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Cycling in Assen

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Latest photos of the area

See also a full list of photos in this area.

Someone returning to the suburbs from the centre of the city by bicycle. The cycle path she is on goes through an underpass to avoid the traffic lights which drivers have to stop at. It has remained usable through all the ice and snow t ... [more]

An elderly neighbour sets off for the shops by bike. Quite normal as a quarter of all journeys by over 65s in the Netherlands are by bicycle. She, like everyone else, has continued right through the snow

Noordelijke Velomobieltocht 2010 near Assen. Wide cycle path in the countryside, two metres of which is cleared of snow - sufficient for two velomobiles to travel next to each other.

Northern velomobile ride near Assen in the Netherlands. Note the extremely wide cycle path completely clear of ice and snow, which was falling overnight a few hours beforehand.

Northern velomobile ride near Assen in the Netherlands. Note the completely clear, ploughed and gritted cycle path despite a few cm of snow a couple of hours earlier.

Another day, another snowy ride. A picture from the Northern Velomobile Ride, in Drenthe, Netherlands. Entering a village on a nice gritted minor road. Note the 30 km/h speed limit which is in most villages. 60 km/h is the speed limit for c ... [more]

Racing cyclists training in Assen in the snow next to a frozen canal. It's a good thing they can rely on getting some grip on the cycle path surface. Maybe we'll get a thaw eventually. Compare with #20221 which was taken two days later w ... [more]

Snow heaped high at the DIY in Assen. At least they've kept some of the cycle parking clear. These stands support bicycles very well, because they hold a good proportion of the front wheel. As they are of alternating heights they also al ... [more]

A cycle and pedestrian bridge in Assen. The temperature stays stubbornly below zero and this bridge hasn't been cleared quite so well as it could have been (see other photos tagged snow for a comparison)

Snow continues to fall daily, including today. However, there great majority of cycle paths are still good to ride on and there are still plenty of cyclists in the centre of Assen, even as it goes dark enough that cyclists are reduced to a ... [more]

The snow continues to fall daily, but most of the cycle paths remain clear here in Assen.

Cyclists on cycle paths both sides of the road. The temperature remains below freezing, a little snow was falling when I took the photo, but cycle paths are clear of snow and ice and shopping trips are still by bike. Assen, Netherlands.

Still cold, but the postal delivery goes ahead by bike on cycle paths clear of snow and ice. Assen, Netherlands.

A group of children cycling together in Assen. Temperatures remain below zero, and the roads and cycle paths remain clear of ice and snow. Assen, Netherlands.

This cycle path in the countryside a few kilometres outside of Assen in the Netherlands is much more important than the road. Therefore the cycle path is clear while the road (on the left) is completely covered in snow. Video showing the pa ... [more]

A nice ride in the middle of the Dutch countryside when the temperature is -6 C and there is 12 cm of snow. The cycle paths were of course almost completely free of snow. More of the story plus video here: ... [more]

Cycle path in recreational area cleared of snow in Assen, Netherlands.

Bikes parked at a small shopping centre in winter. Assen, Netherlands.

Four metre wide cycle path completely clear of snow and ice. Assen, Netherlands.

Four metre wide cycle path completely clear of ice and snow. Assen, Netherlands

Cycle path clear of snow. Assen, Netherlands

Cycle path on the route to a supermarket in Assen, Netherlands. Completely clear of snow, but not quite to the usual four metre width of the path. There is a road parallel to this cycle path, but it's on the opposite side of that canal. ... [more]

Cycle path completely clear of snow. Assen, Netherlands.

The snow plows are only two metres wide, while the cycle path is four metres wide. Some cycle paths therefore end up only half width in the middle of the winter. Assen, Netherlands.

Assen, 21st December 2009. Last Thursday and Friday we had 30 cm of snow. The snow continued over the weekend, and it was difficult for the gritters and snow-plows on the cycle paths to keep up. However, on Monday the cycle paths are almost ... [more]

Another day, another sweeper. Leaves being removed from a 4 metre wide main cycle path in Assen

To me the cycle path already looked adequately empty of leaves. In the Netherlands cycle paths always do. All the time. However, here comes the leaf sweeper again just to make sure. 3 metre wide secondary cycle path behind a residential ... [more]

On the left, a recumbent trike on the road in Assen. It's slightly more practical as a means of transport than the Segway on the right...

Completely black Sinner Mango velomobile at an event in Assen. More details here:

Russell waits for Jolanda to finish racing her Sinner Mango in Groningen.

Sinner Mango velomobile fitted with a racing hood on the cycle racing circuit in Groningen.

Sinner Mango velomobile under construction at the ligfietsgarage in Groningen

Judy trying out an ICE Trice borrowed for a customer. Nice wide and smooth cycle path, plenty of separation from the road. There's a video here:

Another village with a 30 km/h speed limit. I've yet to find an exception, so I think all villages must now have this speed limit in the Netherlands.

Sign for a dog walking path where dogs may be allowed off their leads. It isn't only cyclists who have segregation in the Netherlands. There are also dog walking paths like this, fishing paths, walking paths etc. Rarely does a cyclist ha ... [more]

David riding in a Sinner Mango velomobile. These are one of the world's fastest practical bicycles. Aerodynamics mean that great speeds are possible with the same effort on the pedals - they also have a fully enclosed drive-chain so need ve ... [more]

Flevotrike. The owner is replacing the normal rear wheels so that he can have drum brake hubs. These will require a bit of work but give more reliable braking, especially downhill. The new wheels are actually new Mango wheels.

Challenge Hurricane recumbent. Bikes like this are considered to be quite extreme, perhaps "too low" in traffic in the UK, but not in the Netherlands. The basket on the back is used to transport a dog.

A small proportion of the cycle parking in Assen during the TT. This event brings over 100000 visitors to the city, where the usual population is just 65000. A large proportion of the visitors bring their bikes with them and like the locals ... [more]

Alongside the road at this point is a service road which provides one way access only to houses for residents with cars and a two way through route for everyone by bike. The service road is being resurfaced and so cyclists are provided w ... [more]

Bike with modified trailer parked outside a DIY shop in Assen, Netherlands. The interesting thing about this trailer is that it has been converted to have three wheels. The third is the front half of a child's scooter (red). It is towed ... [more]

Brand new utterly smooth cycle path

Raised section of cycle path / access road by bus stop

Brand new utterly smooth cycle path. Several km long. Planned in 2008. Complete in 2009.

Brand new utterly smooth upgraded surface

Brand new utterly smooth cycle path

Brand new utterly smooth cycle path

A one way road and a two way cycle path cross this opening bridge. The cycle path is as wide as the road. It needs to be. There are far more cyclists than drivers. To see how busy this bridge is at rush hour, see this video: http://www.y ... [more]

Road works have caused the cycle path to be closed, so as it normal in Dutch practice, half the road has been taken for the exclusive use of cyclists. This results in cyclists being able to continue their journeys unhindered, but motoris ... [more]

Sign which measures the speed of approaching vehicles and displays it. This car is travelling at 43 km/h in a 50 km/h speed limit zone. That's a little lower than average. Very few exceed 51 km/h in this location. There is an obsolete ty ... [more]

The surface on this cycle / pedestrian bridge is being repaired. As a result, at the moment there are a few bare panels which can be slippery when wet. The sign reads "slippery bridge surface" The cycle path over the bridge is 4 m wide, ... [more]

Newly installed traffic calming on a minor road. Very simple, very cheap (i.e. could surely be done in the UK), slows down and discourages drivers and causes no problems for cyclists at the same time as making the crossing position obvious. ... [more]

It's -4 C this Saturday morning, but the fire brigade have turned up to practice rescuing people from the frozen canal. They have parked their vehicles blocking part of the four metre cycle path, but not all of it, and they are huddled h ... [more]

Newly improved (the sand remains from construction) and widened surface on cycle path through industrial estate. Last year this path looked like #11800

We're not finished yet. The sign is telling about the improvements to a cycle path in this industrial estate. It has been widened to 4 metres in order that it is up to current standards.

Generally cyclists ride on cycle paths segregated from the roads and not merely on cycle lanes on the road. However, in a location like this, which is in an industrial estate where there are likely to be only adult cyclists, a 2 metre wide ... [more]

Haren shared space. Low subjective safety for cyclists here.

High subjective safety ( ) on a four metre wide segregated cycle path next to a busy commuter road near an industrial estate. Due to the bridge, the separation from traffic h ... [more]

Raised cycle crossing on entrance to city. Note the speed limit changes here from 60 km/h in the countryside to 50 km/h on this road. Cyclists have more direct routes and don't use this road.

Raised cycle crossing on entrance to city

Close up of raised cycle crossing

Raised crossing at entrance to city

Raised cycle crossing at the entrance to the city

After visiting the disaster of a shared space area it's always pleasant to escape to where cyclists are important again. It's also pleasant to add a photo of some confident and happy cyclists after having posted a few of cyclists under p ... [more]

Shared Space in Haren. A bunch of cyclists are uncomfortably positioned between cars. The sort of thing that leads to lower feeling of comfort of roads and lower cycling rates. Note how similar "Shared Space" looks to a typical British t ... [more]

Shared Space in Haren: Cyclist being overtaken much too close by car, despite there being light traffic today because it's a Sunday and the shops are all shut.

Shared Space in Haren. The red car should have given way to the cyclists from the right. The principle of giving way to the right being one of the things that is supposed to slow traffic down. However, this driver was going at some speed an ... [more]

Shared Space in Haren. Beautiful church, but it's obscurred by a constant stream of motor vehicles. Shared Space gives drivers more rights than they might otherwise have in a town centre, and results in places which are dominated by motor t ... [more]

Shared Space in Haren. It's a quiet Sunday (no shops open on Sundays), but still the cyclist is about to be overtaken too close by the dark coloured car.

Shared Space in Haren. Architectural features of shared space look nice, but can cause hazards for cyclists. In this case there is a ridge between the drain and the dark (slippery) surface and another ridge between the dark surface and t ... [more]

Shared Space in Haren. It is very rare to see cyclists on the pavement in the Netherlands except in shared space areas. Here's a second cyclist within a few seconds cycling on the pavement. Even though it's Sunday and there are relativel ... [more]

Tulip bike racks. These are a very popular style of bike rack which properly support the front wheel of the bicycle, making loading easy, while also being compact and providing for additional locking of the frame.

Shared Space in Haren causes a loss of confidence amongst cyclists and pedestrians. Even on a Sunday when there is little traffic, this cyclist would rather ride on the pavement than on the road.

It's -7 C this morning in Assen. However, cycling carries on as usual. There are three cyclists in this photo of a bicycle road, which as ever is free of ice and safe to use.

Not quite perfect. There is a small patch of ice on the right here, about 50 cm wide on the four metre cycle path, which must have been missed by the gritter from this side when it turned around at the pole. It's -4 C, the canal is froz ... [more]

Left most is a frozen canal. Then we have a cycle path completely clear of ice, as ever, then icy grass and the drain that the children are breaking ice in. It's -4 C today. Everyone is out and about as usual.

It's -4 C this morning, but everyone's still cycling. While the canal is solid, the cycle paths have no ice on them whatsoever as they have all been salted.

Assen at night at -2 C. Plenty of ice on the grass and the canal is completely frozen over, but the well lit cycle paths are completely free of ice as they always are right through the winter. More photos and a video of riding in these c ... [more]

Let's have children playing hopscotch on the road. To enable this, make hopscotch shapes out of bricks permanently built into the road. Photo from a housing estate in Assen in the Netherlands. The area is a woonerf, so by law cars are no ... [more]

Lifting bridge for cyclists over the canal in the snow. This cyclist is riding one handed and holding an umbrella to keep the snow out of his face. The cycle paths have all been gritted, so it's quite safe to do this. More Assen cycli ... [more]

The cyclist on the left is confident enough that the road will be free of ice that he's cycling with no hands. Even though it's a minor road, it's completely clear or ice and snow. The roads and cycle paths are gritted daily through the ... [more]

Primary school children cycling back to school after lunch - stopped for a bit of fun in the snow. Note the completely snow and ice free roads even here in a residential area. ALL the roads and cycle paths are gritted and salted in Assen ... [more]

Close up of Pjotr's self made wooden recumbent. By taking off the wing nuts above and below the main frame this bike can be separated into two parts, and so carried on the train for free at any time. See #15463 for the whole bike

Pjotr brought along his self made wooden recumbent today. See close up photo at #15464

Traffic Jam on bicycle road due to too many cyclists using this 5 metre wide facility at the same time. How can there be enough to fill such a space ? Sinterklaas is arriving in the city: ... [more]

Christmas trees banned until the 6th of December. Let Sinterklaas have some space first before the imported tradition:

Cycle parking inside Ikea in Groningen

Cyclist overtaken as he pulled out to get past a car parked on the road. The result of "Shared Space".

It's just dark, and of course there are still plenty of cyclists on the streets of Assen, not that any of this lot have bothered with lights. The point being that there is such a level of safety that people often don't bother with lights ... [more]

One of several road closures for the Assen triathlon.

Cycle commuters going along the bicycle road in Assen on a wet morning... The bicycle road has priority for bikes. It is not allowed to park a car on the road and it does not provide a through route for cars. Cars (apart from those of ... [more]

Riding into the fog on the morning of a bike race in Groningen. More on the event here:

Home made all carbon fibre low racer recumbent (for people with very narrow bodies) resting before the exertion of a race on the cycle racing track in Groningen. This machine weighs just 9 kg. The video gives an impression of the race sp ... [more]

Heading back home on the cycle path after racing in Groningen. Note brand new wide, smooth unidirectional cycle path (it's to be the same on the other side of the road), several km of which have been completed along here since we came here ... [more]

Dad's just dropped his child off at school using a "Vaderfiets" - Father Bike. This is factory fitted with an extra saddle on the top tube to carry children. Note the rare use of low quality "Sheffield Rack" style parking in the backgrou ... [more]

I've now been out a few times with the local Sunday morning recumbent riders group, the Huneliggers. This photo shows the bikes outside the cafe where the ride starts, ready to set off on Sunday morning. Many of people ride these velomob ... [more]

Possible solution for Gilbert Road in Cambridge. We liked this very much. It had a feel of an on-road path but had clear segregation.

Entering the village of Noordwolde on a minor road. This is where I cycled to in order to take part in an international basket-making event. The (permanent) sign reads "Welcome to the basket-making village of the Netherlands, Noordwolde". ... [more]

Cycle path leaving the village of Oosterstreek. This is the end of the 30 km/h speed limit (18 mph) normal for villages and the start of the 60 km/h limit between villages (35 mph). In both the 30 and 60 km/h speed limit zones there i ... [more]

Cyclists in Groningen

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