Where can I find out more about the content and routes of the book? The Cycling Dutchman Blog provides further information about the book, including some overview maps, page samples, etc. Have a look!
How can I have my luggage transported? Contact Bagagevervoer if you wish to have your luggage transported between accommodations. On their website, look on the right and click on “English” to read the site in English. This company provides independent luggage transport to lots of places. Their phone number is +31 (0) 111 484427.
How do I pay for my Dutch train ticket (with bike)? In 2014, use of the so called “OV-chipkaart” has been made compulsory for travel on Dutch trains. You will be pushed to buy this product , but if you only make one or a couple of journeys by train, do not buy this card. You are better off just buying a ticket for the day (with built-in chip, only valid for the purchased journey). These are available from ticket machines with the white Dutch Railway logo on the top of the machine or from staffed ticket boots (large stations only). You’ll pay an additional fee of 1 Euro per ticket above the regular train fare. Bike day tickets are available from the “white” machines as well. Note you need to “check in” prior to travelling to validate the single OV-chipkaart ticket. If this ticket is a day return, you’ll still need to “check out” at the end of your first journey and “check in” again at the start of your return journey. Dutch Railways ticket machines accept V-Pay, Maestro, Visa and Mastercard as methods of payment.
How does it work if I want to buy the Dutch public transport card? Only if you intend to make multiple train, tram and bus journeys during your stay in The Netherlands, the “OV-chipkaart” can be useful, but the way it works is complicated. The cost for the so called “Anonymous OV-chipkaart” is about 8 Euros per person (depending on the retailer). Note you’ll have to purchase a card for every person travelling and the initial charge is for the piece of plastic only. Once you have purchased the card, you need to top up the card with at least 20 Euros credit. When travelling, you’ll need to check in on the station of departure and check out on the station of arrival. The cost of the journey will then be automatically deducted from your available credit. If you take your bike on the train, you also have to go to a ticket machine to buy a Bike Day Ticket (“Dagkaart Fiets”) from the credit available on your OV-chipkaart prior to travel. After making this transaction, you’ll still need to have credit on your card of at least 20 Euros, otherwise you cannot “check in” for the start of your train journey. You can also use the card on buses and trams, using the “check in” and “check out” principle (a 4 Euros credit is sufficient to check in). Generally you cannot take bicycles on buses or trams. If you have any credit left on the card at the end of the trip, which you don’t intend to use, you’ll have to go to a staffed ticket booth to put in a request for a refund in writing.
How can I cycle from Bruges (Belgium) to Amsterdam? Our book covers most of the way, except for the 50 kms (30 miles) section between Bruges and Breskens/Vlissingen. Buy a cycle map at the tourist information centre in Bruges. This map will show the canal tow-paths of the “Damse Vaart” northbound, taking you via Damme across the Belgian/Dutch border to Sluis in The Netherlands. Buy a cycle map at the tourist information (VVV) in Sluis as needed. From here, just follow the cycle signs for North Sea Route LF1b northbound or follow signs to Breskens directly. From Breskens, take the cycle and pedestrian ferry across the Westerschelde estuary to Vlissingen. It generally runs twice per hour. Vlissingen’s railway station is just on your left from the ferry terminal. From here, you follow the routes in our guidebook from Vlissingen to Amsterdam (Southern route first, switch to the Randstad Circle route in Hook of Holland).
If you already have a copy of or book and you still have a question unanswered, don’t hesitate to contact us!
“We have received the book and are excited to plan our trip. Many thanks for writing this fantastic resource.”
Shannon Altimari, Thalwill, Switzerland, January 2013