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cycle holiday in the Netherlands. How far on a daily basis?

(19 Posts)
spottyPJ Mon 22-May-17 19:43:17

we are planning a 10 day cycle tour through the Netherlands in the summer. just arranging accommodation with vrienden op de fiets.

DC are 7 and 10 and we do cycle regularly and a lot. Both have really light bikes. Are 25-35 miles in the very flat Netherlands realistic with the DC? We will be going from place to place. Also, any experience of using vrienden? it is our first time.

HalfCarrot Mon 22-May-17 19:58:50

35 seems a lot for a 7 yr old. Will there be rest days of 10k or so to balance it out? How much of the day are you going to spend cycling?

BarchesterFlowers Mon 22-May-17 20:15:03

We are cycling in the Netherlands for most of August with DD who will be just 11. We usually do 25-35 miles a day with a day off every third or fourth day depending on weather/how she is.

DD was on a tandem with DH until last summer. I think 35 a day is too much for a 7 year old based on our experience.

We were planning on VODF too, but having spoken to a couple of people who have used it have decided just to use it once a week or so fitting in with train journeys and take our camping gear. You have to book VODF a bit ahead generally.

We like to do our own thing and I don't want to be pinned down to getting somewhere if we fancy doing something else, like stumbling across a festival somewhere and being committed to getting 30 miles up the road because we have paid for accommodation rather than pitching our tent close by.

Even though it is flat don't forget the wind.

spottyPJ Mon 22-May-17 20:31:22

thanks. we have a couple of rest days. we have train as a fall back option. just checked and it is more 25 miles a day...

BarchesterFlowers Mon 22-May-17 20:40:01

I am not sure DD would have been up for eight days, 3 hours a day under her own steam at 7 tbh. She would have had enough after day four but maybe that is just her.

That is the disadvantage of VODF, most people book weeks ahead. At €60 plus a bunch of flowers or something for your host for four of you you won't be much worse off in hostels (which are much more family friendly than the (I am told) often pristine homes offered via VODF).

weasle Mon 22-May-17 20:41:11

If you cycle a lot then 25miles a day should be ok. 35miles I think too much for a 7yo.

BarchesterFlowers Mon 22-May-17 20:53:17

You need to think about how much you do before the holiday.

We do 25-30 one day at the weekend and 8-10 a couple of times a week. DD rides to school, only a couple of miles. We make the 8-10 a bit bigger and every other day in the run up to a trip.

mummymummums Mon 22-May-17 21:05:59

My DC have done 26 miles at 8 (almost 9) and 10 years and that was with only a couple of fairly short stops, so I'd think 25 miles fine with more stops built in. Maybe up to 30. But 35 seems a lot for age 7.

BikeRunSki Mon 22-May-17 21:10:58

Have they ever done any cycling touring before? Riding 25 miles on one day then maybe it again until the following weekend, is different to riding 25 miles a day, for several days running.

Gettingthereithink Mon 22-May-17 21:19:56

Have you been before? We've always loved our holidays there but found it slightly tricky cycling when DC were younger. In my experience the Dutch are not terribly tolerant of children cycling. Their kids are on a huge variety of extra seats, balance bars, trailers etc and are not pootling along holding up all the fast, A to B cyclists there. I'd be hesitant to commit to accommodation so you can adjust your plans as you go along. Am sure you'll have fun though. It's a fab country.

spottyPJ Mon 22-May-17 21:26:42

first cycle holiday. hence I am a bit unsure about distance etc .. fingers crossed it will all work out.

DC are very good cyclists. we do long distances (up to 20 miles regularly) but we live in a hilly area. I would have thought cycling in flat Holland will be easier. hoping for tailwind!!

BarchesterFlowers Mon 22-May-17 21:36:26

We live somewhere hilly too spotty. The hill out of Pateley Bridge is on my ride to work.

Better to plan on 15-20 and see an extra sight or do an extra loop if you are booking accommodation.

Bike is completely spot on, it is the cumulative effect of riding every day. Not just physical either. Sometimes we adults appreciate the scenery far more than they do etc., etc.. DD frequently read a book on the tandem!

Check how far the VODF places are from a restaurant. DH knows of someone who ate chips every night when he stayed with them because places to eat were too far away and he didn't want to get back on his bike.

GingerHanna Tue 23-May-17 05:49:49

We're fine with kids on bikes! Admittedly most of the kids here have outstanding bike skills as they are on balance bikes virtually from birth, but not all.

Yes it's very flat here but it can also get quite windy and if you're in the open countryside there may not be a lot of shelter. Just something to bear in mind.

BarchesterFlowers Tue 23-May-17 06:25:33

One other thing - have a look at your travel insurance. Most policies cover cycling incidental to a holiday as a low risk sport but exclude cycle touring which is considered an increased risk.

Your EHIC card will work but you need repatriation cover etc..

Cooroo Tue 23-May-17 06:48:53

Barchester you ride up Greenhow every day? You must be fit as a butcher's dog!

BarchesterFlowers Tue 23-May-17 06:56:06

No I don't cooroo grin, wish I was! I work full time in four days, ride one on average, sometimes two. Have two late night meetings which means I only ride on Tuesdays if I don't have anything in my diary at work as a rule. But, I had all winter off with asthma/pneumonia and am relatively unfit.

DH on the other hand works from home and does fit in Greenhow five times a week - is as fit as a very very skinny butchers dog.

Mumski45 Tue 23-May-17 08:19:00

We did cycling in the Netherlands a few years ago with 7 and 9 year old who were both used to cycling 20m in a day. We did about 80m over about 5/6 days which was about right I think. We had a few days with no cycling at all and we had some days longer than others. The wind is a factor especially on circular routes where you cant plan to have a tail wind all the time. I think 35m a day would be too much and would aim for 20-25m a day with at least one day off in the middle.

olderthanyouthink Tue 23-May-17 10:59:48

This sound like the sort of thing my dad made me do when I was little. I did 45 miles at 9 but that was a one off. Not sure have far we did on consecutive days but he doesn't think it's worth getting in a bike for less than 25 miles hmm.

PP is right kids get bored, I've read ebooks on my phone while riding (my own bike not tandem, mostly on paths with no traffic)

spottyPJ Sun 22-Oct-17 10:19:30

just came across my old post and thought I report back in case people are searching this and wonder how e got on.
we did 30 miles a daily (no rest days). the first 2 days were a bit hard but by day three we had really cracked it and reached the destination by late noon/early afternoon.
we used VODF - all pre-booked before the holiday. cannot recommend them highly enough.

I loved it, the kids loved it. it was super relaxing. we we had a ball and the 30 miles a day weren't too much at all. we just were on the bikes, saw things, had qualify time together etc. And cycling there is just so different and so much easier. the facilities are mind blowing.

a lot of poster said the kids would get bored. they certainly did not. we will definitely go again.

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