Frequently Asked Questions about Cycling Holidays
The following questions often come up when people ask about our cycling holidays.
How do I get to Assen ?
Please don't travel to Assen, or anywhere else, for your holiday. Stay at home and give your descendents the gift of a world which is still liveable.
Do you really not want me to come from America/Australia/other places far away ?
No, we really do not. If the human race is to avoid the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change then we all need to take some personal responsibility. That means you as well as us. We no longer offer holidays. We instead encourage you not to take holidays with us or with anyone else. Please stay at home and reduce the number of kilometres that you travel by any motorized means.
What sort of bikes can be hired ?
Most people hire an upright Dutch bicycle. This is the type of bicycle used by Dutch people going about their everyday business. You'll fit right in if you ride this sort of bike.
A Dutch bike is for many people one of the highlights of the holiday. Riding in a relaxed, upright position makes it easy to watch the scenery as you go past. These bikes are easy to ride. They have the right gears for the landscape rather than excessive numbers of gears, are fully equipped with mudguards and chaincase to keep your clothes clean, and have a rack and/or basket to carry items that you may want to take with you.
The saddle height of our standard bicycles can be adjusted between 90 cm and 100 cm ( 3' to 3' 3.5" ). This range of heights suits most teenagers and adults with a height between 155 cm and 180 cm ( 5' 1 " - 5' 11" ). If you need a different size of bike, please let us know in plenty of time before you come on holiday.
Can I hire a child trailer ?
Yes, we have a child trailer for hire. This can accommodate one or two children. The manufacturers state that it is suitable from the age of 18 months and for a weight of 40 kg (if two children ride then this is the combined weight). It can easily be fitted onto our hire bikes.
The hire price is €5 per day. There is a €50 damage or loss deposit for the trailer.
Can I hire a cargo trailer ?
Yes, we have a cargo trailer for hire. This has a capacity of up to 45 kg. It can easily be fitted onto our hire bikes.
The hire price is €5 per day. There is a €50 damage or loss deposit for the trailer.
Can I bring my own bike ?
Of course. If you let us know in advance that you wish to do this then we will refund the cost of bicycle rental. Note that depending on the bicycle you bring and how you transport it, the costs can add up.
Will there be somewhere safe to keep my bike ?
All the accommodation that we use has secure cycle storage - at the least an enclosed garden. However, we recommend of course that you take care to lock your bike. Our hire bikes have effective locks.
Do I have to wear a helmet ?
Cycle helmets are not compulsory in the Netherlands and very few Dutch people wear cycle helmets. If you wish to wear a helmet, please bring it with you as we do not hire helmets.
Is it safe ?
The Netherlands is the safest country in the world in which to cycle. Almost all your cycling on our holidays will take place on cycle-paths away from motor traffic.
Drenthe is a very safe region of the Netherlands with an extremely low crime rate.
Do I need insurance ?
We recommend that all customers have both travel and health insurance. Your insurance company will be able to advise what is required.
Do we have to read maps ?
Our routes are described both as lists of instructions and on maps. You can use either.
Can we have a ride leader ?
Yes, it's possible to have a ride leader. Rates are quite reasonable for large groups, but it can seem expensive for a small group for the whole week. Because we charge per day for a leader it can be quite economical to have just part of your holiday led.
Do the ride leaders speak English ?
We were born in the UK and are native English speakers.
Also, all our accommodation is with people who speak good English.
Can I take a rest day ?
Because we use a fixed base, you can take a rest day at any time without having to "catch up". You don't have to organise rest days in advance. This is invaluable if you are tired, or simply feel like doing something else instead of cycling. In a family group it's also possible for teenagers to take a day in the city while their parents cycle, or the other way around.
What sort of accommodation is available ?
We have a range of different accommodation types, from Bed and Breakfast through to hotels. We can also arrange group accommodation. Please let us know your requirements.
Is Wi-Fi internet available in my accommodation ?
In all the hotels and most Bed and Breakfast accommodation, WiFi is available free of charge.
How far from cafes and restaurants is the accommodation ?
All our accommodation is convenient for access to cafes and restaurants as well as supermarkets. Your holiday pack includes information about how to easily reach the nearest facilities, as well as the city centre, by bicycle.
What is there to do in the evening ?
Assen is a small town, but there are many cafes, restaurants and bars open in the evening. There is also a cinema, a theatre, swimming pool and late night shopping on Friday.
Do I have to carry my own luggage ?
Because we use a fixed base for our holidays you never have to carry with you anything that you won't need while riding.
Why a fixed base ?
A fixed base holiday is desirable for a number of reasons. You have far more flexibility and as you don't need to carry luggage (or hope that someone will remember to bring it to your destination for you) you can travel light. Any day can be a rest day. What's more, because the destination each day is the same place as you started, you can shorten the day's ride or ride the routes in another order to that we suggest and you'll still arrive at the correct destination.
Do the routes overlap ?
The routes are carefully planned so that there is very little overlap. The start place is the same each day so you will be familiar with this after a couple of days, but each route takes a different direction out of the city so each day the route will be a surprise.
Will I get tired ?
How tired you will be depends on your condition and on how hard you cycle. Our routes are of a length that most people won't find too taxing. We aim to provide rides which can be completed in a couple of hours of moderate cycling before lunch followed by another couple of hours after lunch. There is no need to hurry, and you have plenty of time to stop for extra refreshment at cafes along the route.
Drenthe is mostly flat. There are no difficult hills to climb on our routes.
What about if it rains ?
Rain cannot be entirely ruled out in any Northern European country. We recommend bringing light waterproof clothing. However, most of our customers don't use it.
The Dutch have a saying: "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes". Stopping at a cafe is perhaps the most pleasant way to avoid rain.
May, June, July and August are the driest months.
What clothes are suitable ?
No special clothes are required. Most people in the Netherlands ride in everyday sensible clothing and shoes and you can do the same.
Can you teach me to cycle ?
Yes we can. We've taught other people before. Usually it takes less than a day. Learning to cycle is a wonderful thing to do, whatever your age.
The Netherlands is the safest place in the world to cycle, and the safest place to learn to cycle.
If you wish to be taught to ride a bike, book a ride leader and let us know that this is your intention. We'll find a discrete area away from too much passing traffic and too many passing bikes. No-one will laugh at you.
We recommend booking a relatively short holiday, perhaps a weekend or half a week. We will teach you to cycle, and accompany you for short rides. You can of course also take a rest day, and if it turns out that you don't want to cycle after all, we can provide an alternative itinerary.
Can you help me with planning my own cycling holiday ?
We do not offer individual help with planning cycling holidays other than through our company. However, we do have some web pages online detailing some of our older experiences and you're welcome to read them for inspiration. Please do not make international journeys to travel. You can find good cycling conditions near your own home: Lincolnshire, Family holiday in the Netherlands, Land's End to John o'Groats.
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