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Old 04-16-2013, 01:14 PM   #1
dirt hokie OP
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2 days to explore the Netherlands

Dumb American looking to rent a bike in Amsterdam area this May. Will have two days to explore. Never been to Europe, except Spain 20 yrs ago. I have a US motor cycle license. I would need to rent all the gear also. Any recommendations for a tourist friendly rental shop. On a side note, any recommendations of things to see that are not the typical tourist/ museum stuff. WW2 sites would be good, Castles maybe, maritime stuff is good but I don't need to see a art museum.

thanks
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:34 PM   #2
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I'd head south towards Belgium and the Ardennes forrest & hills. You can visit Arnhem and other WW2 sites on the way and then see the Maginot line with bunkers etc. The Ardennes may also be the nicest area to ride on a 2-day trip from Amsterdam.


And then there are some of the world's best art museums in Amsterdam. I can't go there without visiting the Van Gogh ...
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirt hokie View Post
Dumb American looking to rent a bike in Amsterdam area this May. Will have two days to explore. Never been to Europe, except Spain 20 yrs ago. I have a US motor cycle license. I would need to rent all the gear also. Any recommendations for a tourist friendly rental shop. On a side note, any recommendations of things to see that are not the typical tourist/ museum stuff. WW2 sites would be good, Castles maybe, maritime stuff is good but I don't need to see a art museum.

thanks
Netherlands and Belgium are densily populated with a history of over 2000 years. Ergo: sites galore, packed closely, dense traffic. Your travel speed will be low. To profit from a short hop you will have to invest heavily in preparing.

WW2 sites: Belgium, Ardennes is the area of the Battle of the Bulge. Every village has at least a one room museum and some tank parked in front. Huge historical centre at Bastogne.
Ardennes: province of Liege and Luxemburg.

Castles: Belgium. How many? Too many. Look for a spire, if it's not a church it's a castle. Usually with a filled moat. Otherwise it wouldn't be a belgian castle.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_castles_in_Belgium

Road food: chocolate ('pralines'), waffles (brussels and liegeois), french fries (frites, french refers not to France but to the type of cutting).
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:52 PM   #4
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thanks for the info. I was checking out maps and distances, but without a real feel for the land its hard to judge travel time.

any recommendations for renting a bike. I will be there 4 days on business and then will have two days to explore. I will be staying in Lelystad.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:28 PM   #5
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Can give an estimate on travel time:

For highways use an average of 100 kph (70 mph). Limits will be 100 or 130 kph in Netherlands and 120 in Belgium. Check your route for traffic jams, they are frequent.

For roads between villages limits are 80 in Netherlands and 70 in Belgium but you may count your blessings if you can make an average of 50 kph (30 mph) due to intensity of traffic.

Don't let that put you down. Lots to see and no long boring stretches in between. Have a nice stay!
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:39 AM   #6
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i've never rented anything from them but but the pricing seems ok
http://www.silverline.nl/
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:43 AM   #7
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2 days .... is not much, but enough to enjoy.
I live in Belgium, East-Flanders. And I must admit I've almost never been to Holland because I can't image why I should go there. Which is of course a stupid idea, but hey, that's just me.

Giving advice is difficult: do you want to ride or do you want to visit things (musea, cities?)

Beware:: Holland (NL) is completely different from Belgium (BE) in several ways.
1) NL = flat, flat, flat and flat. BE = schizofrenic : The North-East (Flanders) is mostly flat, the south-east (Ardennes) is where you'll find most Dutch motorcyclists because it is very hilly(mountainous?), lots of beautiful roads with bends and bends and bends...
2) In NL a village is a village, and in between are good roads and nature. In Flanders they have the bad habit of building houses along the roads between villages and cities, so you'll be riding between houses most of the time. Unless someone can give you some good GPS-routes, then you'll be able to discover the true beauty of Flanders. But most international travellers never discover those hidden treasures. In the Ardennes villages are villages, and in between you have mountains, hills, woods, rivers, and bends and bends and bends...
3) roads are mostly perfect in NL, very good in the Ardennes, and horrific in BE. There is a reason why allroads like BMW GSses are very popular this part of the country.


Well, I could go on...

If I were you, I would ride one day in the north of NL and enjoy the dutch way of life, and the second day I would dive southwards, to the Ardennes and make some miles.



maritime stuff : definitely try to see the Deltawerken.
cities : forget cities if you want to ride. :-D
speed info : is very correct
traffic jams : indeed, on working days everywhere on the big highways and in city centers

Hint : join this dutch forum : http://www.motor-forum.nl/index.php Is extremely popular, they will know where to hire motorcycles and gear. Hell, you'll find perhaps some guys who want to guide you ! (in fact, why don't you try lc8.nl?)
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pip_muenster View Post
I'd head south towards Belgium and the Ardennes forrest & hills. You can visit Arnhem and other WW2 sites on the way and then see the Maginot line with bunkers etc. The Ardennes may also be the nicest area to ride on a 2-day trip from Amsterdam.


And then there are some of the world's best art museums in Amsterdam. I can't go there without visiting the Van Gogh ...

This.

If you have only two days on a bike, don't spend any time in the Netherlands. The traffic is way too dense and there is a lack of altitude changes. From Lelystad to Bastogne is 350 kms by autoroute so don't make any stops. Any direction from Bastogne for roughly 50-75 kms is very good to dreamy for riding. Pick up a Michelin map for the Benelux countries and focus on those roads in the Ardennes that are highlighted in green. Netherlands has about 20 kms of those.

If you head to Bastogne on the A26/E25, peel off at exit 50 and head toward La Roche on N89 for a sample of what is on offer. Nice little town, could be a good base for you.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:26 AM   #9
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Hm, I shouldn't send him straight away to Bastogne, when the real fun can start in Liège ! But, in fact, you say now : sleep a night in Belgium. :-D

A map from BE: http://goo.gl/maps/NNWtN

Try to stay - roughly - at the eastern side of the line between Aachen-Liège-Namur-Charleroi-Maubeuge. As you can see on the map the eastern part is greener and more "wobbly". Left of the line is the less interesting part of BE. It's a rough line of course. ;-)
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:04 PM   #10
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I'm not going to comment on where you want to ride. There are plenty of nice roads in the Netherlands. Renting in the Lelystad area would be Motoport in Almere Here
If you want advice on routes in The Netherlands just let me know, I've an ample supply of GPS routes.
Riding to Belgium is ok, but if you want to ride there you'd have to do 400 km of freeway to get to area and of course vv. We don't have mountains, but we do have meandering rivers with curvy roads...
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:51 AM   #11
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Driving around in the Netherlands can be very beautiful, you'll have to know where to go. Let us know when you arrive, maybe I can show you around a bit.
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:59 PM   #12
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thanks for all the info, still trying to see if time will allow for a bike rental.
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:27 AM   #13
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Netherlands War Memorials

There is a great museum at Overloon, tons of American,British, Canadian, Russian and German equipment and armour. Most of it is set up as life size dioramas. Check out the Liberty Museum online. Also a great tribute to a handfull of dutch soldiers that held up, and laid a good beatdown on the Nazis when they first invaded at Kornwerderzand (at the east side of the afsluitdijk, NW corner of Fryslan near Harlingen). Look up the Kazmatten Museum on the net (not certain on the spelling). There is also a cool resistance museum in Amsterdam and anasty memorial to the holocost at a former transit camp just out of Assen. Weather in NL can be nice but we often have heavy winds and rain is very likely; so bring some weather gear if you intend to ride come rain or shine. Dutch roads are very well maintained. The A roads are busy, fast and straight, the N roads can be OK; but the best fun is finding the little 1 1/2 lane roads between villages; they twist around towns, canals and dijks and can be a real hoot.
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:22 PM   #14
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dirt hoki,

like said allready, two days ain't much.
mine advice, tell us which days you are in holland and what size cloth you wear and i quess that someone will be glad to show you some nice roads above amsterdam, instead of all critics, that area is a joy to ride.

for your interest in ww2, i think that you need to sort out what you want to see, things like a hidden airstrip in the place Bergen from where the germans fired their v2 to england or anne frank, from no crowd to a waiting line but both interesting. and everything in between those 2.

i wouldn't waist my time by travelling to much, because that is not necessary and indeed the netherlands is crowded.
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTLover View Post
If you have only two days on a bike, don't spend any time in the Netherlands. The traffic is way too dense and there is a lack of altitude changes. From Lelystad to Bastogne is 350 kms by autoroute so don't make any stops. Any direction from Bastogne for roughly 50-75 kms is very good to dreamy for riding.
+1

The Eifel (east & southish of Bastogne - across Luxembourg and towards the border with Germany) is gorgeous with little to no traffic.

Off the AutoRoutes (AutoBahns, AutoStradas, etc.), expect to average about 50-55kph, and 250kms/day will be a long day in the saddle.

I'd try my very best to get at least one more day, even if it meant paying a fee to reschedule your flight.
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