Biking in The Netherlands – 05 – Purmerend to Alkmaar

[Categories: Travel, Photography, Travel Photography]
[This series of posts is about our recent 3-day sightseeing plus 7-day  Bike & Barge, Holland:Tulip Tour in the North and South Holland Provinces of The Netherlands.]
[See a list of all posts currently in this series HERE.]

Our first day of biking at last.  In the morning we have a 1hr+ seminar on biking rules of the road in the Netherlands.  There are separate bike lanes, separate bicycle traffic lights at times, and a variety of yield signs (sharks teeth in your lane, you yield, sharks teeth in the car lane, they yield).  Ultimately it’s about focus and self-preservation.  You don’t want to get hit.  Despite all the bicycle oriented lanes and lights we find that there are still a LOT of cars in the Netherlands.

We did seat height fittings the day before so we do some final adjusting and take a ride in a nearby bus lot to practice turns and arm signals.

Our route for the day is Purmerend to Alkmaar with stops in between.  The route maps I’m using are the day’s capture from one of our capable riders using the Strava app.  A thousand thanks to them for doing that.

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 7.28.21 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 7.28.48 AM

Mid- to late-morning we assemble off the barge and head out to view ‘pyramid’ houses:


We enter the quaint and very old village of De Rijp in time for lunch and a stroll.



We stop in Schermerhorn to view a tiny house in which a family of 15 once lived.  In the summer re-enactors in period costumes inhabit it but it’s closed now.  The highlight of the visit happens to be our first look at a Dutch ‘privy’ of yesteryear hanging over a canal.  I hope they kept those canals flowing!

From there we bike to a Dutch windmill museum to learn how they were used to reclaim the land.



We stop by a church to see the graves of six WWII airmen whose bodies were retrieved from a wartime crash and buried with respect.



 After a distance of 20.4mi biking (2hr:30:27 Strava moving time, 6hr:42min total and 2393 kCal burned on my HRM) we make it to the barge in Alkmaar.  Just don’t call me late for dinner.

Salad: sliced pears cooked in port with blue cheese.
Salad: sliced pears cooked in port with blue cheese.


After dinner our guide takes us on a casual stroll through Alkmaar.


Of our five full biking days today was the shortest.  Too bad we didn’t have time to do anything.  Yawn.  Bedtime.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s