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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.

Cyclists in Groningen

An obstruction on the cycle path... actors putting on a show. This was part of a free to enter "cycling and culture" ride organised by the local council. You can see a video of this here: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=4gob1PEdGsY

Two of the Huneliggers ( http://www.huneliggers.nl/ ). A group of recumbent riders who get together on Sunday mornings.

The sign reads "Take Care. Cyclists in the bus lane" Cyclists are never expected to share space with buses in the Netherlands, but in this case the cycle path is being resurfaced so cyclists have to use the bus lane. However, buses were ... [more]

The Jeugdtour is the largest youth cycling race in the world, which attracts competitors from all around the world. It is a week long event held annually in Assen. This photo is from the criterium, which is held on roads closed for the occa ... [more]

A vintage bicycle ride in Norg, near Assen in the Netherlands. 107 machines are lined up, on a road closed to cars for the occasion. To see a video of this ride, look here: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=2OsjSxwlhd8

"Tegelijk groen" indicates that cyclists have their own green phase at these traffic lights and that they're allowed to travel in any direction on a green - including diagonal, which is demonstrated in the video. Its is less obvious that ... [more]

Family cycling. No-one wears a helmet, the straps on the child seat of the child on the front adult bike aren't even done up. This is what happens when conditions for cycling feel, and actually are, safe. Lots of room for riding side by ... [more]

"Blij dat ik fiets" - "Happy that I cycle" Sticker for the rear mudguard given out by Fietsersbond - the Dutch cycle campaigning organisation. Smiling while cycling is normal here.

More bikes parked for the fietsvierdaagse

Temporary parking for the fietsvierdaagse in a field at a farm. This is the location of one of the controls, and also a nice place for a coffee.

People of all ages enjoying the fietsvierdaagse in Drenthe. This is a non competitive cycling event, which requires people to take four days covering routes around Assen. The routes vary from 40 to 100 km (you choose the length that is m ... [more]

Dog on the bike path...

Translation "Take care! Pedestrians on the cyclepath" A very unusual sign showing that this cycle path is expected to be used by pedestrians as well. Shared use is NEVER normally used in the Netherlands. However, in this case this is nex ... [more]

This car may look in the photo as if it's overtaking the cyclists, but it's not. There is no one in the car, which is parked. The driver has chosen to park in such a way that he blocks the road instead of the cycle lane. Assen, Netherlan ... [more]

Female cycle racers in Assen, Netherlands.

Young cycle racers on Assen's cycle racing track. Cycle racing is very popular in the Netherlands and a lot of people compete. Assen, like most towns, has a cycle racing circuit. It also has various road races for which roads are closed ... [more]

One of Assen's very high speed commuters riding a fully faired recumbent trike. All types of bicycle are accommodated on Dutch cycle paths, and high speeds are possible. You can see more velomobiles here: #14710 And read more about ... [more]

Hybrid cycle lane in Groningen

Hybrid cycle lane in Groningen

Hybrid cycle lane in Groningen

Hybrid cycle lane in Groningen. Note that the kerb showing that the hybrid cycle lane is on-road.

Hybrid cycle lane in Groningen

Hybrid cycle lane in Groningen

Hybrid cycle lane in Groningen

Hybrid cycle lane in Groningen

Hybrid cycle lane in Groningen

Hybrid cycle lane in Groningen

Hybrid cycle lane in Groningen

Hybrid cycle lane in Groningen

Hybrid cycle lane in Groningen

Hybrid cycle lane in Groningen

The cycle path alongside this dual carriageway has had to be removed temporarily. However, you can't inconvenience cyclists like that, so they've closed half the dual carriageway so that cyclists can use it. This is in Assen in the Nethe ... [more]

There's no cycle path here, but there is a service road next to the main road, which gives cyclists wonderful traffic free conditions.

Secondary school students riding home from school. They will have come from a school in Assen but probably live in Beilen, about 20 km south. A 40 km round trip to school is not particularly unusual in the Netherlands. This isn't a cy ... [more]

This is a secure entrance to the military barracks in Assen, Netherlands. The turnstile is for a person to pass into or out of the area, the gate on the right is for their accompanying bicycle. It is very rare in the Netherlands to find ... [more]

Cycle racers going very quickly on one of the many wide, smooth and direct cycle paths in Assen, Netherlands.

New bridge constructed to take a dual carriageway over a cycle path. This huge bridge replaced a very large road junction which was in this position previously. Drivers can no longer leave the dual carriageway at this point and follow wh ... [more]

Rising bollard in Assen. Absolutely no conflict with cyclists due to this bollard as cyclists are on a separate cycle path. This is not a through route for car drivers (they are allowed here for access only), but only for buses and bikes ... [more]

Martin and James on closest modern equivalent to a "hybrid" cycle lane. This is a segregated path with minimal separation from the road. It has separation by grade for most of its distance, becomes separated horizontally at the major junct ... [more]

Martin and James on closest modern equivalent to a "hybrid" cycle lane. This is a segregated path with minimal separation from the road. It has separation by grade for most of its distance, becomes separated horizontally at the major junct ... [more]

Large road junction in Assen, Netherlands. This shows clearly the width of the cycle paths (4 m - wider than road lanes), that they are well spaced from the roads and the way that crossings are direct and do not stop in the middle even when ... [more]

Hands up those who have had the experience of being overtaken by a bus which then pulled in at a bus-stop. Well designed segregated cycle paths prevent bus-stops from causing conflict between cyclists and buses. They also prevent cyclist ... [more]

Quite apart from being good for accommodating bicycles, one of the other excellent things about decent cycling infrastructure is that it lends itself to other activities too. Tonight is the first day of Assen's annual avondvierdaagse. Th ... [more]

A horse being led by cyclist. Riding into the village of Loon, near Assen in the Netherlands on the wonderful smooth and wide cycle path usually used by commuters, shoppers, school run kids, skaters, cycle tourers and of course racers. T ... [more]

Study Tour participants on 4 metre wide cycle path in Assen, Netherlands.

Study Tour participants waiting for others who are measuring a road. Four metre wide cycle path.

Campaigners measuring unidirectional cycle path in Assen, Netherlands.

Study Tour group on 4 metre wide cycle path. Groningerstraat in Assen.

At this school in Assen,. there are 850 cycle parking spaces for 725 students. The bikes show up very well on the google maps aerial photography. Try counting them. A very high quality cycle path leads from the school entrance to most ... [more]

James and Olly on four metre wide cycle path in Assen

Hybrid Cycle lane. Click on the photo to get a clearer indication of the nature of this provision - on-road but with a feeling of off-road provision.

Brand new cycle parking stands of a type quite popular in Assen, Netherlands. These are not the best variety as they don't also have a loop to tie to the frame. However, this is a low crime area and few people bother to lock their frames ... [more]

Very old and very cheap cycle facility on a road used by few cyclists where a cycle lane becomes a cycle-path momentarily and goes behind a bus-stop. This prevents cyclists using the cycle lane from being cut up by buses which overtake a ... [more]

Cycle campaigners in Groningen enjoying poffertjes and beer as local cyclists go by.

On one of the routes to a school in Assen there are several road signs drawn by children. This is my favourite: "Fiets Liever" or "Prefer Bikes". I assume the idea of this is to remind drivers that children will be on their bikes around ... [more]

Racing cyclist on cycle path near Assen. The Dutch have considerable success in cycle racing given their small population, and this is in no small part aided by their large cycling population. The cycle paths here support very high cycli ... [more]

Advertising on bicycles. These leaflets advertise an upcoming event and had been placed on most bikes in Assen today.

Fairly typical street scene showing more cycle parking in Assen. The streets have an enormous amount of space for bicycles right outside the shops, cafes etc. Note also the blue right turn sign. This has an "except cyclists" sign underne ... [more]

There's an event on in Assen, so extra cycle parking has been provided and there is are yellow overflow cycle parking signs ([P] Fiets) installed on this and several other lamp-posts to point to the overflow cycle parking areas just outside ... [more]

Trader with remaining unsold bikes leaving the vrijmarkt at the end of Koninginnedag.

This sign stands by the main entrance of the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (Dutch Oil Company - a big chunk of Shell) building in Assen. The sign shows the injury rate of the business. The top number is the number of days which ha ... [more]

Mobility scooters are also welcome on Dutch cycle paths

Three generations of a family cycling together. A very common sight on Dutch cycle paths.

A comprehensive network of cycle paths allows all sorts of people to cycle. In this case, a disabled person on a tricycle is being accompanied on a ride out into the countryside. No amount of "vehicular cycling" training allows this to h ... [more]

This cycle path is being resurfaced so one lane of the road has been taken from drivers as a temporary cycle path while works continue. Note that there is also a cycle path on the opposite side of the road, but cyclists are not told to c ... [more]

In a bike culture, everyone wants bikes. This bakfiets, surrounded by cartons of fruit juice, is a competition prize in a supermarket. The juice is selling. Unusual bicycles make common competition prizes in the Netherlands.

Assen, Netherlands. What was once a perfectly good road for driving on is being converted into a "bicycle road". This involves cutting a metre wide strip from the middle of the road, leaving two single direction 2 m wide cycle paths. The ga ... [more]

Dutch primary school children turning up for a traffic safety test. They have ridden their bikes from schools around the city and are now given a 6 km course to follow before riding home again. Schools often make school trips by bike. A ... [more]

Racing cyclists on a cycle path in the Netherlands. While there are occasionally criticisms of Dutch cycling facilities based on them not being suitable for cycling at speed, this is not really the case. It is generally those who have no ... [more]

The neighbour's nanny with a child on a trike with trailer. Residential roads here are used by children with all sorts of contraptions like this. A few days previously the child sitting in the back was riding the trike and pulling his 9 ... [more]

The all important junk mail delivery in Assen, Netherlands. This huge bicycle trailer carries vast amounts of paper and must be very heavy to pull with a bike. Lots of delivery jobs are done with bicycles in this area. The junk mai ... [more]

Children travelling on odd devices safely... The Netherlands. You sometimes see devices like this some way from civilization. These two are actually just outside their house.

In the Netherlands, wheelchairs and mobility devices are also required to use cycle paths, which have to be made suitable for all these uses.

"Hybrid" cycle path in Groningen. This is a low quality cycle path for the Netherlands, it is old and only still exists in quite short lengths, as you'll see by playing the associated video which shows how junctions are dealt with. Also lo ... [more]

Children coming home for lunch at a primary school in a village.

Veilig Verkeer Nederland distribute a set of "happy families" cards to children who pass the traffic safety examination. These are all quite witty. e.g. The top left in the "Weather or no weather" group says "With the wind on your back, ... [more]

Due to extensive road works, some roads in Assen can't currently be driven down. This style of temporary road sign shows which. However, despite the inconvenience to drivers, it has been ensured that cyclists can continue to use those route ... [more]

A temporary cycle bridge over a canal. This is constructed of concrete and steel and has a smooth 3 metre wide surface. If this had not been installed then an important link in the cycle network would have been broken. That very rarely h ... [more]

Segregated cycle path. Single direction, 2.5 m wide path with 0.5 m wide guard strip and a 2 m wide pavement. Note the pinch point which keeps drivers behaviour reasonable does not adversely affect cyclists on the path and gives a useful ... [more]

Retro-installation of segregated cycle path. This is a single direction cycle path, so can be just 2.5 m wide, with a 0.5 m guard strip in a different colour. Pedestrians have their own path the other side of the trees on the left.

Bicycles parked at the bus stop. Bus stops here always have bike parking provided. Bike + bus is quite a popular way to travel a longer distance than you might want to travel by bike alone. The bike path here is 4 m wide and the thin (cl ... [more]

Tyre tracks in light snow on a popular cycle path.

It's very common here in the Netherlands for bicycles or bicycle accessories to be given away in competitions for products with no connection with cycling. I guess that is what comes of having a cycling culture. In this case you can win ... [more]

I've used this cycle path virtually every day since we moved here. Smooth surfaces are very important for cyclists. However, while this surface was a little rough, as you can see from the bit still remaining red tarmac, it was smoother t ... [more]

This road is closed to motorized vehicles and so available nearly all the time for cycling. Why only "nearly" ? It's a military practice area, so come in at the wrong time and you might find yourself facing a tank... Still, it's wonderfu ... [more]

A view of the inside of Groningen Railway Station cycle parking. This shows a very small section of the main covered parking area. See #12825 for a video showing more.

Groningen street

Busy street in Groningen.

Narrow road. As I stood for a few seconds, trying to find a shop I was looking for, I watched three bendy buses in a row go past cyclists rather close. Groningen seems to have rather a lot of buses.

Excellent cycle path next to the road, but I'm taking the little paths today as you'll see from the video

A war memorial in the woods. I think it translates as "There is a knowledge of each other that time and distance overcomes". The names are all Dutch, and the 8th of April is not very long before this area was freed.

A gas pipeline is marked by these signs. This part of the Netherlands is on top of the largest underground gas field anywhere in Western Europe. Watch the video to see the marvellous rural bike path that this is next to.

A rather antiquated example of a paddestoel sign marking the start of a really nice bike path in the middle of nowhere. It's not that there is anything wrong with the roads around here for cycling on. They're only used by the odd tractor ... [more]

This once through road at the exit of a small village is no longer a through road for drivers. However, cyclists have been provided with a marvellous way out. An excellent cycling signpost at the end of the tunnel gives many options for ... [more]

Lots of directions for cyclists to travel in, but only one for motorists.

Terrible rough surface for anyone driving a motor vehicle, but a fine path for cyclists.

"Slecht Wegdek" means "bad surface". It really is a bad surface. I wouldn't want to drive a car over it. Of course, we don't have to worry about this if we're on a bike. Watch the video to see how much better you're treated on a bike. ... [more]

Slightly old fashioned, but high capacity cycle path junction. This is a single direction cycle path. There is much the same on the other side of the road. The grey surface on the right is for pedestrians. Note that the green light for b ... [more]

Groningen Station has built some very nice cycle parking as seen in #12825 and #12826, but that hasn't stopped the requirement for yet more bikes to be parked at the station, so there are several areas that look like this.

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