Netherlands Day 11 – The Hague / Zandvoort / Haarlem
We have a 30 mile bike ride up the coast on the national bike route, but before that I wanted to loosen up my legs a bit with a run. The beach is only about 300 meters from the hostel so I went in that direction.
The streets are always really quiet in most on the NL cities in the morning.
Our bike tour team met up to get our panniers on and line out a route north of The Hague.
We quickly hit our first node on the national bike route that takes us up the coast and eventually inland towards Haarlem.
One we had a few miles along the LF2B north route we hit a scenic lookout so took full advantage.
The Hague can be seen here in the distance to the south in this picture.
The panniers and now day pack continue to grow in size and weight.
The trail along the west coast was beautiful. There were stretches under complete tree cover and then rolling a hills with dunes.
A quick break near Katwijk aan Zee allowed us to take a break from the headwind and take in the views of the North Sea.
we moved toward Noorwijk aan Zee which was more commercialized and they used what we call advisory bike lanes throughout the entire LF2B route.
The headwinds from the northwest started ramping up significantly around here. We were looking at about 15-20 mph winds hitting us right in the face around here.
As we left Noordwijk the winds started picking up significantly and the temp dropped.
The facilities were roughly the same. It was a 10′ multi use path and it saw a lot of leisure, commute and touring bike riders coupled with pedestrians, joggers, rollerbladers, wheelchair bound and mopeds.
Our group started climbing significantly about this point now too. Up to this point it was fairly rolling. We were in full climb mode for almost the next 20 miles.
The LF2B route has a segment of hard packed gravel and shell, which made navigating a little more interesting. The ear flap hat is becoming the target for the group, but it makes me happy so who cares.
Our of the blue, there was a little have. With restaurants. It could not have hit at a more perfect time. We needed time to refuel and rest our back-sides and legs.
The wind was crazy, but the company was great and the smiles were contagious.
Welkom to North Holland. Holland is a region confined to the western parts of the Netherlands and is subdivided into north and south.
The last couple miles heading into Zandvoort were pretty tough. We had a steady climb and about 25 mph headwind. It took a lot to make it work, but everyone in the group did fantastic.
Once we hit Zandvoort, we finally started to see the light and the potential break in headwind.
It was surprising that the first part of the city had street parking and driveways marked off but there were no cars using it. It was a striking contrast to every other city that we have been in that put multimodal over motorist space.
We hit the very familiar advisory bike lanes when we started hitting the main city center.
Once we hit the very urban core there were normal separate space.
We arrived to the local hostel. Hello I’m Local, which looks like a regular hotel. Very nice.
The city of Haarlem looks very nice. Everything is extremely clean and there were very distinct zones that we walked through.
Rush hour in Haarlem had by far the most pedestrians I have seen yet in any city.
We stopped off for a beer and bitterballen at Jopen brewery.
A lot of their crosswalks have the perpendicular caning textures that really help to point out where to cross, but also to help visually impaired folks to find their way.
We met up at Oerkap for a group dinner and it was incredible.
They had an outdoor leather couch which was pretty sweet.
The entire happy and well fed group getting ready to head out.
The walk back to the hostel was chilly, but the city is amazing.
Hood night from Haarlem in the Netherlands. Tomorrow is a free day, so I will be sure to document what I visit here.