Author Topic: Hook of Holland to Cologne  (Read 294 times)

Baron Brymbo von Pickelhaube

  • Adel auf dem Radel
Hook of Holland to Cologne
« on: December 03, 2018, 06:27:42 pm »
I intend to re-ride part or all of this year's Hamburg-Berlin-Cologne route next summer as a series of 200km day rides.  This means I need to get to/from Cologne on my bike after crossing from Harwich to Holland.  The track at http://www.gpxeditor.co.uk/routes2/users/DavidBrowning/HoekToCologne is my first stab at a 2-stage route.  I believe it follows the Rhine Cycle Path and was wondering if any reader has experience of this they could share.  In particular, I like to know if the path from the coast down to Cologne is rideable on a standard 700c road bike with 25mm tyres (Tifosi CK7), and what sort of speeds I could expect to achieve.  I normally complete an undulating 200km ride in about 10 hours and have a moving average of 23-25kmh.
The present is a foreign country: they do things differently here.

mattc

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Re: Hook of Holland to Cologne
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2018, 07:12:48 pm »
Do you have a date yet Baron B?
Has never ridden RAAM
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Re: Hook of Holland to Cologne
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2018, 07:50:25 pm »
The Dutch part of the route is definitely doable on 25mm tyres, but this route takes every scenic detour imaginable (including quite some ferries). You can also follow the main dykes along the rivers, which will still be enjoyable and cycle-friendly, but a lot faster and shorter. Something I would recommend if you want to cover 200 km per day. Following the main dykes, given that it's completely flat and you'll most likely have the wind in your back, 26-28 km/h should be easy to attain.

Germany is a bit different. In my experience, German long-distance cycle routes are not always suitable for 25mm tyres. I don't have any specific experience with the Rhine Cycle Path, but I have had unexpected encounters with off-road sections on other German long-distance cycle routes.

Re: Hook of Holland to Cologne
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2018, 09:00:03 pm »
I’ve done it the other way and the Rhine cycle path from Cologne to Rotterdam is definitely doable on 25mm tyres.
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Baron Brymbo von Pickelhaube

  • Adel auf dem Radel
Re: Hook of Holland to Cologne
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2018, 09:37:23 pm »
Do you have a date yet Baron B?
I'm looking at late June / early July to take advantage of the longer days.  My plan was to book accommodation for the first and last couple of days but then get accommodation on spec once on the HBK loop.

... You can also follow the main dykes along the rivers, which will still be enjoyable and cycle-friendly, but a lot faster and shorter...
Thanks for that.  I don't really know how to go about constructing a route which follows the main dykes which is cycle-friendly.  One reason I use existing routes is because I have difficulty recognising cycle-friendly roads*.  That day through Holland is 234km and I don't really want to take over 10hrs riding it, so if I can shorten it I shall.

I’ve done it the other way and the Rhine cycle path from Cologne to Rotterdam is definitely doable on 25mm tyres.
Thanks for that.  It looks as if the proposed Rhine cycle path is good first plan, unless I can come up with anything better.

*I use audax routes for all my leisure cycling in the UK.  This means, for example, that my route between Reading and Stoke-on-Trent is long but I don't get to ride a busy dual carriageway in the middle of Birmingham or Wolverhampton.
The present is a foreign country: they do things differently here.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Hook of Holland to Cologne
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2018, 10:14:19 pm »
Ha - I've done this! Not quite the same route (I crossed from NED to DE at Venlo) but I did get to Cologne (I carried on through and stopped properly on the way back).

I actually did nijmegen to Bonn in one day - with another 60km on top owing to a misplaced phone. That was real type 3 fun. Great memories though! Basically off the traffic and quality road surfaces for the whole shooting match.

I had no dramas on my 25 mm gatorskins (until one of them split open on the return leg...) but if I were to do it again I'd use 28s. Checking my Strava I averaged 20.2kmh but I hadn't slept the night before owing to a seriously noisy music festival next to my hostel, and had done another 30 km in the morning to go and retreive a phone from a cafe outside of town. Happy days! So you can probably go quicker. You probably won't be carrying as much junk as I did either (party clothes, steel kryptonite lock, etc).

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I started hallucinating about 40 km outside of Bonn. Started hearing a tennis match in my head and couldn't tell if I was on a hill or not. Most peculiar. I recall getting into my host's flat and just saying 'never, never, never, never again.'

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quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Hook of Holland to Cologne
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2018, 10:29:17 pm »


Well that's certainly a scenic route...

I can't comment so much on the German bit, but of the Dutch bit, you're going very much the long way.

https://www.komoot.com/tour/52718524

Haven't fettled it completely, but that cuts off quite a bit of the distance. If the wind is in your favour, you should be able to do it on a road bike in 10-12 hours...

J
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Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Hook of Holland to Cologne
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2018, 12:54:24 am »
*I use audax routes for all my leisure cycling in the UK.  This means, for example, that my route between Reading and Stoke-on-Trent is long but I don't get to ride a busy dual carriageway in the middle of Birmingham or Wolverhampton.

You're missing out...   ;)
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Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: Hook of Holland to Cologne
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2018, 04:58:01 am »
The Rhine cycle path is designed for scenic rather than speed, but there aren’t too many alternatives as you head towards Bonn.  I’m actually riding back from Köln to Kempen (near Venlo) on Saturday and will skirt to the west of Neuss, not following the Rhine. But that’s a Velomobile-friendly route so a different priority.
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Re: Hook of Holland to Cologne
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2018, 07:13:51 am »
Thanks for that.  I don't really know how to go about constructing a route which follows the main dykes which is cycle-friendly.  One reason I use existing routes is because I have difficulty recognising cycle-friendly roads*.  That day through Holland is 234km and I don't really want to take over 10hrs riding it, so if I can shorten it I shall.


I can imagine. So, my attempt at a route through the Netherlands is here: https://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=iqlkclztomkdruiz

Unlike quixoticgeek's route, it avoids most of the big cities, it has no ferries and mainly follows (small) rivers and canals. And only 190km until you reach Germany. If you need to be on the other side of the Rhine to get back to the Rhine Route, then from the border follow the (bike-specific) road signs until Emmerich and cross the Rhine there.

Baron Brymbo von Pickelhaube

  • Adel auf dem Radel
Re: Hook of Holland to Cologne
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2018, 05:40:58 pm »
Thanks for all the replies and the GPX files.  I've replaced the Hook-to-Kleve part with slugbait's and then added a little section crossing the Emmerich bridge into Kleve.   Your effort is very much appreciated - a shorter faster route through Holland is ideal for me.

*I use audax routes for all my leisure cycling in the UK.  This means, for example, that my route between Reading and Stoke-on-Trent is long but I don't get to ride a busy dual carriageway in the middle of Birmingham or Wolverhampton.

You're missing out...   ;)
Not always the case, as using existing routes and GPX files isn't foolproof.  I used Ian H's Buzzard route between Pangbourne and Exeter for a trip down to Truro.  I just reversed the GPX track for the return journey.  This meant I had a slow ascent out of Honiton on the A30, being passed by lots of heavy traffic eager to get onto the A303.  It's ok going the other way, as on the audax event, because you're riding downhill and the traffic is slow going towards the Honiton bypass.  The track reversal also had me going the wrong way around Salisbury's 1-way system  :facepalm:
The present is a foreign country: they do things differently here.

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: Hook of Holland to Cologne
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2018, 05:53:18 pm »
Thr section from Kleve down towards Düsseldorf is my stomping ground - perfect open roads. But beware that in Kreis Kleve (the county from Kleve/Emmerich South to almost Kempen, so a good 50km) there aren’t many towns and villages may have no obvious watering/food places. I know the good cafes but they are all a bit off the beaten track.
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk