This ride is a fixed-base or semi-fixed-base ride, please read the ride description for more details.
† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.
Spend 12 nights and days discovering the ‘other’ Netherlands in the provinces of North Brabant and Friesland, with six nights in each of two lovely hotels, one in Tilburg and one in Bolsward.
The province of North Brabant, birthplace of Vincent van Gogh, has many delights to offer including Loonse and Drunense Duinen National Park which is known as the Brabant Sahara, and the historic cities of Breda, Den Bosch, and Heusden. Our hotel, Auberge Du Bonheur is in Tilburg, a bustling city with great restaurants and a wide selection of shops.
Daily loop rides from Tilburg will take us to Breda and Etten-Leur, where Vincent Van Gogh decided to become an artist; to the vibrant city of Den Bosch; to Tilburg’s museums, Baarle-Hertog where Belgium and the NL are intertwined, and a visit to the Trappist brewery Kongingshoeven; to Heusden, a restored fortified city on the River Maas; and to Waalwijk, home of the ‘Shoe Quarter’ and to the national park Loonse and Drunense Duinen, one of the largest sand drift areas in northern Europe.
The second week of our trip takes us to Friesland, the only province with its own official language in the Netherlands. Lonely Planet had good reasons for putting the province of Friesland number three on its list of hidden gems in Europe. Our hotel, Het Weeshuis is in Bolsward, which is one of the “11 Cities Skating Tour” in Friesland and is bursting with life and historic, charming buildings and monuments.
Loop rides from Bolsward will take us to Leeuwarden, the provincial capital that is considered one of Holland’s best kept secrets; to Makkum, the Afluisdijk Wadden (Enclosing Dike) Center, Harlingen, and Franeker which has the oldest still-working planetarium; to Sneek the watersports capital of Freisland with a beautiful watergate; to Workum, with a city beach, Hindeloopen, and Stavoren at the southern end of the former Zuiderse; and to Sloten, the smallest of the 11 Cities and Woudsend, a beautiful watersports village.
Health & Safety
Vaccinations for Covid are recommended, but not required. Participants are expected to come to the tour in good health and ready to ride. Prior to the final payment for the tour, an infectious disease plan will be developed and communicated. The plan will identify possible actions for dealing with persons with an infectious disease on the tour that could affect their ability to ride or the health of others in the group. The plan will include items such as isolation protocols, testing, masking, distancing, and leaving the tour.
This ride is rated a 1B. The Netherlands is very flat and there is minimal climbing, but the wind can be an issue. We have 10 riding days with the average ride length of 40 miles; the longest ride is 50 miles. The riding pace will not be at your usual road cycling MPH given the sights to stop and see. Most days offer the possibility of visiting an attraction or city so the days out could be long but there will be about 15 hours of daylight. A NL OV-Chipkaart for train travel will be provided to each participant that you may load with at least a $20 EUR credit before use, so then you (and your bikes during non-rush hours) can return via train. Some, but not all the routes, will pass through towns with train stations. A map of trains in the Netherlands is available at: https://nieuws.ns.nl/spoorkaart-2020-hier-te-downloaden/
As we will be based in two fixed locations, riders have the option of a daily ride, doing an alternate ride they discover/create, or they can take a day of leisure. All routes are loop rides and are self-supported which means there will be no support vehicle. A day off is planned in the middle of the trip when we will transfer from Tilburg to Bolsward.
ITINERARY AND HIGHLIGHTS
Day 1, Weds., 8/21: arrive in Amsterdam, 2 PM meet at airport for bus to hotel in Tilburg; get rental bikes and at 6 PM, we will have our first social hour. Dinner at hotel at 7 PM.
Day 2, Thurs., 9/22: Ride 1 Baarle Hertog and Trappist Brewery Koningshoeven 40 miles. Stores are open in Tilburg until 9 PM.
Day 3: Fri., 8/23; Ride 2 Huesden 40 miles
Day 4: Sat., 8/24: Ride 3 Den Bosch 41 miles. Saturday Market in Tilburg on Koningsplein.
Day 5: Sun., 8/25, Ride 4 Breda and Etten-Leur 50 miles
Day 6, Mon., 8/26, Ride 5 Dongen, Waalwijk, and Loonse and Drunense Duinen, 40 miles
Day 7, Tues., 8/27: Transfer to Bolsward by bus; 150 miles; 2.5 hours. Boat tour of Bolsward.
Day 8, Weds., 8/28: Ride 6 Leeuwarden 41 miles
Day 9, Thurs., 8/29: Ride 7 Makkum, Afluisdijk Wadden Center, Harlingen, and Franeker 38 miles.
Day 10, Fri., 8/30: Ride 8 Sneek, Iljist, and Heeg in the Waterlands 34 miles
Days 11, Sat., 8/31: Ride 9 Workum, Hindeloopen, and Stavoren 40 miles
Day 12, Sun., 9/1: Ride 10 Sloten, Balk, and Woudsend 40 miles
Day 13, Mon., 9/2: 8 AM depart for Amsterdam by bus; arrive airport by 10 AM
CUE SHEETS, MAPS, GPS FILES
GPS files for all routes will be provided and the use of a navigation device is not just highly recommended but required. It would be difficult if not impossible to follow many of the routes with printed route sheets due to the numerous turns. It is up to the rider to know how to use his or her GPS device/GPS App on their phone before the trip begins. Participants will receive an email containing a link to the EVENT file. Participants will need to have downloaded (at the minimum) the free version of the RWGPS app to receive the voice turn-by-turn directions, GPS tracks that can be downloaded, and printable maps and cues sheets for those who would like them,
August is a great time to visit the Netherlands. Daily highs average in the mid 70s Fahrenheit, although hotter days may occur; daily lows average in the mid 60s; and rainfall averages 1.8 inches. NL is green and lush for a reason and cool, cloudy weather and rain showers can occur—don't forget to bring breathable waterproof rain gear and be prepared for all types of weather to ensure that your trip is enjoyable. August is the calmest month for winds in the NL, with average windspeeds of 7 mph in North Brabant -- but you will encounter stronger winds in Friesland, where the average wind speed in August is 11 mph.
LODGING & MEALS
For the first six nights of the trip, Auberge Du Bonheur in Tilburg in North Brabant will be our home and for the second six nights Het Weeshuis in Bolsward will be our home. Breakfast is included every morning and dinner at the hotel restaurant is included on three nights that we are in Tilburg and on all six of our evenings in Bolsward for a total of 12 breakfasts and 9 dinners. Two drinks (beer/wine/soda) and light snacks from the hotel bars are also included for our daily happy hour. Three to four special events/tours are also included. Lunches will be on your own when you’re out riding. We will provide restaurant options for dinners on the nights we’re not eating at the hotel—there are many great choices!
Ride participants who plan to spend time in Amsterdam and/or the Netherlands/Europe before the trip may take the train to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport on Wednesday, August 21, where we will meet you at 2pm (you are responsible for your own travel to Amsterdam) with a charter bus to take you to the hotel in Tilburg, about 75 miles south of Amsterdam. We On Tuesday, August 27, we’ll transfer by bus about 2.5 hours northeast to Bolsward in Friesland and on Monday, September 2, a bus will leave Bolsward at 8 a.m. to take ride participants back to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (with arrival by 10 a.m. for the possibility to make a flight that day back to the U.S.)
Transportation of bike boxes for those desiring to bring their own bikes will be provided. Tandems and e-bikes will be accepted on a case-by-case basis. Talk with the leaders about this.
Rental bikes will be available through Holland Bike Tours (hollandbiketours.com). Each rider will pay Holland Bike Tours directly with a credit card. Rental bikes will be delivered to our hotel, transferred to our second location, and picked up at the completion of the tour. The bikes are high quality recreational touring bikes selected for touring in the Netherlands (they are 7-speed and heavier than you may be used to) and e-bikes are also available. If you choose to bring your own bike, it should have at least 32 mm tires. Although we will be riding mostly on paved trails, we may also be riding for short periods of time on dirt or crushed rock packed paths, roads, and cobblestones. Road bikes really are not suitable for this tour. Participants are responsible for and must pay separately for their bike rentals.
COST & ADMINISTRATION
Cost estimate is $3200 per person double occupancy for 12 hotel nights, 12 breakfasts, two happy hour drinks (beer/wine/soda) and light snacks every afternoon, 9 group dinners, bus transportation from Amsterdam Schiphol to the first hotel, transfer between hotels, and from the second hotel back to Amsterdam Schiphol; daily route review, luggage transfer, scouted routes with GPS tracks and sightseeing information as well as at least 3 special tours/events. Other optional activities and sightseeing, as well as transportation to the start location at Amsterdam Schiphol are paid by the participant as is the non-refundable $100 BAC ride registration fee. The initial deposit is $1600 with the final payment of $1600 due March 1, 2024. With the current economic uncertainties in mind, the cost was estimated based on $1.17 per Euro. Depending on future currency exchange rates, there may be an adjustment in the amount of the final payment (i.e., up or down).
SINGLES & SOLOS POLICY
We welcome single participants, whether you share a room with another single or choose to pay a solo supplement, although we are limiting the number of solos on this tour to 3. It is recommended that singles who want a roommate try to find their own. However, after receipt of the initial deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the ride and given until December 1, 2023, to find a roommate. If they are unable to find a roommate, they will have the option to receive a full refund (minus the BAC Ride fee and payment processing fee) or pay the $750 solo supplement and stay on the ride. If a single pays the solo supplement, they may continue to seek a roommate, but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary. The Ride Leaders will assist by attempting to match singles who apply for the ride.
Solo supplement payments of $750 need to be sent to the BAC office by Feb. 1, 2024. Checks should be made out to “BAC” with a notation of the tour name, “The Other Netherlands” included on the check. They should be mailed to: Bicycle Adventure Club, PO Box 23998, San Diego, CA 92193.
The BAC Ride Registration Fee and Payment Processing Fees are not refundable unless the entire tour is canceled because the number of participants registered is less than the minimum established for the tour. For individual cancellations, refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up and whether costs can be recouped. The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour’s remaining participants will not incur any additional cost because of cancellations. If the canceling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time. If the canceling participant can't be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed. If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped, the canceling roommate may also be liable for the solo supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour. BAC encourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance.
Ride Participant Responsibility
Please remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support. Participants are expected to come to the ride well trained, in good health and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles. All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour. We encourage you to read the ride description carefully and respond to requests from Ride Leader. While on the ride, support your Ride Leader with offers to help with various tasks. Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour. Please keep the Ride Leader informed of any special request you might have and respect the Ride Leader’s decisions.
Before participating in any BAC tour, you should assess whether your medical and travel insurance coverage is sufficient. BAC maintains insurance that covers expenses related to accidents, medical emergencies such as sudden and unexpected sickness, and repatriation. This coverage applies when touring outside the US and your home country, regardless of your nationality. It will cover you door-to-door for a maximum of 90 days but will expire if you make a side trip not related to the BAC tour for more than 7 days before or after. There is limited coverage for a family member to join a covered person in an emergency. The policy covers the cost of treatment for Covid and other unexpected illnesses, but not quarantine. You should ensure that your vaccinations are up to date. Coverage is subject to a $1000 deductible.
To register for this ride, use the sign-up links just above the Ride Description. After preliminary acceptance, you will be moved to the pending list and receive an email requesting you to go back to the BAC site to digitally accept the terms of the Release of Liability (ROL) and pay the non-refundable BAC Ride Registration Fee and Tour Deposit by credit card. As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List. BAC members with questions may contact the Ride Director by "clicking" the name at the top of this Ride Description. Wait listing is encouraged.
Bicycle Adventure Club
PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510 email@example.com