It’s quite easy to assume that cycle lanes were always around in the Netherlands, but few know that it took a mini Dutch revolution to wring it out of the authorities.
In the process, dedicated cycle lanes began appearing in Den Haag and Tilburg in the seventies, after which the city of Delft invested in a complete network of cycle paths and the rage spread country wide. Much later, “Master plan Fiets” (1990-1997), an initiative by the Dutch ministry of transport, analysed the needs of the “fietser” which prioritised safety specifically for cyclists.
Nowhere else in the world the cyclist is so privileged that it inculcates an avid enthusiasm for this modest mode of transport. You can even visit the national cycle museum in Nijmegen, (just an hours drive from Eindhoven), to get a sense of the national pride associated with it. Enthusiasm is often expressed through innovation in the Netherlands and a cyclist in this country is truly in for a treat whichever province they choose to explore. From the “Thermopath” in Wageningen and “Sola Road” in Krommenie to the sparkle at night, the Van Gogh Roosegaarde path near Eindhoven, advancements span from environmental responsibility to sheer fun.
Some of the more famous cycling adventures around Eindhoven are the Hovenring and of course the Van Gogh Roosegaarde cycle path. The Hovenring is often described as a flying saucer connecting Eindhoven and Veldhoven. Suspended from a 70 ft high pylon, it is the world’s first floating bicycle roundabout bridge measuring 236 ft in diameter. A lot of planning and effort has gone into all the lighting aspects of the Hovenring, (both aesthetic and functional) so do take time to visit at night to enjoy the view.
The other spectacle is in Nuenen inspired by its most famous resident, Vincent van Gogh. The Van Gogh Roosegaarde cycle path is studded with coloured pebbles; powered by the sun by day to glimmer at night. The pattern on the pathway displays fragments of Gogh’s famous Starry Night. This magical route connects many spots in town related to van Gogh’s life, making it an unforgettable journey into the mind of this genius painter.
The most popular cycling route in the city is probably the “Rondje Eindhoven” which takes you around many places of interest in Eindhoven. The route starts at the Stationsplein branching into about four directions depending on the chosen length of journey. If you are new to Eindhoven, this would be an ideal way to explore the city and make a few bike buddies along the way.
If scenic paths are your preference then opt for routes to nearby villages like Geldrop and Valkenswaard. Eindhoven was nominated for the award of the best cycling city in 2014 because of this variety that it has to offer. So make sure you find time to explore a stretch of Eindhoven that appeals to you the most and please don’t forget to write us about your experience.