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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.

Despite a brave attempt, as shown in #12825 and #12826, to provide a lot of really attractive cycle parking at Groningen station, they've still had to provide some extra less pretty parking around the corner Since this photo was taken, c ... [more]

Groningen railway station as it looks now. In contrast with older photos (e.g. #9747), the cycle parking is now hidden from view. Watch the video to get an idea of what this space looks like. In this video I am walking over the roof of t ... [more]

Groningen Railway station parking. Unlike in the photos from 10 years ago ( #9747 ), this now has the bikes undercover and has architectural features on the roof. Watch the video to see some of the bike parking. No bike is shown twice in th ... [more]

Cycle path as seen in #12789 showing the route over the road next to the bridge. It's still under construction, but we've got proper lights now so that cyclists can see where they are going.

I have now solved the mystery of why this path is narrower than the usual 4 metres and why it had its width written on it. The path was resurfaced a few days after this photo was taken. The width was written on to make sure the contractor d ... [more]

Cycle parking at the restaurant right next to the entrance. Also note the yellow box of tools available for use by cyclists which you can see a closer image of in #12781. The blue bike at the right in the parking is an OV-Fiets. OV stand ... [more]

Rijwiel Hulpkist. A chest of tools for cyclists on the outside of a restaurant. Lots of restaurants take part in this scheme of providing free tools to cyclists. You have to ask for a key inside the restaurant. The ANWB are the equivalent o ... [more]

Knooppuntnetwerk route signage in Friesland. It's a join-the-numbered-dots system of maps as shown spaced a few hundred metres apart in all directions across the province. This is claimed to have paid for itself almost as soon as it was ins ... [more]

Seat provided as part of an initiative to encourage recreational cycle journeys to such locations as the woods near Assen in Drenthe that this is next to. There's a splendid bike path all the way here.

"Glass" barriers on this bridge serve to keep traffic noise from the residents of house boats, stop cyclists falling into the water from the bike path and they look nice.

Canal path in Assen. Watch the video to see an example of the sort of bike path which runs through housing estates from this path. In this example, it's a 1970s estate.

The sign for drivers says "Assen 16 / Groningen 14 / Zuidlaren 9". The bike route sign says "Assen 15 / Groningen 12 / Zuidlaren 8". It is almost always the case that cycle routes are more direct than driving routes.

A Dutch junction quite similar to Cambridge's A10 / A14 junction at Milton. However, here cyclists are definitely not on the road and this is used even by school children (a lot of them). Watch the video to see how it works. We start ... [more]

Groningen Airport Eelde - this airport is between Groningen and Assen and serves both cities. Surprisingly, there isn't a bike path right outside the terminal, but watch the video to see how short a distance it is to the cycle path. The pat ... [more]

With the addition of a front rack and a basket made to fit, my Xtracycle can now really move big loads ! For an Xtracycle review, and even a video of the basket being made if you look around a bit, go here: ... [more]

Has anyone ever told you that cycle routes are indirect ? These two signposts are about 10 metres apart. The blue ones show distances for cars, the red for bicycles on the bike paths. Mostly the show the same distances to different pl ... [more]

The sign says "Countryside Area". 60 km/h is about 35 mph on this rural road. That's the highest speed limit I've known on a road which I've shared with drivers in the Netherlands, and you only share such a road where traffic volumes are ve ... [more]

Railway platform style bus stop arranged conveniently near the bike path. If you play the video you'll see the cycle parking provided for the bus stop. "Cycle and ride" is quite a popular way of commuting. You'll see that even on this co ... [more]

The sun's shining, it's a lovely day and here I am cycling flat out on a proper segregated bike path which goes for another 4 km before I have to worry about a road junction. I'm here, the cars are over there. Just try crashing into me, ... [more]

Cyclist are on this side of the canal, the main road is on the other side of the canal. This road is actually shared as an access road for a few houses and for tractors to get to fields. Watch the video to see how you can get all the way fr ... [more]

This road turns into a cycle path, goes over a bridge which crosses a cycle underpass and then crosses a road. This allows cyclists to take a much more direct route than drives travelling in the same direction. Play the video to see h ... [more]

The sign says "Bridge Open - Motor Off". A request for drivers not to pollute the air when a boat is entering or leaving the lock and the bridge is open for it. These signs are quite normal on the many lifting bridges in the Netherlands.

Dangerous railings in a Dutch town. This is Oosterwolde in Friesland, an example of the "shared space" ideas of Hans Monderman. There are plenty of signs, railings like I've seen nowhere else over here, and more cars than usual for the N ... [more]

Unusually for the Netherlands, an urban landscape which is dominated by cars. There is comparatively little cycle parking, presumably because there is little need for it. This is Oosterwolde in Friesland and an example of the "Shared Spa ... [more]

The Tegelijk Groen sign tells you that all the green cycle lights will go green at once and you can cross in any direction (even diagonally). If you watch the video you'll see how this leads directly to a newly upgraded road. Note how th ... [more]

Another example of a company providing branded customer cycle parking outside their premises. In this case it's a central heating company. Like many of the other photos, this location now looks completely different to the google aeria ... [more]

Yet another shop with branded cycle parking outside. Retailers here in Assen seem to like cyclists. The car parking shown on Google's aerial photography doesn't exist any more.

Marvellous recreational path through a forest. This was wonderfully smooth and quite up to speeds of over 30 km/h. It's also possible to proceed slowly, of course, and picnic benches are provided at regular intervals to allow for a gezel ... [more]

A less good than average treatment of a tunnel under a motorway, but still creditable as allowing cyclists to continue at a good pace without giving way to anything at all. The video continues to cross the bridge shown from the other sid ... [more]

A now rare Fietsers Oversteken sign. These old-fashioned signs sometimes appear on relatively little used roads to tell cyclists to use the cycle path on the other side of the road. It's not a huge penalty as the bike paths are perfectly go ... [more]

Fantastic cycle path through heath. This is what makes cycling such a pleasure in the Netherlands. A very smooth tarmac recreational path with absolutely nothing nearby. I rode along here the whole time in excess of 30 km/h without having ... [more]

Kamp Westerbork. After being caught in Amsterdam, Anne Frank was moved here for her last few days in the Netherlands before being put on an East-bound train. You can read more about Kamp Westerbork here: ... [more]

Most things to do with bikes are legal in the Netherlands, including cycling with Fido on the bike path. Why should dogs miss out on the fun ? Cycling with two dogs at the same time is considered to be a bit more than the average person ... [more]

27th December 2007. It being a bit warmer (5 C) today I decided to go for a ride of around 40 km in the afternoon. This meant riding on a lot of really beautiful paths in the middle of nowhere. I dismounted for the rather large and immob ... [more]

A FietsNED van ( see ). This is a nationwide franchise business which will come and rescue you should your bike break down. The slogan ? "Fiets kapot? Bel onze servicelijn" ("Bike broken ? Call our service line"). ... [more]

30 km/h access roads for housing often run parallel with the road. Even when they're one way, they allow cycling in both directions. They also join up with cycl epaths to allow direct access by bike to places where you have an indirect r ... [more]

Bikes parked near the Albert Heijn supermarket in Assen, including a rare MTB, but also more normal bikes. Watch the video to see some more of the bikes parked not just here but also inside the covered shopping area. There were plenty ... [more]

One of many bikes parked inside the covered shopping centre. This one has a particularly stylish way of transporting a youngster voorop (on the front). See also #12360 for another view of the same place.

Junction on four metre wide cycle paths in Assen just around the corner from the rubbish bin shown in #12353 As ever, they're wide, smooth, well sign-posted, kept clear of ice and leaves, actually go somewhere useful etc. etc.

Wide cycle path next to the road that the car came from. This path has priority over all the side-roads, so the car driver waited for us, as he should. It's -5 C in Assen today, hence the warm clothing ! Note that the cycle path has been ... [more]

Approaching a cycle path at -5 C on the 22nd of December. Note how the path and the minor road leading to it are clear of ice.

A rubbish bin for cyclists on the move. This is on a cycle-path near a school in Assen. Making throwing rubbish into a bin into a "fun" thing to do probably helps to avoid litter. The bin is called a "blikvanger". This usually means "eye ... [more]

Reindeer in a kinderboerderij in Assen on the 22nd of December at a temperature of -5 C.

A very urban bike path going around the back of some busy streets, and what a pleasure it is to use it, despite the temperature being -5 C. Assen in the Netherlands, 22nd of December.

22nd of December. It's -5 C, but no-one's enthusiasm for cycling is damped too much by this. It's the last Saturday before Christmas. The racks in the city are all full, there are bikes parked everywhere other than the racks too and the ... [more]

The routes taken daily by the four different special cycle path gritting trucks which operate in Assen. They cover 207 km of cycle path each day, keeping the whole clear of icy patchs and safe to use through the winter. This information ... [more]

Another missive from the Assen local government printed in the paper. This is all about de-icing the roads and cycle paths. The title "Assen government in action against slipperiness" A few salient points. 340 km of road and 207 km ... [more]

Photo taken on the 21st of December at a temperature of -4 C. This is no reason not to go to collect your shopping on a bike with two young children aboard (you can see the older child achterop - on the back, play the video to see the secon ... [more]

Peelo is an estate built in the 1970s in Assen. It's crossed by many by excellent cycle paths which take a direct route and to which motor traffic gives way. This video nearly reaches the same spot in the oppostie direction as the video ... [more]

It's the 21st of December, before mid-day on a work-day and -4 C. Assen in the winter. Plenty of bikes around. The white between the tiles is salt. All the paths are well salted and it's quite safe to cycle.

It's the 21st of December, -4 C, about half past mid-day on a working day. The bike racks are more than full as usual. Watch the video to get an idea of how many cyclists you see here, even on cold days. The paths have, of course, all be ... [more]

Little signs that say "uitgezonderd" with a picture of a bike and a bromfiets (an especially gutless class of low power motorbike) mean that these vehicles are excepted from whatever regulation is otherwise enforced by the sign. There ar ... [more]

Two "Except Cyclists" signs in one photo. I've yet to find a one-way street here which doesn't except cyclists. See also #12343 which shows three more within a few metres of this location.

It's the 20th of December, just after 8 am. It's been below freezing for several days. Cycle commuters on a canal path in Assen. Also see #12339

It's the 20th of December, just after 8 am. It's been below freezing for several days now, but here are a mother and child on the way to school on a cycle path by the canal in Assen. See also #12341

Xtracycle Free-Radical taking yet another load of baskets to the post office... You can read a review of the bike after 5 year's use (including a video) here:

Bike parked at a bus-stop in Assen. It's not at all unusual to see bikes parked all day at bus-stops, but it is increasingly unusual to see bus-stops which don't have proper bike parking. Note how passengers waiting for the bus do not ... [more]

Different ways to travel at this junction. This is a large roundabout with wide cycle paths around it. The priority at these junctions is for the drivers, but you never have to wait long as the roundabout itself is designed for low speed ... [more]

Another cycle path as wide as a minor road and to which the roads give way. What you can't see from this shot (but can see from Google's aerial photography) is that following this path gives you a more direct route than the road through an ... [more]

A cycle path which provides an alternative for a short distance to that shown in #11713 and goes into a residential area. Because this is merely a link path, it is narrower than usual at just 3.5 m.

New bike path over a new bridge. The bike path is as wide as one lane of the road. Other views of the bridge can be seen in #12105 and #12106 The video shows how this new path joins with that shown in #11713 and #12302 The bike ... [more]

Temporary bike parking stands which previously were deployed in a totally routine manner on a local building site so that workers could use them and now awaiting collection.

Bike parking on the other side of Assen railway station. There is a lot of bike parking here, just as there is everywhere else around the city. Also see #12021 for a view of the parking at the front side of the station.

Excellent signs are placed all over the Dutch national cycle path network

Post card from the local government advertising what is being done on newly upgraded rural cyclepaths - which are branded fietsroute+. The points in the green dots: o Clearly signposted o Easy and safe crossings o Minimum of 2.5 m w ... [more]

Excellent wide and smooth segregated cycle path following on from #12270.

Bridge built over a ditch so that cyclists can continue to be segregated from motor traffic on this narrow section of road. Note that drivers at one point along here have to give way to oncoming vehicles. Cyclists avoid the problem of ha ... [more]

An example of how segregation allows motorists to be controlled without adversely affecting cyclists. At this location the road narrows and bends and it is necessary to give one direction of travel on the road a higher priority than the ... [more]

The entirely rural 30 km/h around the village of Deurze. This zone is about 1.5 km long on mostly empty rural roads with just a few houses. The other end of the 30 km/h zone shown in #12136 "Let op, rechts heeft voorrang" is to tell peop ... [more]

Bicycle inner-tube vending machine. The sign reads "Never more without... Continental cycle inner tubes". Also someone had written on Euro-5.50 (the price of an innertube). It's not particularly unusual to see boxes attached to buildi ... [more]

Memorial to the crew of Lancaster Mk III JB 154 which crashed at this site near Assen in the Netherlands on the 20th of October 1943 at 22:45 when returning from Leipzig. The grey path is a smooth cycle path to the memorial. You can also ... [more]

A relatively narrow, recreational cycle path in the Netherlands. However, it's still wide enough for two bikes to be side by side, it's surfaced with smooth tarmac, it's been gritted because it's cold, cleared of leaves and has signposts. ... [more]

This sort of minor road in a village will have a 30 km/h speed limit in the Netherlands. In this case, 1.5 km of road past just a few houses has this speed limit. The other end of the zone is shown in #12268

Minor road alongside the main road. I have no idea why anyone would prefer to ride on main-roads with lots of traffic when there is an alternative like this which has virtually no traffic on it except the cars belonging to the people in the ... [more]

A couple of days ago back in photo #12123 I added a photo of an article in the local newspaper where the council was promising to grit the paths once winter arrived. This Sunday morning I went for a ride of about 50 km and found virtually e ... [more]

The council here in Assen publishes a couple of pages in the local paper each week about things that are going on. Today (15th November) this article was included: -------------------- Gritting - Why bollards are removed in winter ... [more]

Today the children's bikes were inspected at school. A police officer comes to the school premises to test all the kid's bikes once per year. It's quite a job as virtually all kids bring their bikes to school. The result: A sticker sayin ... [more]

This used to be one of the main roads to the centre of the city, but now it's a "bicycle road" and used by cars only for access. Motorists have been given a different (less direct) route. While these look like 1.5 m bike lanes each side ... [more]

Alice on a bicycle in the Toy Museum at Roden, Netherlands (Speelgoedmuseum "Kinderwereld")

Alternative view of new path construction also shown in #12105 The camera shows the direction of the cycle path, which also turns right to cross the bridge. The van is parked parallel with the road that the path crosses at this point and ... [more]

View of the construction of a new lifting bridge on the canal at Groene Dijk in Assen. The existing bike path has been moved towards the camera and a new crossing will be installed to cross the road (in one go and with no obstacles). ... [more]

Heading out of the village of Bovensmilde on the bike path. At the point where the bicycle is, the path changes from village to inter-village and the surface changes. The path is smooth, wide and suitable for cycling.

This looks like a road with just narrow cycle lanes. However, it's actually a road used by hardly any cars at all, as there's nowhere to get to by car and no way of using it as a through road. The car in the photo will have to do a right or ... [more]

Sign within "pedestrianized" area showing limits on delivery vehicles. In this street they are allowed: Monday to Thursday 7:00 - 13:00 and 17:30 - 20:00. Friday 7:00 - 13:00 Saturday 7:00 - 11:00 and 17:00 - 18:00. Normally ... [more]

It may seem frivolous, but space to do daft things like this on bikes (or not on bikes) seems to be provided in the Netherlands. This extreme mountain biking action was made possible only by reserving space for it and by building an arti ... [more]

View of the bike path which takes workers to the large NAM (Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij - Dutch Oil Company) headquarters in Assen. NAM is a good part of Shell. Also see #12064

Nodding Donkey oil pump at the NAM (Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij - Dutch Oil Company) headquarters in Assen. NAM is a good part of Shell, and the size of their headquarters reflects this.

While cycling rates in Assen are already incredibly high by British standards, the fight to increase the rate of cycling still goes on. This was in today's (1st November 2007) local paper. Since this time, the cycling rate in Assen has g ... [more]

Cycle parking at Assen station. There really are quite a lot of bikes here for a city of 63000 people. Play the video to get an idea of how many. Not all the bikes are in this park - there is another similar cycle park on the opposite side ... [more]

Equivalent of A-frame shop, but with bike parking built in. Not the greatest quality of parking, but how marvellous to see a shop adding a bit to the available parking. Assen, Netherlands.

Wonderful canal path. Other views are at #11713 and #11784, but this one provides video. The path has the standard width of four metres. Upgraded in 2011. See #33320

Old main road being re-worked into a "bicycle road" which gives priority to cyclists. Through motorised traffic is being sent by a different (longer, less direct) route over a new bridge #12105). This will consist of two large red cycle lan ... [more]

Typical bike path alongside a fairly busy rural road

What use is a set of photos of the Netherlands unless at least one windmill is included ?

Cycle parking at a primary school. Run the video to see how much and where this is. Note that primary schools tend only to have a couple of hundred children who will almost certainly come from under a kilometre away. There are no wall ... [more]

New school in Kloosterveen outside Assen. Note the high quality of construction, including novel features such as a green roof. Also note how the cycle path leads directly to the cycle parking. The previous photo includes part of the run ... [more]

Brand new housing estate at Kloosterveen near Assen. This shows the excellent cycle path alongside homes. Cars are permitted to park between trees. There is a special mesh which protects the greenery. Also, even though these are smaller ter ... [more]

One of many small paths in an area of mixed heath and forest just a couple of minutes cycle from the city of Assen. Anyone can escape the city and get out into some greenery on their bikes with ease. While all these paths are well surfac ... [more]

The new cycle path on Vaart ZZ. This replaces what was already a fully segregated path, with a better quality version of the same. It's decently wide (three metres) so not even a "steam" roller on the path (here as part of the works) can bl ... [more]

Update April 2008: A meeting with city officials brought the information that this is only a secondary path in this direction. The primary bike route is to be 5 metres wide and parallel with this one on the other side of the canal. The " ... [more]

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