Tagged: Leiden

Dutch cycle tracks to die for… Part 1

Lego's own cycle track

Lego’s own cycle track

So far, I have visited as many as 7 cities in The Netherlands and as I biked through these charming towns, I notice the cycle tracks are beautifully landscaped. They are so attractive that they are almost eye candy to me. To be fair, I am not talking about bike paths that are in parks or tuck away somewhere that you have to look on a map to find it. I am talking about cycle tracks that everyday people on bikes use and riding adjacent to streets within city limits.

Note many cycle tracks are bidirectional, and many times are on both sides of the street. Moreover, many are really wide to accommodate conversational cycling. The ones that are installed in recent times are made of special red asphalt that is really smooth that any weekend road warrior would appreciate. And no flats to worry about!

Special colored asphalt that will make your slow bike seems fast

Special colored asphalt that is so smooth that will make your slow bike seems fast.

By the way, did you know that the word “landscape” originates from the Dutch? I am sure because they have to work their land to manage floods since the beginning of time that they have become experts in landscaping and among other things. This expertise can be seen in their bike infrastructure.

On a cycle track just outside of Leiden

On a cycle track between The Hague and Delft

A cycle track in the Hague

A cycle track in the Hague

A cycle track on the beach of Scheveningen

A cycle track on the beach of Scheveningen

Another beautifully landscaped cycle track in Den Bosch

Another beautifully landscaped cycle track in Den Bosch

Cycle track leading up to Hovenring in Eindhoven

Cycle track leading up to Hovenring in Eindhoven

Green cycle track in Eindhoven

Green cycle track in Eindhoven

As I am half way through my bike travel, I have more cities to discover and will post more eye candy photos of cycle tracks. So stay tuned.

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Ad Bikes in Leiden

How pervasive is the bike culture in Leiden, a quaint but dense city 40 km southwest of Amsterdam? I say extremely pervasive. Bikes are being used to prop up advertising. I might add it is a smart way to incorporate marketing without being intrusive.

In the States, we have advertising on billboards, ads on the sides of cars and transits, and everywhere else that has space. We get so many ads from watching television and when we go out on the streets, we are bombarded with even more ads. It gets very commercial, obtrusive and makes the surrounding unattractive.

But using bikes for ads, I think it’s a nice touch. It’s small but it can get your eyes drawn to it due the the simplicity and beauty of a two wheeler.  But make sure no other personal bikes are around the ad bike because other bikes can take the attention away. Here are some ads I see riding around Leiden and I am sure this concept is in other parts of the Netherlands, too.

A creative pop-up store for all kinds of arts and products. Pretty creative ad bike!

A creative pop-up store for all kinds of arts and products. Pretty creative ad bike!

A nice contrast between the bike and its phone carrier store, Vodafone.

A nice contrast between the bike and its phone carrier store, Vodafone.

An ad for Eazie restaurants that serve Asian food.  www.eazie.nl

An ad for Eazie restaurants that serve Asian food. http://www.eazie.nl

Amrani beauty shop with its representative white step thru bike.

Amrani beauty shop with its representative white step thru bike.

If a bike can't get enough attention, attach a billboard to a trailer. Thank goodness this ad is inside the building.

If a bike can’t get enough attention, attach a billboard to a trailer. Thank goodness this ad is inside a building.