allowed to start biking in May and we just returned from our biking vacations last week.
Good luck to you, the tour will be great if the weather is fine.
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Old 07-15-2008, 08:51 AM   #8
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Sounds fabulous, and another one of those things that is on our bucket list. Remember to update us when you get back.
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Old 07-15-2008, 11:44 AM   #9
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On dutch bikes you will sit more chair-like than on touring bikes, where you would bend over. The dutch bikes are said to be better for spinal problems.
My husband had severe spinal surgery in October 07, was allowed to start biking in May and we just returned from our biking vacations last week.
Good luck to you, the tour will be great if the weather is fine.
NewLife06, if you want to ride a bike after that medical condition, look into the Electra Townie. The pedals are placed a little forward, and you can stand flat footed while still seated on the bike. My DW has back problems and she can ride her Townie with not problems. I don't have back issues, but I bought one too and like it a lot. However, we live on the Eastern shore, which is as flat as Holland. The bikes are for cruising, not doing centuries and all that. Just fyi

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Old 07-15-2008, 12:18 PM   #10
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That sounds like a great vacation idea. Is it an organized tour?

DW and I spent a week on a similar trip in Sweden (not with a group -- carried our own stuff, camped). It worked out very well, and we've got great memories of it.

There's lots of info on this stuff at bikeforums.net.

I've recently gotten back into cycling in a big way, and just got a great bike for DW for $100.

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barging and biking.....
Old 07-15-2008, 01:22 PM   #11
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barging and biking.....

My fiance and I rented a barge on the Canal du Midi (in Languedoc in Swestn France) for the first week of our honeymoon last October.....including two mountain bikes.....and it was really quite wonderful. We generally barged for 4-6 hours every day; stopped for 2-3 bike trips (to surrounding towns, along the canel, to vineyards and churchs and ruins) etc. Great food; decent wine; beautiful sights....very low key and relaxing (though we probably covered too much distance....from Castelnaudery to the Med..... I'd highly recommend it. It was nice have a bedroom, a kitchen, a bath/shower, and a decktop picnic table with umbrella that travelled with us. And the locks were much easier than I thought they'd be, even for just two people.

The Netherlands, though, may be a bit too densely (and roughly) populated for me....We rented our barge through Crown Blue lines (now Le Boat), which rents all over France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Ireland, and England.....

Good luck!
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Old 07-15-2008, 03:46 PM   #12
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Yes Al, it is an organized group tour...beginners level. I checked out your link. Nice bike for the bucks. However, I dont think my back could handle that style. Need much more healing before I can do that. Some of the Dutch bike descriptions are starting to grab my attention now though...

Janet
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Old 07-15-2008, 06:44 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post

I've recently gotten back into cycling in a big way, and just got a great bike for DW for $100.

Centurion Dave Scott for DW - Bike Forums

I'm restoring it now.
Nice bike Al. I have been following the classic and vintage forum also and would like to find a good bike to rebuild. Make sure you follow the 50+ forum - they are a great bunch. (You are 50+, right?)
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Don't Bike in Ohio
Old 07-16-2008, 08:36 AM   #14
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Don't Bike in Ohio

Man Shot Bicycling To Work For 1st Time


POSTED: 7:38 am EDT July 16, 2008


TOLEDO, Ohio -- Toledo police said a man was shot and killed while bicycling to work for the first time to save on gas.
Police Capt. Ray Carroll said 46-year-old David Babcock was seen on a street having a heated argument with another man before he was shot around 5:30 Tuesday morning. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The coroner said Babcock took a bullet to the face that caused massive bleeding and hampered his breathing.
No arrests have been made. Authorities don't know the motive for the shooting.
Babcock survived surgery to remove a brain tumor 13 years ago. His fiance, Rene Long, said Babcock had put lights on his bike and wore a reflective vest so he would be safe on his inaugural, 8-mile ride to his job at Fresh Products Inc., a maker of air fresheners.
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:36 AM   #15
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Wow, what a horrible story. Such a shame. Gotta wonder what the shooter could have been so upset about to end this man's life so brutally.
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Old 07-16-2008, 02:22 PM   #16
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Nice bike Al. I have been following the classic and vintage forum also and would like to find a good bike to rebuild. Make sure you follow the 50+ forum - they are a great bunch. (You are 50+, right?)
Yes I am, and it's a great forum, and I think one of your posts pointed me there.

Some pictures from yesterday's ride. It's OK to hijack the thread now, right?

PrairieCreekEnteringForest.jpg
PrairieCreekWave.jpg
BikeBySign.jpg
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:41 PM   #17
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Wow, what a horrible story. Such a shame. Gotta wonder what the shooter could have been so upset about to end this man's life so brutally.
I think we should all resolve to do our arguing in virtual space. People may get angry, but they can't whack you. A few days ago a local man was tending flowers in a traffic circle (traffic circles are used as flow control on many residential streets). He had pulled a hose onto the road to water the flowers in the central space, and set up traffic cones to divert cars away from his hose, which was mistake #1. Some young women wanted him to move the cones so they could drive through, and he refused-mistake #2. They called a boyfriend who came right down and sucker punched the old man(all this is on tape). The guy fell and struck his head and never regained consciousness. The boyfriend/avenger has been booked-I think murder in 2nd degree.

Several lessons for me. From the point of view of the old man- let someone else tend the flowers, and donít argue.

From the POV of the young man now in King County Jail under a murder charge -associate with a higher class of women, and in any case let them pick (and settle) their own fights. And attend an anger management class.

Ha
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Old 07-16-2008, 06:58 PM   #18
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Well said Ha. Incredible advice and lessons learned. Too bad on that scenario...no one won that situation.

Seattle, huh? My hubby and I just took the Amtrak Coast Starlight from Los Angeles up to Seattle in early January...what an awesome place, awesome people...but freaking cold! I know...January might not have been the best month for us So Cal peeps to head up there. But the snowy landscape from Northern California up to Seattle was stunning!
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Old 07-17-2008, 08:31 AM   #19
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My hubby and I just took the Amtrak Coast Starlight from Los Angeles up to Seattle in early January...what an awesome place, awesome people...but freaking cold! I know...January might not have been the best month for us So Cal peeps to head up there. But the snowy landscape from Northern California up to Seattle was stunning!
The idea of travel is to see/live something outside your "normal life".

BTW, here's another shot of a place outside of Amsterdam (you can publish your own after you return).



- Ron
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:18 AM   #20
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Yes, traveling does open your eyes to see and live outside our normal little bubbles. My mother in law (regretfully passed in Jan 06) was an accomplished female pilot (glider, commercial, etc.) and owned her own Citabria (acrobatic small plane). She flew for Baskin Robbins 31, Hwy Patrol, and others. She belonged to the 99s and won many competitive runs both domestic and international for the Powder Puff Derby in the 70's-90's. She was honored in June 06 with a memorial at the International Forest of Friendship in Atchison, KS (Birthplace of Amelia Earhart). My health did not allow us to attend, but we hope to get out there soon. Our travel list is growing!

~Janet
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